Saturday, August 13, 2011

Exfanding (Kind Of) Review: Daredevil, Volume 3, Issue 1

As I sit down to write today's post, I can't decide if I have a borderline migraine headache, or if there's some sort of alien creature attempting to burrow into my skull.

It's definitely one of the two, though.

Currently, I'm leaning towards a borderline migraine, but there have been signs that I may in fact have an otherworldly creature now residing in my cranium.

That, or the voices I'm hearing are actually people talking to me and saying things like, "Alex, everything on your desk is due yesterday."

Such a strange communiqué from my alien visitor...

Anyway, the reason I've decided to tell you all this in front of a review is that, despite the burrowing alien creature/migraine headache/work-caused brain breakage, I enjoyed the living heck out of this book.

So much so, in fact, that I feel the need to tell you all about it, despite said horrible, burrowing creature.

Oh, and when I say "book," I mean, "issue." Because it's a comic.

What's more, though, it's a Marvel comic. That's important because, if you've been paying attention, I haven't given much love to Marvel this year.

Mostly because I am entirely uninterested in their latest events, Fear Itself and Spider Island. And because of the nature of comics, pretty much anything with a Marvel banner across its top also has a Fear Itself banner.

So, just to recap. Fear Itself = Alex Saves Money and/or Spends Money on Other Things.

Harsh? Yes. It is. Actually, it's probably the harshest thing I've ever said about a comic, an event, or a comic book company since the inception (BWOOOONNNNGGGG) of this blog.

We tend to not talk about things that we don't like, reasoning that there's plenty of negative on the Internet. And so, I haven't mentioned any Marvel books (save Ultimate Spider-Man and Scarlet), pretty much since January.

What I've been doing lately at the ol' comics shop is this. Walk in, check out all the DC/Vertigo books, sweep the indies, glance at the Marvels.

So when the relaunched Daredevil, issue one, came out about a month ago, I mostly ignored it. Until my buddy told me that it was one of the best single issues he's read in a long time.

Now, I haven't read a Daredevil comic in a while. After Brian Bendis left the book, I started in on the Ed Brubaker run, but abandoned it after the first arc. It too depressing.

I jumped back on board about a year ago, only to jump right off because the book too depressing.

Poor Matt Murdock. A long-suffering Marvel Universe hero, Daredevil has had a pretty rough decade. Or two. Elektra. Karen Page. Being outed. Being arrested. Foggy. Shadowland. Stick. Matt's life in general.

One depressing, dark, unbearable tragedy followed by another, each building upon the one before.

It was tough to watch.

Daredevil is my favorite character behind Batman and Goon, so I know a thing or three about him. He's such a great character due in large part to the absolute horrors that he's been put through and that he's managed to overcome.

But enough, already.

Give the Devil his due. Give Matt Murdock a break. Let the man smile once in a while.

And that's where writer Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin come in. With the newly number one-d series, it's obvious from panel one that this is a different kind of Daredevil story.

First of all, it takes place during the day. Second of all, it's not raining. And third of all, Mr. Murdock smiles.

But Waid is the comic writer's comic writer, and he knows the history of this character better than anyone. So he revolves his story--his upbeat, hopeful story--around Matt's dark past.

But instead of focusing on that past, Waid's DD looks to the future. And he does so with a glimmer of hope that hasn't been on the character's face in 10 years.

There's plenty of action right away, but then the entire book turns into Matt and Foggy walking through the City. And it's the best superhero comic I've read in a long, long time.

The art is stunning, and sweeping, and impactful.

How else can I sum it up? How's this.

This book should win the Eisner for best single issue.

There. That should do it. And I mean it.

There's a preview over on iFanboy, and if that doesn't get you to go out and buy this book, then you flat out just don't like comics.

Sweeping, general statement? Sure. But I get to say things like that on this blog.

So, go. Please. No knowledge of continuity required. Just pick it up, enjoy, and, corny as it sounds...marvel at it.

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