Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Daredevil Vol. 2.1 - Guardian Devil

My friend Adam highly recommended the entire series run of Daredevil, Volume 2. From my understanding, Volume 1 had run stagnant after thirty-four years and 380 comics. Marvel decided to reboot the Man without Fear and start afresh. Anon, Kevin Smith was hired to write the first story arc for the new series, Guardian Devil, beginning in 1998. Volume 2 ran for 119 issues, and concluded with a 13-issue mini-run titled Shadowlands

I'll be the first to say that my knowledge of Daredevil is very limited. Having read comics for most of my life, I've always considered the hero as a lesser compatriot of Marvel's bigger names: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and not to mention practically all of the X-Men. Daredevil just wasn't that interesting to me. Yet, on Adam's considerable recommendation (ending when he brought the entire run over to my house in a heavy, white box), I found myself with 131 comics to read. 

Matt Murdock is an attorney by day and a red-leather-tights-wearing superhero by night. He's blind. He's intelligent. He struggles with his faith. After a freak accident as a teenager, where he saved the life of a pedestrian from an oncoming truck laden with nuclear waste (it's always nuclear something something) and lost his eyesight, his remaining senses were all heightened to uncanny levels. 

The main plot of Guardian Devil revolves around an infant showing up in Murdock's law office. The mother drops the child off, claiming he's the Christ returned. Later, a mysterious man appears and tells Matt that the child is in fact the antichrist incarnate. Already conflicted, Murdock gets involved in a fight that spans from heaven to hell. Another important element to this arc was Murdock's relationship with his on-again, off-again flame Karen Page. 

Up front Adam told me the series started off kind of boring. He was right. The first eight issues held me captivated enough to press on, but suffered from some weak text and poor illustrations. Don't get me wrong. The art was just fine, but I was turned off by the peculiar choices Joe Quesada made, especially when it came to eyes*. Every time I looked at a person's eyes I was turned off. They looked almost childish. This just didn't work with the tone of the story Smith was telling (and I'm already not much of a Smith fan). 

Nevertheless, I press onward. So far Daredevil still sits in the shadows of my mind, but I'm anxious to see if he rises to prominence. If I'm judging based on Guardian Devil, I'd say no. But, for the life of me, I'll read this series if only to see what Adam's talking about.

*Generally.  Note Bullseye's eye in the panel image above.  It's swell.  This, however, is not the norm.

No comments: