Friday, 11 October 2013

Books: Daredevil (2012 - 2013)

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Daredevil
Vol 1
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Paolo M Rivera and Marcos Martin
2012


Available now from Islington Libraries
You can reserve this item for free here:
http://www.library.islington.gov.uk/TalisPrism/

Daredevil
Vol 2
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Paolo M Rivera and Marcos Martin
2013



Available now from Islington Libraries
You can reserve this item for free here:
http://www.library.islington.gov.uk/TalisPrism/

Daredevil
Vol 3
Written by Mark Waid
Art by , Marco Checchetto, Chris Samnee and Khoi Pham
2013



Available now from Islington Libraries
You can reserve this item for free here:
http://www.library.islington.gov.uk/TalisPrism/


From Mark Waid - who (to me) is best known as the guy who wrote the (excellent) Astro City [1] - but (going from the members of the Comic Forum at least) is better known now for all the evil and nasty things he got up to with Irredeemable comes a fresh take [2] on everyone's favourite blind superhero with devil horns and a red leather one-piece: who's also a lawyer and who consistently has the type of relationship problems that even Jeremy Kyle would balk at.

But yes - you know that already from all the glowing reviews and stuff: blah blah blah. What you want is for me to tell you what exactly all the fuss is about with this new-minted-freshly-pressed version of Daredevil (no previous experience necessary - so you can just pick it up and get straight into it)? Well - ok: just take a looks at that cover to Vol 1 - I mean maybe it's a little bit too small on your computer screen (no?) so I'd do a favour and just describe it for you: it's Mr Daredevil all decked out in his fancy red leather jumping around: only what looks like far away like a blank magnolia/vanilla backdrop is actually a cityscape where the building and birds aren't filled in with lines and colours and blah (like a normal thing) but rather they're written in with sounds: so the birds wings all say "flapflapflap" and their heads say "coocoocoo" [3]: all this being the big clue that unlike most of the other Daredevil books that I've encountered on my travels so far [4] is that it's the first Daredevil series to really dig deep into this whole blindness thing [5] and try and represent it on the comic page. 

Of course (and I can't be the only one to ever think this right?) - but it's damn peculiar to have a superhero who seems to have been created as an aspirational figure for the blind seeing how (no duh) comic books are so very much a visual medium [6]. I mean - if you compare it with another differently-abled person [7] anything else would make a lot more sense: like someone whose wheelchair was actually a high powered inspector gadget machine (or whatever), someone whose hyperactivity gave them the ability to walk through walls [8] or (and this is my favourite and someone should make this come true because it so obviously make a really cool comic seeing how it plays to it's strengths): a deaf guy whose has super-developed sense of sight (call him Dareangel or something). Point being if someone is in a wheelchair, or has ADD or is deaf - then they can read and enjoy the comic and (hopefully) feel a bit more empowered. While anyone who's blind it's like: "Oh dude - there's this thing about a blind superhero that you'd really like only - damn - because it's a comic book: you can't - oh well." 

So. Erm. Yeah. Wait. What was I saying?      

Well yeah - so: even tho (for the reasons above) I've got this unshakeable feeling that it's like totally unfair to the blind people out there - it is kind of cool that there's these Daredevil books that take the concept of sightlessness seriously. Previously (from the Daredevil's I read - which I'll be first to admit probably isn't much in the grand scheme of things: but is still probably a dozen more than your general layperson - so) most writers would pay lip-service to the whole blind thing by going in for some detailed description of the sights and sounds of the city (and oh boy - if I had the time I would totally cut and paste all of the grandiose descriptions that have been set down over the years: but come on - you know what I mean right? "I can smell the yellowish chemical tinge of the mustard in their hot dogs from five blocks away." etc): but Waid and his co-conspirators go in for a much more bold "purple vision" which you kinda have to see to really understand: but kind looks like a cool effect from an 80s action movie [9].    

Compared to the crash and bang of all other superhero comics out there: which (as much as I do end up loving some of them) are a little bit electric guitars and crashing drums (especially the previous versions of Daredevil which have always have a particular tendency to pile on the strings in a doom-laden way) this brand new sprightly version of Daredevil comes across more like a piano sonata - light and breezy and almost delicate in the way it plays upon (and subtly upends) it's well-worn clichés. I mean yeah: you've heard the story of good versus evil a bazillion times: but hey - just because I've eaten cake before that doesn't mean that I'm not going to enjoy a few cheeky slices especially if someone knows how to bake all the right ingredients just right: mixing them all up in a concoction that I'm just going to go ahead and describe as simply devilish (ha!). 

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[1] Which I really really really should write a post for: but man - oh well: whatever: maybe in a bit.

[2] Can I get away with saying "fresh take"? Kinda makes me sound like a voice-over for a cheesy mid 90s film trailer: but maybe that's just a problem that exists only in my head?

[3] Which always reminds me of that Bill Hicks joke. But yes. 

[4] Most of which I must say are really damn pretty good and is really (have I said this elsewhere on here?) the only real competition Batman's got in terms of mainstream superhero character comic books that people who don't normally read mainstream superhero character comic books can also enjoy and appreciate: only (for whatever social reasons) - Batman is afforded waaaaaaay more respect by the general public than the blind guy with the white cubs all dressed up in a red leather one-piece (which I guess we can probably blame (as with so many things) on Ben "Smugface" Affeck). But yeah (whatever) my point being: if you're looking for a good time: go read a Daredevil comic (especially if it's one written by Mr Frank Miller or Mr Brian Michael Bendis).  

[5] Of course - I'm sure that this is wrong. And hey - if anyone out there wants to do an "well - actually I'll think you'll find…." then go ahead - knock yourself out. 

[6] I mean - writing has braille right - but (as far as I know - and maybe this is like a whole other: "well - actually I'll think you'll find….") there's not a way that you can make comics for the blind - is there? 

[7] That's the proper - not-offending-anyone way to put it - right? 

[8] Ok - so that one is a bit weak and is basically just The Flash - but whatever: leave me alone.

[9] In fact: it really reminds me of this bit of trivia from John Carpenter's Escape From New York: "The wire-frame computer graphics on the display screens in the glider were not actually computer-generated, as computers capable of 3D wire-frame imaging were too expensive when the film was made. To generate the "wire-frame" images, special effects designers built a model of the city, painted it black, attached bright white tape to the model buildings in an orderly grid, and moved a camera through the model city." But I dunno - maybe that's just me?  

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Links: Comics Alliance Article: Why You Should Be Reading ‘Daredevil’Comic Book Resources Article: PIPELINE: Why "Mark Waid's 'Daredevil'"?, Comics Should Be Good Article: Would Mark Waid’s Daredevil Just be an Average Superhero Comic Book Back in the Old Days?, PopMatters Article: Mark Waid’s Narrative Multitasking in "Daredevil", Sequart Article: I Once Was Blind: Waid’s Daredevil & How Expectations Can Ruin Even the Best of Things….

Further reading: Daredevil (2001 - 2006), Irredeemable, Astro City, Hawkeye, Richard Stark's Parker,

All comments welcome.

1 comment:

Man Van Removals said...
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