Happy Comics Release Day!
For a character who’s not well know to the general public–save for a bad movie starring Ben Affleck–Marvel’s Daredevil has been blessed by some incredible stories created by some of comic’s best known talent.
Kevin Smith had a bestselling run that is collected in the hardcover Daredevil: Volume 1. Brian Bendis and Mark Maleev had a four-year run beginning in 2001 that was widely acclaimed for its intensity and Maleev’s atmospheric artwork. Trades of their run are widely available.
But after than run ended, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark took over.
And that’s the story I picked to spotlight this week: Daredevil: The Devil Inside and Out.
I first spotted Brubaker as a writer on DC’s Batman. At the time, he was the least well-known of the Bat-writers and my reaction was “who is this guy and how did he get so good?” I followed his runs on Catwoman and Sleeper at DC and then when he moved to Marvel, I followed him to Daredevil.
Brubaker has a tendency to write dark stories that somehow still retain an element of hope and humanity in them. His run on this title is no exception.
Picking up events from the end of the Bendis/Maleev run, the story begins with Matt Murdock in jail for his illegal activities as Daredevil. Matt insists he’s simply a blind attorney in order to protect himself and his loved ones but very few are buying his story.
Daredevil has to survive the seeming loss of his best friend, being moved to the general prison population of super villains, preserve a semblance of his secret identity and somehow find a way to hold onto his faith.
In short, this story is his dark night of the soul.
What Kids Will Like About It:
This is a dark story but not a depressing one, given the ending. I would say kids age twelve and above would enjoy it. Lark’s art is just gorgeous, especially during the frequent fight sequences, which flow beautifully. Lark also seems to have a way with showing blood and injuries without being over-the-top.
Daredevil is also, in the end, a hero that kids can look up to because he doesn’t give into despair.
What Parents Will Like About It:
Brubaker writes fabulous characters. From Matt, inching ever closer to losing all the values that he’d ever had, to Foggy, trying to do right by Matt but inching closer to violating every legal ethic, and to prison’s warden, who shows some surprising depth in a role that most writers would have made two-dimensional.
The opening splash page, with Matt Murdock sitting all alone in a dingy prison cell. There’s another panel that equals it near the end but to talk about that would be spoiling things.
About the Creators: