Saturday, October 29, 2011

Daredevil #4 -- A Review

Yikes, I guess I better post this already, since DD #5 came out this week! I'll have a few comments about that issue at the end.

This is the second fourth issue of DD that I’ve owned. Once upon a time I went to my first “convention” (some rented room in a retail space with dealers plying their books) and purchased issues 3 and 4 of Daredevil. I don’t know where I got the money (maybe my step-father-at-the-time). I’ve loved the black-red and yellow costume ever since. I remember seeing an Incredible Hulk No. 2 that day also. I sure wish I had gotten that one. The DD’s I sold or traded so long ago I don’t even remember the details surrounding the deal. I’ve loved the Daredevil character for a very long time and although I have followed it sporadically over the years with long runs and long absences, this is the BEST Daredevil I’ve read in decades!

The rotating art team of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin switches to Martin beginning with this issue and the quality continues at its stellar level. (It helps that I’m a big fan of both these guys and hope to have some original art by them one day.) We get some great action scenes, which always means innovative radar sense scenes too. DD fights feral lions in the Bronx Zoo, battles the mob, stops a robbery at a diner, saves two kids from a fire, and “feeling groovy” engages the Great Gambonnos from the Circus of Crime on the Queensboro Bridge. Plus, we get plenty of courtroom and law office moments too. Oh, a huge applause to the colorist, Munsta Vicente. Everything is so bright and clear and I love the variety. (It reminds me of Florida.) : )

The great thing about the story itself is that it doesn’t feel like an isolated arc. Instead, it’s just an organic unfolding continuous saga -- The way comics used to be and the way I think they are supposed to be! In this issue Waid adds a brilliant new detail of how Matt functions as Daredevil. Rather than carry his street clothes with him, he just ships them off by courier and changes at his destination. The dialogue is fantastic and fun from DD’s comment about living in the Bronx to teasing his secretary about going up to the roof.

This month (or should I say week, since #3 came out only seven days before), Matt is considering taking on the case of a blind kid who was wrongfully terminated from his job. The kid, Austin Cao, is an expert translator and can tell where people are from by their accent. He was showing off at the water cooler in front of his co-workers that two guys walking by were from Latveria. He’s fired an hour later. Matt tells him everything is going to be okay. But as they both stand by the window, neither can feel the over two-dozen (I counted 26) laser sight dots all over them. The statement about what’s coming next is priceless. I can hardly wait for the next issue (although, this more than monthly schedule is going to kill my budget plans).

One more thing hats off to Marvel for including 9-11 backups in all their books this month for free.

Not the longest review, but at least it was more than one word. : )


Daredevil #5 was also really good. When you have a run this excellent, it's hard to judge the quality issue to issue. So, I won't. I'll just briefly mention some of the cool things I liked.

I really enjoyed the way Matt set up his apartment so Austin can remember what he heard. I thought it was also neat to see that Matt is a gourmet tea drinker, given the huge variety of smells. I liked that Foggy clearly stated what we all know that Matt's happy attitude isn't sustainable and is actually worrisome. Looking forward to his girlfriend's roommate dating Matt, especially since she's convinced he's Daredevil. The new villain was quite formidable (the Ox is no push-over) and it was interesting to see him decked out with all of his sponsors (Hydra, Serpent Society, AIM, etc.) like he was a Nascar driver. This book continues to deliver!

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