Pick of the Week

January 21, 2004 – Daredevil #56

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Avg Rating: 5.0
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Size: pages

Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Letters by Cory Petit

Published by Marvel Comics | $2.99

I never really liked Daredevil. This is when I was growing up and just getting exposed to comics. Of course, being an angst-ridden teenager, I gravitated to the X-Men and then in college I fell in love with The Flash. But I never really warmed to Daredevil. Yeah I knew his origin, the whole Elektra thing, the classic creators and all that. But, I never dove in. When Kevin Smith took it over and the title was revitalized, being the fanboy that I am, I took it hook, line and sinker. Who knew that 5ish years later, I’d be such a huge fanboy for Daredevil? I mean seriously, this is like the bajillionith Pick of the Week I’ve done singing this book’s praises. Because of that, I was even ready to pick Chris Eliopoulos’s Desperate Times #0 as my Pick because that strip cracks me up. Surprise, surprise: Bendis and Maleev do it again and make me change my Pick! It’s not even fair!

This marks the first issue of Bendis and Maleev after some time off and a story arc from David Mack, which was a nice breath of fresh air. With the regular creative team’s return, it’s back to business as we tune in a year later after the events of issue #50, where Daredevil beat the crap out of the Kingpin and laid claim to Hell’s Kitchen. The events of the last few story arcs from Bendis and Maleev have been so high concept, so well thought out, so well executed, it’s hard to believe they could top themselves. Yet here they are, first issue back and raising the bar. If the events of this issue mark how this arc and the future issues are going to be, then unbelievably, it can only get better.

Seriously folks, put Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man aside. This is the book that Bendis is going to be remembered for. These story arcs have been mindblowingly good. Artistically, as far as I’m concerned when I visualize Daredevil in mind, it’s no longer Steranko or Miller or even Quesada. It’s Maleev. All the way. Maleev has not just redefined the look of the character, but of New York City and the entire feel of the book. His use of lighting and shadows is down right eerie. No other book has such a dramatic look and feel to it. This should really catapult Maleev to superstar status.

Best moment of the book though, and I’ll try to spare you the spoilers, is the middle sequence, where Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange and Mr. Fantastic meet Daredevil — in civilian clothes — in the park to discuss Daredevil’s latest strategy in fighting crime. The idea that of all the heroes in NYC, that those four would team up for an intervention is just genius. Add to the fact that Bendis wrote an amazing batch of dialogue for the argument, that super heroism aside, reads like any intervention type argument among friends.

I know I sound like a broken record, but my god man, if you’re not reading Daredevil, I just don’t know what to say. E-mail me; I’ll buy you a copy. It’s that good.

Ron Richards
Wishes he could count Mr. Fantastic as one of his “Friends”
E-Mail: ron@ifanboy.com

Did you read Daredevil #56? Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!


  1. DAREDEVIL was really, really, really, really good.

    But my favorite book of the week was an impulse buy called DC: THE NEW FRONTIER #1 by Darwyn Cooke. I’ve been a big fan of Cooke’s since seeing his art in CATWOMAN. It’s a beautiful looking book with a great story. Don’t just take my word for it, though:


  2. So, I’m convinced that I need to get back on the DD bandwagon…the problem is, I just realized that I haven’t bought it since issue #37, and now it’s 18 issues later.

    That’s a lot of catching up to do. Damn.

    Best read so far, and this is from several weeks worth, so I don’t know if it’s this week, but I think it is, is the newest Ultimate X-Men.

    It could have been a regular x-men issue, but it was so good. I can’t really explain it without spoiling it, so go get it if you haven’t. Great great Logan writing.

    Much like Rucka on Wolverine, which I’m reading for the first time in over a decade. But I’m gone when Rucka is. That artist is also exemplary. Leandro Fernandez. Bueno.

  3. DC: New Frontier was so good I crapped myself. Really. Top notch. It even featured a bit of Roy Cohn the real life McCarthy-toady-lawyer played by Al Pacino in Angels in America. The fact that I got to read about superheroes in Al Pacino’s voice made my Wednesday.

    it’s really good. really.

  4. Nick is good.

  5. I picked up DC: New Frontier on Saturday based on Conor and Nick’s recommendations – and yes, it was really good. I’m hooked for all 6 issues, but 6.95? ouch.

    I loved the article about the heroes and that Golden Age Superman vs. Batman image was striking

  6. Man, was I glad to see Bendis/Maleev back on this book. Dave Mack is cool, but if they wanted to do that storyline, it should’ve been an ECHO mini. 6 issues is a long time to go for very little Daredevil.

    I loved the intervention with Daredevil. Matt halfway had me ready to jump on his Kingpin of Anti-Crime bandwagon. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

  7. “I picked up DC: New Frontier on Saturday based on Conor and Nick’s recommendations – and yes, it was really good. I’m hooked for all 6 issues, but 6.95? ouch. ”


  8. From Lying in the Gutters



    I’m hearing that some retailers have complained about the price point for DC’s “New Frontier.” For a $6.95 title, it seems lacking in production values, a 64 page comic without a spine or cardstock cover. Retailers tell me that when they’ve brought this up, DC representatives have told retailers this was Darwyn’s wish.

    I hear elsewhere that Darwyn did indeed want a non-prestige format, preferring the feel of a big fat thick comic book without a special cover for the single issues. However, this would have been at a lower $4.95 price point, like the recent “Lobo/Authority” one shot for a similar format title. And that’s what I hear Darwyn expected.

    Not to be

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