Daredevil #1 – Comic Review

Daredevil #1 starts swiftly. The Deputy Mayor’s daughter has been kidnapped. Attorney Matt Murdoch pours over evidence. New in town, and ready to help, Murdoch wastes no time suiting up. On the sunny, west coast, palm tree lined streets of San Francisco, Daredevil leaps and vaults from the rooftops. New York now far behind him, Daredevil races to the rescue. An impressive feat considering Murdoch himself is blind.

What Daredevil #1 offers:

  • Themes of travel, transition, and change flow throughout the comic book
  • Artwork that eases transitions, and captures a unique sensory perspective appears
  • Some scientific information appears regarding electrical signals – High School students and Teachers could make use of this comic book.

Artwork creates a seamless transition between scenes, and tells a succinct and clear origin story (two pages). The comic book art gives readers an insight behind Daredevil’s senses.

Two pages of artwork summarise Daredevil’s origin story. These pages create a seamless transition between scenes. They also entice the reader by offering a glimpse into Matt Murdoch’s unique point of view. Circular panels appear, rather than square shapes regularly used in comics.

Murdoch sees with echolocation.

Like a dolphin or bat, when Murdoch becomes Daredevil, he echolocates, and navigates be sound. Daredevil artwork represents sound, and its effect, by depicting Daredevil standing in an environment made from fine lines. Each line represents a sound wave. Combined with bright colours, sometimes neon pinks, bright green and yellow, the audience can find out exactly how Murdoch sees: sound waves bounce off objects around him, giving a hint of their size, weight, location, and shape.

Lettering in this comic book is suitably dynamic, large, and impactful. Letter size is one of the many ways the comic represents sound.

As Murdoch rescues the young, recently kidnapped girl, his face changes, showing emotion without appearing too drawn or over-the-top.

New, layered characters, support Matt Murdoch in his new home

Murdoch would probably be lost and confused without some new contacts to help him in San Francisco. Kirsten McDuffie – an attorney – speaks directly to Daredevil throughout this comic.

The comic book presents Kirsten McDuffie as layered. For example, when Murdoch arrives at his new office, the signage on the front door reads:

———————————————–

Kirsten McDuffie

and Matt Murdoch

Attorneys-at-law

———————————————–

When I first saw this sign, I immediately assumed that McDuffie aimed to promote herself unduly. Printing her name larger than Murdoch’s on the sign – he wouldn’t notice, being unable to see. Shocking, that she would do this to him.

Then another fact emerged: Murdoch’s previous offices where routinely destroyed by supervillains – that was even before Murdoch publicly revealed his dual identity as the Daredevil. By hiding his name in plain sight, McDuffie’s plans to safeguard Murdoch against attack. By enlarging her name, she is possibly even trying to shield him from harm – a good friend and layered character.

Frenetic movement, and a fixation with movement build up themes of travel, transition, and change. Murdoch confronts his reasons for leaving New York when forced to slow down.

There’s  some great delivery of technical information. The street by street layout of New York and San Francisco appears. Readers can also pick up a description of  Faraday Cage.

Action forms the core of this book, however. Murdoch, even when he is standing in one spot, or sitting down moves quickly, making rapid movements with his hands. Kinetic action makes up the centre of the comic book. Daredevil rescues the kidnapped daughter of the Deputy Mayor. This focus on movement – and the fact that Murdoch has traveled to a new city – supports the main theme of the comic: travel, transitions, and change.

When forced to finally stand still, Murdoch is uneasy. His reasons for leave New York City finally catch up with him.

A popular culture reference is the use of a Faraday Cage, which was also used in the Doctor Who special episode Planet of the Dead.

Warehouse 13 also made reference to the scientist the cage is named after, and his inventions: Michael Faraday was an electro-magnetic engineer.

Daredevil #1 is published by Marvel Comics ($3.99 USD). Mark Waid and Chris Samnee (Storytellers.) James Rodriguez (C.) VC’s Joe Caramagna (L.) Cover Artwork by Chris Samnee.

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