Review: Daredevil #1 (2011)
This is the book that I have been waiting for and cringing over since Matt Murdock left the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen. After the cataclysmic events of Shadowland, Matt traveled to find himself and prove he was more than just the hero known as Daredevil. Andy Diggle led him down the path of reflection, but it is Mark Waid that brings our hero back to the alleys of New York. And although this die-hard Daredevil fan was buried under mounds of trepidation over this relaunch, I will be the first to stand up and shake Mr. Waid's hand!
Daredevil is known for moody, dark stories and art, ones that hammer home deep emotion and break our hero every chance it gets. And even though those stories are what drove it into the hearts and minds of fans over the past decade, Mark Waid brings something we haven't seen in a long time to the book - a sense of hope! Matt Murdock hasn't forgotten the days that brought him low, but he now chooses to grow from those horrible events - and more importantly live.
Waid brings a sense of nostalgia to the book, hearkening back to the days of the early nineties. It is charismatic, vibrant and above all else - fun! There is a refocus upon Matt Murdock himself; it is the man that takes center stage of this tale instead of the hero, and it is that aspect that makes this book so well done. From the courtroom, where he looks rusty and ill-prepared, to the squabbling with a street vendor over whether or not Matt is Daredevil, Waid breathes humanity back into a character that has lost so much of it in recent years. There is also an acute look at DD's powers, something that has also taken a back seat in recent years. A whiff of perfume from a blushing bride, the sound of a plaintiff's heart beat racing, and even the ability to tune a violin by mere touch, you truly get a sense that Matt Murdock is not only one with himself, but he is one with the city as well. It is refreshing and exhilarating to see a character I grew up with walk the streets with a sense of humility and a lust for life that hasn't been seen in a long time! To see this character stroll down the streets with a smile on his face, in turn, brought one to mine. Bravo, Mr. Waid! Now if we could just get you back on The Flash, the world would be a better place!
Waid and Rivera have created, in my eyes, the best DD number one in 47 years! It is the perfect jumping on point for any reader, an origin story without bogging one down in trivialities. A fun romp, full of heroics and humanity, it will leave any comic fan clamoring for more! And for all those hardened DD fans...here comes...fun, here comes...excitement, here comes...Daredevil!
A new era has begun and I couldn't be happier!