ADVANCE REVIEW: Daredevil #4 (Spoiler Free)

Daredevil #4

Daredevil #4

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Marcos Martin
Color by Muntsa Vicente
Letters by Joe Caramagna

Marvel Comics / $2.99 / 32 pages

When we last parted company with Murdock and Nelson–not seven days ago–the partners were celebrating the victory of Mr. Jobrani, a troubled former client Matt coached to provide his own legal representation. Still widely rumored to be the high-flying vigilante known as Daredevil, Matt’s found his once formidable court presence a genuine liability and has opted for a less visible role in the defense of his clients. For the foreseeable future, Nelson & Murdock is now dedicated to advising those individuals with little alternative than to defend themselves at trial. That initiative starts in earnest with this week’s issue, the start of the second chapter in Mark Waid’s ingenious and bracing Daredevil relaunch. It also sees artist Marcos Martin take up the baton from Paolo Rivera, completing a circuit on one of 2011’s most impressive creative teams.

You’re likely curious about the closing panel of issue #3 which saw Foggy Nelson rendered in the now signature pink wire-frame Daredevil-vision with the tease: “NEXT: FOGGY’S HEART BURSTS.” ¬†Though I’ve been asked to refrain from spoilers I can tell you that Foggy doesn’t suffer a massive coronary, though Matt’s taken a definite interest in his pal’s cardiovascular health. The processed snacks hit the document shredder and things get physical, Olivia Newton-John style. Only time will tell if Foggy sticks to his fitness regimen and warrants a new character model sheet. Meanwhile, Matt begins consulting his downtrodden new clientele. Chief among these is a young blind man recently terminated from his office job after taking interest in his employer’s Latverian associates.

Though this week’s tale sees a slight cool-down from last Wednesday’s magnificent battle with the sonic machinations of Ulysses Klaw, there’s still raucous red spandex mayhem to be had. I will tell you that the major action sequence involves a trip to the zoo and that the cliffhanger suggests a potential hail of bullets. Fun and thoughtful as the action is though, the real draw and the mounting genius of the series itself, lies in the refreshingly upbeat Matt Murdock. It’s a major turn for the typically brooding character, but it works for two big reasons. One, it’s a much-needed change of pace and something of a character colonic. Two, it’s evident that the guy is bound to hit the wall eventually, and hard. Foggy’s already noticed the reckless denial in his friend, and though the tension is subdued for the moment, the latent drama is just biding its time to break a few hearts and collarbones. For now, we’re treated to what feels like an episodic legal yarn that never feels dry.

Martin’s first full story for the series is probably not the artist’s strongest outing, but it barely skips a beat from Rivera’s opening salvo. Pages feel a little more sparse that in the previous issues, but the transition isn’t at all jarring and comes equipped with some of the most dynamic action pencils in the business. Martin excels in the most break-neck sequences, conveying a lithe sense of acrobatic propulsion and velocity. While remaining consistent with Rivera’s depiction of the character’s radar vision, he also brings some of his own visual language to these moments, opting for concentric circles over Rivera’s mesh frames. He also used the horny Daredevil shadow to great effect throughout. As this story line progresses deeper into the action, Martin will likely come into his own.

A bit of a breather since last week, but Daredevil #4 sustains the consistent level of quality in one of Marvel’s most entertaining ongoings. If you’ve yet to pick up the first three, this is as good a place as any to start.

Story: 4 / Art: 4 / Overall: 4

(Out of 5 Stars)

 

Comments

  1. Sweet. Great review Paul.

    People were complaining about Marvel double shipping this series (especially for two straight weeks) on this series. While I am not a fan of Marvel doing that, I can’t fathom why people would complain about reading MORE Daredevil. Especially after being one of the best and most gorgeous books on the stands right now.

    If this was a bi weekly series with Rivera doing one issue and Martin doing the other it would be heaven.

    • All the shit I like, yeah them, bi-weekly that shit… oh wait you already do! Thank you Marvel!

      I’m a fan of them opening series rapid fire style like they’ve been doing lately. With Uncanny X-Force being bi-weekly for a second right after it launched, it really grabbed me quickly. When something good is being shoved in your face constantly it becomes hard not to take notice.

      I second the call for more Martin/Rivera bi-weekly goodness!

    • I think most people’s apprehension over double shipping is the concern that it could lead to delays further down the line. But if they can keep putting the book out monthly and ship a couple of extra issues here and there then I am more than grateful.

  2. My only question is whether or not Diamond’s solicit report that these books would ship at a bi-monthly schedule?

    If it did, then it’s no big whoop. If it didn’t, it reflects what we already complain about in comics – inconsistency. Usually inconsistency = lateness in comic speak but not so here, and I guess that’s a good thing. However, a consistent schedule for when readers (especially NEW readers) know where to get there books is better business in the long run.

    Again, this is moot if Diamond announced 3 months ago that these books would both be shipping in September.

  3. Marvel collections dept. – please release the hc of this run in the proper oversized format. Premium format will not do!

  4. Sorry, but I just don’t buy this version of the character at all. Waid has completely lost me on this.

  5. I just can’t get w/ this dare devil.

  6. I appreciate why people like this but its not my thin g. I didn’t like issue 1 but with all the hype around it I went back and bought 2 & 3 to see if I was missing something. Nope..just a personal taste thing.

  7. 3 in a row not liking the new Daredevil? I hope this is purely a “I wish this was still a depressing book” thing and not a “Mark Waid has become our new Jeph Loeb and let’s beat him up for no good reason” thing. I understand that people can have specialized tastes, so I hope that’s all it is.