Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera’s “Daredevil” #10 delivers the same emotionally resonant and beautiful work that fans have come to expect of the new series. Somehow melding the almost old timey fun of comics of yesteryear with the intricate greys of modern storytelling, Waid and Rivera have captured something powerful in their new Daredevil series.
In this issue, an otherwise run of the mill plot with a dark underbelly has Daredevil hunting down Mole Man in the hopes of retrieving the bodies disturbed by a mass grave robbing. Of course, rather than just an inconsequential romp, this story has a beating horrifying heart, not only in Matt’s rage over disturbed graves and missing bodies including his own father, but also when it’s revealed all Mole Man was trying to do was in fact be reunited with the one person he ever loved, also now deceased. This of course does not justify Mole Man’s actions, but it is that meaty morally ambiguous area Waid finds in our villain’s motives that makes the story much more powerful than it might have otherwise been.
As with all their “Daredevil” work, Rivera and Waid make a fantastic team, collaborating with almost flawless precision. Rivera’s action is so crisp, clean and precise that Waid doesn’t have to over-narrate. Waid provides Rivera with a script full of visual treasures from the emotional breakdown and epic heroics to even the dark oh-so-very-grey truth of things. The story is unequivocally dark, especially in its final notes and Matt’s statement about the law and perhaps life itself. However, paired with Rivera’s light superhero style, it rises above feeling grim and gritty without real cause and instead becomes poignant and sad.
Considering all the press it’s gotten, one assumes that people who love superhero comics are already watching “Daredevil” with a close eye, but ten issues in, even a simple story like this one proves this book is in excellent hands. So much of what Waid and Rivera have tapped in “Daredevil” is what has been missing in mainstream superhero comics. It manages to be important and also entertaining, full realistic darkness, but with the hope that should come with superhero stories.