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.