Daredevil #4

The immediate success of the Daredevil relaunch just goes to show that it’s the creators that make a great comic, regardless of character or premise.

Daredevil #4 cover

I never had much affinity for Daredevil, mainly because it seems like his life’s been miserable for the past decade or so. I had tried to read the very earliest issues (from the 60s, recommended on the basis of it being more soap opera-ish), but those didn’t work for me either. But as soon as I tried this series, beginning with the new #1, I was loving it.

Daredevil’s now got a sense of humor, interesting conflicts, plenty of action, and an understandable premise. Matt Murdock is thought to be Daredevil, so he and Foggy Nelson can’t try cases any more (because Murdock’s rumored secret identity gets in the way), so they set up a firm to help people learn to represent themselves. That’s being heroic in more than the typical comic book way — although there’s plenty of action in that vein, too. For instance, this issue opens with Daredevil having to retrieve evidence from the lion cage at the zoo.

It’s the details that make the book for me. The quick hits section of potential clients, for example, sets up backstories in just one panel each, but the one I loved was the way Matt’s civilian togs keep getting stolen when he goes out heroing, so he messengers new suits to where he needs them. That idea solves a superhero problem in an upscale, urban way that suits this character in particular. It’s not a solution that would apply to every Avenger interchangeably, for comparison, unlike how some people write superheroes.

I don’t think Marcos Martin is the usual artist, but here, he’s done some distinctive layouts, and he handles both the superhero and everyday people sections very well. The scene where Matt tries to help Foggy get healthier, first by trashing his junk food and then showing him how to work out, is a visually interesting way to have the two converse as well as an excuse for a couple of funny zingers.

Kudos to Mark Waid for so quickly making Daredevil one of the superhero comics I most look forward to!


14 Responses to “Daredevil #4”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    I think Martin and Paolo Rivera are rotating artist duties between storylines.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, neat, cause I like them both.

  3. James Schee Says:

    I’m with you on this series. I’d always thought of Daredevil as Batman with dolphin powers and I was already reading Batman.

    This is just such a fun read, it obviously has a history but it doesn’t seem overly bogged down by it. It isn’t all light, there are some serious themes here. Yet I found myself smiling while reading it which is rare for comics these days from big 2.

  4. Rob Barrett Says:

    What Ralf said, Johanna. With Rivera and Martin in rotation, this run of Daredevil has to be one of the best drawn books ever. Certainly no set of artists has ever been as creative in representing what Matt Murdock sees as these two have already achieved in four issues. And the cover of this issue, with the gun muzzles standing in for skyscrapers? Shiver!

    Go check out the Previews cover of issue #6, the December issue: Matt making a snow angel on top of a water tower.

  5. Doug Says:

    I’ve been reading Daredevil since his birth (and no… I don’t think this gives me any great insight or anything… just another opinion that is aware of the history of this book) and I have to strongly disagree. The writing that Waid is providing the series seems unfocused and random. I get no sense of direction at all from him, except for the legal self representation angle. Not sure if this idea has great reader interest in the long run though. As opposed to the Bendis run where I felt every issue continued to forward the character and plot toward something unthinkable and yet unavoidable.

    As for the art chores of Paolo and Marcos, I can’t be more displeased. The art of both these two seem like forced attempts to replicate mazzucchelli’s brilliance year’s ago, but fail miserably on every level to even come close. By comparison they seem childish at best.

    I will continue to follow this book and character though, because I always do. Through the good times and the bad. At least someone out there thinks these are the good times… so enjoy.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention how distinctively visual they make the radar sense, Rob, thanks for reminding me of that. As for the cover, I think you mean #7, as it appears here:
    http://marvel.com/images/gallery/issue/36514/images_from_daredevil_2011_7/image/890099

    Doug, I think you’re underestimating one of the greatest modern writers of superhero comics. Waid knows what he’s doing, and I’d take any of his work over Bendis’ never-ending chatter and nihilism ANY day. And yeah, I do think this is the best run of Daredevil yet, since I was never interested in any of the previous. As you say, since you’ll buy the book no matter what, Marvel did the right thing trying to attract more readers like me, since they have readers like you no matter what they do. But thank you for the good wishes!

  7. Rob Barrett Says:

    Yes, that’s the cover I meant (got the number wrong). On the one hand, that cover is so innocent and sweet and whimsical . . . which means that, on the other hand, it’s positively radical in today’s Sturm und Drang world of superheroes.

    Happily I live in a world where I can have both Bendis and Waid writing Daredevil, possibly the most consistently well-written character in Marvel’s stable (at least since Miller).

  8. John Jakala Says:

    I’m really enjoying Daredevil, too – I’m actually planning on following this series via floppies because Waid and Rivera & Martin make the single issues worth buying in their own right.

    I think Waid has done a wonderful job taking everything that happened before and coming up with a fresh new take that still acknowledges those earlier events.

    Plus, I love the images of DD leaping into danger with that adventure-loving grin on his face. As I think Waid put it, it’s fun to see Daredevil acting like an actual daredevil again!

  9. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    I just picked up issues 1 and 2 of this run based on Chris Sims’ raves–they’re actually the first Daredevil comics I’ve bought since Miller’s first go-around in the early 80s. (Bendis’ dialogue drives me up the wall Otherwise, I do mean to get to Born Again and maybe the Brubaker run someday.)

    The new series is a joy: one of Waid’s finest efforts in years (ever?) and the art is astounding. I’m flabbergasted that anyone could find it lacking–though I can understand a longtime fan’s negative reaction to the tone, after all those years of serious gloom. The book has the same light touch as the best scripts by Jeff Parker and Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente for the company, perfectly capturing the fun “Marvel” vibe of Stan’s heyday, but updating it and making it their own. With the latest Hercules series ending, I’m very glad there’s still going to be a funny, playful Marvel comic for me to read.

  10. Paul O'Brien Says:

    I’m actually quite fond of the “open secret” angle. I can’t think of another book which has done it with a hero, as opposed to a crimelord, and it gives Daredevil a unique hook without retreading the same old misery. It’s an idea from the Bendis run, but it works rather well in Waid’s style.

  11. Johanna Says:

    Great point, Paul. And yeah, Cole, I agree with you that I’m looking for fun and playful in my superheroes — it’s a shame that there aren’t more of those options, but there don’t seem to be enough other people who share that with us. :)

  12. Jay Says:

    Daredevil is a refreshing and delightful read – and I agree with Johanna – it is a shame that there are not more of this type of comic book around.

    Here, check out my review – http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com/2011/10/daredevil-4.html

  13. Guest Says:

    Loved Miller & Mazzucchelli on “Daredevil”, and am crazy about Waid here. Perfect. Makes me consider what could have been done with the DC relaunch, and …sigh…

  14. Good Comics Out January 25 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] comic currently running. Art is by Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin, talented both. Here’s my review of issue #4 for more […]




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