Rob McMonigal's Reviews > Daredevil, Vol. 1

Daredevil, Vol. 1 by Kevin Smith
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's review
Mar 02, 2008

really liked it

This oversized volume contains the Kevin Smith arc that revamped Daredevil along with a follow up story introducing Echo, who now hands out with the New Avengers. Kevin Smith is very underrated as a comics writer. In this volume, he takes the rather stodgy world that is Matt Murdock's mopefest and livens it up by giving Matt a reason to think he's important again. With all of DD's supporting cast showing up, including Peter and Dr. Strange, and with references to quite a few spots in DD's history, Smith shows that he knows what he's doing and can deal with continuity, just as he later did with Green Arrow.

The story itself is no slouch, either--Matt is given a child who may hold the key to his Catholic faith (Smith is also Catholic, if I remember correctly.) Soon he's told that the child is not all he appears to be, and starts to question everyone around him. Before you know it, parts of his life come crashing down, as an old villain makes a return to the scene and gets a great set piece as a destroyer. Just as he can't think of where to turn, Matt puts just enough together to get by. The results don't alway provide the answers you want but at least they're answers. By the end, Matt wonders if it's all worth it. Smith ends the run on a note of reflection, a note of redemption, and a note that there's a reason for everything.

Enter David Mack. Mack does some neat art tricks with the book in telling us the story of Echo, a young woman as gifted as Matt despite being deaf. Unfortunately, rather than stick, she's had Wilson Fisk as her benefactor, and when Fisk decides it's time to pick up where the villain of part one left off, he uses her as his weapon. Matt must face his opposite number, who loves Matt Murdoch but hates Daredevil. As their relationship gets more complicated--and to a point, a bit too much of what we've seen before vis a vis Elektra--we also get a picture of Fisk himself. He is a man that keeps rising up, only to keep falling again, not unlike Daredevil himself. By the end, our Echo rings out the false notes and Matt is once again left alone.

Mack's story does not hold up as well for me because of the fact that it seems too reliant on things that Matt should already be wary of--namely, Fisk interfering in his life. I also find it a little hard to believe that such a man would do good towards anyone that was not Vanessa, his wife. However, the echo of Vanessa's fall in Fisk's demise was a nice touch. It's still a good tale, just one that could have stood a bit more flavoring. All in all, this is a nice two-arc collection that I'd definitely recommend. (Library, 11/07)

Trebby's Take: Recommended!

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