Tagged: Daredevil (Marvel Comics)

The Law Is A Ass

BOB INGERSOLL: The Law Is A Ass #396


Either the Punisher’s even crazier than I thought he was – and he once gunned down some litterbugs because “littering is a crime against society,” so I don’t just think he’s as crazy as a bedbug; I think he’s what bedbugs point to when they talk about crazy – or Matt Murdock http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Matthew_Murdock_(Earth-616) is the worst lawyer of all time. Or both; they’re not mutually exclusive.

I wrote last time about the first issue of Daredevil/Punisher: Seventh Circle #1 . In that story Matt Murdock, assistant Manhattan district attorney and secret identity of super hero Daredevil, was trying to get the trial for a hated gangster, Sergey Antonov, changed to a new venue, because Antonov couldn’t get a fair trial in New York City. Fair enough, that happens. The venue Matt wanted was Texas. Not fair. Not even constitutional and it couldn’t happen. Like I said before, the Constitution commands that a criminal trial must take place in the state where the crime occurred.

What I didn’t tell you was that crazed ex-marine Frank Castle, who was so traumatized when he saw his family gunned down by mobsters that he adopted the name The Punisher and started a one-man war against crime, didn’t want Antonov moved to Texas. It wasn’t that Punisher wanted to keep Antonov in New York, because he didn’t want Antonov to have a fair trial; he didn’t want Antonov to have any trial. He wanted to kill Antonov before there was a trial.

Look, Frank, I realize your name implies that you’re not exactly a spare the rod – or gat or roscoe, or heater – kind of guy. But don’t you think killing a gangster who’s been arrested and is facing trial is a little excessive? If you wait for the trial to be over, he’ll get punished just fine. Meantime you can get on with your important work; like shooting jaywalkers.

So for the next four issues of this mini-series – or eight issues of it’s on-line presentation in Marvel’s Infinite Comics – Daredevil tried to keep Punisher from killing Antonov. Then, in issue #4 somewhere toward the end of their battle, Punisher told Daredevil that the only reason Matt wanted Antonov’s trial moved to Texas is because Texas is a death penalty state. Murdock wanted Antonov tried in Texas, because he wanted Antonov to be executed; something which couldn’t happen in New York because it hasn’t had the death penalty since 2004. And Daredevil, who is Matt Murdock under that horned masked and supposed to know the law, doesn’t deny Punisher’s claim.

So I guess it’s up to me.

Unless Matt knows less about the law than a drama major who scored a big fat 0 on the LSAT, he wouldn’t have been sending Antonov down to Texas to be executed. Because he’d know Antonov couldn’t be executed in Texas anymore than he could in New York.

Yes, I know Texas has the death penalty. Yes I know they use it in Texas. I even know they use it a lot. Doesn’t matter. They couldn’t use it against Antonov.

Let’s ignore what I wrote last time about how Matt couldn’t get the venue of Antonov’s trial changed from New York to Texas and pretend that Matt did get the trial transferred to Texas (try saying that ten times fast), what then? Well, you’d have the trial and, assuming Antonov was found guilty, the sentence. But you’re trying a man in Texas for a crime committed in New York, so whose laws would apply Texas’s or New York’s?

During that trial, the laws and procedures of the state where the crime was committed would apply, not the laws and procedures of the state where the trial was being held. So in Antonov’s trial, the laws of New York would apply, not the laws of Texas. Any defense that was available in the original venue – here New York – would be available in the new venue state – Texas – even if that defense didn’t exist in the new venue.

And what do the laws of New York say about the death penalty? You can probably guess, but seeing as how I’m a stickler for details in this column, I’ll stick to the details. In the 2004 case People v. LaValle, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, ruled that the state’s death penalty violated the New York Constitution. That case abolished the death penalty in New York. Since then New York’s death penalty statute hasn’t been amended so the death penalty has never been reinstated. In fact in 2008, then Governor David Patterson issued an executive order that the state’s prisons should remove all their capital punishment equipment.

All of which means, as you probably guessed, New York doesn’t have the death penalty. In his trial, Antonov would argue that as New York, whose laws and defenses apply in the trial, doesn’t permit the death penalty, Texas would not be able to use it against him. Not only could he argue it, he would win the argument. Texas wouldn’t be able to fry him, hang him, inject him, or even chainsaw massacre him.

Unless Matt Murdock was the Dr. Nick Riviera of lawyers, he’d know that Texas couldn’t execute Antonov. Which means he wasn’t sending Antonov to Texas so that Texas could execute him. He was sending Antonov there for some other reason. Maybe Matt wanted to take a side trip to LBJ’s spittoon or the Yogi Bear statue or the Dr. Seuss park  or visit the house where they filmed the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which has been turned into a restaurant – and that certainly isn’t in bad taste.

I don’t know what the reason is, but I do know one thing: It wasn’t so that Antonov could be executed. Or Texecuted. Or even wrapped up in a tortilla and – Hey, someone’s got to say it – Tex-Mexecuted.

Comics Reviews (June 24, 2015)

From worst to best of what I paid for.

E is for Extinction #1

You can’t go home again, and certainly can’t by just hiring some Grant Morrison collaborators and hoping for the best. Perfectly adequate, I guess, if all you want is nostalgia. But you know what’s better? The Grant Morrison run on New X-Men.

Crossed Badlands #79 (aka Homo Tortor #5)

Not a bad comic, to be clear, but one that’s spinning its wheels a bit. There’s no new concepts to introduce, it would seem, but plot to resolve before the end, resulting in an issue that’s functional. I suspect coming out at the same time as the other “Crossed in a different time period” book is not doing Gillen any favors here, not least because the other one is written by Alan Moore. Really, one kind of has to pity Gillen; he must have assumed, starting his career when he did, that “having your book come out alongside an Alan Moore book with which it is inevitably going to be compared” was a fate he’d be spared.

Batgirl #41

Competent, fun, but man, Convergence killed the momentum here. I like the dynamic introduced for Batgirl by Gordon becoming Batman, though. That should be a fun story. And the scene where Gordon reveals his double identity to his daughter is delightful. Basically, a book I look forward to being excited about again.

Daredevil #16

Waid makes a slick turn into his final arc, setting up a suitably epic Daredevil/Kingpin showdown that doesn’t feel like any we’ve seen before. I admit, I’ve not sat down and watched the Netflix series, but I really do hope that Waid’s approach here reinvigorates the character in the long-term and gets him away from the banal and repetitive noir take that he’s been stuck in for decades.

Where Monsters Dwell #2

Garth Ennis at his hilarious best. This is not a complex or subtle comic, just a very funny one with lots of monsters and a ruthlessly mocked protagonist. The final twist caused the sort of intensive laughter that gets you weird looks at Starbucks.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #15

Pleasantly, this is increasingly obviously just ignoring the actual Secret Wars aspects of the plot and just sort of doing a side Norse apocalypse in which they react to Hickman’s. Verity’s life story is delightful in a classic Al Ewing way, and the cliffhanger’s solid. Going to enjoy the final lap here, I think.

The Infinity Gauntlet #2

Very glad I forgot to drop this, as this is absolutely wonderful now that it’s successfully trained the audience in how to read it. Ridiculously inaccurate cover, or, at least, one that ignores what most of the comic is. But family Nova Corps is a brilliant take. Is Zigzag the best new character of 2015? I think she is.

Annihilator #6

This frustrated me through much of its run, and I suspect that Morrison could have made it work better in four issues than six, but no matter; the finale is a triumph. LA noir bleeds into epic science fiction and a meditation on the craft of writing in the way that only Grant Morrison can do it. Funny, touching, exciting, and full of very pretty Frazer Irving art. Delightful, delightful issue.

Originally published on PhilipSandifer.com.

Box Office Democracy TV Special: Daredevil

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an unqualified success, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the Marvel Televisual Universe is much more of a mixed bag. While I hear Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gotten much better since a rocky start but I’ll never know because I decided I would never care about any of those characters over a year ago. Agent Carter had me completely captivated for two episodes until it started to feel like Mad Men meets an exceptionally long episode of Scooby-Doo. Daredevil has none of this blandness; it doesn’t feel like anything else in the Marvel stable or anything on TV at all, really. It’s a dark, violent, abrupt show that begs you to binge watch it and then gives you bad dreams as a punishment.

Daredevil feels more like an extended Christopher Nolan Batman film than it does anything else in the Marvel canon. This world of organized crime, corrupt police and brutal fight scenes feels much more like Nolan’s Gotham City than any of the slick worlds we’ve seen in the rest of the Marvel universe. There’s a signature scene at the end of episode two where a long take down of a criminal gang is done in one take and it’s a wonder to behold. It lays down what the aesthetic of the entire show will be in that sequence and it seems to serve to hook the audience or inform them that maybe this show won’t be for them. It’s different than anything I’ve ever seen on a super hero TV show or, honestly, maybe anywhere. It feels like HBO-level action but with considerably less swearing and no nudity. (more…)