by Mark Waid (writer), Paolo Rivera (pencils), Marcos Martin (art), Joe Rivera (inks), Javier Rodriguez and Muntsa Vicente (colors), and Joe Caramagna (letters)

The Story:  Daredevil crashes a wedding to stop a kidnapping but finds that returning to his job as a lawyer isn’t quite as easy as he’d hoped.

What’s Good: After Shadowland, Andy Diggle’s run, and Daredevil: Reborn, it’s hard to imagine a Daredevil ongoing that feels fresh.  Yet, that’s exactly what Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Marcos Martin give us here; this is a Daredevil book that is completely revitalized and new, one the manages to both acknowledge previous continuity while offering a ground floor entrance for even the newest reader.

But despite the major tonal shift and the accessibility of the series, make no mistake: this is a book for Daredevil fans, if not an outright love song.  Waid manages to touch the core of everything component that makes Daredevil a compelling comic and Matt  Murdock an equally compelling character.  Most interestingly, he emphasizes the depth and diversity of the character and property through dividing this extra-sized issue into three features, each one focused on a particular aspect of what makes for a good Daredevil comic.  In the first, we have a story that sees Daredevil in dynamic action, fighting a very creepy villain, and it’s all swashbuckling fun and adventure.  There’s a constant sense of old-school daring-do.  It’s uplifting, high-paced action of a sort that’s uniquely Daredevil.

Meanwhile, the second feature sees Matt entirely out of costume, and delivers something of a legal drama.  It’s a major shift from the first feature, and yet inextricably related in tone, despite the difference in subject matter.  Quite frankly, it felt like watching a superhero-related primetime legal show, and it was just as much fun as the first feature, albeit in a completely different way.

For the final feature, we get a more psychological story, yet another important component to any Daredevil comic.  It’s thoughtful, emotional, and reflective, but while it’s far from grim, despite it’s more sobering tone.

All told, the three features combine for an incredibly well-rounded, diverse, and thorough experience that is, in every one of its parts, completely Daredevil.

There are shared features between the tales though.  Waid does an absolutely fantastic job of portraying the friendship between Matt and Foggy.  It’s nuanced, filled with drama and humour, and the two compliment each other perfectly, their intimate knowledge and comfort with one another instantly made clear.

Then there’s how Waid incorporates Matt’s blindness and super-senses into the comic.  It’s a defining factor for Matt, but far from the only one.  Really, perhaps more than shaping Matt, it shapes the world of this comic in how it’s portrayed.  We constantly see the world as Matt does through his radar-sense.  Matt’s abilities are a constant presence throughout the book and perhaps I should have said that it defines the book more than it defines Matt himself.

Meanwhile, Rivera and Martin offer up art as fresh for DD as Waid’s script.  There’s a charmingly old-school feel throughout and both artists do an amazing job at capturing Matt’s powers and the way they register his surroundings.  Their layouts are dynamic and exciting, the portrayal of the Spot’s powers is creepily awesome, and, again like Waid’s script, Matt and his world are full of life.  It’s art that is innately likable.  More than that, the art is uniquely “Daredevil” in tone, in paneling, in, well, everything, quite honestly.

What’s Not So Good:  As far as accomplishing the aims of a first issue, this is a resounding success.  It’s all about where Waid goes from here.

Conclusion: Truly, a comic for Daredevil fans.  If you’ve ever been even remotely curious about DD but have never read one of his comics, now is the time.

Grade: A

-Alex Evans

 

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