Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daredevil #2

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Paolo Rivera
Company: Marvel Comics

Elegantly orchestrated.  Elegantly executed.  Simply elegant.  That is what Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera have accomplished with this second issue of the new direction for everyone's favorite blind lawyer and savior of Hell's Kitchen.  The first issue was a wake up call, a blaring salvo that declared the end to the depressed and downtrodden Matt Murdock.  Those elements aren't forgotten about, nor are they ignored, but Waid returns the character to the more upbeat Swashbuckler that he was in the 90's, a turn that is refreshing and provides a point of re-invigoration. That coupled with art that has the keen ability to knock your socks off at every turn, and the notion that this is in fact one of the best books that either Marvel or DC is putting out, doesn't seem that crazy.

Like I said, Mark (Kingdom Come/Irredeemable) Waid's approach to the book is the main difference as to why this book is so good.  With this issue we see Captain America approach Daredevil in order to see that he pays for his crimes that occurred during the whole Shadowland debacle.  That sort of thing could have been taken in ways that we've seen before, ways that felt trite and annoying, but Waid didn't go down the usual paths.  What we get is a combination that bounds off the page, Daredevil style.  Witty repartee, action, and ideas that blaze like fireworks on the page and make Daredevil unique and interesting to watch are the main attraction, and boy let me tell you, is it a blast to watch.

Waid also doesn't ignore the many other aspects of this book.  Foggy Nelson continues to play a major role and Waid writes him in such a human manner, not to mention in a very entertaining way.  He's the everyman that we the reader can insert ourselves into and understand.  He's our eyes and ears into the land of law and superhero that these characters trudge.  Waid also plants the opening seed to the return of a certain villain that seems perfectly suited for our titular character, but with a bit of a new spin.

Now, while the writing is an important piece of any work of fiction, in comics, the art is sometimes even more so.  It's the thing that can grab a person's attention right when they open the first page, seize the attention of their brain and make the ride that much more enjoyable.  Paolo Rivera is this kind of artist.  His line work is amazing.  It is clean, decisive, and captivating on so many levels.  He makes everything about Waid's script even more exciting, and the way that he shows off Daredevil's enhanced abilities (which he uses them all) may in fact be the best version that we've ever seen.  The art is also helped even more by the strong outings of inker Joe Rivera and the subtle and immensely beautiful colors by Javier Rodriguez, who reminds me a bit of Jose Villarrubia in a lot of ways.

Add all of these things up and you get a book that is as close to flawless as you can get.  Daredevil is back, no doubt about it, and I for one can't wait for this expertly written and scintillating artistic extravaganza to continue.  Or in other words, next month simply can't come fast enough.

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