Mark Waid and Chris Samnee find a creative angle in “Daredevil” #16 to give readers a slightly new look at Matt’s powers by giving us a peek at Hank Pym’s Ant-Man-sized experience of Matt’s powers.
It’s hard to find new ways to new ways to talk about the basics of superheroes, but Waid does it well as Hank Pym literally travels inside Matt Murdock while trying to destroy the virus destroying Matt. As a result, Hank experiences what it’s like to be Matt, to have the limited senses and the faith it takes to trust what you “see.” Both men have some bleed over while Hank fights away inside and their memories mix and blend, showing parallels in their lives. The contrast is nice and it does a good job of illustrating the similar paths of superheroes without feeling hacky or overdone.
Samnee’s art is just straight up fun. It simultaneously has a classic feel, while still looking clean and modern, giving readers the best of both worlds; updated cool looking comics that have that touch of nostalgia that we sometimes crave. The colors by Javier Rodriguez are similarly appropriate with none of the overly digital feeling that would be a mismatch for Samnee’s art, but plenty of superhero pop and shine. Samnee (and Rodriguez) make some beautifully smart choices throughout, like rendering Hank Pym’s hunt for his gun in the darkness a panel of creepy shadows and an especially grim panel in which Murdock’s father’s skull becomes even more horrifying when reflected back at us in his red glasses.
Perhaps best of all is the effortless storytelling on display as Samnee flawlessly moves from an operating room to the inside of Matt, to inside the memories shared by Matt and Hank. Samnee knows exactly when to keep everything tightly bound in panel and when to break the panel for maximum effect.
“Daredevil” #16, while not especially ground breaking or important, is still solid comics — in some ways, it’s comics storytelling at its finest. When a story is told with no great twist or hook is still utterly enjoyable, it’s clear the reader is in good creative hands. This issue also highlights how exceptional the creative teams on “Daredevil” are — when Samnee is your guest artist, you have a damn fine comic indeed.