The conclusion to “Devil and the Details,” the two-part crossover with “Amazing Spider-Man” that began last week, lives up to the promise of its first chapter. Mark Waid writing the entire story helps avoid the problems of many crossovers where a shift in tone and storytelling break up the flow and cohesion of the narrative. Instead, the only shift is from Spider-Man’s narrative perspective to Daredevil’s, which is also story-driven since it begins a Spider-Man story and ends a Daredevil story. And, like the first part, “Daredevil” #8 has some pretty great-looking art, swapping Emma Rios for Kano with colorist Javier Rodriguez sticking around to help provide some visual coherence between the issues.
The plot and narrative shift isn’t all that moves from Spider-Man to Daredevil. The Black Cat, trying to prove her innocence, seems to be more interested in ol’ Hornhead than the Web-Slinger. After the two heroes bonded last issue, this issue drives a bit of a wedge between them in the form of the Black Cat. Part of that is her belief that Spider-Man helped get her arrested; part relates to the larger plot of Daredevil learning about the existence of Terra-One, a group that facilitates the criminal activities of various organizations like Hydra and A.I.M. In many ways, Spider-Man fades into the background as the issue progresses until you almost forget he was even there -- and, then, Waid gives him an exit line that’s phenomenal.
Kano has shown a lot of progress as an artist over the past few years. The way that he manages to fall into both the visual styles of Rios’s work on “Amazing Spider-Man” and the work done by Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera on the first seven issues of “Daredevil” is astonishing. He’s the bridge between the two camps. His line work is clean and fluid, and his choices in composition emphasize memorable shots and layouts. A scene where Daredevil uses a helicopter to bring the pain to some bad guys is handled marvelously. He nails single panels that provide all of the information you need in a look.
The interactions between Daredevil and Black Cat drive this issue to a degree, providing a lot of tension and moments of humor. The way that she comes on strongly and he tries to deflect, possibly out of loyalty to his friend (but I wouldn’t bet on it), is a reversal from the usual Daredevil pattern we’ve seen. His new, super-friendly persona is one that would suggest he would be hitting on her nonstop; that reversal shows a different side of the character, especially when he doesn’t deflect quite so strenuously. What happens after the ‘mission’ is over is inevitable, but Waid adds on enough extra information and motivations to make it surprising.
There wasn’t much doubt that the conclusion to this crossover would be good given the first part and the quality of “Daredevil” so far. Still, to have a comic live to up to expectations and not disappoint is a victory in and of itself.