It Dares to Be Different
For the longest time, fans of Daredevil have been subjected to seeing him slowly yet surely fall further into the abyss of despair, leaving him with almost nothing to hang on to in recent years. So, finally, when Mark Waid comes around and tries to give our man without fear a new lease on life, readers are given the chance to see Daredevil at his best in years. But, is it worth a read?
I can't really compare this to any of the Daredevil works of the past, as I've never read them, but I would say this is a pretty enjoyable work overall. Daredevil is an interesting vigilante for various reasons, and we get to see that through his dark past that is occasionally referenced, his almost refusal to team up with characters as a general rule, he being blind, his profession; it all adds up to a unique character. And everyone in this book is well thought out and have really strong personalities as a whole.
That being said, it feels like the book is somewhat predictable, more or less because of the genre, and no, I'm not talking about the graphic novel genre. This is a mystery series through and through. Characters come to Matt Murdock with a problem, he goes out as Daredevil to figure out what's what, and because of this, I had a hard time rereading it recently to write this review. I felt overall pretty detached, as I more or less remembered what was to happen. This doesn't make it a bad book, but it made my second reading of it less enjoyable. Admittedly, I was fairly engaged with it the first time, but I wasn't enamored with it enough to go pick up a second volume.
The art here is simply fantastic, no question, and every page is a treat to look at. There's the equivalent of a Point 1 issue after the 1st issue that takes on a different illustrator, and the art's good, but not as good, and I'm always bothered by the switching between artists in a series, so it's a minor pet peeve.
Some of the villains here are fairly obscure, and it's nice to see them on the page once again having an effect on the world. None of them are stand-out though, and tend to be fairly one-sided when compared to everyone else, and that's probably my biggest gripe. For a story to be really engaging, there needs to be really good villains to fight to, and none of the villains here were particularly appealing.
Also, some of the lawyer lingo and conversations really lost me. There's a fairly large plot point in the second story arch that left me for a loop, and I had a hard time getting back on board for a page or two, simply because I was busy trying to sort out the technicalities of it all. It alienates some of the audience because of this, which is bothersome. However, this only occurs occasionally and isn't a big nuisance.
At the end of the day, this feels fairly average. There aren't any big themes or agendas that seem to be forming, no great villains to fight, and the writing is pretty middle of the road. But if you're a fan of Daredevil and are looking for a book to read, this is about the only one, and it's pretty good as a whole. Give it a shot if you're into this genre or want to see the man without fear once each issue, as the author puts it, do "something that would make the Green Lantern wet his pants."