Daredevil #8 – Friday Flash Review
Shadowhawk and Bane of Kings take a look at the eighth issue of the recently rebooted Daredevil series from Marvel Comics.
“A mysterious and creepy villain combined with Matt Murdock chilling out with his girlfriend for a day trip, how could this not be great?” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields
“Marvel’s Best Title on shelves right now. Go and buy it ASAP – this is a good jumping on point for newcomers to the series, and trust me – you won’t regret it.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields
As a relatively new reader to Marvel Comics, especially Daredevil, it feels to me as if writer Mark Waid thrives best when he works with the lesser known villains. In all the Daredevil comics I’ve read from him to date, I haven’t yet come across a villain that matches someone like Doctor Octopus or Loki. In the rebooted Daredevil especially, he has focused on smaller, lesser-known villains who seem to largely get ignored, who fade in the background. In this week’s issue of Daredevil, Mark Waid tackles the Purple Man, and he could very well be one of the creepiest villains I’ve read of to date in comics.
Mark’s setup for the story in this issue is something that seems to have been set in motion a long time ago, when Brian Michael Bendis was on Daredevil if my Google-Fu bears out, and the way that the villain makes his entry and exit was something that appealed to me. Quite creepy, but oh so much fun precisely because of that. And it isn’t as if Mark pulls any punches or anything here, he goes straight for what he wants and he takes it. He lets the Purple Man’s schemes come to fruition, although in not quite the way that he expected, and he takes the reader along for a ride, ending the issue on a seriously creepy note.
On the flipside, the other half of the comic has to do with Matt Murdock aka Daredevil chilling out with his girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie in San Fransisco Zoo and then later aboard her father’s yacht. Previous issues have been very action and politics-heavy for the hero, so it is nice to see him taking some time out of things, to let his personal life assert itself over his professional life. And his interactions with Kirsten really pulled me in. I wasn’t reading the title before its recent debut, so I don’t have much of a history with Kirsten or even with any of Matt’s other supporting cast, but based on this series so far, I’m really getting pulled in, and Kirsten is one of the big reasons for it.
Everything starts to come together at the end here and Mark pulls off what could have been a much more complicated and disappointing story in the hands of a lesser writer.
With respect to the art, we have Chris Samnee on the pencils with Matthew Wilson on colours and VC’s Joe Caramagna on the letters. As always with the previous issues, this one too has some incredible artwork. The scenes with the Purple Man all primarily take place in the dark and in the shadows, and the scenes with Matt and Kirsten are very upbeat and taking place in the open, in the day. The differing tones of the art complement the story really well and one element that really sold me on the artwork here was how the Purple Man’s powers were reflected in his dialogue being coloured purple. Nice little touch there!
A must read for sure, this one.
As far as I’m concerned, Daredevil is probably Marvel’s best title on shelves right now. Issue after issue Mark Waid keeps putting out some stellar narrative and Chris Samnee delivers equally spectacular artwork, contributing to the ongoing storyline as well. The only book that even comes close to this series from Marvel would be Peter David’s All New X-Factor, and as a result this book is one of the first few issues that I read when it comes out. And it’s safe to say that once again, Waid delivered another winner with the latest issue.
If you haven’t been following the series and want to know what all the hype is about, then you can jump on with this issue with little problem, for it’s the beginning of a new arc. And even if you’re not overly familiar with the character himself, then the introduction at the beginning of the issue will get you up to date with what’s happened so far. Matt Murdock’s in San Francisco with his new law practice, and his girlfriend Kristen McDuffie, still keeping up his practices as the Man Without Fear.
There are several good reasons to start reading Daredevil now if you’re not aside from the fact that it’s already newcomer friendly. Mark Waid is an Eisner Award winner and one of my favourite writers in the comics industry, having brought us several hits like Superman: Birthright, which is one of the definitive origin tales for Clark Kent among other hits. He rarely puts a foot wrong and his strong consistency makes him perfect for this book. And that’s before you even get to the artist, Chris Samnee, who’s just as good, with his dynamic and awesome pencils really making this book a winner. And when you consider that there’s an upcoming Netflix original series coming soon, this makes Daredevil certainly something that you won’t want to miss out on. I strongly urge you to jump on board this book if you’re not reading already – because you won’t regret it.
Mark Waid keeps the book feeling fresh, consistent and down to earth with his compelling narrative that keeps exploring character development as well as fleshing our character growth. He’s smart, confident and it really shows in his writing, with the book coming across as one of the better written titles on shelves right now not just at Marvel.
I’ve already raved about Chris Samnee’s artwork but it’s worth another mention because of how good it is. The attention to detail and excellent panel work make him standout as one of the most visually eye catching artists on shelves today. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a Daredevil book without Samnee on pencilling duties, his artwork is just that good. It’s also important not to ignore Matthew Wilson’s colours on this title, which are very atmospheric and awesome indeed. They don’t look out of place in comparison with the previous seven titles and as a result if you’d rather tradewait the change in colourist from Javier Rodriguez to Wilson won’t feel too jarring.
In conclusion then, Daredevil #8 barely puts a foot wrong. It’s an excellent starting point for a new arc which newcomers can jump on board without any problems, and fans who have been keeping up with this series won’t be disappointed. You won’t want to miss this.