As I mentioned in my review of last issue, there was so much to love about Daredevil #10 that I might feel compelled to return to it in a separate post. Well, that time is now! Before we dive in, however, I just wanted to let you know that Comic Book Resources has a Daredevil interview with Mark Waid, from earlier in the week, which also features some amazing unlettered preview art from Daredevil #10. Okay, let’s get to it!
Daredevil describes depression
Isn’t it amazing what a strong message a simple series of all-black panels can send? At the bottom of the page, we finally see Daredevil as a tiny speck of red. He’s in a fetal and grasping his torso, much like the pose we remember from the second issue of Born Again (Daredevil #228, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli). What makes this image even more striking though, is the absence of a background. He’s not resting on anything, not leaning against anything, not tethered to anything. For a character whose world is always black, this page takes the absence of light to whole new levels.
The actual script on this page, while beautiful, didn’t completely resonate with me the first time I read it. By the third and fourth time, however, I thought it was just perfect. For the record, in its entirety:
“Depression is a living thing. It exists by feeding on your darkest moods. And it is always hungry. Anything that challenges it – anything – it wants that to stop. Anything that makes you feel good, anyone who brings joy, it will drive away so it can grow without interference. Its primary goal is to isolate you. At its worst, it will literally paralyze you rather than allow you to feel anything at all. At its worst, you are numb. You are drained.”
He may be smiling, but is he “smizing”?
I mentioned this scene in my original review (and yes, I did just quote Tyra Banks), but wanted to mention it here too, complete with the actual panels. These two panels, and the timing of them, perfectly show the hesitation of Matt’s smile (evident by the delay), and the way his head is facing to the side in the top panel. His eyes are hidden from view, so we can’t tell whether he’s “smizing” or not (that’s Tyra-speak for smiling with your eyes, ahem), but that’s presumably a ‘no’. This is true of much of the rest of the scene as well. Of course, Matt can get away with not looking people in the eye, but his behavior throughout this scene speaks to his vulnerability and unwillingness to show it. Great work by the whole creative team on this scene.
Let your hands do the talking…
I’m sure I’m not the only one who loved the entire last page. These panels below are a great example of what can be done in comics that simply doesn’t work as well in other mediums. Without a single word of script, Matt’s hand moving to pick up his phone, and hesitating, communicates all that is needed. The passage of time is conveyed by the change of colors as dawn breaks. It’s just really smart and concise storytelling.
Bonus round: Faces
Chris Samnee is truly spectacular at facial expressions. These were some of my favorites this issue. When put together they show the range that Samnee is capable of, from the Kirsten’s startled yet humorous expression to the pure insanity and range of the Purple Man, greatly highlighted by Matt Wilson’s contrasting purple and bright red. Matt looking down while disrobing made my list for the simple reason that it’s a great example of a less extreme expression, as well as being a great shot of someone being in the middle of an action or movement. It’s a great way to inject extra life into a quieter scene.
Bonus round 2: Hands
I really like images of hands. Hands are great at communicating action, or inaction, as we’ve already seen above. So maybe, after reading that powerful final page, I couldn’t help seeing hands everywhere this issue when I went back to read it again. There is also the fact that reaching out, as seen in the first example below, and a failure to reach back is a common thematic thread, which puts even more focus on where people’s hands are. We have everything from Daredevil’s immobile clenched fist to Purple Man’s murderous paws. Either way, they all look great!
So, did I miss anything? Let the rest of us know in the comments!