Writer Mark Waid has been lighting it up in the Daredevil department for a over a year now. It’s no surprise, then, that his first story arc was on most lists as the best ongoing series last year. This issue begins “one of Daredevil’s biggest challenges” and all details point to a mental test for our friend Matt Murdoch. He’s been kicked out of his practice, is constantly reassuring everyone he knows he’s not Daredevil and his father’s bones recently appeared in a desk drawer. The man is seriously close to a mental breakdown and this issue begins that story. This is the column where we ask the simple question, is it good?

Daredevil #18 (Marvel Comics)

This issue opens with Foggy taking on a new case from a man whose sister is being accused of murdering a drug kingpin. Foggy of course must take the case, but he knows he might need some help from Daredevil in order to improve his chances of winning. There are a full five pages devoted to the brother explaining the story and Foggy listening intently. The fact that this isn’t boring is a testament to how good a writer Mark Waid is and how a comic book doesn’t have to be only about superheroes to be enjoyable.

Great use of sound effects.

The law aspect of this series has always been intriguing and here it’s no different. In fact, the nature of the murder creates a layer of mystery that drives the reader onward wanting to know what is going on and it has nothing to do with Daredevil.

Those are some sexy heartbeats.

On top of that, the dialogue continues to be clever and interesting.

Just when you thought everything was going peachy.

Let’s be honest about the page count here, at 20 pages it’s pretty darn hard for comics today to deliver enough story to excite. Considering a lot of writers are using a slower storytelling technique and letting entire pages go with a single word being uttered, it’s a breath of fresh air to read an issue like this have panel after panel deliver on story and substance. The relationship between Foggy and Matt is no different. You’re pulling for these guys to make up.

This success of this book doesn’t just ride on Mark Waid though, as Chris Samnee does an incredible job giving every panel the attention and care that makes this book so purchasable.

This takes up a third of the page but is as detailed as a splash!

Later in the book about three pages are spent on the action, but considering how good Samnee’s pencils are you’ll feel like it was a lot longer.

He’s like Spider-Man, only he’s got a constant sense flowing.

The art isn’t only as good as the panels, though, because the composition of the page is complex and interesting as well. Take for example the shot below, where a man is falling down an elevator shaft. As he falls, the action is enhanced by the panel at top right as Daredevil tries desperately to open the doors.

Yeah, but how exactly could he grab the guy fast enough before he goes splat?

This was an incredible issue that delivers on all fronts. Art, story, pacing are all top notch this issue. Plus it has a stellar twist ending that’ll get folks running to the shops next month. Check back later today to see if it’s made it into our top comics of the week column ComiX Weekly.

Is It Good?

It doesn’t get better than this. Buy now.