Top critical review
A decent ending to the long-running Daredevil series, but a poorly edited collection
Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2012
Daredevil: Shadowland collects issues #508-512 of Daredevil and the single-issue Shadowland: After the Fall, all originally published in 2010. This marks the end of the original Daredevil series, which (if we ignore some weird numbering and titling issues) ran from 1964 to 2010. Extras include two pages of variant covers.
Story-wise this is decent wrap-up to the long and convoluted but deeply imaginative and enjoyable sequence of stories that began back when Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker began working on the series in the mid-2000s. Readers need not necessarily be familiar with these writers' work on the character (though it helps to have read Daredevil: Lady Bullseye and Daredevil: Return of the King), but Shadowland does require familiarity with Andy Diggle's recent run on the series (collected in Daredevil: The Devil's Hand). Readers who haven't read any recent Daredevil books will likely have no idea what is going on, who the characters are, or what has happened to Matthew Murdock.
Unfortunately, even readers who have read past Daredevil volumes will find Shadowland a frustrating, incomplete read due to its dependence on another volume-- Shadowland (Shadowland (Marvel Paperback))--to complete the story. Since the climax of this volume actually occurs in that other graphic novel, the editors really should have either reprinted Shadowland #5 here or collected the two books into one volume. Shadowland (Shadowland (Marvel Paperback)) is itself a pretty crummy read, but those wanting the complete story will need to pick it up if they want to see how this series ends.
As for the art, the ink and pencils by Roberto de la Torre and Marco Checchetto are not particularly innovative or spectacular, but good nonetheless. The dark, inky images maintain the style of Brubaker's run on Daredevil and are well-suited to this murky morality tale.
Overall, this is a decent graphic novel and well-worth picking up if you're a Daredevil fan. Just make sure you pick up Shadowland (Shadowland (Marvel Paperback)) as well.