Wally Wood Begins to Transform Daredevil into Marvel's Batman
If you asked my pick for the most talented member of the Marvel Bullpen during the Silver Age, I'd say that would have to be Wally Wood. Maybe not as visionary an artist as Jack Kirby, nor as strongly gifted as John Romita when it came to art alone - Wood made up for it with his writing talent. Imagine a quality artist like John Buscema crossed with an imaginative writer like Gardner Fox, and that's Wally Wood.
That said, this first issue of Daredevil solely written and drawn by Wally Wood (he'd been co-writing with Stan Lee for a few months already), isn't his best work. Some of it may be personal bias; I've always seen the animal themed super team as a clichéd comic writer's crutch, and in this comic it's laid on pretty thick - a former Navy frogman that goes by 'frog man' and happens to look like a frog (even without a costume), for example.
But, even without such comic character conceits though, there are still some problems with the writing. Wood tends to gloss over situations that don't fit his plan - for example, Matt Murdock is aboard a party on a yacht when he senses a foe in the water nearby. He dives overboard, doffing his clothes in the ocean to reveal his Daredevil costume underneath. But, when the altercation is through, he climbs back aboard the boat, intending to rejoin the party. I actually thought there was a page or two missing from the comic, because it goes from there to his next meeting with a villain the following day - never addressing how he managed to get dry and find new clothes, etc. before he was seen.
Still, the comic is interesting in that Wood has kept the part of the comics where Daredevil battles costumed foes, but added a heavy dose of Matt Murdock dealing with the seamy side of N.Y.C. politics - now that's something interesting and not being done in any of the other titles at the time. And, in keeping the villain leader's ('The Organizer') identity a secret, while providing the reader a list of possible suspects, Wally Wood has created Daredevil's first real mystery.
A good, if flawed, comic. It'll be interesting to see how the situation is resolved when Stan Lee takes back more of the writing chores next month.