I haven’t read much “Daredevil” in the recent past, but I am familiar with the character. The last issue of “DD” I read was somewhere during the storyline where Murdock was still claiming he wasn’t Daredevil. Maleev was on art and Bendis was writing. It was a solid read, but didn’t grab me. The reason I decided to pick this one up, however, was because Greg Rucka jumped on for the arc that starts in this issue, re-teaming with his old “Gotham Central” pal, Ed Brubaker. Knowing what I know, and knowing what I’ve heard of folks raving about Ed and Michael Lark’s take on DD, I decided to give this a spin.
Any comic book reader who’s plunked down their cash for a Marvel comic in the past few years is familiar with the “Previously In. . .” page that leads into the main story. In this case, I actually started there and read forward. The “Previously” page left a little to be desired. While I know Foggy and was familiar with Luke Cage’s relationship with Daredevil, I still have no idea who the lady in the wheelchair in Matt and Foggy’s office is. That said, these were minor impediments to my reading the book.
Brubaker and Rucka bring home a solid story that focuses on Matt Murdock’s friends trying to find a way to reclaim their friend from the self-destructive and violent path he appears to be on at the start of this book. The story moves quickly and reveals a lot of what we need to know that is relevant to the action. But the action doesn’t drive the story. One of the things that’s bothered me, or kept me away from “Daredevil” was the seeming lack of action throughout. Frequently, I’d pick up the book and thumb through it during Bendis and Maleev’s run and the talking heads — while gloriously rendered — just didn’t coerce me into buying the book. Now, I’m thinking I may have been wrong.
Brubaker and Rucka leave Matt out of most of the book, which invested my interest in the character as I learned about his friends’ quest to help him. Their concern triggered concern in me. Classic stuff.
Lark, Gaudiano & Hollingsworth make a very nice team on the visuals, with the look of the book hovering between lightbox generated photorealism and Photoshop-rendered masterworks. I’ve recently revisited some of Lark’s work on the “Legend of Hawkman”, but looking at his stuff here, I can see he’s evolved a bit, while retaining his unique, gritty, realistically-flavored style. The camera doesn’t go crazy to keep Lark entertained, but it moves to keep the story progressing. Lark has a very cinematic feel to his work and I’d like to see more from him.
When I reached the end of the story, I had to go back and count the pages, as the story was well-paced and felt shorter than a normal read. Of course, the five-page Moon Knight preview at the end of the book might have had something to do with me thinking there was more to read or that I had somehow gotten gypped out of more story. I’d dare say that’s a testament to the story itself that I would even hope there was more to it buried somewhere.
“Daredevil” #107 was a fine reintroduction to the character for me, but the same might not hold true for everyone picking this up. If you don’t have at least a passing knowledge of the character and his supporting cast, then you could find yourself a little lost. If you don’t mind getting a little lost once in awhile, this book offers you a decent chance to explore. This story starts a new adventure for Matt Murdock, his friends and his readers. I’ll definitely be back for part two.