EDITOR’S NOTE: He is Daredevil, The Man Without Fear! Of Spoilers!

One of the main reasons cited for the runaway success of Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil (Eisner awards for Best Writer, Best Continuing Series and Best Single Issue tend to be indicative that You Done Good) is that Waid depicts Murdock as a more positive character than he has been since Frank Miller revamped him in the 80s. Waid successfully broke from the years-long general formula for a good Daredevil story, which was to throw some terrible hardship at Murdock and watch him go nuts for a while.

That, however is Mark Waid. Daredevil: End of Days is written by Brian Michael Bendis, who wrote Daredevil from 2001 to 2006, and who put Daredevil through trials like revealing his secret identity, accusing him of murder, and having him marry a woman who goes violently insane and requires commitment… and not the good kind where people throw you a party and give you salad spinners, but rather the kind where the jackets tie in the back and the big blue pills don’t give you a boner.

So will Bendis’s take on this supposed final Daredevil story embrace the Waid’s more positive take on the character? Sure! Provided you get a warm fuzzy feeling over seeing the title character murdered in the street in broad daylight on page four! But that’s okay, because this Daredevil comic book isn’t really about Daredevil!

Depressed and confused? Don’t worry; stick with me and we’ll work through this. And it is generally a comic book worth working through.

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Oh Marvel, you and your one-word teasers for Marvel Now relaunches that you struggle more and more to make enigmatic and mysterious. A few weeks ago, they dropped a few that were truly baffling at the time – Superior? What the fuck does Superior mean? Are we dick-measuring now, Marvel? – and it had reached the point where I had become convinced that, if they wanted to keep us guessing, Marvel would be forced to resort to just making words up. Something like: “Miller. Jansen. Dinkenclammer,” or: “Adams. Lee. Sclunt.” *

But it turns out I was a bit off on that prediction, because Marvel’s come out with a couple new teasers that are a bit more decipherable. Such as this one from yesterday:

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This is a night that is unique. It is a night when two different and opposing parties meet and battle over their differences until a victor is decided and the course of out immediate future is decidedly chosen.

In addition, the first American Presidential debate is occurring tonight. Because I am clearly talking about the conclusion of Avengers Vs. X-Men, Which concludes this week, and which means that this…

…means the end of our broadcast day.

Still and all, it’s an interesting looking week of comics. We’re past DC’s Zero Month, which means that we have the first cold of honest-to-God issues of Rotworld in Swamp Thing and Animal Man 13, the long-awaited Daredevil: End of Days by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Mack, Klaus Jansen and Bill Sienkiewicz, plus issues of The Boys, Ed Brubaker’s Fatale, and Brian Azzarello’s Rorschach!

But you know the drill: before we can review them, we need time to read them. Well, to read them and to decide for whom we will vote for President of The United States. So until all those silly bits of business are done…

..see you tomorrow, suckers!

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Before you get too excited by the title, no; Steve Ditko has not suddenly pried open the door to his New York studio, gone to embrace Stan Lee in his hospital bed, started using Atlas Shrugged as a cutting board and taking commissions from all comers.

No, instead Marvel has found and restored an unused version of the original cover from Amazing Fantasy #15 *, produced by Ditko presumably before that issue was released in 1962, and announced that they will be using it as a variant cover for Amazing Spider-Man #700.

We’ve known for a while that there was gonna be a Ditko variant cover to the book, but a full-sized image hasn’t been available until now, when Newsarama got a hold of it. So feast your eyes…

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I don’t know what writer Jason Aaron has been drinking, smoking, snorting or inhaling recently, but I want some. Because with The Incredible Hulk #14, Aaron is two-for-two this week on producing some of the biggest, most fun comics I’ve read in recent memory.

I have run hot and cold on Aaron’s run of The Incredible Hulk; at times it has been an different kind of character study of both Banner and Hulk, using the gimmick of separating them, and then making them enemies in the same body in an active way that I’ve never seen before, that has been generally unique and somewhat fun. At other times it has, in my opinion, grossy misjudged the relationship between Banner and Hulk, leading to a cuddle scene in issue 7 that damn near put me off the book. But regardless of the variations, The Incredible Hulk has always been interesting, which has been enough to keep me around for long past the “next couple of issues” I figured it would when the book debuted last October, even despite the constantly rotating tag team of artists that have drawn the book since originally solicited artist Mark Silvestri apparently discovered that the term “monthly comic book” hadn’t become just a playful suggestion between 1997 and now.

Well, it all comes together in The Incredible Hulk #14, where Aaron gives us big, stupid, violent fun, from clingy Doombots, to horny mercenaries to monkey pilots to a feared mercenary known only as The Vegetable. Alternating between tension and silliness and violence and humor, this issue is just a Goddamned blast.

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It was only a matter of time before some digital comics retailer not only closed up shop, but shut down their servers so that the money you spent to “buy” comics went straight down the Long Blue Hole… and that time is now.

Sony has announced that their Comic Store for PSP, available through the Playstation Store, will be closing up shop on October 30th, and that any comics you bought that are still on their servers will become unavailable sometime “mid January 2013.”

Not to be dicks, but we told you so.

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We here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives didn’t attend MorrisonCon in Las Vegas this weekend, partly because we’re still paying off our trip to the San Diego Comic-Con, and partly because no trip to a town featuring easy access to gambling and free liquor is likely to end well for us. However, that meant we missed out on some breaking news that is trickling from the convention, such as the fact that Morrison’s Multiversity series, that was initially announced for a 2009 release date, just after Infinite Crisis, is now scheduled for sometime late next year. To which I can only say: yeah, I’ll believe it when I fucking see it.

The miniseries will reportedly be eight issues, with six one-shots each focusing on a different parallel universe, with a two-part conclusion crossing over the various Earths’ heroes. And each issue looks to be packed with story, containing a 38-page primary story and an eight-page backup. And considering this thing will have been in the works for nearly half a decade by the time it hits comic stores, that seems like a fair per-book length; anything shorter might imply that Morrison had spent all this time fucking around, which seems unlikely… or even less likely, that someone at DC had actually edited the damn things.

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Well, I’ll give last night’s episode of Doctor Who this much: it made me queue up the Weeping Angels origin episode “Blink” on streaming Netflix to help me put my finger on what went wrong with “The Angels Take Manhattan”. The short answer? Almost everything.

“The Angels Take Manhattan” was intended to be an emotional send off for the Doctor’s most recent companions, Amy and Rory Pond. Here’s a spoiler up front: the Ponds are sent away into the past to a fixed point in time where, apparently, the Doctor can never see them again. Given that it’s been established that the Doctor needs to be around others on a near constant basis in order to remain somewhat centered, if not completely sane, the ending of this episode should have competed with Old Yeller for tear jerker of the millennium. However, convoluted story telling, hype, and lack of attachment to Amy Pond as a character worth caring about, as compared to other Companions, served to kill this episode in its crib.

More spoilery disappointment, after the jump.

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You ever had a low-grade toothache? You know, the kind where you feel a little zip when you suck cold air past it? The kind of thing where you find yourself constantly inhaling sharply, trying to see if maybe its gone away, or if maybe it’s getting worse? And you find yourself worrying that maybe it actually is getting worse, and you just wish the damn thing would go away so you could concentrate on something else?

Over the course of the past year, Scott Lobdell has become my toothache.

Superman #0 is a pretty bad comic book. It wallows in exposition, alien cliches, and stilted dialogue. It tries to turn Superman’s parents into some kind of asskicking science heroes for some reason, and it implies that Oracle is now some kind of all-knowing, all-seeing space jerk, which should win back all the female readers Lobdell lost with Red Hood and The Outlaws. And it does all this with art that, while pretty enough in a stylized way, serves in places as examples of some of the worst visual storytelling that I have seen in a comic book in 36 years.

Superman #0 made my hangover worse this morning. After reading it I needed to watch my Blu-Ray of The Avengers again too recover any hope for the superhero genre. It made my stool loose and burny. If it had come out two and a half months ago, it would have caused riots in downtown San Diego.

It’s really not very good, you guys.

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In less than an hour, the final Doctor Who episode starring the Ponds will air in the UK. Those of us here in the states will need to wait another five hours and avoid Twitter and Web site spoilers…like this behind the scenes Doctor Who video which hints at Amy’s fate in tonight’s “The Angels Take Manhattan”.

You’ve been warned.

At least I have no idea what happens to Rory. Yet. Although I think it involves unemployment…

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