Review: Daredevil #5

The blind leading the blind makes the whole world blind.  No, wait...

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Daredevil #5

The blind leading the blind is an interesting theme for a Daredevil comic. Matt Murdock, the alter ego of our horned hero, takes the case of a blind man fired from his company for no reason. A simple case of dastardly deeds from a corporation? Not hardly, there’s a much more nefarious plot going on here. We don’t know what it is but we know it involves Latverians and something that Murdock’s client accidentally overheard. We also know it’s led to a hit squad attempting to unload their fully automatic weapons into Murdock and his unsuspecting client. Exciting? You betcha! The kind of exciting that only a veteran scribe like Mark Waid could bring us.

The new kids, the new writers, the ones with the fedora hats and rock band t-shirts, are so worried about their statement. This is my statement, this is how I shall etch my name into the annals of comic mythology by bringing down an entire universe over bad hammers or aliens or heroes warring against each other. On the flipside, you get old school jammers like Mark Waid who puts together a comic story with elements of adventure, action, intrigue and good old-fashioned fun. Murdock is in his clients apartment trying to save him from the hit squad without letting on that he’s Daredevil. That scenario isn’t new except that now his client’s blind, so there’s a twist, a little tap on the nerve of the scene that makes it more interesting.

Meanwhile we have a new villain in town, a guy named Bruiser who dresses like a human Nascar vehicle. His suit is an ugly green and it’s decorated with advertisements of every bad guy troop he’s worked for. Waid introduces Bruiser in quite possibly the best way ever by having him standing over the beaten body of Ox. Anybody who loves comics or loves Spider-Man will know who Ox is and be just as excited about the appearance as I am. The big confrontation between Daredevil and Bruiser ends with the possible death of the man without fear. Well, not really, clearly Daredevil isn’t dead but that isn’t the point. The point is that there’s a little cliffhanger, a little something that keeps the interest for the next issue. Mark Waid writes in the style of the serial films of the '40s. The end isn’t mind shattering but it does make you want to read what happens next.

I also like that Foggy Nelson is getting laid. It’s about time the best sidekick since Dick Grayson became the object of a girl’s obsession. Daredevil #5 is another triumph for Mark Waid and another example of how great comics could be if there was a little more fun in the mix. Not everything has to shatter the universe as we know it or bring heroes to their knees or cause huge repercussions through every book.

Marcos Martin’s art is a real conundrum here. There isn’t much in the way of intricate detail, the lines are bold and the shadowing very economical. Panels are laid out straightforward for most of the book and the whole thing has a very '60s noir style to it. This work should just sit there, like tiny little pictures that have no connection. Instead, the movement is incredible, the action leaps off the page even if it’s just the sweating face of a scared victim. That kind of kinetic energy is rare in comics, especially ones where the whole kitchen sink isn’t tossed into every panel. Martin’s style is the epitome of less is more and it adds to the refreshing nature of the whole story.