Daredevil Volume 1: Here Comes Daredevil

Written by Mark Waid and drawn by Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin

Published by Marvel Comics

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Matt Murdock is Daredevil, a costumed superhero who patrols the streets of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. He lost his sight as a child but since the accident involved radioactive waste in the Marvel Universe he was compensated with a ramping up of his other senses. By day he is a high profile lawyer in his own firm where he partners up with his best friend Foggy Nelson.

Daredevil spent the last twenty years starring in some of the best tales that Marvel Comics  ever produced. The likes of Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker wrote epic runs that defined the character. They have also been some of the bleakest comics I have ever read. Matt has lost his Father, multiple girlfriends, his secret identity and probably his mind over that time. Mark Waid is here to change all that by keeping one word in mind, an old fashioned word that I would love to see used more often, swashbuckler.

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Matt returns to the courtroom and Daredevil to the street but he does it with a smile on his face. It’s a refreshing new direction that acknowledges what has gone before but is set on exploring new territory. And it’s not just the story, the artistic team of Rivera and Martin set out to show you how Daredevil perceives the world around him and the results are fascinating.

The size of the panel below does not do the image full justice but in the book it’s jaw dropping. Matt and Foggy are crossing the street and their actions and conversation are highlighted in small spotlight panels that emphasize how Matt experiences the world. It is a great scene with many great moments, Foggy nearly stepping in dog poo, Matt not checking out the girl at the window because she is a massive smoker but then enjoying following the girl who uses tea tree shampoo.

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Another strength of the book is the lettering, an aspect of comics that often garners little fanfare, here it adds huge depth to the tale these creators are telling. Through how they display sound, the SFX help us to see how Daredevil perceives the world, all while moving the action along. There are panels in the shape of the sound effects or where they are a part of the panel itself, it makes me want to learn more about the process and collaboration between the penciller and letterer. Check out the panel below where Marcos Martin draws Matt  diving through a hail of bullets.

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It’s not just sound and smell that help Daredevil do his thing, he also has a ‘radar’ sense that lets him  know where everything is around him. This team repeatedly do an excellent job of reminding us of DD’s senses and how he uses them.

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In another smooth move from Marvel, Marcos Martin jumps in on the second arc and quickly has Daredevil leaping around the Lion enclosure at the Bronx Zoo in the middle of the night. Martin has a slightly finer line but for me is just as magnificent an artist as Rivera.

Dardevil battling lions

Should I buy it? I would if I was you, it’s a delight of a book. I’m off to get the next volume.

Next time: Marvel March winds down with a look at an under-rated book featuring an under-used character but created by a superstar team. It’s Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin.

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5 Responses to Daredevil Volume 1: Here Comes Daredevil

  1. I was just re-reading this collection last night and it is a delight. A significant break from the last several decades of Daredevil (which I liked just fine), but the grim-and-gritty has been fully explored with this character, and this is a welcome change. There is precedent as this tone harkens back to something closer to Stan Lee’s original Silver Age take on the character.

    Particularly impressive is how this story takes full advantage of the comic book form. I very much enjoyed the visual representations of the unique way our “hero” sees the world. The “crosswalk” spread that you showed above really demonstrates this artistry — there’s plenty of little visual puzzles to unpack (see Foggy about to step in that doggy pile?), the dialogue illuminates character, and the characters appear several times in a single a static scene demonstrating motion and the passage of time. This is a special work.

  2. I’m glad you’re reading this book Paul, it’s got that classic sensibility you seem to enjoy. Have you checked out Hawkeye? I wrote about it last week and it is similar not just in tone to Daredevil but also in that it feels as though the creators are trying to maximize their use of comics as a storytelling medium

    This is a comic that definitely rewards re-reading, I picked up so many small details that I had missed in my initial reading.

  3. Pingback: Batman Volume 1: The Court of Owls | joeblogscomics

  4. Pingback: Thor: The God of Thunder, Volume 1: The God Butcher | JoeBlogsComics

  5. I’ve learn some good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you set to create this kind of great informative web site.

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