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Daredevil: Vol. 1 (Marvel Comics, 2011; #1-6)

This is not the Matt Murdock you’re expecting.

Daredevil books are often pretty dark, depressing reads. Mark Waid’s take on Murdock is a man on the upswing. He’s enjoying the world around him, living his life, and finding a way to inspire the hopeless. But Waid stays true to character: smug, clever, and willing to take risks. He just does it with a grin on his face.

There are hints of storms on the horizon, though. Matt obsesses over Foggy’s health. Foggy worries that Matt is in denial about his past and not coping. And the more Murdock and Nelson find themselves driven out of court because of the poorly kept secret that is Daredevil’s secret identity, the bigger the risks the Man without Fear takes to protect his clients.  Despite its cheeriness, it seems like the center cannot hold.  And that tension adds a fascinating layer to the narrative.

Daredevil’s art is fantastic. Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin’s lines (with Joe Rivera inking Paolo River’s pencils) have a classic, old-school comics art vibe. And Rodriguez and Vicente’s colors are every bit as bold and clean. The ways in which the art team represents Daredevil’s radar sense are some of the coolest panels I have ever seen in comics. Paolo Rivera’s wireframe panels are especially memorable.

If you’re like me, and you are interested in Daredevil but don’t always want the bleakness that tends to accompanies the character, check out this run. It’s carefree on its surface, with a lot of substance and character history (a.k.a. the Mark Waid Special) underneath. It’s a run known for writing and art that work masterfully in tandem with each other.  And the first arc delivers on that reputation.

Collected in

  • Daredevil by Mark Waid, Vol. 1 (#1-6)
  • Daredevil by Mark Waid, Book 1 (#1-10, 10.1, Amazing Spider-Man #677)
  • Daredevil by Mark Waid Omnibus (#1-27, 10.1, Amazing Spider-Man #677, Avenging Spider-Man #6, The Punisher #10)


Writer: Mark Waid | Penciller: Paolo Rivera (1-3), Marcos Martin (1, 4-6) | Inker: Joe Rivera (1-3), Marcos Martin (1, 4-6) | Colorists: Javier Rodriguez (1-3, 5), Muntsa Vicente (4-6) | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle | Editor: Stephen Wacker

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