Writer: Charles Soule
Pencils: Ron Garney
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Ron Garney and Matt Milla
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 02, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99 (USD)
Reviewer: John F. Allen
4 OUT OF 5 TOWERS
Friday, January 23nd, 2016
Daredevil #1 was an enjoyable read for me. It brought the character of Matt Murdock aka Daredevil into a NEW direction and did it with definite style. The writing, but Charles Soule (an attorney in real life), was top notch and very noir-ish in its feel. However, this was only exacerbated by the brilliant, gritty art by Ron Garney (who channels his inner Frank Miller for sure).
This issue is chock full of action and intrigue, from start to finish! Again, the art of Ron Garney completely won me over from the very start. As an author of Noir-ish fiction, this style of illustration hearkens back to a young Frank Miller’s run on the original Daredevil series. Garney delivers with explosive and dynamic action scenes. This is further embellished by the limited, muted color palate which assures its Noir depiction (think Sin City, only Daredevil). The monochromatic tones consisting of Garney’s strong black inks and the sparring splashes of crimson provided by Milla, set the mood of the story perfectly.
As for the writing, Charles Soule brings a dark, gritty and engaging story-line with fresh and definitive dialogue. I’m extremely excited to learn more about the direction of this plot-line Soule has cooked up. Daredevil has been written as a dark character for quite some time, but Soule’s take gives us a much darker, colder and moodier figure than most other runs, similar to Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker tenures. I’m not sure how good of an attorney he is (probably great), but his talents as a writer are awesome, in my opinion.
The story opens in New York City (no surprise there) on the Manhattan Bridge, where a group of malcontents amazed that Daredevil did a swan dive off the bridge to save their intended murder victim’s life. These men work for a mysterious figure named Tenfingers. Meanwhile, Daredevil manages to rescue one Billy Li (Grand Jury witness), using his heightened senses to find him bound at the feet and hands and weighed down by a Volkswagen Bug. Using the hidden blade in his billy club, Daredevil cuts Billy’s bindings and brings him to the surface.
Daredevil then swings up the bridge and confronts Billy’s would-be murderers. A very well illustrated battle ensues and one of the thugs manages to wing DD in the shoulder. The gunman then goads him for taking on the Church of Tenfingers alone, to which Daredevil responds that he didn’t. In that moment we are introduced to DD’s NEW protege, Blindspot.
This new apprentice to the man without fear, is a Chinatown native looking to be trained so that he can keep the streets of his neighborhood safe. He possesses the ability to render himself invisible, which comes in handy as he assists DD in mopping up Tenfinger’s lackeys.
Later, Daredevil treats his gunshot wound and allows Billy Li to crash on the couch of one Foggy Nelson, Matt’s former law partner and one time Best Friend. Foggy is the only person who is privy to Matt’s secret identity and he’s not to happy about carrying the burden. There is definitely tension between the two, which I’m certain will be explored in upcoming issues.
Some time later, we find Matt Murdock working in his office (an old converted elevator shaft) as the city’s newest Assistant District Attorney, and is joined by Ellen King, a sassy paralegal. She informs Matt that an obviously shaken Billy Li wants to speak with him regarding his testimony. Matt reminds him that it’s his testimony which will indict a lieutenant of Tenfingers and bring them one step closer to ending his criminal enterprise. Afraid for his life, Billy is reluctant and tells Matt as such. However, Matt informs him that he can make his life miserable if he refuses to testify and that the only reason he’s still alive is because of Daredevil, whom Matt asked to protect him. Billy finds himself between a rock and a hard place, so he eventually relents and the two men enter the courtroom.
Meanwhile in Chinatown, the thug who winged DD is reporting his failures to Tenfingers himself (yeah, the dude has TEN fingers on each hand). Albeit to say, Tenfingers is NOT pleased with his report and the thug knows it. The thug offers one of his fingers as atonement for his failure, however Tenfingers has more in mind…LIKE THE WHOLE HAND!
I wholeheartedly recommend “Daredevil” as an excellent exploration into the NEW exploits of, “The Man Without Fear.” Of the various new titles to spring from the aftermath of Secret Wars, this is one at the top of my list of favorites.
***The Two Towers Rating System***