Comics : Spider-Man/Daredevil: Unusual Suspects #4

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This review was first published on: 2004.


Paul Jenkins is now well in control of Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2), and he has joined forces with Phil Winslade for this little four-part mini-series, featuring Spider-Man and Daredevil.

Spidey and DD have shared many an adventure, but this is the first time that a title has bourne both their names. Two classic New York super-heroes in a stand-alone adventure, written by a proven talent. How could this go wrong?

In Detail...

"Things Get Worse"
Spider-Man/Daredevil: Unusual Suspects #4
Apr 2001 : SM Title
Editor:  Nanci Dakesian, Stuart Moore
Writer:  Paul Jenkins
Pencils:  Phil Winslade
Inker:  Tom Palmer
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man/Daredevil: Unusual Suspects (TPB)
Articles: Owl

OK, this is the deal. Turns out that Copperhead seems to have sold his sold to the Devil, so instead of being electrocuted, he kind of became a spawn of Satan. An agent of Beelzebub on earth, commited to the downfall of humanity, etc, etc. This is a bit of a twist, since the tale formerly showed no signs of otherworld involvement.

But, that aside. Copperhead surrounds the whole area with a sphere of otherworld energy, as he re-animates the souls of those that he and his villainous cohorts previously killed, as an army of darkness, to force a wedge into the human sphere, leading to the collapse of mankind, yadda, yadda. Usual stuff...

Copperhead sets up a portal to the dark dimension, and mankind is only saved by the intervention of... Owlsley! Yeah, The Owl sacrifices his own life to save humanity. He blows Copperhead's whole plan, and saves the world and all upon it. Turns out he wasn't such a bad guy after all!

Then, to wrap up, there's a resolution to the Foggy/Natasha/Matt as Fisk's lawyer issue, and a superb wrapup to the Peter/Matt interaction. The last panel is worth the price of the book alone. Yep, a delightful sense of closure.

In General...

A great end to a delicous series. The art, pacing and story are all done with the careful care of true masters. Plus, there's some real gems in the dialogue - and Jenkins displays his solid understanding of all the characters involved. He adds his own depth, without destroying what has gone before.

Perhaps the only faults I could find are that the "mystery" elements of the story don't give us any chance to guess what was happening. Could we have reasonably guessed that Copperhead was the true leader. Could we have guessed that he was living dead, or that he was an agent of the Dark Forces? Jenkins could have given us some clues, and helped us be more part of the story.

Kingpin's motivations are also a little hard to understand. He hires Matt, but then tries to have DD killed. His reasoning for the Foggy investigation is a little soft too.

Overall Rating...

I'm tempted to drop this story half a web for the minor flaws mentioned above. But the bare facts are, this is the best Spidey Mini-Series that has ever been produced by Marvel, with perhaps the possible exception of the B/W "Daily Bugle" three-parter.

It's hard to give any limited series top marks, since there's simply more pages, and more chances to make a mis-step. By that logic, I think you have to be more forgiving with longer stories. Hence, I'm giving this full marks, for being as good as any mini-series could ever be expected to be.