Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thoughts on Lady Bullseye

So, it seems that with issue #111, coming out this next September, a new villain will debut in the world of Daredevil. We could summarily describe Lady Bullseye (this is the name of the new character) as a female version of Bullseye, historical nemesis of our hero, but as is evident by the pictures that have accompanied the announcement, and by Brubaker's words, there is more to her than meets the eye.

According to what Brubaker said in an interview with Newsarama, the new character of Lady Bullseye originates from an idea that Brubaker and his colleague Matt Fraction (co-writer of Immortal Iron Fist) were toying with one year ago.
The character is largely inspired by the protagonist of a classical manga by Kazuo Koike, Shurayuki Hime, or Lady Snowblood. Lady Bullseye is oriental themed, and - like Lady Snowblood - a mysterious, deadly beauty.
Brubaker also said that apart from the name and theme, Lady Bullseye is somehow linked to Bullseye and that she knows of his position in the Thunderbolts (the state-sanctioned team of ex-villains tasked to apprehend unregistered superheroes, like DD). Better yet, she decided to take up that nome de guerre also because Bullseye is currently in that position.
It is still not exactly clear if she has a personal grudge against Daredevil, or whether she will be a friend or a foe to the hero of Hell's Kitchen. Brubaker said that "she's really self-obsessed" and has hinted to a complex background story for her.

Costume and appearance are to be credited to Marko Djurdjevic, current cover artist of the creative team, who was told to combine Bullseye's original theme and give it a Japanese look (a most happy choice, in my opinion, since Djurdjevic is a real genius at illustrating concepts).
What the German illustrator came up with consists in a neat looking skin tight suit with an asymmetrical Bullseye pattern, an eye mask with a simple decoration and a small bullseye painted in the middle of her forehead.

It isn't yet clear if the colours will be simply black and white or, as shown in the cover art of #110 above, burgundy and white.

Some of the preview pictures released, as well as the cover to #112, clearly show Lady Bullseye being allied with the Hand, also hinting at a leadership position among them.
This makes me wonder if it was she, and not Elektra, who was the person who back in DD #88 the Hand swordsman was referring by "my mistress" after having saved Foggy Nelson from the mobsters. At the time, in fact, the Hand was lead by a Skrull impersonating Elektra, and if you ask me it's a little unlikely that this Skrull would've given a damn about Foggy's safety. Lady Bullseye, on the other hand, could've been leading her own faction of ninjas and be interested in keeping Foggy alive for more obscure reasons (hey, what do you know? Maybe she just fancies the Fogster. I know for certain that to some women he's irresistible).

What could her ties with the male version of the character be? Or their relationship? Well, given that Bullseye has always been a little obsessed with his reputation as hired assassin, and has never liked competition in his... um... field, I don't think he will be too happy with the appearence of a new assassin carrying his name and insignia. One of the preview pictures in particular seems to confirm this:

Add to this the fact that Bullseye is currently in New York with his Thunderbolt teammates, on missions to try and apprehend folks like Spider-man and Moon Knight, and I think that we might have a showdown between "the old" and "the new" sooner than we expect.

As for her ties with Daredevil and Bullseye's past, the only thing that comes to mind, linking together Bullseye and Japan, is Matt's trip to that country in O'Neill's run, during which Bullseye was recovered by Lord Dark Wind and had his skeleton reinforced with adamantium.

Regarding her powers and abilities, one can safely expect that - like Bullseye - she has the uncanny ability of never missing with throwing weapons. Probably she will mostly be seen favoring oriental themed weapons, like shurikens or kunai daggers (even if I suspect that anything she can throw can become a deadly weapon in her hands, like, let's say... pointy hairpins).
Also, given that Bullseye himself is a formidable fighter, in peak physical condition, capable to hold his own against both Elektra and Daredevil at the same time, I think it is safe to say that Lady Bullseye will also be excellent at unarmed, hand-to-hand combat, possibly even deadlier than Bullseye, if we factor the ninja/Japanese martial artist background into it.
Indeed, it looks like Daredevil will be in for a hell of a fight.

Readers' reactions to the announcement of this debutant character can be divided in two categories. Some, especially those who aren't currently following the book, are quite disappointed by this, dismissing the character as an umpteenth repetition of the theme of the female assassin, that has been used quite a bit in the past of Daredevil (with Elektra, Typhoid Mary and more recently, Echo). Another common criticism is that the idea of a female version of a male character has been used ad nauseam in the past, or even in the present (as shown by the new female Loki or by the latest heir to Kraven the Hunter's legacy).
Most of the fans of the book, on the other hand, while well aware of the above problems, trust Brubaker's skills as a narrator, and are waiting to see how the story will develop.

Personally, I find this new character very intriguing. I like the concept behind it, that of a deadly female assassin. I see no repetitivity in it, since a character like Daredevil, with its premises, its background and its story has naturally to deal with assassins, ninjas and beautiful, lethal women. I think that Lady Bullseye will be unique, just as the previous women he has faced have been, each in her own way.
Also, it appears that the storyline that will mark her debut will include a lot of action and fighting, also involving Daredevil's allies Iron Fist and Black Tarantula. It will be a nice change of pace, after the staticity of the current issues. And I'm sure the creative team will astound us readers.
Last, I really dig her appearence. Everything of it. The suit with big, off-centered bullseyes, the Japanese look, hairstyle, the sense of physical perfection and badass-ness emanating from all of it.

I can't wait to see how it will all look in the fluid style of Clay Mann (the artist chosen to do the art for issue #111) and what will the new storyline be about.


Gloria said...

My own theory about Lady Bullsye is that she might have something to do with the time Bullseye spent in Japan, as a guest of Lord Dark Wind, getting his spine "adamanted": in fact. had Yuriko Oyama not become Lady Deathstrike, she'd be my first guess for the woman behind the mask

And, hum, yes, there are women who are crazy about the Fogster ;p ... But I'm afraid that writers are quite oblivious of that, for whatever new woman is introduced in the series seems to develop a -fatal- crush on the Mattster.

Francesco said...

Yeah, I think so too. I really can't see any other way to link her both to Bullseye, Japan and to Matt's past.

About the other thing, yes, there are. In fact because of what I said I initially thought that the "mistress" that ordered Foggy to be protected could've been lady Guroriya of the Catalunyan clan.

Gloria said...


I can only add that I know for certain that Lady Guroriya isn't a skrull ;D