It really didn’t take long for the backlash to come, with most readers and critics trashing this event. It makes you wonder if this would have been the response if this was just a storyline in the main series. My estimation is that people still would have complained, just maybe not as loudly. At this stage of the event, all of the heroes are ready to storm Shadowland and we are in the third and final act of this tragedy.
The inclusion of Wolverine says it all about this event. He has no ties to Matt Murdock, he should be busy with the, what is it?, four other teams he’s active on, but he claims he’s got some ties to the Hand and that makes him prime for this team up. I’m honestly surprised Diggle hasn't raised the bones of Stick to take part in this free form melee. Maybe Psylocke. . . did he not know HYDRA has also worked closely with the Hand throughout history? Why not throw every spice into this dish?
There’s plenty of logic addressed but not really explained, and that’s been the problem with Diggle’s run entirely with Daredevil. He throws something out there, and can say he addressed the plot hole through what a character says, but when that character doesn’t make sense, then it is not earned. The Punisher asks why they haven’t shot Murdock yet, Elektra explains why but then her plan regards sending Wolverine’s claws straight at Daredevil’s thorax. It’s just not adding up.
The second half of the issue is just one big fight. Every character gets a chance to do a little something, though I never thought Frank Castle was the sort of soldier to hold his gun sideways, gangsta-style. It’s a bit of a mess as it’s just fisticuffs, no real story at all. Then we get to the end, and something that was always going to happen happens.
Billy Tan’s art had been pretty decent on the title, so far, but this issue shows far too many worrying aspects. Spider-Man spends a good deal of his panels looking like he was suddenly afflicted with a chromosomal abnormality. Elektra, who I think usually comes across as a really fun character to draw, just doesn’t look herself. It’s like I’m seeing a daytime movie special version of Elektra. Castle and Wolvie do look pretty good and his action is well paced but it’s just not enough.
This event only has one more issue to go. Sadly, that’s a real positive. This storyline is not going to be fondly remembered and that’s because it’s not the deepest story. There’s little true character development, and most of the mildly cool moments are not earned with logic or dedication of storytelling. This feels like a 90s tale, so make of that what you will. I don’t hate “Shadowland,” I just feel bad that it set out to hit a few certain moments and had absolutely no idea what to do in between.