Avenging Spider-Man #6: And we're off! I have to say, I've been looking forward to reading this cross-over event for a while now. I loved the recent Daredevil/Spider-Man arc and, although I'm not really a fan of the Punisher, I do enjoy seeing him bring out a side of Spidey that we don't usually see. Rucka highlights their tense relationship here, showing Spidey aggressively pushing his "no one dies" mantra on Frank. I thought that Rucka did an amazing job maintaining the distinct voices of all three characters, putting Daredevil firmly in the middle of Pun and Spidey. I felt like I could actually hear them arguing! Spidey's plan seems pretty solid, though, I have to say, I'm not 100 percent sure what the end goal is. I thought that it was for Reed to download the information in secret and then have Daredevil destroy the Drive, leading Megacrime to think its secrets were safe when, in reality, the superhero community now had them. But, Punisher, at the end, comments that destroying the Drive would leave him with nothing. I'm not sure if he means him personally (because Reed, not he, would control the Drive) or if the plan is not to download the information first but actually destroy the Drive with the information intact. I guess we'll see. At any rate, it should be a fun ride, with Daredevil, Punisher, Punisherette, and Spidey taking on four cartels in one night!
The Punisher #10: OK, so, after this issue, it appears that the plan was to destroy the Drive without first downloading the information. Honestly? I'm not sure I quite buy that. Daredevil says that it's because no one person should have that information, because it would put too much power in his hands. OK, I get that. But, as Spidey says, the Avengers? S.H.I.E.L.D.? I guess after "Civil War," we're not supposed to trust that these organizations would be able to do the right thing with this information, and I can't say that I necessarily disagree. But, Daredevil's premise that the only option was for one person (as opposed to an organization) to control the Drive or no one seemed faulty to me. Also, given that I was unclear last issue on what the goal of the plan actually was, it seems odd that it's presented so clearly here. Of course, everything doesn't go to plan when the Punisher appears to shoot Daredevil just as he's going to destroy the Drive, allowing Punisherette to make a grab for it. (Spidey was right!) It sets up the battle royale between the various criminal organizations and the good guys, plus another one between the good guys and the good guys. It should be pretty epic. (NB: I'll also note that I'm a little confused about how the Omega Drive got the information on the criminal organizations in the first place. Do we know who assembled it? No one is mentioned here as its creator, so either it's already been covered in detail in "Daredevil" or we don't know, which seems to be an odd loose-end to be left unaddressed. Shouldn't we be trying to figure out who assembled this complete collection of data on the most powerful criminal organizations in the world, particularly since this person can also turn unstable molecules into a hard drive? They seem like the type of person the good guys would want to get to know. If it's already been addressed in "Daredevil," I feel like someone should've probably recapped that, since it's a pretty obvious question. Who cares if you destroy the Drive if someone out there still knows the information? If it hasn't been addressed, I feel like someone should've probably noted that the next step, after destroying the Drive, is finding its creator.)Daredevil #11: Damn it! I really wanted to like this event. Instead? I have no idea what actually happened. Well, I mean, I understand that nothing happened: Daredevil began the series with the Omega Drive, some stuff happened, and Daredevil ended the series with the Omega Drive. It's a net neutral. But, I'm still not really sure what Daredevil planned to have happen. In the first issue, I thought that the plan was to distract Megacrime while Reed Richards downloaded the information from the Omega Drive and then destroy it in front of Megacrime so that they'd stop hounding Matt. In the second issue, I thought the plan was to destroy it without downloading the information because no one should have that much power. In this issue? I'm not sure. Spidey talks about helping Matt destroy it, but Matt comments that destroying it was all for show. I can't say that the authors were successful in telling their story if I'm left at the end of the series confused by what the plan was in the first place and annoyed that it didn't matter because the plan didn't change anything in the final accounting. Looking beyond the plot, I guess that I'm supposed to have made some sort of emotional connection with Cole after Daredevil's inspiring speech, but I really just found the whole thing eyeroll-inducing. Am I really supposed to believe that a former military official would believe that only someone who lost a loved one would be willing to sacrifice his or her life for a cause? It seems ridiculous that Daredevil is forced to present her evidence to the contrary. All in all, it was a disappointing ending to a disappointing "event," something that I certainly did not expect when I began reading it. The best thing about this event, I will say, was Checchetto's art. I'd love to see him on a Spidey book sometime soon!