Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2003
Artist: Alex Maleev
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Collects: Daredevil #46-50
The seventh volume of Bendis's Daredevil series brings his central story to a close, while opening up new possibilities for the future. Daredevil is dealing with the public revelation of his identity as blind attorney Matt Murdock when his greatest enemy, the Kingpin, returns from the grave to rule over New York City again. With him, he brings two of the hero's greatest enemies, the unstable Typhoid Mary and the crazed Bullseye. But this time, Daredevil decides to end these conflicts once and for all.
Bendis writes this series as though it is a film; the Kingpin's return and rise to power are straight out of a movie like Scarface : bloody, glib and dramatic all at once. His pacing is superb, as the Kingpin and Daredevil run parallel courses, building tension until they finally collide and battle through an entire issue at the book's conclusion. If Bendis is writing a film, then artist Maleev is drawing one—each panel is like a still from a movie on paper. When this works, as in the kinetic fight scenes, it's thrilling and grandiose, but it's less effective for tender moments, such as the romantic subplot involving Matt Murdock and a new girlfriend who's also blind. Hardcore is engrossing and broad enough in theme and character to absorb fans of Daredevil's adventures from both the silver screen and the comic books.