Daredevil #6 by Waid / Martin
Mark Waid has achieved the unthinkable in just six issues - the acclaimed writer has made Daredevil fun again, ably assisted by his art team of Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera. This may seem a small victory, after all many forget that Daredevil was founded on the light hearted ideals shared by much of Marvel's 1960's output - but in recent years the character has been put through the emotional wringer, surrounded by death, violence and high crime. His propensity for emotional turmoil has been such that it is now considered a fundamental part of Matt Murdoch's character. Mark Waid will not change that overnight, but what he has done with his opening six issues is convinced me that there is a place in Daredevil's world for sunshine as well as gloom.
This issue is action packed from the get-go, with Daredevil hot on the heels of a deadly new adversary. The action soon shifts to an underground hideout straight out of the 60's and a plot that would not have been out of place there either! This issue does perhaps lack the nuances and intelligence of some of Waid's other issues, but in place there is fast paced action that the equal of any book currently on the stands. At first glance Bruiser seems a somewhat uninspired new adversary, but Waid manages to put a modern day spin on the character that sets him aside from the rest of Daredevil's rogues gallery. A repeat appearance would be more than welcome.
Without taking anything away from the quality of Waid's script, it is once again the visuals that make this such a joy to behold. Marcos Martin's pencils are energetic, detailed and crisp. His layouts are brilliantly imaginative and tell the story with refreshing verve. His style feels retro, while still embracing the advances of the 21st century.
Six issues in this, this title is no longer the surprise hit that it was at its debut. What is perhaps more remarkable is that Waid, Martin and Rivera have largely sustained the same level of unbroken quality. There have been peaks and troughs, of course, but the troughs have been infrequent and the peaks have been pleasingly maintained. Daredevil may not yet be able to boast the levels of emotional depth that it could under the likes of Bendis and Brubaker, but it is all the more well rounded for it. This is not a comic that anyone will dislike, and I would wager that few will not love it. Bold? Yes, but in this case well deserved.