By Charles Soule, Ron Garney and Matt Milla
Charles Soule’s Daredevil run continues, entering its third issue as Matt Murdock’s knowledge and skills as both a lawyer and a crime-fighter are set towards a mysterious crime lord turned cult leader who is amassing power in Chinatown. His name is Tenfingers, who has found himself in a difficult situation as the Evil Order of Ninjas has come calling for his stolen magical powers.
The book itself is moody, atmospheric and intense. Soule has to not only juggle with the expectations and accessibility that comes with the readers who will have been tempted to pick this book up after the hit Netflix TV series, but also fans of the previous run. Coming off the back of Mark Waid’s, Chris Samnee, and Matt Wilson’s acclaimed run is no mean feat, but Soule, one of Marvel’s most prolific writers at the moment (particularly when it comes to his work with the Inhumans) and his cohorts continue to deliver a really solid read. It’s engaging, and the darker tone that comes with Garney’s pencils and Milla’s colours helps create that fantastic atmosphere that the book has. There are some spectacular panels throughout the book, such as the one fairly early on where Daredevil stumbles into a fight between the two rival crime groups, and there’s a panel of Matt in the background watching ninjas hurl themselves towards their unprepared target. It’s one of the many moments throughout the issue that really work, with the splash page that comes not long after that showcasing Daredevil’s involvement really being another highlight from the issue.
So far, Daredevil is fresh and exciting and it’s certainly not a clone of Mark Waid’s run. Whilst there is a growing trend against the dark grittiness of comics, if executed well enough the book can be a success. The addition of Blindspot as a new crime-fighting partner to Daredevil is, however, a problematic one. He doesn’t quite feel as needed as the character could be, especially given his limited page time, with the focus primarily on Matt here as expected. Time will tell as it’s still fairly early stages, and there’s plenty of potential for the character to grow.
The book progresses at a natural pace, even if we are still in a set-up stage, and builds up strongly to the cliffhanger that will no doubt be enough to keep readers coming back for next month’s installment. From what we’ve seen in the first three issues the comic has a fresh, strong voice, and while there are a couple of minor problems that this issue such as Blindspot not being as well-developed as he could have been, that’s all they are: minor problems.
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