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Daredevil – Speak of the Devil (Review)

To celebrate the launch of Marvel’s Daredevil and the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we are reviewing all thirteen episodes of the first season of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil. Check back daily for the latest review.

There is an interesting inherent contradiction baked in Daredevil, perhaps mirroring the conflicts within the show’s title character.

In many respects, Daredevil is utterly unlike anything else produced by Marvel Studios. It stands quite firmly apart from the studio’s style in projects like The Avengers or Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The show is a lot more cynical and grounded. It is a lot more violent and gritty than anything else that the company has produced as part of their shared on-screen universe. It looks and feels quite distinct from the rest of the company’s output. It has a style and mood all of its own.

daredevil-speakofthedevil

However, for all that darkness and brooding, Daredevil is arguably the most familiar and traditional of superhero narratives produced by Marvel Studios. Matt Murdock might be more violent and brutal than any other major character in this shared universe, but he is also the most typical superhero. He is the only hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have a proper secret identity. He is also the only hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have a firm “no kill” rule.

This creates an absolutely fascinating conflict within the structure of the show, as Daredevil manages the wonderful task of being both the most typical and the most atypical of the Marvel Studio productions.

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X-Men: Inferno – Daredevil (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

This weekend, we’re taking a look at one or two of the smaller Inferno crossovers. These issues are collected in the crossovers companion book.

From what little I’ve read of Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil, I really like it. My experience of her work on the title has been mainly limited to crossovers and tie-ins, but Nocenti has always managed to put her own spin on events – rather than feeling like a satellite title to Mutant Massacre or Fall of the Mutants, her connected issues felt like Daredevil stories staring at a world gone completely mad. It’s a subtle distinction, but one that too few authors remember in this era of event-driven comics. Inferno is no different, as Nocenti manages to take a massive and unfolding X-Men crossover and make it work for her own narrative and characters.

This city’s really going to hell…

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Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis Omnibus, Vol. II

I still stand by my assessment of Daredevil as the most consistently well-written comic book of the past decade. Sure, there have arguably been smaller runs that have been more experimental (Grant Morrison’s New X-Men), slightly more easily accessible (Mark Millar’s Ultimates), or more important for the medium as a whole (Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern is perhaps most responsible for general trends in the medium), but none is as consistently satisfying as the relaunched Daredevil title, in particular the two runs by Bendis and Brubaker. Here we have the second half of Bendis’ iconic run collected (along with some Daredevil-related miscellany). It’s a great collection that might not be as breathtakingly incredible as the first half of his run, but it certainly delivers on what was promised.

He's also The Man Without Shirts...

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Daredevil: Yellow (Review)

The rest of the story you know too well. It’s been told a lot of ways, with many other people in my life, but this is the way I choose to remember it when I think of you.

– Matt Murdock

The first part of Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb’s informal ‘colours’ trilogy (Spiderman: Blue and Hulk: Grey being the rest of it), Daredevil: Yellow has a lot going for it beyond the two talents behind a trilogy of iconic Batman stories (Haunted Knight, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory). Cynics would describe it as the last classic that Loeb wrote. The truth is that it offers a wonderful eulogy for the carefree comic book stories of old, simple and ridiculous fare with simple storylines and clear-cut good guys and bad guys. It’s a nostalgia trip – which means it isn’t quite as compelling as the duo’s work on Batman – but it does lend the collection a nice feel to it. If you are in anyway interested in the olden days of comic books without the retro-post-modernism that typically accompanies such fare, this is the story for you.

Daredevil's come on leaps and bounds from his early days...

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