Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Daredevil #3 - Marvel Comics

DAREDEVIL No. 3, July 2014
Right from the wonderful Chris Samnee cover illustration depicting a memorial statue of the sightless goddess Justitia, there is a definite theme to this comic of a person being blind to the possible consequences of their actions and making a mistake as a result.

Mark Waid’s storyline is plagued with such poor decision-making, whether it be Eli’s fatal indiscretion to his boss, The Owl, that he too knows the location of Matt Murdock’s San Francisco residence, an appallingly disguised Foggy Nelson visiting Kirsten McDuffie at her office or Daredevil falling for The Shroud’s trap and following the anti-hero back to his squalid apartment. Errors in judgement are constantly being made and all them lead to a very unwise confrontation between an unarmed Murdock and Leland Owlsley; a meeting which takes place in the very ‘throne room’ of the underworld crime lord’s home.

In the past such encounters have potentially lacked any genuine sense of menace to Daredevil as a result of The Owl’s much maligned level of supervillainy; the guy can glide a short distance, has sharp teeth and nails, and likes eating live mice. But Waid does a very nice job of building up the menace and sinister nature of Owlsley in this issue, especially when he has the deranged former financier ‘swoop in for the kill’ on one of his own henchmen at the book’s very beginning.

Even if such a fine ‘write-up’ of The Owl’s unstable nature and super-powers wasn’t present, the sheer amount of gunmen and guard dogs on show at the end of the issue amply demonstrates Hornhead is in a serious predicament; especially when The Shroud reneges on their ‘team-up’.

Indeed the only element which somewhat detracts from the atmosphere of danger and hazard is Chris Samnee’s perplexingly inconsistent artwork, which disappointingly frustrates and interrupts the sense of peril the writer is trying to incrementally increase as the plot thickens. The American artist’s pencil work is terrific when it comes to both the composition and sketching of the loose-lipped Eli’s demise at the ‘talons’ of The Owl. Daredevil’s ‘smackdown’ of The Shroud is equally impressive. But the scenes centred around Murdock’s attorneys-at-law office between McDuffie, Deputy Mayor Hastert and briefly, Foggy Nelson, sadly appear almost child-like in nature; little more than basic stick-like scribblings.
The variant cover art of "DAREDEVIL" No. 3 by Jerome Opena

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