September 25, 2010

Infinite Man & Aron Fist: Shadowland Shakedown Part 4

With the overflowing amount of crossover events from various comic companies flooding the shelves, the people have cried out for help in keeping up with the many-issued madness! Well, that call has been answered by two guys who have answered a call or two in their lives! Infinite Man and Aron Fist are here to save your sanity, and hopefully save you from picking up that really crappy tie-in book that has absolutely NO REASON to exist!  So sit back and check us out as we give you the SHADOWLAND SHAKEDOWN (click here for the complete Infinite Man & Aron Fist library) on just about everything pertaining to this event, while we also try to figure out why DD has gone off the deep end!

***CAUTION: Review May Contain Spoilers!***

Shadowland: Power Man #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Cover: Mike Perkins & Dan Brown

There’s a new Power Man in town and he’s starting off a bit like the original did: as a Hero for Hire. Utilizing Craigslist, this new hero is getting his leads and for a fee he’ll beat the hell out of the bad guys. Apparently he’s a survivor of the building that Bullseye blew up in the pages of Daredevil, and his exploits have led him into direct confrontation with the Hand. Weird thing is though, the ninja recognized a move used by the new Power Man and it’s only taught by Daniel Rand aka Iron Fist. So they pay him a visit thinking the new hero is a student of his, and when Danny lets them know that he has no idea who this guy is, he quickly gives the original Power Man Luke Cage a call. With the help of one of their soup kitchen volunteers they set up a meeting with the new Power Man, but it becomes evident very quickly that this guy has no love for Luke Cage, as he gives him a left cross that knocks the spit out of his mouth and sends him reeling!
When do you introduce a character that probably no one would care about? During an event showcasing better known characters of course! Fred Van Lente gives a good story here, but it could have been released without the Shadowland banner if you ask me. Certain parts would have had to have been tweaked, but really this series just looks to be a jump off for the new Power Man more than something to help push the actual story of Shadowland. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the issue, because as much as certain parts annoyed me, like the few panels with the pimp Cottonmouth and the “street” slang, I found it to be pretty good. Van Lente gives us a brief peek at the life of Victor Alvarez aka Power Man, and he’s basically a kid trying to do right by his family who is living with other family members since their home was destroyed. His father is dead and somehow Cage ties into all of that, and mysteriously the kid is also trained in K’un Lun Kung Fu and Iron Fist wants to know how.
The artwork by Asrar was a sharp contrast to several of the other Shadowland books since it was bright and very colorful, which gives it a much different mood as well. Great action scenes along with splash pages, and it was nice to see him do just as well during the calmer moments too. Overall I think the story is a decent one, but I just don’t feel that it should have been part of the Shadowland crossover. Maybe if Marvel would have kept that great Immortal Iron Fist book going it could have been part of that series! 3/5 – IS

Daredevil #510
Publisher: Marvel
Writer(s): Andy Diggle & Antony Johnston
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Cover: John Cassaday & Laura Martin

Foggy Nelson and Dakota North are still trying to stay alive a few hours longer, but the Hand keeps on comin’! The two are attacked in their safe house, but with the help of her shotgun and a timely appearance by Tarantula they make it out alive. Commissioner Gor…umm I mean Detective Alex Kurtz is still doing what he can to help stem the rising tide of violence spreading through Hell’s Kitchen, while DD’s closest friends are meeting in the old Rand Industries building. Master Izo has joined them and gives an explanation of what’s happened to Matt, and that killing him is the only solution which doesn’t sit right with several in attendance. Back at Shadowland Castle, Tarantula tries to reach out to Daredevil and convince him that things are only getting worse for everyone in Hell’s Kitchen, only to get choked and tossed across the room (When did DD become Darth Vader?). Soon there’s a riot on the streets and White Tiger gives an order to kill all of the looters, which Tarantula disagrees with so Tiger decides to introduce several of his internal organs to her katana, then tosses him off of a building.

Daredevil continues to be one of the best parts of Shadowland, and it’s good to see that Diggle and Johnston continue to make it an integral part of the series. We get an even amount of expo that furthers the story with new information, mixed with some pretty good action peppered throughout the issue. It was great seeing Checchetto’s artwork back with this issue, and he keeps it dark and moody and delivers during the action scenes. That entire opening sequence in the apartment was just a damn good primer for this issue and set it up perfectly. Though, I am wondering why Detective Kurtz has to resemble Gotham City’s most famous Commissioner; that’s just something I didn’t like from the beginning. This is one of the better issues brought by Diggle and Johnston, and it’s on course to finish strong, so I’m hoping they keep the momentum going! 4/5 -IS
Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #2
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Antony Johnston
Art: Wellinton Alves
Cover: Francesco Mattina
The Shroud and Paladin scuffle.  Mikey Fortunado hired Paladin to kill his brother Bobby.  Thing is, from the looks of last issue, the Hand did a number on Mikey.  Paladin thought maybe Bobby got wind of the hit and killed his brother, so Paladin was all set up to rob Bobby so he could collect the rest of his bounty.  Paladin doesn’t believe that Daredevil would sanction Mikey’s killing.  Could Bobby have hired the Hand?  That doesn’t seem to be how the Hand works.  Misty Knight, on the other hand, has broken into the morgue to investigate Mikey Fortunado’s body.  She notices the slit to his throat was done by an amateur hack.  Back at her office, Hand ninjas slip in through the window to pay Misty a visit while she goes over some paperwork.  They tell her that they did not kill Mikey Fortunado.  Lord Daredevil does not allow such killings.  Someone is going around trying to frame the Hand.  They tell her to call off her investigation and that they will take it over from here.  The Hand aren’t taking being framed lightly.  Misty jumps on the phone to tell Bobby that the Hand did not kill his brother, but he cuts the conversation short.  He has some unexpected visitors.  Paladin shows up to rob Bobby and finds him dead.  The mark of the Hand.  Misty shows up to make sure Bobby is okay.  Lookie there.  Makes it look like, to Misty, that Paladin did the job.  They both look guilty to Bobby Fortunado’s boys who walk in with guns drawn.  Remember Silver Sable?  The poor girl isn’t going to get her money because her target is dead.  Interpol thinks she did it.  Silver Sable vows to find the true killer.
Oh, boy!  We’ve got a lot of people getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Someone is doing pretty well at framing the Hand in the right eyes.  But who?  Will it have any bearing on Shadowland, or is this just a convenient backdrop for a murder mystery involving Marvel’s C-List?  Stick around, if you like.  It is getting kind of interesting.  This was a much better offering than the first issue.  3/5 – AW

Thunderbolts #148
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Cover: Frank Martin

With Luke Cage heavily involved in Shadowland, it was only a matter of time before his Black Ops team, the Thunderbolts, would also be called into action. Luke is asked to find an old friend who is a cop in Hell’s Kitchen that has been taken by the Hand. Apparently there is a huge castle underground that keeps the “dead” ninja moving, and that’s where he’s been taken. So Luke uses his resources and gets the TBolts involved while he attempts to help the other heroes turn Daredevil around. Of course, the TBolts are more than happy when Cage tells them that the ninja are already dead and extreme force is allowed, but things go to hell when Fixer ends up on the wrong side of several katana, and Songbird gets taken out of the fight due to Moonstone’s failure to help her out.

I was wondering how Marvel was going to slap the Shadowland banner on Thunderbolts and get them involved, and even though I feel the premise is a weak one, Jeff Parker did well with what he was given. His story actually shines when he’s just dealing with the TBolts during their entire lunch sequence in the mess hall of their prison/base. It was great seeing the team feel they had to defend themselves to the other inmates’ taunts, and having Juggernaut basically be the voice of reason was a nice touch. Plus, we also got a peek at Crossbone’s condition from the previous issue. Just when I was getting used to Kev Walker’s style on Thunderbolts, Declan Shalvey takes over for this issue and I was not impressed…at all. The few pages in the beginning were pretty good, but for the rest of the book I was wondering what happened and if there was another artist involved that I didn’t read on the intro page. If you’re already getting Thunderbolts regularly then you’re okay, but this issue is nothing to rush out and grab if you don’t collect the title. Shadowland will do just fine without it. 2.5/5 – IS

Shadowland: Ghost Rider #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Rob Williams
Art: Clayton Crain
Cover: Clayton Crain

Back in Shadowland #1, Kingpin used Hand magic to summon a spirit of vengeance.  Ghost Rider!  Ghost Rider is pissed off that someone has summoned him.  He goes to find that person and open a can of Whoop Ass!  He rides his motorcycle UP Fisk Tower and busts through a window where he finds the Kingpin and his bodyguard, Lady Bullseye.  But you see, Ghost Rider can’t harm Kingpin.  Kingpin summoned Ghost Rider through Hand magic, so he controls the spirit of vengeance.  Kingpin tells Ghost Rider that the people he really wants to hurt are over in Japan.  The Snakeroot Clan.  So, Ghost Rider heads to Japan’s Hand headquarters by…driving his motorcycle…across…the ocean…and hitches a ride…on a…whale.  Just like that, I’m not lying.  VROOM! VROOM!  Johnny Blaze goes into the Hand palace and gets his booty kicked.  He is controlled by Hand magic, so he can’t harm the Hand.  He gets tortured as the Snakeroot Clan want to know who sent him.  Blaze wants to be killed, he begs to be killed.  Since Ghost Rider is actually a warrior of Heaven (Yes, you read that right. Where have you been?), he doesn’t die.  He comes back…with a badass army of angels.  The angels take care of the Snakeroot Clan.  Problem solved.  Ghost Rider is on his way back across the ocean…on his motorcycle…and heading for Shadowland.

Okay.  I think this story is just a little bit of a stretch, even for Ghost Rider.  Are the angels really going to kill the core members of the Snakeroot Clan?  I doubt it.  The Snakeroot Clan is at the…root…of Matt Murdock’s corruption.  The art in this issue is pretty good.  I think Clayton Crain has done Ghost Rider work before.  I like it.  All except for the way he does the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk.  His Kingpin looks like a fat version of Michael Rosenbaum, Lex Luthor from television’s Smallville.  I don’t think the angel attack will be entirely successful, and I don’t think that this is really required reading to get the whole Shadowland experience.  2.5/5 – AW

Once again, Comic Attackers, Marvel seems to be coming up short in the tie-in department.  The two main books, Shadowland and Daredevil, are the only solid rocks in this event.  These tie-ins are money traps.  I’m quite surprised that there’s not a Front Line: Shadowland.  I mean, why not?  It’s Ben Urich’s paper.  Ben Urich is Daredevil’s buddy.  It makes sense to me, but I better keep it down.  Marvel might hear me, produce it, and throw a $3.99 price tag on it.

Thanks for reading!

Aron White

Infinite Speech



  1. Across the ocean and then on a whale? Who thought that would be a good idea? Why didn’t he just ride across the ocean the entire way, that would have been a bit more believable. Typical useless tie in issue

  2. Billy

    Wow, yeah, it sounds like Marvel is spitting out B material for the tie-ins as usual (Secret Invasion, Dark Reign). It’s a shame though, because it seems like with a better story, the tie-ins could add instead of take away from the main story. 🙁

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Infinite Man & Aron Fist: SHADOWLAND SHAKEDOWN pt. 4! #comics #Daredevil #Shadowland #Marvel […]

  4. Maybe one day there will be an event that just focuses on the core story and for better or for worse at least I haven’t shelled out $$ on crappy tie ins. Oh, that’s why I’m reading Artifacts! lol

  5. Aron

    I hate how crappy the tie-ins are! I’m with you guys, I can’t remember the last time an event had awesome tie-ins.

    I thought I would be cool and try some Ghost Rider stunts the other day. I rode my bike across a parking lot that was a huge water puddle…it wasn’t so cool. Ruined my good pants. Damn you, Johnny Blaze and your…whale!

  6. […] pt 2” written by Fred Van Lente with art by Reilly Brown. This is a team up featuring the new Power Man and Spidey as they attempt to stop the Looter. Great dialog and art make these few pages very […]

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