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Daredevil by Ed Brubaker Omnibus, Vol. I

It’s pretty tough taking over a beloved cult title from a run which certainly measures among its best. Daredevil has long been a testing ground for many an iconic comic book writer, but Brian Michael Bendis left the book seeming to have done the impossible. Depending on who you asked, he had either come extremely close to matching the seminal run by Frank Miller, or had simply left it in the dust behind him. So taking over from Bendis would be no easy task. Thankfully, Ed Brubaker is more than up to the task.

Brubaker dives headfirst into his run...

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Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis Omnibus, Vol. I

It took me a while to write this. Because it took me a while to figure out what to say. I honestly believe that the combined Bendis/Brubaker run on Daredevil has been perhaps the single most impressive run on mainstream comics in the past decade. It isn’t post-modern or retrospective, it isn’t flashy or innovative. It’s just a collection of good and clever stories, well told. Some of them reflect the state of the superhero in popular culture, some of them explore the role and function of the media as a supreme court of arbitration, but most of them are just good and clever noir stories. If you are looking to pick up a single collection of comic books, I would recommend this. It’s nominally a superhero story, but at its heart it’s a gritty urban thriller. But that’s enough hyperbole, don’t you think?

Better the devil you know?

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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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Daredevil by Frank Miller Omnibus Companion

I’ve always seen Daredevil as a peculiarly Catholic superhero. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s the devil imagery. Frank Miller clearly sees the character as an Irish Catholic (he admitted that he believes the character practices) in an interview at the end of the first omnibus. It just seems to fit. There’s just something so human and organic about the character – so vulnerable and flawed – that he seems like some sort of lost soul amidst the pantheon of god-like superheroes. A man torn between heaven and earth. The fact that probably the greatest story told using the character is titled Born Again and his mother is a nun (as close as you can plausibly get to a virgin, I suppose) doesn’t exactly hurt, either.

Daredevil puts a novel twist on flag-burning...

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