“Daredevil” #10.1 is not the most impressive issue of this series to date. While it still delivers a complete, likeable story with good measures of tension, humor and action, it simply isn’t as polished as other issues.
Through caption boxes, Mark Waid uses the inner monologue of Matt Murdock to bring the reader up to speed on who Matt Murdock is, how he became Daredevil and what the two of them are doing with their lives. Waid also puts Murdock in a public place where he is able to make light of Murdock’s alleged double-identity as Daredevil. Murdock denying he is Daredevil has been a mainstay of this series, but here it gets a little more play. Waid then takes it further by dropping Murdock into a scenario that would be excessively trying for Daredevil, forcing Murdock to play it cool. The resulting narrative is a brilliant character study.
Khoi Pham’s art is very sketchy, bordering on incomplete in many spots throughout this issue. As a matter of fact, the art is more Pham trying to invoke his very best Marcos Martin. The artwork gets a goose whenever Daredevil shows up, but the scenes surrounding those appearances by default lack visual impact. Throughout the entire issue, there are not a lot of backgrounds. Part of that might be Pham focusing on Murdock and Daredevil, but it also adds to the incompleteness mentioned earlier.
Those same open backgrounds are playgrounds for Javier Rodriguez’s creativity. Some of the choices, like the hot pink tones around the interrogation room (even when shown from outside without Murdock present) really pop out and jar the reader. It seems like a really odd choice to me, especially as it was used for Murdock’s radar sense while entering the room, but Murdock isn’t outside the room when it shows up with the same coloring later on. The majority of Rodriguez’s work, however, is suitable for the adventures of Daredevil.
All in all, this issue serves two purposes: it sets up the next storyline and it provides insight into the character’s current predicament. Those two storylines are intertwined and set to explode in a crossover with “Avenging Spider-Man” and “Punisher.” This issue is simply the set up for the bigger bang to come. “Daredevil” #10 left the story set up for the crossover, but this issue adds a “between the raindrops”/deleted scene to the continuing story. It’s not a necessary installment, but it does at least provide some more insight and an entertaining story.