Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Daredevil Volume 1

Daredevil Volume 1
I dunno. with that stick in front of his eyes,
he won't be able to... oh, wait...

Writer: Mark Waid

Artists: Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin

Collects: Daredevil #1-6

Background Information:

Daredevil.

Now there's a character who hasn't had much luck on screen, amiright?

Huh?

What's Netflix?

(Conducts ten minutes research on the internet.)

Ooooh.

So, Daredevil; he's a guy who blinded when doused with chemicals. Because this is the superhero genre, those chemicals gave him radar-like abilities that not only replaced his sight, but enhanced every other form of perception he has. Naturally, that makes him a crime fighter.

Review:

Honestly, you've now seen the best-looking page in the
book.
If you've been watching the Netflix daredevil, chances are that you're expecting Daredevil Volume 1 to be a dark and gritty gorefest complete with beheadings, blood splatter and skulls bashed in with bowling balls.

If so, you're in for a shock.

It's a good shock, though; and truth be told, I'll take Waid's Daredevil over Netflix's stab-your-eyes-out world any day of the week. Waid's world (PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT!) is light, fun and oddly smart. If there was ever an argument against dark and gritty comics, this is it.

So before this volume, mild-mannered lawyer Matt Murdock was outed as Daredevil. This causes problems for Matt and his partner Foggy Nelson- he can't get halfway through a case without his opponents making the trial entirely about Daredevil. To complicate matters, Matt's client, a Muslim shop owner, has had some very unique circumstances that affect the trial. It's up to Daredevil to investigate.

On Netflix, Daredevil's adventures often start with a murder, or something equally dark. In Waid's run, adventures begin relatively small: a police brutality claim, an unfair dismissal from work. This gives Waid plenty to build up from and next thing you know you're dealing with beings made of sound, secret organisations and men who want to fight the Hulk.

In Waid's world (PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT!) anything goes. We hear a lot of negative talk about writers who try to hard to be dark and gritty, but it can often be irritating ehen writers overdo the "light and funny" angle as well. Waid somehow succeeds at doing neither. He's concerned more with writing a good character than establishing a "tone" and for the most part, he does it brilliantly.

Stripey stripey stripey...
The only real failing in Waid's work comes at the end of the two story arcs. The tension seems to disappear just before the climax. It can be pretty jarring and drains your ability to be truly impressed.

That almost doesn't matter when the art is this good.  Both Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin create bright, engagin art. The best part, though, happens early in the book, when we get a look at the world through Daredevils eyes. It's then that we get these outlines of chracters crossed with horizontal lines that are fun to look at. This concept goes into full-awesome when the radar sense is disrupted, though, and these solid shapes become mold or when villains are disrupting sound, causing them too look more grotesque to Murdock than they ever could to the rest of us/

Waid's Daredevil is a fun ride. It gets four out of five Waid's worlds (PARTY... aw, forget it).

****

+ Anything goes.
+ Neither too dark or too light.

+ Radar sense portrayed perfectly.
- Tension drops too early.

Alternate Option: Daredevil: Season One

The only other Daredevil volume that I've read, but not awful.