Origin stories in comic books are a dime a dozen. If you count the number of times a certain superhero's origin has been told, you'll probably confuse yourself before finding the correct answer. Daredevil: Yellow is a different type of origin, however. Written by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, who also wrote two other color influenced books, Spider-Man: Blue and Hulk: Grey, this version of Daredevil’s origin is fun and balanced with originality.
What makes Daredevil: Yellow such an amazing experience isn’t really the origin part of the story. Here we have Matt Murdock, blinded again by an accident, but this time he takes an instant influence from his father. Matt’s dad, Jack Murdock, boxes under the name Battling Jack Murdock and is allegedly one of the best in the city. However, it’s revealed that Jack’s manager is fixing his matches. When Jack fights a qualifier match to take on the champion, his manager requests he take a fall. When Jack refuses, he is shot and left for dead in the streets of New York City. It’s at this point that Matt takes up the moniker of Daredevil, sews himself a suit from his dad’s old boxing robe, iconically yellow, and takes to the rooftops of his hometown to fight crime and bring his dad’s murderer to justice.
Meanwhile, Matt’s partner, Foggy, is busy trying to set up the law firm that the two friends would eventually operate together. Foggy brings in a slew of eligible candidates for their secretary. Most of them have unlikable qualities and right as they are ready to give up, Karen Page walks in the door. Karen is known in the Daredevil universe as one of Matt and Daredevil’s longest running love interests. Matt takes an interest in her instantly, but unfortunately so does Foggy. The pair spend their time during the storyline pining for her love, but are both rebuffed when Karen reveals she is to have a date one night with Daredevil himself.
The core of the storyline in Daredevil: Yellow consists of Daredevil hunting down and bringing his dad’s murderer to justice. Although that comes to fruition within the first two issues, the story on that expands into the rest of the mini-series. Throughout the series' six issues, Electro, Owl, Purple Man and even the Fantastic Four all appear. All three aforementioned villains get their own mini arc in the series, with the rest of the book focused on Matt/Daredevil and Karen’s budding relationship.
Not only is Daredevil: Yellow a fantastically fun story, its quality shines through in the internal monologue that is ever present in many of the Daredevil comics. In the first issue, Daredevil states that he is writing a letter to Karen, who has apparently passed away. He states that he thought writing a letter to her now, even though she’d never read it, might make it easier for him to move forward with his own life. It's a great framing technique, one that helps the reader understand Daredevil's motives, not only why he fights crime, but also about his feelings towards the woman he loved more than anything. Reading Daredevil's motivations and thoughts is one of the strongest part of the books, not distracting the reader even though almost half of the letters in the book is dedicated toward internal dialogue.
In the end, Daredevil: Yellow is a simple redemption story, but the key to its success is the readers' understanding of Matt Murdock and Daredevil. Through the inner monologue written by the fantastic writers, Daredevil is able to convey his feelings of loss and love for his city, his father and his gal.
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About the Author - Joe Toeben
Listen: Joe is a cranky old man unstuck in time. He spends most of his time reading, writing and perfecting the art of 7 Little Words. When he isn't doing one of the previous things, he’s likely to be enjoying a soccer match, a fine episode of television or napping with his two dogs. You can follow his inane actions and rants on his twitter @toejben.
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