Since it launched, I’ve had Mark Waid and Paulo Rivera’s Daredevil on my pull list. I haven’t been able to track down the first issue, though, so I also haven’t been able to dive into it, even though I’ve heard nothing but great things. Well, with issue 8 concluding the Spider-Man crossover I figured Daredevil #9 would be a good place to take the plunge and actually get to read the thing!
I was a little wary, though. Normally when a book gets such consistently good reviews it runs the risk over being overhyped. In addition, Mark Waid was at the forefront of the Silver Age revival started in the late 90’s (and brought to reductio ad absurdum by Geoff Johns). While Waid has consistently been a great writer, with the move in recent years to more high concept comics (think Jeff Parker, Jonathan Hickman, and (to some extent) Geoff Johns) I wasn’t entirely convinced he would fit in with newfangled crazy-idea, high-action, madcap stories that represent the best of the current crop of comic books. (None of this is to say that all comics are trending this way, but when I look at my favorite comics these days that’s the common element I see.)
I needn’t have been concerned, as Mark Waid is obviously too good a writer to be dismissed due to trending styles, as he gets the high concept right with Daredevil and still manages to nail the nuance and characterization any good comic needs.
Matt Murdock heads underground on the trail of coffins exhumed from a New York cemetary by the Moloids, for purposes unknown. As he follows them further and further underneath the city, Rivera’s artwork REALLY gets to shine. It’s moody and eerie, as befits a Daredevil comic, but where he really shines is his representation of Hornhead’s radar sense. It’s graphic, detailed, and truth be told, how I always figured DD “sees” the world around him. And then there’s the nicest touch: Waid and Rivera have CLEARLY thought about the benefits and limitations of a radar sense. The panel of Daredevil navigating down the underground river is nothing short of amazing.
I haven’t been this excited about finding a new comic since I discovered Atomic Robo. If you’ve been looking for something new to check out or just want to see how good a superhero comic can get: Waid and Rivera’s Daredevil.