Sunday, 21 April 2013

It's Daredevil week!!!

So this week my pull list was significantly reduced to just two comic books. Fortunately for me, these two comics were not only two of the best books that I have been reading, but they are both Daredevil books, with the release of Daredevil #25, the ongoing series by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, and Daredevil End of Days #7, the one-off story which brought back the great Daredevil writing team of Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack. With that in mind I thought to myself "this is going to be good week to read comics" and the only problem I'd have would be what I'd read first.

So I started with Daredevil End of Days #7, which saw Ben Urich continue to piece together what had happened to Matt Murdock leading up to his death, with his search now taking him to the Hand, which seems to have morphed into a rather sinister (and disturbingly familiar) religious sect, and ending (in this issue anyway) with a shocking reveal as to the legacy of the Daredevil.
Don't let the cover fool you, Tyhoid Mary doesn't make an appearance.
Unfortunately, as great as this series has been up until now, this issue is most definitely the weak link in chain. It's not a bad issue, it's simply quiet what with Urich returning to the books initial formula of interviewing people for information. This changes tack in the latter half of the issue where quiet introspection becomes a all out super-hero fight, but by then this issue feels a lot like filler between what has come before and the next issues (I'm assuming) grand finale. Despite the lack of story progression here, this book is still not a bad book with the artwork still consistently top-notch (That Taneka guy and the Apartment panels were rather creepy in my book) and the final page reveal totally blew me away (and makes me want to go back to see if it wasn't hinted at previously). I just think that this is one of those issues that will probably better within the whole of the story than on it's own, but seven issues in to an eight issue series I'll be back for that final issue, still convinced that this is a fantastic book despite the disappointment I had here.

So, after being slightly let down, I moved on to Daredevil #25, which finally, after months of building it up, brought the current (as opposed to End of Days future) Man without Fear face to face with (one of) the villains behind all his recent attacks and troubles. Now I've read Daredevil for years and he's always been a character who is very dark, moody and noir-esque, but never have I read him written with such flair. Mark Waid, who started writing on this book in a very light, swashbuckling tone, seems to have returned the character to his roots, while at the same time made it so completely different and, in fact, infinitely more engaging.
Someone's been raiding Murdock's old costume wardrobe!!
In this issue, Waid introduces a new villain who is, without doubt, a good contender to replace Bullseye as DD's primary nemesis and the whole issue is spent in a fight scene between the two, interspersed with flashbacks of the hero being trained by Stick. I read through this issue twice and was engrossed from cover to cover both times as this story was so tightly written and was occurring with such urgency and energy. This book is so well written, but it's put over the top by Chris Samnee and Javier Rodriguez's art which is just so vibrant but at the same time feels timeless. It looks like a callback to 60's Daredevil comics and while I've never been a fan of older art (I'm all about the present) this is by far the best art I see anywhere.
To be honest, this is the best book I read. Full Stop. The story is so fantastic that I kinda wish I had read it first now. This is a character who is being written at his best and the end of this issue is so gut-wrenchingly painful to read that I'm not sure I can wait a month before the story continues. Many comic book reviewers say this is the best book on the shelves. There are NOT lying!!! I just wish every book was THIS good!!!

And so, that's Daredevil week over, and while I'm disappointed that Daredevil End of Days fell into a (hopefully) brief lull, the characters' regular, ongoing series more than made up for that. It kinda breaks my heart knowing that I have to wait a month before I can get the next issue, but hopefully next weeks stash (The Massive, Fantastic Four and FF) can work at being half as good as Daredevil and keep me happy.

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