This week’s comic pick: DAREDEVIL #6 (MARVEL COMICS)
Written by: Mark Waid
Art & Cover: Marcos Martin
I’ve been really digging this new Daredevil series because of its lack of continuity and its back-to-basics approach to super hero stories. After the clusterfuck that was Shadowland, I think Matt Murdock needed a bit of a reprieve from the whole “ninjas and demons and possession” thing.
This issue has Daredevil fighting Bruiser, who kind of struck a chord with me as a unique villain; he wants to “move up the ranks” of fighting heroes in order to fight people like the Hulk, but realizes that he has to gain experience at doing so, lest he get whupped.
This seemed to be quite a weird quality to have, but I ended up enjoying it a whole bunch; Bruiser didn’t seem necessarily evil, just misguided. I mean, the guy could have easily been a wannabe hero starting at street level with aspirations of taking down the mob, but sometimes the villain-y role just seems more alluring.
Sometimes, simplicity is best: he’s a hired thug, but he’s not dull and/or dumb. He brings the fight to Daredevil and is taken down by logical and practical means. I also found it kind of cool that he’s sponsored by various terrorist groups, and wears patches like a NASCAR suit: a guy’s gotta eat, I guess.
As usual, Martin’s art is phenomenal, and the above sequence was easily my favourite part of the book. The contrast between Daredevil’s silhouette and red eyes on the blue of the water really gave me the feeling of sensory deprivation.
There’s also a sequence later in the book where Daredevil uses his radar in order to figure out that Bruiser’s skeleton can’t support the strain that his center-of-gravity-shifting powers are putting on his body. I found this a novel and interesting way to expand DD’s power set without crossing into ludicrous territory; having him being able to sense the guy’s bones cracking doesn’t seem to be too farfetched.
All in all, I’m impressed by Mark Waid’s ability to write a likeable, interesting Daredevil. Matt Murdock is personable and competent, giving readers a likeable protagonist between his stints in red pyjamas. His supporting cast — hopefully supplemented by an addition this issue — remains robust and important.
Martin’s art can be described as a “rough Samnee”, in that it’s “old school” without ageing the content that’s being shown. I’d say it’s different from Darwyn Cooke, whose art tends to make the stories he tells seem just as antiquated (DC: The New Frontier, his Catwoman stuff).
Martin’s cover has an old-school boxing/wrestling poster vibe to it, which I just love. It frames the conflict of the issue, introduces both parties and lets us know we’re in for a hell of a ride: it doesn’t disappoint.
If you’re not reading this book, you should be. Even if you don’t like Daredevil, you’ll find this book is very newbie-friendly, and the art will make it look amazing on any shelf.