It’s been 30 issues since Mark Waid last wrote “Amazing Spider-Man” and he’s returned to the title for a short crossover with “Daredevil.” Continued in next week’s “Daredevil” #8, “Devil and the Details” has Spider-Man enlisting Daredevil’s help after the Black Cat is arrested for a robbery, assuming that Matt Murdock may be the lawyer she’ll need to clear her name. It’s a simple plot that can be done in two issues and allows Waid to focus on the characters, an area where he excels. That and Emma Rios on art makes “Amazing Spider-Man” #677 a great start to this two-issue crossover.
Despite Waid currently writing “Daredevil,” his approach to this issue is decidedly from Spider-Man’s perspective. It’s not a case of a writer from another comic coming over and writing another issue of it under a different title. Still heartbroken over his breakup with Carlie, Peter wanders New York until stopping a crook and running into the Black Cat. Peter’s narration is completely depressing and cynical; when the crook, scared of Spider-Man says, “Tell my wife I love her…” Peter’s response is a simple “No.” The shift in tone from lonely, depressed Peter to ‘trying to put the moves on the Black Cat’ Peter is amusing, especially since the Black Cat sees right through his act.
The interplay between Spider-Man and Daredevil is even stronger. From Matt Murdock denying he’s Daredevil when Spider-Man swings up to him, addressing him as Daredevil to the two discussing how construction has ruined getting around town for those that swing up street-level, the two talk like old friends that have a lot in common. Sure, Matt’s bottom seems to be even lower than Peter’s, but Waid highlights how the two can relate to one another. And them playing chicken via falling off a building is pretty entertaining, playing up both of their reckless sides.
If there’s something besides Waid’s presence that makes this seem, on the surface, like an issue of “Daredevil,” it’s the art of Emma Rios. Her distinctive style would fit in perfectly on that book, though the character she handles best here is Spider-Man. She plays around with how expressive his mask can be, preferring narrow eyes over the usual larger eyes on the mask. Her Spider-Man is a lanky guy that always seems to be flailing about in twelve different directions, while Daredevil is a guy who exudes confidence, standing all nonchalant and moving with more obvious grace. Considering how similar the two could be depicted, she really gets across their personalities through their movements.
For fans of “Daredevil,” this crossover is almost like getting two issues this month, while regular readers of “Amazing Spider-Man” get a taste of what makes “Daredevil” such a great comic. The plot here is one that allows Waid and Rios to focus on the characters, which isn’t often the case with crossovers. Usually, the plot drives things to the point where characters get lost; it’s refreshing that that isn’t the case here. This comic shows that Waid knows what the coolest parts of crossovers and team-ups are: seeing your favorite characters interacting. Frankly, after this issue, I’d be happy to read a Spider-Man/Daredevil team-up book every month.