on 17 March 2014
Mark Waid has fast become one of my favourite comic book writers in the last few years. Oddly, before that I was never a fan of his. I just didn't like his work. Maybe he's changed and I've changed and now we see eye to eye.
I digress. This is the best incarnation of Daredevil ever. I know some of you will harp on about the Bendis run or the Brubaker run and how amazing and dark and gritty and emotional blah blah blah. Waid has the best understanding of Matt Murdoch I have ever read. It packs the emotional punch without being bogged down in misery. It is fun and plays well within the Marvel Universe and pokes (good-humoured) fun at the sillier aspects of the same universe while playing it straight-faced.
The artwork is fantabulous. That's right I said fantabulous. Too many artists and inkers...and colourists...and whoever else contributes to this awesome series to mention; and it would be unfair to single any one of them out above the others. The way they highlight his sonar powers is impressive to say the least
Along with Hawkeye I will go and proudly declare from the rooftops that this series and that (Hawkeye) series are the best things Marvel are putting out and at the moment are banging out such great work across most of their titles.
Bring on the oversized volume 3.
on 9 May 2013
Mark Waid continues his inspired reinvention of the Daredevil character from the moody, troubled man he was after Frank Miller was done with him in the 70s/80s and a string of other writers continued, to taking the character back to his cheerful, happy-go-lucky roots who smiles and has a good time. I have no desire to read yet another angst-y vigilante with "problems" book so it's great to see a superhero enjoying being a superhero for a change especially one who's been written as a depressed, sometime insane, and all-round gloomy guy for so long - the cover of issue #7, the Christmas issue, says it all.
Nowhere is the change in direction more apparent than in the opening story where Foggy reminds Matt that he's sat in his darkened office brooding, prompting him to emerge, smiling and wearing a "I'm Not Daredevil" shirt, flirting with the ladies and enjoying the party. He also takes a group of blind kids on a trip which ends badly after the bus crashes and they're stranded in the snowy woods. This opening issue is definitely my favourite of the book.
Worryingly, Waid takes Daredevil down the old dark ways again when Moleman and his Moloids plunder the graveyard where Matt's dad "Battlin'" Jack Murdock is buried so Daredevil descends to the world beneath the ground which looks like Hell. This was the weirdest story not least because Mole Man was a shlumpy scientist only now he wears a cheesy Silver Age outfit and is somehow matching Daredevil in combat! But it's visually interesting and has this mild gothic horror vibe to it that's cool.
The main story, as continued from the first book, is that Daredevil has a device called the Omegadrive, formerly the property of the Fantastic Four (and looking like an FF badge) which is a storage device that contains information on five of the world's biggest crime agencies (Hydra, AIM, the Black Spectres, Agence' Byzantine and the Shadow Empire). All five are after him and one of them enlists Black Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, to steal it from him. She and her old flame Spider-man cross over with Daredevil in a fun issue. Waid knows how to write Spidey really well and the dialogue between him and Daredevil is fantastic - you get a real sense of a history and a strong friendship there.
I have some very minor complaints that didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the book. It ends in a very similar way to the end of the first book which again underlines Waid's unusual approach to the character and his treatment of the superhero in this series - but I kind of wish it didn't feel so much like the first book's ending.
Paolo Rivera's art is as wonderful as it was in the first book - his depiction of DD's radar sense is awesome - but I wasn't as convinced of the quality of the other artists on the book. Emma Rios drew Spidey with small, squinty eyes that looked like slits rather than full eyes which was odd, and Khoi Pham really goes overboard with Black Cat's cleavage, giving her massive knockers that are ready to pop out of her ridiculously low-cut one-piece at any moment!
I wasn't fully on board with the series after the first book but this second book has won me over. Matt's character shines through strongly in this book and there's enough variety and action in his adventures to keep the book from becoming slow and stale. An excellent, upbeat and exciting Daredevil adventure - I'm starting to see why it's such an acclaimed series.