Daredevil #13 was easily one of the most enjoyable issues of Daredevil I’ve read in a long time. Considering the overall quality of the title in Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s capable hands, that’s saying something. The story itself packs a punch and offers many great character moments. On top of that, the level of craftmanship evident in the delivery is truly amazing.
For a perfect example of what I’m talking about, how’s this for a first page (see below)? Not only is it visually astounding, it also highlights the power of the comic book medium. Without any dialogue, and just one short caption, it shows the passage of time, and in doing so, lets us know that Matt and Kirsten cannot get enough of each other.
We see them having dinner, and then we see them being the only ones left in the restaurant. Next, they go dancing, and Chris Samnee makes sure to give us a glimpse of Kirsten’s shoe. Give the couple some time, and Kirsten’s feet have grown tired, and the shoes have come off. Even then, the date isn’t over, and things get downright steamy by the end of the page, as Matt and Kirsten have made it to the beach and into the water.
This level of pure elegance, and magnificent attention to detail, is evident throughout the entire issue. The pacing is perfect, as are the transitions between scenes. A well-known villain is back, and there are recurring reminders of his eerie presence blended into an otherwise self-contained story. I’m really impressed with this approach. On the one hand, this intriguing set-up whets your appetite for more, and on the other, you get a full story that stands well on its own.
More than anything, Daredevil #13 is a great character study. Waid and Samnee dig into Matt’s past to paint a credible picture of his mental state at the realization that his relationship with Kirsten is getting more serious. At the same time, they make sure to reinforce Kirsten’s status as her own person, high-profile enough in her own career to have her own enemies. Matt, on the other hand, is so stuck in his own thinking patterns and preconceived notions that he won’t even consider that not everything is about him.
Colorist Matt Wilson continues to knock it out of the park in this highly emotional issue, where the icy blue shades associated with our silent watcher contrast beautifully with the warmer shades that dominate the rest of the issue. The interesting use of light sources is another thing that stands out this issue, with people coming up and down stairs that lead from lighter to darker areas – and vice versa – and examples of spotlights to illuminate characters from above. The way this is handled gives a great deal of added depth to the overall artwork. Kudos also to Joe Caramagna. This issue is rich in dialogue, and Caramagna’s competent lettering makes sure that it’s easy to follow and mixes perfectly with the underlying artwork.
With that, all that remains is for me to say: “More, please!” With this team’s fantastic run coming to a close, they seem determined to go out on a high note. It is bitter-sweet, but I intend to enjoy every moment of it!