I dig O’Neil in general, is pretty great, but his look at Ann Nocenti’s story in Daredevil #500 was superlative.
But Nocenti is, well, better than that. Just in these pages she gives us a lot: a Daredevil / Bullseye fight, yeah, but that’s not really the main event. The main event is the two spectators who watch the fight and then, with a wounded Daredevil, explicate the preceding action. So not only do you see the fight, but every action in the fight is interpreted after the fact. The fight isn’t what’s important – in fact, you don’t even know why they’re fighting, or even what year the fight occurs. It could have happened in 1982 or 2006. I’ve read dozens of Daredevil / Bullseye fights over the years, but I haven’t read one that actually felt this visceral in years and years – you see every punch, but you also see the moment after the punch lands. No wonder one of the spectator characters is a boxer – boxing is another symbolically freighted activity, and Daredevil’s history with boxing makes for a nice overlap of symbolic metatext. Daredevil isn’t the invincible ninja master anymore, he’s a broken fighter with a concussion – possibly hallucinating.
Every word is true.
Abhay also goes in over on SavCrit, and he nails it, too. Gotcha good.