No Fear

Daredevil #1

And that right there is the dadgum prettiest cover I’ve seen in a couple weeks. If you can’t see it clearly enough, the entire background is made up entirely of sound effects — the skyscrapers and streets are made of “HONK”s and “SKREEE”s and “WHOOSH”es, the water tower is made of “GLUG”s and “DRIP”s, and the pigeons are made of “FLAP”s and “COO”s. It’s an outstanding piece of work.

Inside, we get a new introduction to the Man Without Fear, as he prepares to crash a Mafia wedding. He’s heard a rumor that someone is planning a hit on someone in the wedding party, and Daredevil’s enhanced senses allow him to track the supervillain named Spot as he gets ready to kidnap the don’s granddaughter. Daredevil is able to keep the little girl out of the teleporter’s grasp, but the mobsters think DD is the kidnapper. Of course, he eventually stops the bad guys (and lays a killer liplock on the bride), and then has to face the major struggle — everyone in New York knows that Matt Murdock is really Daredevil, and it’s making it impossible for him to keep any courtroom clients.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is a seriously brilliant comic. We get new insights into what it’s like to live with Daredevil’s vastly enhanced senses, particularly his radar sense. We get jaw-dropping action, outstanding dialogue and characterization, clever humor, you name it. Writer Mark Waid completely kills both stories in this issue, and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin may be even better — the artwork is simply amazing. Better start picking this one up now — we may be seeing the beginning of one of the greats.

Xombi #5

The villainous Roland Finch has taken over the Ninth Stronghold, a giant floating city made out of the skull of a Biblical giant, and he plans to either take over the other floating strongholds or destroy them. David Kim and his allies must prepare to chase down Finch, lay siege to the Ninth Stronghold, and somehow oust him before he causes more destruction. Can they do it?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Frazer Irving’s art continues to wildly impress, and John Rozum’s writing continues to blow minds. This is a story with a wealth of wild ideas, from the immense Nephilim, the giants of the Old Testament, whose bones are used to build the Skull Stronghold, to the brief hints of the magical wonders common to all of the strongholds, to David’s struggles with his own immortality and the knowledge that his girlfriend may reject him for it. It’s deeply disappointing that this series will be cancelled after the next issue, because weirdness this wonderful is certainly something that only comics really do well…

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  1. Buryak Said,

    July 30, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    It’s weird seeing you review a Marvel comic. I’ve lost track of whats happening there after Secret Invasion and all the subsequent “events”… to me I got really sick of trying to follow the cross-overs and tie-ins and who/what/where is going on, when all I wanted to read was the character’s adventures in the comic I just bought, but I had to get through multiple interuptions. I found Marvel to be so frustrating, so I dropped ’em… one of them happened to be Daredevil. Last I read, a few months ago, Daredevil was gone somewhere (killed off?) and the Black Panther was Daredevil? Was that a mess? Sounds like a mess. Could be cool… just messy, I guess. Good to see them get Daredevil back on track. I just may scoop this one up.

    I’ve been buying pretty much just 60’s silver age anthologies and stuff, so my modern comic book reading is a bit on the ignorant side, so when I went to see what was coming out at DC I got excited. Zatanna had her own series, that Xombi looked fun, and a bunch of others caught my eye… but now they’re getting axed… after the fifth issue!? Brutal brutal brutal. I hate you heartless DC “Entertainment” villains! I can just see them now, wearing eye-patches and smoking orphan skin wrapped cigars and laughing in their underlit board rooms… just laughing, while they drink from jewel encrusted chalices, filled to the brim with the nectar squeezed from dollar bills and hopes and dreams… just laughing. Oh, sorry… kinda went off there a bit. I hate ’em, is all.

  2. scottslemmons Said,

    July 30, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    I’ve been wanting to read more Marvel books, but I’ve been hit with a combination of comics/characters that don’t inspire a lot of interest in me, and the “Fear Itself” mega-crossover that makes it difficult to find an entry point for new readers. I’m giving “Daredevil” a shot, I’m going to give the “Spider Island” storyline a shot, and I’m going to give “Secret Avengers” a shot once Warren Ellis is writing it. And I’m trying to keep my eyes open for new Marvel books to get into.

    “Xombi” probably has at least one more issue on the way — the current issue ends with a cliffhanger, and I’m expecting it to wrap up its story in the next issue.

    And I’m still hoping the rebooted DC will be better than I’m expecting — at least partly because I’m not sure the comics industry can survive the loss of its #2 player…