Review: Daredevil 2
Mark Waid is on his second issue of Daredevil and things are looking good. Waid has relaunched the title with a shocking amount of hope and optimism compared to the Frank Miller inspired years that have preceded this. The first issue brought the revelation that Daredevil could actually enjoy life, and have fun in his job. The second issue continues that though is not quite as entertaining as the first. The main problem is that not much happens in this issue. Captain America runs after Daredevil because of events surrounding the Shadowland mess, and then there’s Murdoch dealing with his case.
This is a tad unfair, since Waid continues to do write the series well. The dialogue’s great, some of the banter is funny, and personally, I’m glad Daredevil’s stopped talking like the Marvel version of Batman. He sounds wittier, and generally like a happier person. It’s just Mark Waid seems to enjoy drawing the story out, which is fine, but perhaps not conducive when he has only 20 pages. The little things are helping me enjoy the series. For instance, there’s a gay lawyer who isn’t played for jokes. And I’m really digger the copious use of sound effects in giant block letters as they add a pulpy feel to the comic.
This issue at the very least gave me the opportunity to turn from Waid’s writing and pay attention to Paolo Rivera and Javier Rodriguez’s art. It is unique. I don’t know anyone else on the market right now who produces something similar. It definitely reminds me of an older style of drawing, and of the simpler colours of 1950s and 60s art. This connects well with the positive tone that Waid is trying to convey. In fact, I think Daredevil has one of the most upbeat looking versions of the night I have seen in comics. The darkness is portrayed with light flat tones of purple, red and blue.
Rivera produces some beautiful action scenes, and is a storyteller in his own right. In contrast to my review for Hellboy, everything in Daredevil is in constant motion, even if that motion is subtle. This is done just as well, since you rarely see Daredevil ever standing still. He is constantly acting and reacting to his environment, so there’s no reason to go has freeze frame for the drama. It goes well with Daredevil’s he has to be looking for these small movements to see his environment. The other characters are portrayed similarly, as Foggy Nelson’s nervous twitches are shown in contrast to Kirstin’s smooth movements.
The second issue of Daredevil is a worthy read, it’s just plagued with a short length, and little plot. I would give people greater recommendation to get this when it’s a complete trade paperback, as I doubt Waid is going to radically change the pace in the future. There’s nothing wrong with having a slow moving noir-style drama, but it’s not all that satisfying to have only one chapter of it. If you’re going to buy this issue, buy it to see what comes next and so you can appreciate Rivera’s and Rodriguez’s gorgeous art.