Friday, August 9, 2013

Daredevil #28

There's not enough praise you could give this series. Mark Waid and his amazing cabal of artist received three Eisner Awards in 2012, including Best Continuing Series and Best Writer, and that top notch work continues this year. Now Javier Rodriguez steps up to deliver a great character driven opening into this high flying book.

Despite Daredevil being named twice on the cover, this issue is all about Matt Murdock, and what makes him the hero. Childhood bully, Nate Hackett, is down on his luck and needs Matt's help to escape the Sons of the Serpent. With a refresher into Daredevil's origin from a unique character, this issue is a great starting point if you've been missing out.

Waid's run on Daredevil has been a delightfully upbeat approach to the character. For over a decade Daredevil was the gritty and dark street level hero. While Bendis/Maleev had an amazing run on the series, it locked the character into an overly shadowed downer. Waid's last two years of the book has turned it upside down.

The series has seen many artists, who all do an amazing job sticking to Waid's themes of the series. Paolo Rivera and Macos Martin launched the series with a bright, nostalgic illustrations of our horned hero. Chris Samnee's line work and Javier Rodriguez's colors have continued this approach keeping the book light and fun. While Samnee continues on covers, Rodriguez stepped up to pencils for this issue and he does not disappoint.

While Matt's life has been on the up and up, his best friend, Foggy, recently discovered he has cancer. The book opens up with Matt stopping in to cheer up his buddy after a chemo treatment. We soon see that super senses gets the best of our hero as he's over powered by the strong chemicals in the hospital. Like a true hero Matt overcomes this hardship, regains his composure, and joins Foggy to lift his spirits. This scene is another glimpse at the very human side of our vigilante. Foggy has always been a rock in the chaotic storm that is Matt's life, and now the tables have turned.

To keep it fun Rodriguez gives us an awesome page of Daredevil traveling in costume to the law office, with an armful of clothes flapping in the wind. One of the few reminders we get of the vigilante before we get to Matt Murdock at work at the law office. We're introduced to Nate Hackett, a boisterous man who brags about giving Matt the Daredevil name.

Matt quickly recalls his childhood. Remembering how his father pushed him to study and to ignore his tormentors. How a young Nate chased our young hero to the street corner where his tragic origin story would occur. Then, with the same nostalgic feel the series has had, Waid pulls out the classic bully trope. We see Matt's childhood from Nate's perspective. How a young arrogant Matt would brag about how his father could beat up everyone else's. A humbling moment that shows how human Matt is, and another example of him not being the perfect hero.

Nate blames himself for Matt's accident and falls in with the bad crowd. His downward spiral leads him to joining the Sons of the Serpent. When Matt Murdock was ousted as being Daredevil (the epic event of Bendis' run) Nate finds relief and turns his life around, leaving the terrorist group. Unfortunately his past catches up to him as he's falsely arrested for his association with the Sons of the Serpent. So now Nate need's Matt's legal help fighting these false accusations. This is such a fun group of pages, recapping Daredevil's history from the arrogant ox that once bullied him. Rodriguez's character design is stunning as we see Matt and Nate at different parts of their life. Waid once again reinforced Matt's relationship with his father and the long lasting effects it's had on his character.

After all that exposition, Rodriguez picks it back up with a two page spread of Daredevil fighting crime as he thinks through the Hackett case and if he'll take it. The panel placement with the bouncing of the baton controls the quick pace of the moment. This with the earlier page of Daredevil is all we see of the costumed vigilante, illustrating how the costume is just a thin layer of our character. After his brief moment of action Matt has made up his mind and catches up to Nate.

Ever since the tabloids ousted Matt Murdock as Daredevil our hero has lost most of his courtroom credibility. Matt took a positive approach to this and now trains people to defend themselves in their own cases. Another example of how Waid has turned a downward spiral into a spring board for our daring character. Matt catches Nate up to speed and we quickly cut to the courtroom. Nate bumbles through legal jargon while keeping his arrogant attitude in a light-hearted scene. Matt's super senses pick up trouble as we turn the page to the judge shooting down our new favorite character. An exciting end that's sure to make you race out and grab the next issue.

Issue 29 out now!
Rodriguez doubles the action in the next issue as horn-head has to battle his way out of a chaotic courthouse. Samnee returns to pencils with issue 30 which will soon be hitting shelves. This title has been spoiled with amazing artists, and it's awesome to see Rodriguez join that list of names. With Samnee and Rodriguez sharing the illustrations on this book we're guaranteed an amazing read every month. This has been one of Marvel's top titles for over two years, and obviously artist do not take that lightly, stepping up and keeping Daredevil a high flying, exciting comic.

After 2 years of amazing story arcs Mark Waid shows no signs of slowing down. Waid has simplified the character and demonstrates what makes a super hero comic truly entertaining. While Daredevil has taken on new and classic villains, there's still plenty of story in Matt's life. His new approach to legal practice and his friend's hardships show Matt's determination, dedication, and heroic demeanor. Daredevil is more than just a horned bogey man, but a rich character built off the cast around him. Without his father's story, or his best friend Foggy, Double D would just be another cape-less crimson Marvel hero. Now the Sons of the Serpent have snaked their way into our legal system and into the lives of both Matt Murdock and Daredevil. With this new enemy we get a great start into one of the best ongoing super hero series.