As someone who is fairly new to comics, one of the problems I have come across is that when a titles gets into the triple digits, you just do not know where to begin with it. Daredevil was one of those cases. I have always liked the character, but with his book in the 500’s by the time I discovered it, I just had no idea. I asked around for what the best arc was, and where I should jump in, but everyone gave different answers–there did not seem to be any definitive Daredevil story. Luckily, for me, he had just gone through Shadowland, left his precious Hell’s Kitchen, and has now just come back with a fresh new series. Is it the jumping-in point that someone like me needed, or just another notch on Matt Murdock’s belt? Come with me as we find out…
Writer: Mark Waid
Pencils: Paolo Rivera
Ink: Joe Rivera
Colors: Javier Rodriguez
Writers: Mark Waid & Marcos Martin
Art: Marcos Martin
Colors: Muntsa Vicente
Story: 8 Billy Clubs out of 10
Art: 8 Billy Clubs out of 10
Overall: 8 Billy Clubs out of 10
The story opens with Daredevil sneaking up on a wedding between two of New York’s biggest crime families. He has heard through the grapevine that there was a hit planned. However, upon arrival, he notices a black spot opening up on the carpet and realises that it is, in fact, a kidnapping.
Jumping down, he rescues the bride’s daughter from The Spot, but due to his abilities, has to continue evading him. Listening to everyone’s heartbeats, he realises that The Spot is working for someone on the inside, and points him out. Before anyone can do anything, however, The Spot opens up holes on the man’s body and uses them to reach out and snap his neck.
Daredevil hands the girl back to her parents, kisses the bride, and then grabs The Spot by the hand. Somehow, multiple hands reach out for him and he is pulled into the The Spot’s spots.
Matt Murdock is now buying a coffee from a vendor who keeps asking him how he defeated The Spot. Matt continues to argue that he is not Daredevil. Upon entering the court building, he is swarmed by paparazzi who are also asking about Daredevil. He squeezes past them, into the courtroom, but then his current case is also brought down by accusations of him being Daredevil.
Matt is standing atop his firm’s roof when a lady approaches. She is the Assistant D.A. and suggests, based on the day’s proceeding, that he consider giving up his job. However, she also mentions that his current client has been passed up by many others before him due to fear, and that if she were Daredevil, that’s something she would look into. Once she leaves, Matt jumps off the roof.
Now night, Daredevil is swinging through the city when someone fires a chaff gun over him, wreaking havoc on his radar sense. He still manages to detect something coming towards him…
Matt, annoyed at Foggy’s crunching of snacks, takes him for a walk outside. The two wander the streets, stopping by a fruit store. They also enter the subway, where Matt learns how to play the violin in only a few minutes. The story ends at Matt’s father’s grave, where he places an apple at its base. It is his Dad’s birthday.
The Good: As far as a #1 issue goes, this book did everything right. It began with an exciting bit of action to draw you in, showed the current status of Matt Murdock’s life, and ended with a great hook.
The art was the first thing to capture my attention, in that everything looked amazing. I am sure it has been done plenty of times before, but I loved getting a view of how Matt “sees” the world. It was made all the more exciting when you discover how he sees The Spot–very creepy.
Speaking of The Spot. Despite the ridiculous name, I really liked him as a villain. Just like any other teleporter, their ability to appear anywhere makes them a lot more menacing. In this case, it was made even more so by the fact that we only see his hands most of the time, reaching out from inky blackness. The neck-snapping scene was just plain disturbing… but in a good way!
I really liked how everyone was asking Matt about his Daredevil ways and yet he consistantly returned that he wasn’t Daredevil. It was as if he did not care that they knew, but was just having fun in telling them it was not him. That lightheartedness really worked here.
The ending was great in that it showed Daredevil being able to still function despite counter-measures to his abilities.
The Bad: I did not quite get why Daredevil kissed the bride and right in front of her groom. Is this something he normally does? Sure it was funny, but it just seemed a little wrong for a “hero” to be doing.
I cannot remember where, but I have incidentally seen how the final scene pans out, so I was a little bummed by that. With the book being new, I am not sure why such information would be leaked so far ahead of time. (Editor’s Note: Marvel.com has a fair amount of preview art for Daredevil #2) I thought what I was seeing was a preview of his issue, but it was clearly from #2, so that is a bit annoying.
The Good: This 10-page bonus story basically served as a showcase of Matt’s abilities. I already knew of these through other media, but for someone who is coming in blind, this would be pretty helpful. Matt learning to play the violin in only a matter of minutes was quite amusing as well.
The Bad: Outside of the “catch-up”, this story was pretty pointless–just a bit of fluff. There is really nothing here that could not have been alluded to in the main story at some point… besides maybe playing the violin.
I really liked this issue, and I felt that it was indeed a great jumping-on point. As I mentioned above, it covered all the first-issue bases and presented an interesting story at the same time. If you are like me, and have always wanted to read Daredevil, but have not, then I recommend you pick this one up. Daredevil will definitely be on my pull-list from now on.