Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Daredevil - The Fall?

This is the cover and internal panels from issue 15 of Daredevil by Marvel Comics (as if we didn't know that by now).

Written by Mark Waid and currently drawn by Chris Samnee. 

This book is pretty much consistently great. Mark Waid is writing the fuck out if it and it is hitting some great fanboy high points in every issue. The trip to Latveria was a masterstroke. 

For those not reading it. Matt is kidnapped and transported into a tube in a lab that causes him to be unable to use his heightened senses. It turns out that he is in Latveria and is being held hostage and experimented on my Doctor Doom's henchmen.

He escapes, finds a transmission ariel and manages to get a message out to the Avengers. In a great action scene Iron Man appears transports him back home and saves him.

Much has been said about the change in vibe to this new series. It does has a fresh new approach and a certain amount of reinvention by Mr Waid. Let's face it those awards were deserved.

As the story has progressed we are fed a seeming return to normalcy for Matt Murdock. His law firm is active again. He is romancing the ladies without the usual self harming going on. We see him up against some interesting villains, Mole Man being a great example of that. We also get guest appearances by Punisher and Spider-Man and one of the years best crossover events.

But I wonder if we are being sucked in by Waid. Is it a switch and bait? It would appear that in grand Daredevil style that his life is slowly but surely going down the shitter.

None of the romances are (to be honest) going well. Although almost comedic in their interruptions they are failing. His identity remains an open discussion (although I admit it would have to be after the last ten years). He has faced the death of his father again and had to pull a coffin out of the ground. Raising old themes and questions in a literal and symbolic scene.  The rot is setting in?

These two issues of the Doom storyline see him kidnapped and tortured. Stripped of his powers and forced to escape using a combination of force of will, desperation and luck.  Is this a reflection of the real erosion in his daily life?  It would seem to fit.

Mark Waid continues as ever to be an intelligent and well planned out writer and I am impressed with his great use of dialogue in this series. ('You lost him! He was in a coma!') To be honest this recent acclaim has me shouting 'he has always been about you idiots.' it is because of this that I suspect a plan. I suspect that Mr Waid has this slippery slope there looming in our's and Matt's future. We watch and wait. We know it's going to happen.

Eventually we know Daredevil will fall.

I began to feel this theme  a few months ago perhaps subconsciously at first but looking at the art in the last few issues it seems to reinforce my theory.

Chris Samnee currently holds the art torch. I have always been a fan and am used to his work being often (although not always) lighter in tone. Take his Thor: The Mighty Avenger series for example. But some of the pages seem more akin to David Mack and Alex Maleev's style on Daredevil than Samnee's art on say Thor or Captain America. Yes the art initially in this series was light with a Ditkoist sense of fun with crazy panel layouts and carnival style clothes and costumes. But darkness and night seems to be slipping through the cracks. I have posted a couple of panels below to illustrate my thoughts.

To say all this I have to agree that the book is a thoroughly great read. Waid is a gent and a great writer. The interviews I have read and listened to indicate he has a terrific exuberance for the medium and a well honed and tightly planned approach. Long may he reign.

I look forward to see if I am right and more importantly where this all goes.

A great series.


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