Daredevil is back and he’s got a new writer, artist and costume to flash around town. He’s also a prosecutor for the state which is a bit more direct and violent for the man who usually takes on the cases of the weak underdogs.
Is it good?
Daredevil #1 (Marvel Comics)
This issue opens with Daredevil living up to his name and diving off a bridge. For most people that’s a death sentence, but Daredevil is smart enough to know he’s going into the deep end. It’s also a metaphor for the direction Daredevil is diving headlong into — he’s up against a gang calling themselves Tenfingers and they’re martial arts trained street thugs. Interesting.
Why does this book matter?
Daredevil is a hot commodity now that he’s also got a hit Netflix show. This reboot of sorts is great for new readers plus it’s got a darker tone that should be of interest to many.
He should think about joining the Olympics.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Daredevil is back to fighting ninjas! Okay, subside the geekism for a moment on that and know that this comic opens with a pretty cool set up. Writer Charkes Soule has written himself a very good first issue as it does many intro story fundamentals well. First we get a good bead on Daredevil and his best buddy Foggy, what his status is at work and finally how his superhero life has changed. The biggest element is his taking on a new hero who uses invisibility to help him kick ass. Enough has changed here to give Daredevil a new spin and feel which should at the very least get new and old readers alike interested.
The most surprising thing I did not expect to like in this series is Daredevil’s day job working as a prosecutor. I’ve never cared much about his work as a lawyer, but this new direction makes it all the more interesting. It’s an oddly villainous turn of sorts since this role isn’t necessarily trying to lock up the bad guys. On top of this they’ve stuck his office in a hilarious location that gives his role new meaning.
The art by Ron Garney is strong too; it’s got a John Romita Jr. vibe that’s slightly sketchy – although heavier on the inks – with a nice weight to the characters. This helps lend some credence to the street level damage inflicted by our hero. The art is a darker tone that many will remember from the Frank Miller days and it suits the character very well.
The color by Matt Milla is heavy on the sepia which almost made me think the opening action sequence was a flashback. He tends to give each scene a strict color to work off of that tends to tell the emotional story at play. That’s a good thing indeed.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Since this is an introductory issue a lot of elements are danced around but never delved into too deeply. Foggy’s relationship is particularly odd and harsh and since I came into this issue blind (and I think most of us are since Secret Wars isn’t over); I wasn’t sure why their relationship was like this.
While the new villain’s band of kung fu bad guys is cool I don’t think the reveal of the villain worked entirely. He’s got a scary look for sure, but he’s revealed in a boring sort of way that leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn’t help that all we know so far is he’s a crime lord and he has normal sorts of folks who can kung fu fight. There’s a bit of a promise in that they’re different from previous gangs Daredevil has taken on, but so far they seem like just another gang in a long line of gangs. True Soule only had about two pages to reveal this villain, but it leaves you feeling a bit blah by issue’s end.
Is It Good?
You’re going to like the new direction of Daredevil largely because each facet of his life is compelling. The villain’s threat is true, but his reveal leaves a lot to be desired.