Now deep into his West Coast adventure, Matt Murdock finds himself on a motorcycle chasing another motorcycle up the Golden Gate Bridge as writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee pit Daredevil against the Stunt-Master in “Daredevil” #12. Unsurprisingly, given that it’s Waid and Samnee, this chapter is every bit as approachable as a first issue and gives readers everything they need to know in twenty pages or less — and then some.
Scenes like this motorcycle chase and Daredevil driving a Camaro on the Golden Gate Bridge epitomize what Waid, Samnee, colorist Matthew Wilson and letterer Joe Caramagna are all about: fun. Samnee has a chance to play around with vehicles here and shines remarkably. He then blends in some creative panel choices with sharp diagonals and widescreens all blending together in the course of one adventure and even crafts some of the sound effects into panels. Wilson joins in the fun, giving the Camaro a just-waxed, only-driven-on-really-sunny-days sheen and Caramagna balances the sound effects and dialogue magnificently. In the chase scenes, he opts to forgo overbearing sound effects and his smart lettering lets the readers define the soundtrack in their own minds. When dialogue works its way back into “Daredevil” #12, the balloons are prescribed into perfect position, balancing the tale and maximizing their own impact, melting into Samnee’s art like butter on toast.
Samnee makes a very strong case to read this in paper, as the diagonal and widescreen panels just don’t translate as crisply on the digital platform. They still look great, mind you, and it certainly helps that Wilson’s colors gain an extra vivid sizzle digitally with dazzling glitter-sprinkled daydreams and dimly lit interview rooms. Ironically, it’s the visuals in a comic about a blind man that make this book spring to life, but none of that would be possible without Mark Waid’s writing.
Waid has shown readers what he can do with Daredevil and Matt Murdock. He’s proven time and again that he can reinvent characters or provide a new perspective on matchups and pairings, but he continues to impress. “Daredevil” #12 contains a bit of a twist, a slightly surprising conclusion and a validation of the Stunt-Master name, proving that a good writer can make any character interesting. The most critical piece to Waid’s writing Daredevil is that he never forgets to include the “man” in “The Man Without Fear.” Matt Murdock may not be an everyman in the purest sense of the term, but everything he does makes sense and feels right the way Waid writes him.