Daredevil #1 review

Or Daredevil Vol 3, #37. I’m delighted that writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee are still handling Matt Murdock, but less than thrilled that a Marvel Now relaunch has provided the opportunity to bump up the price to – forget that measly cent – $4. Yes, this is undoubtedly one of the best superhero books out there, but it would’ve been even better sans inflated cost and cover-hobbling red band.

Did I vote with my wallet? Nope, because I love how Waid and Samnee connect with Matt, and San Francisco – the Man Without Fear’s new home – is my favourite place in the world. In this issue we see why moving to the City by the Bay is such a weird decision for a sightless guy whose compensatory super-senses work best in a familiar setting. And of course, a swinging superhero needs somewhere from which to swing, and compared to New York, San Francisco is Salar de Uyuni.

Waid dramatises Matt’s new situation nicely via a story involving a kidnapped little girl, Chelsea. He finds her without too much trouble, but carrying her around a ‘foreign’ city while being pursued by two ruffians on ‘airwings’ – think Goblin Glider – is hardly a doddle. He has help from lady-friend and law partner Kirsten McDuffie, a two-way radio and a maps app, but as should always be the case, it’s Matt’s own guts, ingenuity and abilities that save the day.

The action is fast-paced and fanciful, a wonderfully sunny romp despite the tension accompanying young Chelsea’s plight. The issue also gives us a look at Matt’s new sideline, acting as a consultant for the SFPD, with his super-senses making him a hugely efficient CS-eyeless (ducks). 

As ever, Waid finds an elegant balance between drama and comedy. There’s not much of the latter, but what we do get is golden. 

That Kirsten McDuffie, she’s a cheeky mare and no mistake. 

And while best pal Foggy Nelson is barely in this issue, his moment does seed a new mystery.

Samnee’s chase scenes are extraordinarily effective, there’s a real sense of speed and danger – and FUN – as Matt races through the city. His interior compositions are equally easy on the eye – no one does a darkened office like Samnee. And colourist Javier Rodriguez does a gorgeous job of getting us out of dingy interiors and into the SF sunshine. 

A couple of well-designed splashes recap Matt’s origin and situation, and provide a brief mission statement – this book doesn’t have to be a Number 1, but well done to Waid and Samnee for consideration towards first timers.

The cover is, as you can see, a cracker, marred only by the aforementioned trade dress, and a version of the classic logo that has the feel of a homage band – it’s just not sharp enough for this comic. 

If you’ve never tried Waid’s Daredevil, don’t buy this book just yet – invest in the Marvel Unlimited App, which is running a short-term promotion meaning you get a month’s access to 15,000 comics or more for an amazing 99c/69p/local equivalent (it’s usually $9.99 per month, still madly cheap).  Here’s the link. Anyway, catch up there, then grab this latest debut issue. Or better still, stay with the app and read it for free-ish via ongoing sub in six months. Sheesh, Marvel should pay me.

13 thoughts on “Daredevil #1 review

  1. Nice to see Waid and Samnee continue on with their usual excellence. But yeah, all this “Let's constantly re-number our titles” bullshit is tiring and unnecessary nonsense. It's all in the name of making a quick buck, while squeezing an extra $ out of readers. My god, are comics really $4.99 nowadays? 😦


  2. I hope we see some other new heroes in this i heard the shroud will show up maybe night shit won't be far behind


  3. hey mart have you heard dynanite is reviving the gold key universe and mark waid will be writing one of the titles it's called the occult casefiles of dr spektor and from the interviews i think it may be a read worth… well reading plus reading a mark waid comic is always a good idea


  4. you won't regret it they have some great writers working on the books like van lente his old running mate greg pak and up and comer frank barbiere of image comic 5 ghost an interesting pulp inspired occult adventure book


  5. I didn't realise we could get Unlimited over here Mart. Thought it was only available in the US. I'll definitely check it out.


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