Thursday, 27 January 2011

New Beginnings - Daredevil Reborn #1

If you read my review of Shadowland then you know I valued it, a title that brought back my love of Daredevil. It makes sense that I would be looking forward to Daredevil Reborn.

Once again written by Andy Diggle, it really is opening up to be the “Whatever Happened to Matt Murdock?” of the Marvel Universe. As a continuation of his fall from grace it works well as we now see the broken Murdock quite literally searching for himself in the desert. There is a real feeling that he has tried to shed his old skin and is trying to shape his own redemption plan without even knowing what it looks like. In this respect I especially liked the cover art because although it has no direct relevance to the story, I felt it’s symbolism was almost iconic in itself. Daredevil IS dead and let us not forget that his successor, the Black Panther, has already draped himself with the 'Man Without Fear” mantle.

This opens the playing field for Diggle to roam wherever he wants and I’m expecting big things from the creative freedom it leaves him.

The story - as the first part of the mini series - is a tad basic, but instead of weighing it down with intricate plot details it explores the underlying tone that WE all know who this lone wanderer is. We all know he could easily fight his way out of the mid-issue situations he finds himself in, but the key point is he didn’t. His inner struggle continues until finally his sense of justice snaps him back by the end of the issue. A fantastic hook for readers and a great teaser to lead you into the next issue. Bizarrely I found myself thinking of Judge Dredd and justice out in the wasteland.

As said before the story is a new beginning point for everyone - reader, writer and in particular artist. The linework and colouring is completely different to the dark shadowy depths of Shadowland. The general page has a lighter muted tone surrounds Murdoch, giving the sense of vagueness that he is feeling now that he has become - in essence - a drifter. The linework itself is bolder with less detail outside of your focus meaning you are drawn specifically to characters and items that you need to see.

Most important is the actual use of shadow. In the sunny desert where shade is a luxury it would be easy to use this as a scenic prop. Instead it has been used as a fantastic tool to give the reader a great sense of apprehension towards the locals of this close knit town. Through the use of shadow, you lose their eye contact. Ironically this is something that the blind Matt Murdock wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at.

This is a great issue for anyone to pick up as it has a multitude of layers. New readers may be put off by its apparent basic persona but read it again and there is more depth to be found. Seasoned readers should see a lot more too and the hook for future issues is there, giving great promise to the next step of what Daredevil could be.

Matt Puddy was in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden he looked down and saw a tortoise...

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