This week on Red vs. Blue, our featured characters are red and blue! ...kinda. It's Daredevil #14 vs. Before Watchmen: The Comedian #1!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Red Book- Daredevil #14 (Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez) Mark Waid has sent Matt Murdock into Latveria! What will the Doomstadt hold for our hero?
Blue Book- Before Watchmen: The Comedian #1 (Brian Azzarello, J.G. Jones) Brian Azzarello tries his hand at writing another sociopathic character, this time with Watchmen's The Comedian! How does this miniseries kick off?
Ah... Another faceoff between two of my favorite characters... The Man Without Fear vs. The Guy Who Tries To Rape Silk Spectre. That's not why I like the Comedian, but you get my point. Let's see how their issues this past week match up, shall we?
Daredevil #14- (Waid, Samnee, Rodriguez)
Pros- This is a story I think I'm going to like. It deals with a concept I've recently been curious about; since Daredevil relies on his heightened senses to compensate for his blindness, what if he went fully "blind" and lost his other senses as well? Through a little bit of literary (and literal) deus ex machina, we're about to find out. Doom's goons gas Murdock and he slowly loses all of his other senses including his crucial sonar-sense. This oughta be interesting...
I've previously complimented the art style of the Daredevil series thus far. They use a very nice color palette using interesting shades of reds and blues to highlight situations and scenes. Daredevil at one point refers to himself as a "neon target", and it shows in this issue. Latveria looks appropriately like an oppressed Central European nation a la former Soviet Republics. It's a nice look for everything.
Cons- While I do understand that this is the first issue of a new story, come on, Mark, don't tease us like that. You put Doom on the cover, for Pete's sake! We're in Latveria, we know he's coming, just give us the Doctor already! Don't read that as angrily as it may seem, it's more of an "Oh, come on, Blizz!" kind of thing. Instead of the "good doctor", we instead meet Generic Baron Evilman and Mad Scientist #11. Standin slimeballs until we eventually meet Doom, I guess. Understandable, but come on.
As for the art, I don't really have anything negative to say about it other than remarking that it may not be an aesthetic choice everyone likes. I personally like it, but it doesn't blow me away here. Some may not be as turned on/off to it as others. It's really a reader's preference case here.
Before Watchmen: The Comedian #1 (Azzarello, Jones)-
Pros- Azzarello has shown his knack for writing sociopaths in the past with his works on Luthor and Joker with frequent collaborator Lee Bermejo (with whom he is also doing the Rorshach miniseries. Makes sense). Here he tackles everyone's favorite cynical bastard Eddie Blake. The story they tell here is an interesting one, it weaves Blake into the Kennedy family and shows him before he became as militant as we remember him. Also, they use the assassination of JFK as the setup for the rest of the arc, which will be a nice addition to Eddie's backstory and character development for how we remember him.
The artwork done by Jones here is also quite nice. The tinting and accents of colors change depending on locations and characters (blue for Kennedy scenes, yellow-orange for Blake scenes). I love stylistic choices like that, they make for a more visually appealing book. I may be wrong here, but it seems as though Jones has used pictures of the Kennedys as models for their scenes. Naturally he based the character designs off of the actual people, but each scene looks like it could have been a Kennedy family photo or a press photo. I think that's saying something, whether good or bad. I like it, so I'm gonna say it's good.
Cons- Like I said, this issue weaves Eddie Blake into the Kennedy family. And it really weaves him into it, including the Marilyn Monroe affairs. While I appreciate that concept... really? Having Eddie Blake kill Marilyn Monroe on Jackie Kennedy's orders? And naturally he slept with her first. But... really? I'm sorry, I just don't like that. Blake's a bastard, but I don't think of him as that much of a bastard. The characters also cut each other off too much, at least in the Eddie and Jackie scene. It feels too much like it's trying to be a movie or a TV show with "natural" speech.
With regards to the artwork, Jones' style is quite nice, but I get a bit of a Liefeld vibe. It's not NEARLY as big of a problem as Liefeld's existence, yet there is an issue. Whereas Liefeld never draws feet, Jones seems to take as many opportunities as he can not to draw faces. The character's faces are frequently obscured by shadows, glasses, drinks, turning away from the "camera", etc. Just something I noticed.
Winner- Daredevil with a well-placed billy club to the jaw.
This week, it's more of a personal preference than and objective vote. The story for Daredevil felt more engaging and intriguing. I appreciate what they're trying to do with the Watchmen characters; I personally feel the prequels are unnecessary, but I'm not one of the people saying "OHGODNOBODYSHOULDTOUCHTHESECHARACTERSEXCEPTFORMOORE". The Comedian will always be my favorite Watchmen character (followed closely by Ozymandias), but I just don't like what they've done here. Daredevil team, keep up the good work. Comedian team, good luck with the rest of the series, but I'm out. Marvel takes the win.
Review by: Veggieleezy