Daredevil #1 - By Waid / Rivera / Martin
It isn't often that I will gush with praise over things (or at least I hope not), but I am going to give you an advanced warning: I will be doing so in this post. So if that sort of thing bothers you, turn away now (preferably to one of my other posts).
With that out of the way I can get to the business at hand - possibly the best produced comic book that I have read for some time. Before this issue was released much was made of the decision to return Daredevil to his superhero roots after years of his adventures being swathed in darkness and despair. This was certainly not a misrepresentation of the approach taken by Mark Waid to this issue - within the first few pages we are knee deep in swashbuckling superheroics, as the man without fear takes on classic Spider-Man villain the Spot. Right from the off Waid's writing bristles with enthusiasm, with Paolo Rivera as inventive as ever. He and Martin working in tandem are a supremely wise choice of artists, and do a sterling job illustrating Waid's witty script.
Far from being solely focused on its action sequence this issue does a fine job of establishing the characters new status quo, one that I find immediately appealing after years of dark, angst ridden stories (not that a lot of them weren't enjoyable). While Matt Murdoch as a lawyer is far from a new development there is enough unique spin placed on it here to make it intriguing. The cliffhanger does not have me quite as excited as the rest of the issue but nonetheless I am curious to see where Waid takes it.
The back up story, far from being superfluous was very enjoyable, and benefited from superb art from Marcos Martin, who makes even the most mundane sounding action utterly engaging. While the plot is far from thrilling and little happens, it works well as a character piece and a good way of establishing Matt and Foggy's relationship.
As a series that I have eagerly anticipating since it was announced, it brings me great pleasure to recommend this issue more than any I have read for a long time. Yes, it is vastly different to how Daredevil has been portrayed in recent years but don't let this put you off - it actually fits the character more effectively than you might think. I would struggle to think of a better debut issue than this for quite a while, I just hope that the rest of the series can live up to my already lofty expectations.