- Posted by Johanna on January 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Mark Waid; pencils by Paolo Rivera; inks by Joe Rivera
- PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics; $2.99 US
‘Tis the season for near-death snowbound car accidents caused by runaway deer, I guess. Daredevil, in his guise as Matt Murdock, is taking a group of at-risk blind students on a camping trip. Their bus skids off the road in a blizzard, and Matt has to lead the kids to safety while suffering the effects of a head injury.
I really love how writer Mark Waid incorporates Matt’s blindness in every possible way. It’s no longer something that he puts on as part of his secret identity or a visual shorthand of sunglasses and a cane — instead, there are a number of key facts revealed through his greater acuity. On the first story page, for example, Matt is aware that their bus driver is lying to him because he can hear his pulse rate increasing.
Waid’s also particularly creative in finding environments that actually challenge Matt’s super-senses; in this case, it’s a snowstorm, which acts the same way radar chaff does in confusing the signals he’s receiving. Artist Paolo Rivera is also at the top of his game, with striking and distinctive images — Matt’s suit, shredded during the accident, revealing bits of his Daredevil costume — and layouts, as when he captures the chaos of a vehicle crash through various inset panels.
Waid’s dialogue is stunning, clever and revealing. I particularly liked the flashback quips about Iron Man — but I always like Marvel characters being light-hearted about Iron Man, because that’s the personality I like for that character. More importantly, this comic shows Daredevil being heroic in a truly unexpected fashion. Instead of Man vs. Villain, as we see so often in superhero comics, this is Man vs. Nature. The relentless cold is a much more implacable foe than even the Kingpin, and while I enjoyed the last couple of issues and their big bad supervillain conflicts, this one was even scarier.
I was totally involved in the story, feeling like I got more than my money’s worth, only halfway through the book. There were lots more surprises to come, some shocking — the revelation about the gasoline — and some wonderfully reassuring — nope, no spoilers here. It’s even quietly seasonal, with a reminder of the season of hope.