I have said it before: I have high expectations for issues that are #1’s. I demand more, expect more, and want more out of them, because if the publisher is going to put forth a first issue – he’s marketing it to me – he has to convince me. He has to prove, right out of the gate, that there is a purpose and a goal in creating a new series/title, and that the story I am going to follow along is worthwhile, entertaining, and new. This new Daredevil title has received all sorts of acclaim. Many comic sites have called it one of the top three new series of 2011. Everywhere I looked, this title (and this issue) was praised and lauded.
I got interested in Daredevil with the Shadowland event. And I am not ashamed or abashed to say that I actually quite enjoyed Shadowland – and even Tweeted the writer my thanks for his story. Then, I read the 4-issue Daredevil: Reborn miniseries which bridges the gap between Shadowland and this new Daredevil title. The story in Reborn was not awesome, but the covers were absolutely awesomely amazing. AAA – in other words. Triple A. 5 star greatness.
This cover, which was done by Paolo Rivera, I believe, is also fantastic. It is also very representative of the interior art and story which is the essence of this new title. First of all, I love “simple” cover art – by this I mean, not cluttered and sloppy and busy, but generally just a focus on one or two characters with a glorious background. This cover is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time because it shows that the artist truly understands the character. I do not mean this in some sappy psychological manner. I mean, the artist actually seems to be reveling in his understanding of what makes Daredevil a unique and interesting character.
One of the main reasons that I disliked Daredevil was that he was uninteresting. This cover, alone, demonstrates to me that this series has made Daredevil an interesting and exciting character. I absolutely love the word-art onomatopoeia that is the background for this cover. It’s great! Look closely and see the birds in the scene. Read some of the words: HONK SCREECH THUD VROOOMM. However, my favorite part of the cover is the perfectly depicted smile on Daredevil’s face. It’s mischievous, cocky, and fun. This isn’t the tired and miserable Daredevil of yesteryear. This Daredevil, swinging towards us right off the page, is ready for fun, action, and coolness.
The interior art is just as fantastic as the cover art. The last page of the main story is really phenomenal – I would love a poster of it. Several frames throughout the pages are just excellent – the artwork is clean and uncluttered, but filled with that real understanding of the character. The pink “radar” lines and the clean pencils just make the artwork in this issue outstanding and really, I cannot praise it sufficiently. Sometimes, I look at a frame and think: “Wow, yeah, that’s such a unique and creative way of seeing this scene – and totally encompasses how Daredevil deals with the world!”
The writing is pretty good, too. I mean, I like how Daredevil seems arrogant, but capable. He’s not moping around, and he’s got a fun and mischievous flavor that shows through in both the dialogue and in the way other characters react to him. It’s a really fun story that definitely makes you want to read the next issue – which is the precise goal of first issues. The backup story in the issue is also very well done, and again really makes the title a cohesive entry between Shadowland, Reborn, and this new series’ storyline.