Daredevil Reborn #1
Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Davide Gianfelice
So this is what Shadowland was for? To get Matt Murdock doing his best Bruce Banner impression? I mean, not that I’m not interested in the adventures of a self loathing Matt refusing to be Daredevil as he gets as far away from home as possible, but for some reason I found myself expecting more from this issue than Matt trying to help a blind kid and winding up coincidentally in a giant mess.
Maybe I just don’t like coincidence on that level, where a super hero is avoiding being a super hero so everywhere they go they find more and more reasons why they’re needed. I mean, such a thing works with Superman or Captain America, someone who can’t get away from the problems they battle against, but for Daredevil to just happen to wander into small town corruption in the middle of nowhere? Come on, I get that it makes for a better story, but it just feels too forced.
So does Murdock trying his hardest to not reveal to people that he’s blind, which Diggle is nice enough to have bite him in the ass as he goes for food in a place with laminated menus. He also lets a bunch of locals beat on him for a few pages while Daredevil doesn’t fight back….really all he does is give a blind kid advice.
Alright, so let me hit my key big time issue with this issue, this mini, and this entire concept. I have NO problems with writers wanting to deconstruct a character to rebuild them, and find it refreshing from time to time. Most recently I’d cite Green Arrow and Arsenal as examples of writers attempting this, as both were broken down to their core (though Arsenal got left at rock bottom), or to an extent Batman in “The Return of Bruce Wayne”. Marvel is trying a variation of it over in Captain America with Bucky too. So what’s the problem here?
The fact that it’s not a new idea for Daredevil. Deconstructing Matt Murdock and having him get to the core of what Daredevil really is is about as original of an idea as Bruce Banner on the run from the law, or Spider-Man being a menace, or the X-Men being attacked by Sentinels. It’s happened so many times over the years that its gone from interesting story concept to expected plot point. Matt lost it all and has to rediscover why he’s Daredevil? Why should I read this and not Born Again, or the Devil in Cell Block D? Hell, Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen did more to advance the character. After everything Bendis and Brubaker did with the character, sending him off to find himself just feels like a cop out.
Then again, so is the fact that he got possessed by Parallax. I mean the Beast of the Hand. Stupid fear demons, I can never keep them straight.
It’s really not the fault of this issue itself, as the issue really is fine. It’s just the rehashing of a done and again plot for the umpteenth time for no particular reason. Shadowland was, in this reviewers eyes, a complete wash of a crossover, and this mini along with Black Panther are the followups. It’s just too bad that the followups couldn’t be simply forgetting it happened in the first place and just telling Daredevil stories. I mean, isn’t that what you want when you buy an issue of Daredevil? To see Matt put on his red costume and throw a billy club at someone? Maybe beat up some ninjas?
The art in this book is pretty good, and fits the tone. It’s not phenomenal or anything, but hey, the lack of costumes seems to fit to the artists strengths. It feels like it should be a Daredevil book….or Hulk during any point where Banner has refused to Hulk out. Though I did notice that the ‘inconspicuous bad guys’ were obviously bad given the way they kept themselves. I mean, you’ll understand if you read the issue, but it’s just a blatant ‘Oh, this is the bad guy’ kind of situation.
It’s a shame that Daredevil has once again gotten to the point where he’s trying to find himself so he can build back up, but it’s a bigger shame that Marvel is trying to act like they haven’t done this a million times before. All the teasing in the world isn’t going to get anyone believing that Matt Murdock isn’t going to be Daredevil, and all the events and mini series in the world aren’t going to change the fact that he’s going to be the same as he ever was when it’s all said and done. This mini feels like a safety net for the character, with no real risks being taken…though given the risks taken in Shadowland, probably a good thing, but at the end of the day it just leads to a boring story that we’ve all read before.
Tags: Andy Diggle, Daredevil, Marvel Comics, Reviews, Shadowland