Saturday, October 29, 2011

High Rez Review | Daredevil

Today, Caine brings us another Hi Rez Review. This time of the first story arc of the newly relaunched Daredevil.

The man without fear (Daredevil) is bringing fun back.

Let me just get this out there: I wasn't a fan of the Bendis/Maleev 4 year run on Daredevil and I'm happy to say that Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera's run hits the ground running 180 degrees in the opposite direction story wise.

Mark Waid has done an excellent job of taking everything that's happened to Matt over the last six or eight years: quantified it; keeps what he likes; and respectfully leaves everything else alone like a sleeping junk yard dog.  Those story elements haven't been thrown away or removed from cannon they are just no longer the focus of the book and are clearly in Matt's (and the supporting characters) history.
The first issue opens up MacGyver style where Daredevil ends one mission and starts another as Matt Murdock in Matt's own corner of hell's kitchen: the court room.  He takes on the legal defense of an innocent man that only Matt believes to be innocent but he'll need more than Foggy Nelson and a good honest judge to prove it.  Don't forget the world still feels as if there may be some truth to the rumors that Matt Murdoc is Daredevil - who recently went insane and might be responsible for several deaths in the Shadowland incident.

Matt's powers and abilities as well as Matt's personality under the Daredevil mask, are put to good use in the story.  Mark Waid has re-established Matt as as solid individual dedicated to a mission.  Mark has captured a Matt Murdock that's not been seen for a decade or more, he's shed a lot of Matt's darker pshycological aspects (I don't want to label them as I've not read DD in a few years because of them).  There's a lot more dare than devil in DD these days.

While Mark has shed plenty of what's been done to Matt as of late, it's not been forgotten or dissapeared completely.  That would be cheating (like a reboot or relaunch of sorts huh DC?) so Mark embraces it and those elements serves to enhance the story.

The second issue (as well as the third) is structured very similarly to the first with Daredevil having to answer for his crimes of the past via a unique pop quiz delivered to him by another superhero and only once he's passed it (sort of) can he be allowed to move forward and continue with the legal case that consumes his mission for justice.  Let me just say that Mark Waid is the master of the one page character introduction and he uses the technique in all three issues.

While Daredevil is slightly put off guard at the start of the test he's not helpless and it doesn't take him long to figure out who's testing him.  It's a man in the Marvel Universe "with a heart beat like none other in the world". ~Mark Waid

Mark is able to use the test to share new aspects of both the characters and instantly remind us the reader that Daredevil has a large history of doing good in the Marvel Universe and is interconnected to several of the heroes of the even though he's never been a mainstay of any particular team book.

As the issue rounds out to the end Mark again finds a way to keep Daredevil of guard in a very unique fashion, if this keeps up I imagine it to being similar to Ron Marz's promise to never have Green Lantern craft the same thing twice while ring slinging.

This is an awesome scene, easily one of my favorites.
Once again as issue three opens the single page intro (or recap - or both) is used really well here.  Mark infuses a single page with enough dialogue to remind us of who Daredevil is, why hes currently in the perdicament he's in, how much history he has with the Marvel Universe, and how much lighter his outlook on life is now a days.

The true villain is finally revealed, and we the readers see how this villain's actions effect both the street crime Daredevil is dealing with as well as the court battle tangling up Matt and DD's lifes on all sides.

This issue has a lot more action in it.  The court room/ street battle ratio is flipped with issue three in that the street battle is favored and it's moved to the front of the book so that the court room can be in the back.  Like an ending of sorts.  A happy ending?  We'll you'll have to read it to find out.

I can't recommend this book enough.  It's a light read, but one not done in five minutes (I always hate that).  It's a fun read that will leave yo laughing.  It's an action packed adventure captured very effectively in 2d and not surprising it's just damn good.



JimShelley said...

Great review Caine! Both the story and images you used really have sold me on this new version of Daredevil!

cash_gorman said...

When looking at the online previews of select pages and panels, I really love the artwork. But, when I look at the book in the stores, instead of looking powerfully and stylistically elegant, the overall effect and impression I get is just simple and empty.

It's funny because I have a similar yet opposite response to several of the DCnU titles like Batgirl and Detective where online samplings of the artwork looks great. But the overall effect of when looking at the book in the store is that as a whole it looks dark and cluttered to the point I don't want to strain my eyes to try to decipher the storytelling of the artwork.

Makes me wonder, is it the difference between reading these books online vs print? Or, is it that the overall storytelling is lacking, individual panels look good until you try to read several consecutive pages of it at a time? With the best panels and pages offered up as a sample of the book when they are the exception to the book's feel and not the rule.

MattComix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MattComix said...

(previous comment deleted due to typo).

My wife actually got me to look at this new run of Daredevil and I think I'm starting to get into it.

The art is a little more Tim Sale-ish than I would like but yet I appreciate that he there's some dynamics to the action scenes and it does well at telling the story.

It's weird, I'm enjoying the story especially Waid having Murdock rise above his angst rather than wallow in it, yet I kinda keep wishing Gene Colan was drawing it.

Caine said...

Thank you very much.

I guess I don't really follow. I'm not really reading paper comics at all if I can help it. Unfortunately you can't get the modern DD comic on the iPad through the app but I really think the art flows really well together with the story as the book rolls on and on.

I'm glad your sticking with it, even though you would prefer the DD of 30 years ago. :)

MattComix said...

@Caine. Not even so much a preference for 30 years ago as I would love to see the stories being served up with a more classic superhero art style. I get tired of superhero comics looking like Vertigo titles.

I really like that the focus is one Matt Murdock dealing with his cases as a lawyer and being Daredevil is his unique advantage that enables him to deal with "special crimes" the case may be connected to.

cash_gorman said...

I don't know if it's the difference between viewing online and print product, or if it's just that the panels and pages shown online are action scenes and thus not really indicative of the style as a whole.

The panels shown, have a rhythm and balance to them. They are deceptively simple and open ie a clear clean style that is far more complex than readily apparent.

But, when I look at the book as a whole, what snippets I see online doesn't carry through. That rhythm and elegance isn't there, it just looks simplistic and minimal and thus flat.


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