Daredevil #7 is a breather issue. After such a dynamic story arc in the first six, writer Mark Waid has decided to lean back and give the man without fear a one off story involving handicapped kids and a bus wreck. Don’t get me wrong, even as a filler issue Daredevil #7 is a solid read. Waid is a born storyteller and that talent comes out even with the simpler arc. Issue 7 also moves along the reinvention of Daredevil as a true hero, not just a weary and soul damaged antihero. Daredevil used to save people and Waid wants to make sure we know that.
On a snowy day with icy roads, a yellow school bus flies off the rails and crashes. Surviving the crash is Matt Murdock and a class of handicapped children Murdock was taking on a retreat. Waid does a good job of building tension by starting Daredevil #7 in the middle. Once the danger of the wreck is established, Waid jumps back to earlier, to a Matt Murdock holiday party. A few things are established here. The first is that Murdock still holds the entire make up of four different criminal empires in his hands. There’s a bit more of a connection made between the female D.A. and Murdock, something I’m sure will grow as the series goes on. Finally, we have the subtext of Waid trying to show how Matt Murdock has changed, how his outlook on life is so drastically different.
After the crash the story morphs into a simple survival tale. The blind children being led by the blind superhero. In a nice twist Waid renders Daredevil’s powers moot by throwing in high winds and heavy snow. Unable to use his sonar, Daredevil gets injured and must ultimately be saved by the children. It humanizes Daredevil and allows Waid to show a vulnerable side to the hero that’s been missing for a long time. Is this the most exciting issue of Daredevil I’ve ever read? No. Is it an issue that will go down in Daredevil history as a classic tale? No, and Waid doesn’t want that. He’s just giving us a little humanity before he opens up whatever barrel of kick ass is coming next.
Paolo Rivera really steps it up here. Either that or I’m just a sucker for a really well done snow scene. I enjoyed how Rivera turns the weather from tranquil to violent slowly over several panels. There were also specific panels that I felt really pushed the story along. Page four, third panel from the left. It’s a simple pencil of Matt Murdock looking at his prize from the earlier battle. The last panel on page 10, a shot of Daredevil trying to use his radar is another gem. Rivera uses his bold lines and colors against the details of weather, which gives the entire issue serious depth. Daredevil #7 is a filler issue, no doubt, but the talents of Waid and Rivera help to keep it above the standard fare.
CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 8/10