After a brief diversion in the form of a two part crossover with Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil returns to solo adventures with this weeks #9. Although the story's after effects are felt through the Black Cat's presence, this is a more simple tale, told in the Mighty Marvel Manner, as Matt Murdoch pursues the kidnappers of his deceased father's body through a subterranean lair belonging to a villain whose presence is made fairly obvious through the issues cover.
Although the issue is pretty straightforward, it is still a finely crafted piece of comic book storytelling. Mark Waid constantly keeps readers up to speed with the series' various subplots, sprinkling them throughout the story in a pleasingly unobtrusive fashion. Although it sounds like a less than challenging art, subplots are rarely used to their full potential in modern comic book, yet Waid manages it with aplomb. The introduction of the Black Cat as a love interest was a fairly predictable move, but that does not make it any less interesting, and the mysterious technological artefact in Matt's possession is still very much at the forefront of the series' ongoing plot.
The issue's main story, featuring Matt tracking his fathers coffin, feels old school in nature, but has enough macabre charm to make it more than a throwback to the Silver Age stories that are clearly of great influence to Waid and Rivera. Although simple, the story is never predictable, and Waid's pacing is spot on throughout. Daredevil's personal connection to the plot is a refreshing move too, and ensures that his characterisation remains at the forefront.
Mark Waid has transformed Daredevil from a grim, gritty, and frankly slightly boring character, into a swashbuckling throwback to an era of comics that seems long forgotten in the minds of many writers and editors. His character still has depth, but of a different kind to what has been seen in recent years, and the story is refreshing action packed and fast paced. Paolo Rivera's art too is a joy to behold, he has a brilliantly unique style, and every page is packed with fantastic touches. This would be a series worth reading for its storytelling alone, which makes Waid's increasingly engaging plots all the more welcome.