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.
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.
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.