When you think of Marvel’s answer to Batman, you probably automatically think Iron Man. And why wouldn’t you? Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are both incredibly intelligent individuals who use their mental ability to compensate for a lack of “super power”.
For whatever reason, in my eyes, I always saw Daredevil as Marvel’s answer to Batman. They’ve both lost parents due to the actions of the criminal element, they both operate in seedy surroundings (Hell’s Kitchen & Gotham City) and both series have employed a dark and gritty atmosphere. Oh, and Frank Miller can largely be credited with reinventing the characters for a new generation. Since Miller’s run in the 1980s, writers like Kevin Smith and Ed Brubaker have hammered poor Matt Murdock with as much adversity and personal tragedy as possible. It’s been years since Daredevil has even had a modicum of rest.
Recently, the folks over at Marvel must have thought that the series needed to lighten up a bit. They had to be careful, they didn’t want to lose those tendencies that made the character compelling in the first place. Enter Mark Waid, Paola Rivera and Marcos Martin. While Waid is shouldering the writing duties as well as infusing a new attitude into Daredevil, Rivera and Martin apply golden age visuals as well as their own style to create something altogether unique.
With Daredevil Volume 1, everything old is new again. Returning in this reboot of sorts, Matt and his alter-ego are given a more care-free attitude inside of a much lighter environment. Some forgotten villains return in the form of The Spot and Klaw while also introducing a behemoth known simply as “Bruiser”. While Matt is dealing with these adversaries, his business model is changing. Rather than representing clients in the courtroom, Matt and Foggy begin to counsel those who are unable to pay for a lawyer, instead choosing to represent themselves.
While I did read both Miller and Smith’s run on Daredevil, I missed out on both Brubaker (one of my favorites) and Bendis. Keeping that in mind, I also have next to no experience with the pre-Miller era; therefore, it’s easy to write off my opinion in saying that my exposure to the character is pretty limited. But above all else, I still know what I like and when you compare this to my only other Daredevil experiences, it doesn’t quite measure up.
I’m not saying that there’s anything drastically wrong with this book, it just has some stiff competition. The general story line isn’t anything memorable and the characters are not really all that interesting. That being said, there is a cool scene involving The Spot (something which I thought I’d never admit) in which he breaks the neck of a bystander in a pretty unique way.
I think I’m going to start reading this monthly along with Batman. What can I say, I’m a fan of the character. I’m also interested to see how Waid introduces key adversaries such as Kingpin and Bullseye. I’d say read some earlier Daredevil material before you give this a try.