Dark Reign: The List - Daredevil #1: Review

Sep 2009
Andy Diggle, Billy Tan

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Reign: The List - Daredevil #1 Review by (May 1, 2018)
This is the 2nd of the Dark Reign: The List single-issues. (Peter Silvestro did the 1st, DRL:Avengers, and its sequel New Av Annual #3 some years ago, and Osborn and Bullseye come direct from there.) The rest are DRL:X-Men, Secret Warriors, Punisher, Hulk (Julio Molina-Muscara synopsised that even longer ago), Wolverine and Amazing Spider-Man. Daredevil wasn't on the original list in DRL:A, he gets added here.

This is really a DD story, part of his ongoing storyline. Norman Osborn's involvement is secondary - in fact he and his forces are pawns being tricked into fighting the Hand by Kingpin.
It follows from DD#500 where DD agreed to lead the Hand. But in between he has appeared in ASM#600, NAv#59-60 and Black Widow: Deadly Origin #3.
The storyline continues in DD's own mag where he and the Hand attack Osborn's crooked empire in #501-503 ,and NO retaliates by sending in HAMMER troops in #504. But he doesn't send Bullseye this time, who won't get involved until the Shadowlands event after Osborn's Dark Reign and the Dark Avengers are over.

Ed Brubaker ended his run as scripter by setting up this situation in DD#500. Andy Diggle picks up the reigns here and continues from #501 on.

This episode reunites many elements from Frank Miller's acclaimed run as DD scripter begun in #165.
Bullseye had been introduced in #131 and his several appearances had already made him a major DD foe when Miller brought him into his regular cast in #169.
Kingpin had already been a major Spider-Man foe when Miller imported him from #170 on, to become even more identified with DD.
The Hand were *invented* in #174 as an important part of the Elektra saga.
And the time mentioned her that DD didn't kill Bullseye was probably in #191 of Miller's run.
I also think it was Miller's stories that established that Matt Murdock was born in Hell's Kitchen, and he became that area's protector and it was retroactively claimed that his law firm had always been there.

Black Tarantula and White Tiger have nothing to do with Frank Miller.
BT was created in ASM#419 as a South American crimelord and lasted quite a while in Spidey-land. He met Matt Murdock while they were in jail in DD(1998)#82 and a few later issues.
WT on the other hand was created in the 1998 series, and featured in several issues before getting her own mini-series. But Angela del Toro is only the 4th person to hold the title, empowered by the Tiger amulets which she inherited from her uncle Hector Ayala who was WT no 1. And before him the amulets had powered the whole Sons of the Tiger team.
The pair only met when the Hand killed and resurrected them in DD(1998)#112-115, and Lady Bullseye was instrumental in this, after her introduction/origin issue #111. And in #116-119&500 DD finally acceptred the leadership of the Hand to stop Laby B or Kingpin getting, and LB was thrown out of the Hand and joined KP.

Detective Alex Kurtz is an ongoing character in the DD series.

Everybody except Osborn and Bullseye just carry on with the DD series. But NO and Lester have much to do before they return in DD#504 to respond to DD/Hand's attacks on NO's criminal empire in #501-503. Norman will continue through the rest of DRL, starting with DRL:X-Men and interspersed with other stuff. Bullseye will join him for DRL:Secret Warriors and some other issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Reign: The List - Daredevil #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Daredevil #500 Daredevil (Matt Murdock) agreed to become leader of his old foes the mystical assassin cult the Hand, in order to stop his other old enemy Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) getting the job.

Now Murdock is welcomed to the Hand's Manhattan skyscraper HQ. They have provided him with details of all their legitimate businesses, although many are fronts for their illegal activities. They are willing to give their sworn enemy this info because he has promised to lead them. And the punishment for betraying them would be beyond his imagination. Now he will undergo testing.

In Brooklyn a female costumed figure watches as cop Alex Kurtz is lured into a trap by 2 dirty cops (working for Norman Osborn's Zero Tolerance initiative) and a crooked judge. They threaten him to get him to stop investigating them. But the ninja figure hacks the 3 villains to pieces and vanishes before Kurtz can stop her.

In Avengers Tower Osborn calls in his Dark Avenger Hawkeye (Bullseye) to deal with the situation. He believes that the 3 were killed by the Hand, and informs Bullseye that the group is now led by his old enemy Daredevil. Bullseye doesn't believe DD would condone such actions, but Norman believes *anyone* will turn bad in the right circumstances. Now Daredevil has made Osborn's List, and Bullseye can go and kill him. Lester is a happy man as he changes from the Hawkeye costume to his Bullseye duds.

Somewhere underground Matt Murdock in his Daredevil costume has been tortured by the Hand. A hooded man says that DD is on his last legs. If he yields the pain will stop and they'll let him go. Murdock refuses to give in ... and the man says he's passed the Trial of Torments. But now he must face the Trial of Combat. He is faced with a giant warrior with 2 swords, and only 1 of them can live. Matt refuses to kill and the giant prepares to kill him ...

... when a flung pair of scissors stabs him in the neck. Bullseye has arrived and reserves to himself the right to kill Daredevil. And he's not alone as a squad of H.A.M.M.E.R. troops blasts their way in. Pitched battle ensues, including the Hand operatives Black Tarantula (Carlos LaMuerto) and White Tiger (Angela del Toro) (who were killed by the Hand and resurrected as their warriors in DD(1998)#112-115).

DD and Bullseye fight other opponents but Bullseye taunts DD to come outside and face him alone. He steps onto a ropeladder suspended from a helicopter, and DD latches onto him with his billy-club line. But the chopper takes them to Hell's Kitchen where occupants of a 'condemned' tenement block are refusing to evacuate so it can be knocked down for OsCorp to replace with condos. Bullseye cuts the billy-cord and drops DD on the roof.

The occupants think he's come to help them, as he often does in that neighbourhood. But Bullseye tells DD he's going to destroy the place. And all the death's will be DD's fault for not killing him long ago. And he triggers a bomb which brings the whole building down.

The mystery female ninja has watched this. She heads to Wilson Fisk's HQ and unmasks as Lady Bullseye. She tells him she saw the building collapse with Daredevil on it. But Kingpin assumes DD survived. However his plan is still on track.

Matt Murdock did indeed survive, but 107 people didn't. He's joined by Tarantula and Tiger and some Hand ninjas (all of whom as Hand operatives now work for *him*), and DD declares war on Norman Osborn.

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> Dark Reign: The List - Daredevil: Book info and issue index

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Billy Tan
Matt Banning
Justin Ponsor
Billy Tan (Cover Penciler)
Matt Banning (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Warren Simons. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Matt Murdock)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

Plus: Black Tarantula, H.A.M.M.E.R., Hand (The Hand), Lady Bullseye, White Tiger (Angela Del Toro).