Friday, 28 October 2011

Daredevil #5 Review

Daredevil #5
By Waid / Martin

One of the more recent of my increasingly sporadic blog posts was a gushing entry, near overflowing with praise for the first issue of Mark Waid’s new Daredevil relaunch. The comic in question was everything that a debut issue should be, it was vibrant, witty, fast paced and above all fun, with plenty of plot to boot. While the following three issues failed to quite reach these heights, I’m pleased to report that this weeks #5 marks a return to form for the series.

The middle segment of a three part arc, this issue picks up with Matt Murdock (Aka Daredevil) defending a client – in both senses of the word. Once his assailants are dispatched, he gets to work on uncovering the mystery surrounding him and learns of a conspiracy stretching far wider than he anticipated. Waid’s plot is dense and filled with intricacies, a fact that may put off more casual readers but not one that makes it any less readable. This is by no means a shallow read and does require some thought on the readers part, but still manages to be an action packed romp with the brains to counter its full colour superheroics. Waid’s pacing is adept and the story zips refreshingly quickly from scene to scene without ever feeling rushed.

Of course Matt Murdock is not the only member of the books cast, a fact that the reader is ably reminded of through a brief, if intriguing scene checking up on Foggy Nelson. One of the most valuable skills in comic book storytelling is being able to juggle subplots with the main thrust of the story and Waid proves adept at it here. The villain of the piece is skilfully introduced too – on the surface he seems little more than a shallow, well…Bruiser (you’ll get it if you read the book), but there a number of interesting touches to his character and appearance that made him a compelling enough adversary.

Mark Waid and Marcos Martin should be applauded for creating a comic book that works very well on several levels. Light hearted but tense, conventional while still remaining unpredictable, I am willing to bet that this will become one the characters defining modern day runs.