Mark Waid’s Daredevil is, hands down, my favorite Marvel series right now because it (a) is well-written, (b) boasts gorgeous artwork, and (c) feels like a Marvel series from my youth—albeit with a modern spin. Daredevil himself is something of a hard-luck hero “in the Mighty Marvel Manner”—to borrow a catchphrase from Smilin’ Stan Lee: even when he wins, he’s not always celebrated, and his double-life complicates matters for his semi-secret civilian persona, Matt Murdock, attorney. Waid’s skill with first-person narration allows us to experience Murdock’s various peaks and valleys from our hero’s perspective and further humanizes him. For example, in Vol. 6 of the trade paperback series, the unmitigated joy he feels as he takes control of the Silver Surfer’s board and zips around The New York skyline is utterly infectious; even the most jaded reader would have to smile when DD bonds with the Surfer’s ride.
Daredevil by Mark Waid, Vol. 6 fairly crackles with energy and offers up a variety of story experiences in the five issues it collects. It opens with a two-part morality tale in which Murdock defends his childhood bully, a small-time hood who is trying to leave a hate-group called the Sons of the Serpent. Apparently, that’s not easily done, and our hero’s faith in the Justice system is shaken. Different types of sight and blindness are explored in DD’s team-up with the Silver Surfer, and a team with the Hulk is an espionage yarn involving super-weapons that could wipe out New York. Really, though, it looks at the friendship between Daredevil and the Hulk, and that’s pretty doggone cool.
Art-wise, what’s not to love? Javier Rodriguez, Chris Samnee, and Matteo Scalera deliver the goods. There is a touch of an Eisner- or Toth-inspired noir quality in Rodriguez and Samnee’s chapters, while Scalera brings a certain shiny sleekness to Waid’s tale of dangerous-weapons-in-the-wrong-hands.
10/10 – How can you allow yourself to put off reading the best thing Marvel’s got going right now?