Issue two of Daredevil puts the story on a perilous perch, one that could either launch it into greatness or send it back into what made Shadowland so disappointing. I’m not scared yet, just a bit wary. My faith in writer Mark Waid is pretty strong, and what he’s done with Daredevil in these last issues is nothing short of astounding. In one fell swoop, he’s managed to undo a majority of the harm done during the end of Daredevil’s last volume. Waid’s taken a character who had been spinning his wheels in melodrama and begun returning him to comic book glory. Waid’s methods are simple, while everybody else continues making their series heavy-handed and often boring, he simply allows us to remember how much fun comics used to be.
Daredevil starts this issue in a battle with Captain America. The Avenger is looking to get Daredevil to turn himself in for the mayhem caused during Shadowland. Waid brings out classic Daredevil here, the confident and funny hero who has been missing for so long. Daredevil understands his crimes were terrible, but also knows they weren’t his fault. This time around the man without fear is determined to help people both as attorney Matt Murdock and as Daredevil. That plan takes precedence, so Captain America will have to back off for now. The fight isn’t blood drenched, just high action and full of Daredevil’s zippy one-liners. At a point in his history, Daredevil was almost as quick with the cracks as Spider-Man and Waid lets that aspect shine. Where Waid’s experience comes in is that Daredevil is not disrespectful of Cap, he’s just trying to defuse the situation.
There’s also a deeper story here, one involving a mystery surrounding Matt’s latest client. What begins as a simple civil matter leads Daredevil on a trail that ends up involving the robot workers of some mastermind criminal, the one behind the attempts to steamroll Matt’s client. The very end of the book is where my uneasy feeling steps in. The final page has Daredevil captured and strapped into a machine that looks like it could be used for mind control. I worry about that because I don’t want to read another story arc where Daredevil is “taken over” by something. I don’t think my love of Daredevil could survive another bout of “the devil made me do it”. With issue 2 being as well done as it is, I don’t have too much fear that the series will take a nosedive, but it did give me pause.
Paolo Rivera’s art screams of another era in comic books. It’s not that the art is basic, but it’s focused more on the here and now instead of trying to cram too much into each panel. During the fight with Captain America, Rivera uses sold colors for the backgrounds, which works to give the section movement. When your eye is focused only on the characters and not the backgrounds, the mind is quicker to animate what’s happening. When Rivera needs to give us background detail he does it wonderfully, but his real power is how well he captures the characters and uses the details within them to move the story. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
CRAVEONLINE RATING 8.5/10