Sunday, 11 October 2015

Daredevil #0.1 - Marvel Comics

DAREDEVIL No. 0.1, September 2014
Originally ‘published’ as a four-issue mini-series through their “Infinity Comics” imprint, this “Marvel Worldwide” one-shot managed to just about squeeze itself within the top one hundred selling titles of July 2014, by shifting a commendable 33,437 copies. An especially impressive achievement considering that this “road trip unlike anything you’ve ever experienced” before had already been available to the public since its “made-for-digital” release five months earlier.

Disappointingly however, for those readers who preferred to wait until they owned a tangible product as opposed to an electronic edition, it is extremely unlikely that many would’ve felt the delay was worth it. For whilst Mark Waid’s narrative is engagingly entertaining enough, and genuinely delivers on the pre-release promise of placing the titular character “on a brand new journey full of adventure, excitement, and more than a few dangers”. The seemingly rushed, sketchily drawn artwork by the Eisner Award-winning writer’s “Irredeemable” collaborator, Peter Krause, is far less appealing, and at times is truly off-putting.

Mercifully, with some considerable perseverance on behalf of the reader mind, the Alabama-born author’s surprisingly complicated storyline does eventually manage to shine through the lack-lustre illustrations. Especially once Hornhead has defeated the rather ridiculous-looking Man-Bull deep within the tunnels of a sewer. Indeed for those fans worried that this book would simply be a mindlessly dull ‘gap-filler’ between Issue Thirty Six of the 2011 “Daredevil” series and the “All New Marvel NOW!” comic title, Waid’s early mysterious ‘man on a plan with no heartbeat’ sub-plot should have proved reassuringly enthralling.

Admittedly the one-time “Fantagraphics Books” editor’s script isn’t anomaly free by any means, as it is never properly explained just who is chasing the confused and paranoid Frank Senic “adaptoid”. Nor why three motorcyclists abruptly appear from the back of a passing truck, and bizarrely chase Daredevil and his ‘new-found friend’ as far as a busy train yard; “At least he’s not paranoid. Three riders, maybe four. Not grouped tight enough where I can hit them all at once, so that’s out.”

Equally as puzzling, towards the end of this forty-four page periodical, is Waid’s portrayal of the blind crime-fighter as an overconfident, arguably arrogant vigilante. Considering that Matt Murdock has had access enough to the Avenger’s files to know of the Super-Adaptoid, its rather incomprehensible to believe that he takes the Thinker as “no physical threat” and actually derides the evil genius for being “overweight, slow and empty-handed.” Little wonder that the “master tactician who prides himself in being prepared for every eventuality imaginable” quickly wipes the conceited look off of Daredevil’s face and forces him to ‘think outside of the box’ in order to lift “frank’s preprogramed paralysis” and save the day.
Writer: Mark Waid, Penciller: Peter Krause, and Colorist: John Kalisz

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