Review of Daredevil #24

I don’t know how Mark Waid does it. And by “it” I mean not only write fantastic scenes, but fit so many of them into one issue. The worst part of following a monthly comic is the fact that you have to wait a month between issues. This means that making the reader feel completely satisfied, even when the story is good (perhaps especially when it’s good), is difficult to pull off. While I still got that familiar dammit-now-I-have-to-wait-a-whole-month feeling at the end of reading Daredevil #24, it still feels like I got a full serving of goodness with a cherry on top. Actually, make that something other than a cherry. A chocolate truffle perhaps? Something that’s both dark and sweet. And melts on your tongue. Am I taking this metaphor too far? Probably.

Joking aside, Daredevil #24 is a slam dunk in terms of story progression, character work and pacing. The key to writing Daredevil these days seems to be that the writer, i.e. Mark Waid, constructs a number of pitch perfect scenes that hit one or two key notes, such as suspense, action, humor or something just plain heartwarming. He then inserts the perfect dialogue that makes all the characters come alive, and strings these scenes together in a perfect sequence.

Matt and Kirsten rock-climbing, from Daredevil #24 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

The next guy, artist Chris Samnee, then goes to work on pushing the underlying script to new heights. No detail is left to chance. There’s not a pen stroke too many or too few. Matt fighting canine intruders in his office? Great, let’s make him look freaking awesome doing a crazy-sexy backflip. Foggy lying in his bed at the hospital? Let’s give him that perfect brave yet oh so vulnerable look that makes you just want to hug the guy. Matt decides to chase Kirsten down while rock climbing? Why not have a rock climbing wall that spans multiple dizzying panels, complete with acrobatics and great character interplay!

Then there’s the crazy stuff too, such as Hank Pym holding a very tiny cell phone while being very large. Wonderfully silly, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m running out of words to describe Samnee’s artwork. (Though I could probably think of a few in Swedish if need be.) All the emotional highs and lows – and the humor! – need someone who can convey them really well. I’m so happy that Chris Samnee is that guy.

Matt jumps across his office, from Daredevil #24 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Of course, the greatness of the Daredevil title doesn’t end there. Javier Rodgríguez’s colors are the perfect match for Samnee’s line art, bringing great depth to every panel and further heightening the mood of the various scenes in the book. I also want to take the opportunity to point out Joe Caramagna’s lettering which gets a chance to really shine this issue, especially in the scene with Hank Pym.

So far, I’ve been vague on many of the details of what actually happens in this issue. Some of them, I’ll have to return to in a separate post. Yes, the “revisted” posts are beginning to turn into a standard feature. I will say this though: We get a closer look at the mystery villain and his accomplice. This brings us no closer to any real answers but it makes everything even more intriguing. Foggy also gets a preliminary diagnosis with some very real-world connections (well, played Marvel). And then there’s the situation with Matt and Kirsten. I really like what Mark Waid is doing with her as a character and I think she presents just the kind of challenge that Matt appreciates in his relationships. The two play off each other perfectly.

I wouldn’t change a thing about this issue. It’s wonderful. And surprisingly funny. And tragic. There’s a little bit of everything going on and it all feels real. To everyone involved in putting out this title every single month: Thank you! It’s a great time to be a fan.

Comments

  1. David says

    Wrong. I think it does bring us closer…

    *SPOILERS*

    I think the mystery villain is Bullseye. The solicitation for #27 implies it and the opening scene this issue has photos arranged in a target. He’s in the casket because he’s damaged from Shadowland. Plus when Matt’s going through his villains he stops at “B”

    *End Spoilers*

    I wonder what Waid has planned for Kirsten. How does he plan to make her stand out on her own?

    Will Waid resolve things with Milla? I always thought of Milla’s condition as an almost unresolvable loose end. Almost better if she had died.

    I like how Waid wrote in the “Red Batman” joke. He knows how DD is often perceived and is trying to make him a great hero in his own right.

    This was my favorite issue of Waid’s so far. I really hope he’s writing a Hank Pym ongoing soon, which may happen considering the new Age of Ultron epilogue he’s writing.

  2. says

    Regarding the mystery villain: You may absolutely be right, but I actually suspect it might be someone else. I will definitely return to this in my next post.

  3. Dan Without Fear says

    The one thing I’d change about this issue…? I wish they hadn’t of printed that guy’s letter complaining about Chris Samnee’s art in issue #22!! I get that everyone’s entitled to their opinion and what not. But as a HUGE Chris Samnee fan I did not appreciate reading that letter after lovingly poring over 20 pages of new Samnee-Daredevil goodness…! :sigh: Oh well.

  4. says

    Loved this issue…and the entire Waid/Rivera/Samnee run actually. Really digging Kirsten’s character development. I find myself liking her in the same ways that I liked Dakota North during the Brubaker/Lark run – both are strong, independent women who know what they are/were getting into with Matt. Being a big sports nut, I loved the Mark Herzlich reference. David makes excellent points about our mystery villain, although I tend to think that Waid will go in a more unexpected direction. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be good…I too have a hard time waiting a month between issues.

  5. RMP says

    My feelings on Waid’s Daredevil have varied nearly from issue to issue. Some of the individual issues have been brilliant. Others, like this one, are breezy non-stories in which nothing significant happens. It basically just moves from scene to scene in order to summarize everything that has taken place over the past handful of issues (in fact, there are moments of dialogue that literally provide this summary): a little bit of foggy’s cancer, a little bit of what had happened with Kirsten. We even get dogs which are virtual stand-ins for the blinded goons in issue 23. There is very little actual development in this issue. Frankly, it reeked of being written purely as a jump-on point.

    When a story is serialized, each single issue needs to stand on its own, but this feels purely transitional to me.

    This issue is a perfect example of why Waid’s Daredevil, in my opinion, will never live up to the very best runs. It is all too often missing any sense of urgency, and the stakes are consistently low.

  6. BIll says

    Not sure it’s a good idea for Matt to be hopping around on a rock wall out of costume. Not sure Iron Fist needs to teach Matt to do doggie nerve pinches. Matt’s very good at that stuff. I’m with DANWITHOUTFEAR. With the Internet there is no reason to use valuable space to blast a good creator. There are lots of places to do that if someone really needs to grind and ax.

  7. CBL says

    This issue was loaded with goodness. I can’t believe that Waid has 2 years worth of DD issues to his name already. I must be getting old because it feels like yesterday when this run began.
    There are a lot of excellent panels here to talk about, but the one that sticks in my head is the one where Hank makes it fairly clear that this universe doesn’t have the answer/cure for cancer. I’m glad the time was taken to explain the limitations of this universe. That one panel went a long way in putting my mind at ease. I am ready for the villain reveal now too. It’s been along time coming. I think I might go back and read the first 10 issues again before the next issue hits to see if there are hints about this villain.
    Good times!

    C.

  8. Medda says

    Yeah, I think it’s Bullseye too. I’m inclined to think Waid wouldn’t go with such a well-used character, but…I dunno.

  9. Dan Without Fear says

    Was just thinking about the next few issues coming up and was checking out the covers… am I the only one who didn’t realise that the clothes on the washing line on the cover to issue #26 spell out “DAREDEVIL”!?

  10. TheBoogerKid says

    Your review is great. A person studying sequential art should pay attention to this comic series and all the things it does to keep the audience coming back.

  11. Bee Clayton says

    Another terrific issue. Reading Waid’s interview and this issue’s letters page, I love that they received so much help from the American Cancer Society in researching and detailing Foggy’s illness. This shows that they are treating this sensitive issue with thought and honesty.

    I too like Hank’s answer that even with the all the amazing science of the MU, there is no simple cure for this. Plus, their talk with Foggy’s doctor on his condition and his odds was heartfelt and dramatic.

    Waid has teased us enough with all his tantalizing clues and schemes of this mystery villain. Can’t wait to see who it is.

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