Hello all! Some of you may have wondered where I’ve been for the last couple of weeks though I assume you might have guessed that I’ve just had other things occupying my time. And that’s pretty much what it boils down to. I got caught up in a whirlwind of real life commitments and decided to let myself off the hook as far as blogging was concerned for a little while. However, this review of Daredevil #25 provides the perfect reason to get back into the swing of things again. There’s also plenty of Daredevil news to report that’s not specifically tied to this review, but I’ll return to those items the very end of this post!
First of all, let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that this is issue #25 of Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil. Even artist Chris Samnee, who came onboard later, now has twelve issues of Daredevil to his credit. Javíer Rodriguez, meanwhile, has been around since the very start, coloring almost every single issue of volume 3 thus far. Still, even twenty-five issues in (and that’s not counting a “point one” issue and a couple of cross-overs) it’s been less than two years since Daredevil #1 came out in July of 2011. We Daredevil fans have been spoiled with more than one issue per month, on average, and a creative team who is still going strong. In fact, it seems like they’re just getting warmed up.
Having said that, I didn’t expect to appreciate Daredevil #25 as much as I did. Both the preview(s) and a recent interview with Mark Waid suggested an action-heavy issue. While action scenes are obviously central to the superhero genre, I will readily admit that I’ve always been partial to what happens in between the action scenes. I see them more as a means to an end, I suppose. Still, I know many Daredevil fans would get a big kick out of seeing Matt really battling it out and was more than willing to save much of my enthusiasm for next issue. I knew I’d enjoy Daredevil #25, but wasn’t sure I’d be the target demographic for this particular chapter of the ongoing story.
I was wrong. Not only is the central fight scene amazingly well choreographed (careful readers will note that Chris Samnee is credited as “storyteller,” along with Mark Waid due to the Marvel method approach used in the writing of the issue), but there are enough layers to it to satisfy a wide range of tastes. As has been the case with most issues of this run, no opportunity is wasted to teach the reader more than he or she already knew about who Matt Murdock is and how he approaches everything he does. A new villain – sporting a really cool-looking costume – is introduced that challenges Daredevil in new ways.
Throughout the issue, we learn things we didn’t already know about the kinds of environments Daredevil prefers, why he detests others and how he views his own strengths and weaknesses. We are even treated to a flashback scene featuring Matt’s old mentor Stick (who really should have been reported to child protective services…) and get brief glimpses of Matt’s memories of his father and are reminded of why he is still such a major influence in Matt’s life.
Needless to say, the issue looks absolutely amazing throughout. Chris Samnee takes the relatively freer reins handed to him and goes wild in the best way possible, and Javier Rodríguez’s colors somehow look even better than usual. Despite a wide variety of settings and poses, the art is as easy to follow as it is easy on the eyes. Daredevil #25 is also an unusually brutal and violent read, and the people who are still getting a Silver Age vibe from Daredevil these days (don’t ask me why) are bound to feel a little shocked by the end of the issue.
I continue to be astounded by the variety of scenes and storytelling techniques these guys are giving us every single month, where the one constant seems to be the entertainment value and the consistently high level of quality. Keep it coming, and you’ll keep me interested for years.
As promised, here are some news updates that I didn’t get to posting about while I was on a brief hiatus:
1) July will feature two issues of Daredevil – Daredevil #28 and #29 – both with (line) art by Javier Rodríguez! Yes, you read that right. While Chris Samnee goes on paternity leave for a couple of issues, Daredevil will stay in the “family.”
2) Chris Samnee has been nominated for an Eisner Award! How great is that? Congratulations, Chris! We’ll be rooting for you!