Saturday, 23 May 2015

Daredevil #8 - Marvel Comics

DAREDEVIL No. 8, November 2014
Whilst the titular character himself may be celebrating “50 years without fear”, there’s an awful lot of sinister shenanigans stored within the twenty-pages of Issue Eight of “Daredevil”. In fact the suggestion Mark Waid’s storyline is going to be full of spine-tingling chills actually starts with the comic’s especially creepy cover with artist Chris Samnee undoubtedly paying homage to the 1960 horror flick “Children Of The Damned”.

Straight from the opening panels, which depict a bleary-eyed child waking during the night to find himself being watched by a group of ghoulish shadowy figures, it is clear that this narrative is going to be made from the stuff youngsters hope they won’t dream about. But it also swiftly taps in to the nightmares of doting parents as well, when the boy’s desperate mother fails to save her darling from the clutches of some sinister-faced purple-hued infants and despairingly plummets to a ghastly death from the rooftop of her apartment block… Much to the obvious delight and amusement of the immediately dislikeable super-villain Purple Man.

Arguably such an intensely dark and disturbing tale, which later sees Doctor Zebediah Killgrave meet a suitably horrifying end at the hands of his very own offspring, would be too depressing a read for many without some ‘break in the storm clouds’. But that shouldn’t necessarily mean that the Eisner Award-winning writer needs to interrupt the book’s quite alarming atmosphere with a jarringly bright and humorous scene set on board Matt Murdock’s (potential) in-laws’ yacht. Indeed this whimsical distraction, complete with squeaking dolphin, is farcical nonsense at best and disappointingly destroys any immersion the book’s dramatic opening created. Fortunately things eventually get ‘back on track’ once the shining sun sets and Daredevil starts patrolling the night-time skyline of San Francisco.  

Chris Samnee’s pencilling is extremely strong throughout this comic, especially when colorist Matthew Wilson is able to apply an impressively moody purple tone to the proceedings. The pain and terror in young Jamie’s eyes and face as he’s abducted is worryingly compelling and proves a great contrast to the American artist’s far more placid unblinking portrayal of the child once he has ‘joined’ the rest of Purple Man’s protégées.
Storytellers: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee, and Colorist: Matthew Wilson

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