I thought that Daredevil was kind of a ridiculous character (I mean, he’s a blind vigilante with radar sense). So I was reluctant to watch the show. But after watching it, I was eager to read a comic books series on the Man Without Fear. It turned out to be good, but not exactly what I expected.
Although I was familiar (kind of) with Daredevil’s comic design, it was a little strange to see him as a stubble-less redhead after watching the show. With how well-accepted the television series was, I’d expected comic book Matt Murdock to look like TV series Matt Murdock. While it took a bit of readjusting, it was a very minor problem.
I liked Foggy Nelson in the first volume of the series. His occasional banter with Matt was fun to read, he struck you as a good and loyal friend, and he was depicted as being at least as smart as Matt (despite the nickname”Foggy”). But in the second volume, after a fight with Matt and a few drinks too many, Foggy tells the girl Matt likes that he is Daredevil and is going crazy. After that, I had a hard time liking Foggy. As Matt, I wouldn’t be able to trust my best friend and partner after he spilled my secrets, in public, to the McDuffie. Is he going to tell everyone my deepest secrets every time he gets tipsy?
Kristine was a strange character. I went back and forth, thinking that she was pretty okay and then thinking that she was pretty not okay. She had a kind of bland personality and was hard to formulate an opinion on. She ended up being emotional baggage for Daredevil more than anything else, like Foggy.
Daredevil had a fun personality and some pretty intriguing thoughts during the series. He spent a lot of time being overconfident, egotistical, taking himself too seriously, ect. After that got him badly hurt, he would think to himself Boy, I shouldn’t get such a big head before the fight is even over and then he would do just that. While it was annoying, he struck me as a fairly realistic and likable character—most of the time.
My biggest beef with the books is how careless Daredevil is. He wares his costume under his clothes at all times. Why don’t people suspecting he’s Daredevil just ask him to roll up his sleeve, revealing the not-so-conspicuous costume underneath. And why do Daredevil, Spiderman and Ms. Marvel all throw their street clothes into convenient empty alleyways when they want to do some “Daredeviling?” Suspended belief can only go so far when Mark Waid is constantly reminding readers how important it is that Matt’s secret identity be kept secret (even though all of his enemies know who he really is) and how hard it is for him to keep it secret.
Then, after Matt Murdock lies to almost everyone he knows to keep it secret, swears under oath that it’s not true, and stresses that no one other than his closest friends can know that he’s really the Man Without Fear, he acts like it doesn’t matter. In book three, as Matt Murdock, he swings from a tree using his billy club, kicks two fleeing purse snatchers in the faces at the same time, and hands the purse back to the lady in a very public place. This is before he finally decides to go public. He pulls so many risky stunts like this that it becomes infuriating.
But, overall, the series was good. It was very engaging and quite fun to read. The art was good, progressively getting better with each volume. The plot and subplots were interesting and really the only ones I didn’t like were the secret identity one in the last couple issues and the brief interaction with Doc Oc/Spidey mid-series. That struck me as unnecessarily confusing. Doc Oc/Spiderman tells McDuffie that he will crush Daredevil, and then has a weird moral epiphany mid-fight. The odd sequence of events with Daredevil remaining intact and uncrushed.
Definitely a good series, but not spectacular. Enjoyable and worth the read, it was definitely better than a few other modern titles I’ve tried (like Bat Girl, Omega Men and, less so Black Canary). Most of the reasoning behind that statement is that the plot moves. You get something out of reading each issue, instead of the monochrome filler that stretches watered-down plot for several more issues than intended. This makes it more interesting and fun to read. It becomes something written to be enjoyed, not written to be an easy money-grab for the writers. Daredevil is one of the of the better titles Marvel is currently putting out, and I hope it stays that way.