Man. What a weird week. This time around, an old standby disappointed and Daredevil finally let me down, just like everyone had been telling me that it inevitably would.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 39 - The cover was the key. But, to be honest, this issue fell flat for me. I didn't get the sense of urgency here that I expect to get from the second-to-last issue of my favorite series in a long time. Buffy, Angel, Spike, the Master, Willow, the fate of the world...everything was in place! Maybe I haven't been reading carefully enough, because I'm not going to sit here and claim that I understand everything with Twilight and the Seed, etc. but I will say this: the major events of this issue didn't feel like they were real. They didn't have gravity. Maybe that's because of shock, and maybe next month, with issue 40, I'll feel differently, but for now, this was a bit of a let down.
Daredevil 512 - Somewhat pointless. If you read Shadowland 5, which it told you to do before you read this, there wasn't anything in DD 512 that you didn't already know. Black Panther will be taking over as the Man Without Fear for a bit. Matt has a beard and is on the road again, trying to find himself. The one-shot will be called Reborn, in another attempt to always tie everything in this book to Born Again. I've loved DD since it's been relaunched. I've bought almost every single issue since that relaunch and I've got to say that I've never been more confident about the fact that I'll be dropping the book. It's been a great run, and I liked Shadowland well enough, but I'll voice my concerns a bit more below.
Detective Comics 871 - As I said last week, the previews convinced me I was wrong not to pick this up, and I'm so glad I did. This book seems like it might be the best of the bunch! Jock puts up brilliant pencils and the story is way better than the little villains they're creating in other books. I know that I said that I like them, so it's not like I'm trying to knock the other books, but this one felt more like Batman. Dick seems extremely confident in this book and I hope that we continue to see less of Damien in this book, as he's getting his due in other places. He's a great character, but there's something to be said for Dick Grayson as Batman all on his own.
Shadowland 5 (of 5) - Ghost Rider triumphing over Daredevil on the cover is an example of a lie. In the actual book, Ghost Rider gets taken out in a little less than a page. But that's just one of the smallest ways in which this book failed. I knew that I shouldn't get my hopes up and think that they'd actually kill Matt Murdock, but it seemed like the only way this story could go. I should know better by now. Instead, we have the healing chi of Iron Fist waking up a fight inside Murdock, where he successfully fights off the Beast and then mysteriously vanishes at the end. It was a lot like the second and third Matrix movies: superb concept, almost guaranteed lead-in and miserable finish. There's little more that can be said other than Shadowland proves a fitting capstone to the run that was begun more than ten years ago by Quesada and Kevin Smith: they began this idea that Born Again could be only the beginning of destroying Matt's life, and that concept has fully run its course through his book for the duration since. If only they had killed him, it would have been an instant classic. As it stands, Shadowland is merely another story that attempts to do what Born Again did, in less issues, and more successfully.
Book of the week goes to...Detective Comics, even though it didn't even come out this week! Buffy was underwhelming, the Daredevil titles were the perfect example of how to go out with a whimper and not a band, so Tec wins by default. That's not to say that it's not its own great book. Check it out.