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Review Group Week #284: Daredevil #1

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Eli Katz


Postby Eli Katz » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:06 pm

Waid and Rivera's DAREDEVIL #1 is fun and entertaining -- certainly worth checking out -- but it has a few flaws.

First, the good stuff. Waid is an exceptional comics writer, who has the ceaseless ability to breathe new life, or at least some much-needed energy, into the superhero genre. In this book, he comes up with a great opening action sequence between DD and the Spot, sucking the reader in immediately with a quirky standoff with a quirky villain. If you don't dig the Spot, and you can't think fondly back to his early appearances in Spectacular Spider-Man, you should be driven unceremoniously from the Review Group. Furthermore, Rivera's art takes Waid's ideas here and transforms them into a visually stunning sequence. I especially love Rivera's use of tiny panels to emphasize the choppiness of a battle with a guy who rapidly attacks in all directions through holes in space.

Beyond the intro, the story is efficiently told. Initially, as I read this ish, I thought, "Oh, great, yet another court room scene in a DD comic that has nothing to do with the larger story." So it's great to see that the court case is actually connected to whatever the first major plotline will be in this new series.

Now, for some of the bad stuff. The way Waid writes Matt's internal dialogue as light and whimsical matches the whimsy of the book's overall tone. But I'm not sure if it really matches Matt's character. I'm not insisting that Matt should be dour and serious in a book that is otherwise upbeat. But I do want Matt, as a leading attorney in New York, to be articulate. In some instances, however, he sounds rougher around the edges than he actually is. When he notes, for example, that "secret identities are a bitch to maintain," it doesn't sound like Matt to me. There's a casualness to his language that I find jarring. Maybe this is something I'll get used to as the series progresses

My other problem with the book, and this is really my major complaint, is that the issue's far too brief. The cliffhanger -- the flash of Captain America's shield zooming past -- isn't terribly compelling as cliffhangers go. After closing the issue, I didn't say, "Oh, man, I can’t wait till next month to see Cap and DD inexplicably face off against each other." There's no context to this cliffhanger, no lead up to Cap's apparent appearance in this series. I would have preferred if the back-up story were ditched and the space allotted to the main story. That way, we could have received more plot details and perhaps had a greater investment in this first arc.

But, overall, this is an engaging, beautifully illustrated book that promises solid superhero action. This doesn't look to be a groundbreaking DD run, but it looks as though it will be a worthwhile one to follow.

STORY: 6.8
ART: 9
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Postby ElijahSnowFan » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:02 pm

Well, folks, looks like I'm screwed either way -- I'm with Chap, etc, AND with Punch, etc.

First things first: I have no clue how anybody thinks that what Frank Miller did could ever be second to what anybody else does with Daredevil. Not only does Miller do it first, and do it exceptionally well, there is nothing that anybody else did that comes after that is even remotely shocking when you consider that Miller had the Kingpin find out Murdock's identity. While I give Bendis and Brubaker credit for some of the high points in their runs, come on, people. Miller blazed a trail with this character that...come on. Sometimes, you just gotta admit when a guy did something amazing, something exceptional, and let it be that.

But...and this is a huge but: I can't read Daredevil anymore. I tried to pick this issue up. I tried, man. I used to LOVE Daredevil. Seriously. I loved his powers, how he fought. Man, I LOVED this character.

But man...damn. Bendis and Brubaker, then Diggle...their runs had some high points. Some amazing writing. But they were so depressing...I couldn't even finish Diggle's, when it got to Shadowland. I remember posting on the old 'Rama about Milla being driven insane, and I just...I'd had enough.

My head and my mind won't let me read DD anymore...the character feels dead to me. If I read a panel where he told a joke, it would me. Insane, even.

I don't know what to think about this character anymore. Again, I give Miller tons of credit, and Bendis and Brubaker deserve credit for telling quality stories.

But man...they just killed this character for me. I tried to pick up Daredevil #1...and just couldn't do it.
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The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:05 am

After thirteen reviews, a 7.92
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Staff Writer

Postby SilverPhoenix » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:11 am

Daredevil #1


This was not a comic I was looking forward to reviewing. Like last week’s Captain America #1, Daredevil #1 felt like yet another comic born out of the circular nature that has become the M.O. of most Big 2 Super Hero Comics, a nature that is mainly propped up by the fact that most of the higher profile characters are seen as primarily IPs by their Corporate Masters, thereby “justifying” the perpetuity of said characters. It is a situation that fosters a creative environment where character development and status-quo stagnation/regression (and everything that goes with it) have become a near weekly part of the Marvel and DC comic experience, playing a HUGE part into why my tastes have changed from my teenage years. Despite all of my misgivings, the fact that Mark Waid was writing this comic made me resolve not to dismiss this sight unseen and for the most part, I’m glad I did.


The overall writing job of Daredevil #1 is quite a weird beast. On one hand, while I thought the book was written beyond mere competence, the main plot itself was just there. While it didn’t suffer from last week’s Captain America #1’s problem near and complete deja-vu of the character’s last #1 6 years ago, the main story would’ve said nothing to me if it wasn’t for the fact that Mark Waid uses the story to plant the seeds of Matt Murdoch’s battle against reality.

Yes, you heard me correctly, Daredevil #1’s return to the swashbuckling, jovial acting, original Man without Fear doesn’t come without baggage. Matt Murdock has to deal with the fact that you can’t just delete a past like his no matter how hard you try. Even though he made the extra effort to put the “genie back in the bottle,” Matt has to deal with the fact that this information is out there for anyone to use against him, setting up for some interesting interactions with the people he comes across. In the secondary story, we get a much clearer psychological profile of the current Matt Murdoch, which helps us to see why he acts the way he acts, along with painting a very clear psychological profile of a man who’s psychological image affects the way the reader could see his character.

Speaking of Matt Murdoch’s character, it is this very element that ends up being the least favorite thing of my issue. With everything that has happened in the recent (and not so recent) past of this character, it is quite irritating to see Matt go through so many hoops to deny what has happened in the past, something that honestly frustrated me as I was reading this book. With that being said, that frustration was important for myself (and possibly) the reader to understand where the story might end up going from there, and if Mark Waid does make this a proper challenge for Matt, then in the grand scheme of things this complaint means very little.


Without a doubt, the art is the true star of this comic. Macros Martin has gained enough of a reputation to sell comic books on his name alone and Daredevil #1 proves why he does this. The absolute amazingness of his work is crystalized with Daredevil’s action sequence during the opening scene, capturing both the need to tell a story and to create a break neck pace for such a fight scene to work. The second thing that impressed me is the use of the art to capture the mood of the world around Daredevil. The use of bright colors playing with dark shadows helps to add symbolism to the mentality that is being displayed by Matt Murdoch. The whole entire thing just adds another feather into Martin’s cap.

The Final 22 Cents:

As we come to the end of this review, I must admit that one of my criteria for this book to get a really excellent score would be that it had to prove to me that it was the stronger story than what could’ve been told in the last volume. For me, the events that were set up at the end of Brubaker run to carry Daredevil to a point where his story could’ve realistically been over. If nothing else, it would’ve been a powerful exclamation point to a character whose actions have been shown to have some of the realest consequences in Marvel’s Universe. Standing on its own Daredevil #1 is serving numerous masters, as it tries to give Matt Murdoch’s decisions as much weight as possible, considering the perpetual environment it has to exist in and it is that full understanding that made this comic a good read to me. While the current Daredevil volume is something I wouldn’t put money into the floppies, I will most certainly buy the trades from Amazon if Mark Waid can deliver on what he’s trying to do.

The Verdict:

Writing: 7.25
Art: 9.75
Accessibility: 8

Final Judgment: 8
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Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:20 am

The last 12 or so weeks of the RG are now up on the Front-Page, from Brightest Day to Red Wing.

Phew, it took ages.
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The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:15 am

Punchy wrote:The last 12 or so weeks of the RG are now up on the Front-Page, from Brightest Day to Red Wing.

Phew, it took ages.

Thank you, Punchy.

You're awesome.
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Stephen Day

Wrasslin' Fan

Postby Stephen Day » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:14 pm

Jonathan Carroll wrote:
Thank you, Punchy.

You're awesome.

Agreed. :)
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Rain Partier

Postby avengingtitan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:47 pm

Finally got around to reading this. Meh at best. I liked the noir hardboiled version of Daredevil. It was good but a little to jokey for me.

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