Review: Daredevil #6

Six issues in, and Mark Waid is still kicking ass with The Man Without Fear.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Six issues in and Daredevil is still kicking much ass. This brings to close the opening story arc, the one that has re-established Daredevil as a premiere force to be reckoned with within the Marvel Universe. I will admit, a few things had me shaky last issue but writer Mark Waid has successfully tied up this story with a style and flair that others wish they could master. Waid gets it, he understands comic books and he writes from that understanding. Daredevil #6 is a great read. One that sets Murdock up for serious troubles ahead.

When we last left the Man Without Fear, he had been slapped around and tossed overboard by Bruiser, a super villain assassin looking to climb his way up the hero ladder in order to secure his place in the world of high end killers for hire. Bruiser is an awesome character because he’s the penultimate version of modern warfare. He wears a costume that’s tagged with logos from the groups who hire him, he has a website and he’s looking to make a name for himself via reputation. It feels like Waid was taking some potshots at pop culture and the comic industry here.

Daredevil isn’t dead, naturally, and he uses his keen abilities to follow Bruiser to the stronghold where five of the world’s most insidious terrorist groups are looking for payback. Seems that Daredevil’s alter ego Matt Murdock’s client heard something he wasn’t supposed to, something that is about to get him killed. What happens next is best left for you to read and if you didn’t pick up issue #6, you’re seriously missing out. By the end of this issue, Daredevil has outsmarted the five groups and now holds something that could make him the most dangerous man in the world, especially to the bad guys. How will this set up further adventures? No idea, but as long as Mark Waid is writing them, I’m down for the long haul.

I can’t express enough how refreshing Waid’s Daredevil is. For anybody who loves the crimson crime fighter, we all know how desperate and consistently awful his life has been. Waid has turned that idea around not just by changing the direction but also by applying an old school writing ability. In this world of Fear Itself and Dark Avengers and split Banner and Hulk, people seem to forget how to have a good time. Waid demonstrates that you can create exciting, visceral adventures, things of real consequence, and yet keep the idea that these are comics. It’s the same style that Will Eisner used on The Spirit. Gritty, serious stories that managed to stay within the idea of comics being comics. Only a few modern writers have that gift. Waid, Scott Snyder, Dan Slott and Greg Pak are the ones that come to mind. I’m not saying they are as good as Will Eisner, let's not be crazy, but they do understand the true idea of storytelling through sequential art.

On that note, the art in Daredevil #6 is once again stellar. Marcos Martin not only knows how to draw these kinds of stories, he also understands how to pace them. Martin’s art is light, lots of big areas, and strong lines. His minimalism on detail allows for maximum movement, not just panel to panel but also within them. He’s one of the few artists that can block out a page in a pretty standard way; box panels right next to each other, and keep it interesting. The best example of his ability is on page five, fourth and fifth panels. Two henchmen are talking about how Bruiser beat Daredevil and suddenly Daredevil is there. You don’t see what happens, but your imagination fills in the blanks nicely. Waid and Martin are an awesome team that have brought the world’s most melancholy and depressed superhero back into the light!