Thursday, 28 July 2011

New Beginnings - Daredevil #1

For anyone who has recently followed Shadowlands and then subsequently Andy Diggle’s for part miniseries Daredevil: Reborn, then Mark Waid’s new beginning will have been an anticipated and expected title. For anyone who hasn’t been following Daredevil - however, then Mark Waid’s new beginning is a nifty new comic.

To give a quick recap, Shadowlands depicted the fall of Daredevil and then Reborn was Matt Murdock’s path to redemption; culminating in his decision to return to Hell’s Kitchen. For the fan base this will have piled a large amount of pressure on Waid to write a credible story which also held continuity and I’m happy to say that he carried it, and carried it well.

It was impressive that regardless of how much or little you knew then you could still easily pick this issue up and hit the floor running.

I’ve also really enjoyed the fact that Waid has not dived in with a face off against Bullseye, The Kingpin or any other adversary but instead, has chosen a far greater but faceless foe; the perception of the common man.

Ever since before storylines such as The Devil: Inside and Out, one of the biggest ideas that Matt Murdock has struggled to fight against is that the mild mannered blind lawyer is in fact Daredevil, something he has refuted time and time again. Previously, all manner of tricks have been applied to contain the secret but now this “fact” is being used against his life in court and slowly breaking it apart.

Falling back to the traditional DD, following up in his own fashion on cases, we see a contradictory cliff hanger to keep us waiting for the next issue.

One criticism I would have is that it felt a little short. I accept that it is necessary to have adverts in a comic to fund them but having a 10 page bonus tale, also by Waid, made me feel a little disappointed as that’s 10 pages that could have been used on the current opening.

Paolo Rivera has teamed with Waid to create the artwork behind the story. Combined with the cover art by Javier Rodriguez it gives a retro feel, almost as if it was an homage to the original Daredevil that Stan Lee and Bill Everett created, which if honest isn’t my favourite. One aspect I did enjoy though was the way in that some of the frames are through Matt’s 'eyes' and give an interpretation of how he sees through his radar. This came into its own for me later on with the chaff scene. This is also a different approach to the cover which is a cleverly worked piece.

There is one thing that bugged me on the cover though. The use of the words within the picture to make all the images was great and it fitted with the artwork within the cover - BUT - it didn't push hard enough. Neal Adams has pencilled the variant cover which is glorious and vibrant. It’s a far more dangerous and energetic pose which I have loved but sadly also know I would have felt let down by the artwork inside if I’d had it and seen it.

Overall I have really enjoyed the comic and will be following the new title but I am hoping for an artist change as I really think that Waid has carried Rivera on this one. I’m hoping that this new angle in writing has got the legs to keep running and Waid keeps pushing this further.

Matt Puddy isn't Daredevil. Or Foggy Nelson. But he might be Ben Urich...

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