ADVANCE REVIEW: Daredevil #1

Posted December 1, 2015 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Charles Soule

Art by: Ron Garney

Publisher: Marvel

From the get-go, it’s abundantly clear that Soule and Garney’s Daredevil is a complete 180 from what Waid and Samnee were doing with the character. Matt, having shifted gears from a criminal defense attorney to a prosecutor, is more ruthless than I think I’ve ever seen him. Even in the pre-Waid and Samnee days, he was never as gruff as he is here. There are scenes where he almost goes out of his way to avoid being the kind Matt Murdock that has been the character’s status quo for some time now. Furthermore, he’s decidedly more violent, and Garney doesn’t shy away from this. The action here is bloody and visceral – evocative of Sin City at points.

While this is an interesting new direction for the character, it simply isn’t interesting. A major component of Daredevil’s appeal, to me at least, is how he interacts with other characters. When he’s busy threatening them and putting on a cold exterior, those interactions simply cannot exist. He does interact with other characters (that should go without seeing) but he goes from apathetic to ill-tempered, and that’s about the extent of his range.To put it bluntly; I was bored, and it take a lot to bore me with a Daredevil comic. Not only is Matt not interesting, but none of the supporting cast is interesting either, since they largely rely on their interactions with him for characterization.

What it comes down to is that this isn’t really the Daredevil book I’m looking for. Within the space of a single issue, it’s already more downtrodden than even Bendis and Maleev’s run on the character was. I understand the desire to differentiate themselves from the previous run, but just doing the exact opposite isn’t necessarily the way to go about that. At least Soule and Garney remain consistent with their tone, and the plot that they’re setting up is semi-interesting.

Both of those strike me as rather unfortunate, actually. The book, for the most part, isn’t what I would call “bad.” Normally, I would easily overlook a single issue with a comic if the rest of it was well done, which is true of this issue. The thing is, this issue’s problem is its main character being flat and uninteresting. That may be what Soule is going for here, but regardless of intent, this book struggles to be readable.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.