All right, it’s time to read a classic collection of Daredevil issues! With the recent Netflix show on the air, he is a character who will gain a little more recognition than what he has seen in the days of old. If you saw my post on the show, you’ll already know my views on that. Needless to say, this comic is the kind of publicity that he needs as opposed to the show and you will see a noble superhero here. It’s a fun collection even if it’s not quite as action packed as the classic comics of other heroes.
As this is only the second volume, the series is still just getting started. Daredevil decides to leave town for a while to let Foggy and Karen keep the office in order for a while, but gets caught up in a tough situation with the Plunderer and Kazar. Not able to catch a break, Daredevil also gets into a mix up with Spider Man and learns that there are other heroes who can defeat the Man of Fear! Naturally, that’s just the tip of the iceberg and we quickly learn how skilled a blind lawyer can be when push comes to shove!
As this was in the olden days of Daredevil, he was closer to being blind than nowadays. Currently, Daredevil’s “vision” is so close to sight that he can basically see. He just sees in red or fire. In these classic comics, it’s treated more like echo location so he still has a lot of trouble in day to day operations. Why do you think the Plunderer was so strong compared to Daredevil? That being said, Daredevil still isn’t blind here as the villains use a flash gun, which does end up blinding him. (By hurting his other senses) As a blind man, Daredevil is quickly crushed by the enemies and he couldn’t beat a regular foe. So, we definitely know how well Daredevil would fare in a fight as an actual blind person.
Daredevil’s a nice hero to root for here. He makes a lot of puns like Spiderman although he vows to be more silent and commanding towards the end of the volume. He has a lot of potential for puns thanks to his blindness, but he likely couldn’t use most of them unless he was dressed up as Matt Murdock. I’ve always preferred the other classics like Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, etc, but Daredevil is a solid hero in his own right. Being a lawyer is a unique occupation in the comic world and I would have liked to have seen more of that here. Daredevil really gets all of the screen time, which doesn’t leave Matt with much to do.
Spider Man’s appearance was a lot of fun. He was probably tricked a little too easily into starting a fight with Daredevil if you ask me, but at least he won. I was worried that the hype factor would result in a tie or with Daredevil winning, but the outcome was satisfying for me. You could even say that Daredevil won round 1 so that will be happy for his fans as well. The villains were underwhelming as they were essentially just average thugs, but that gives Daredevil a better chance to look good so I suppose that it is worth it.
The initial adventure with the Plunderer and Kazar was all right, but not as good as it could have been because Kazar was around. I’ve never cared for that character as the whole “Jungle Man” trope was never my favorite. I prefer characters who talk through long metaphors or puns because the dialogue is part of the fun in rooting for those characters. For Kazar’s dialogue, it simply doesn’t work for me. The Plunderer was a good villain though so he made the comics more fun.
This collection is a little larger than the average one as it is around 200 pages. That sounds like a good deal to me and it comes with the prelude that the Marvel Masterwork collections always contain. Those are fun to read and it is cool to see the behind the scenes story on why things happen like they do in the comics. The Dr Strange prelude was the most interesting, but this one had a good intro as well. A lot of thought certainly goes into each issue.
Aside from the various villains, there are two main supporting characters to be found here. Foggy and Karen, who work with Daredevil on the hero’s cases. By day, Daredevil is a lawyer after all so he needs some teammates. Karen always worried about Matt Murdock (Daredevil) because of how he always seems to be in danger. Her role is still fairly small at the moment. Foggy is the one who gets a big role as he has a subplot, which spans quite a few issues.
To impress Karen, Foggy decides to pretend that he is Daredevil. He even goes as far as to buy a Daredevil costume and convince someone to dress up as a villain. The problem is that the villain means business and wants to destroy Foggy to build a name for himself. Daredevil learns about this and decides to join the fight. This villain was powerful and managed to gain the upper hand in the first round, but Daredevil was ready. The villain went on to team up with another one of Daredevil’s old foes and they were still making plans when the volume ended.
I assume that we will likely see more of them in future issues. I liked the villain who used to be a costume designer so I’m hoping that he wins the battle of villainy with his partner. Daredevil’s array of villains may be one of the blander ones, but he certainly has some decent ones. The guy with the spinning blade and armor is probably my favorite Daredevil villain of all time and I don’t even know the guy’s name!
As expected, the art is spot on and really shows why the classic Marvel style worked so well for each story. Many of them had similar art, but you could still easily tell one series apart from the other. It was simple and made for good action scenes that were colorful and fun. It’s still hard to imagine how the artists were able to draw these pages every week as the amount of detail and effort that went into them is clear as you read the comics. Naturally, this applies to the writing as well, which is also as solid as you would expect. Compared to some of the current writers like Bendis and Slott, you really start to miss the high level of quality in these classic issues.
Overall, Daredevil was a good collection. It essentially captures all of the good qualities that you would expect from a Marvel comic. You could call it the definitive, average Marvel comic. It’s not as exciting as most of the popular Marvel heroes, but it still has the Marvel brand of quality on it. Daredevil is a likable main character and he makes the comics very engaging. Foggy and Karen aren’t the greatest of supporting characters, but at least they help to remind the audience of how much danger Matt is in as that’s usually the only thing that they talk about. New York can be dangerous for a blind man after all. I definitely recommend this to the comic readers out there and especially if you are looking for a new hero to root for. Daredevil is ready for some adventures and hopefully I will be able to read more Daredevil comics in the future. He’s a hero that I really haven’t read about on many occasions. Our paths have simply not crossed much, but perhaps that will change. Until then, you can expect popular heroes like Spiderman to appear more and more.