Saturday 26 April 2014

Bad luck 'aving comic reviews on board... even a miniature one

The Royal Mail finally condescended to bring me my comics, so, y'know, reviews of a few comics from the pack, a light one this week and both by Mark Waid (not that I'm complaining, I bloody love Mark Waid comics)...

Daredevil #2
I could certainly bitch about how this issue in no way addresses #1's cliffhanger but I'm not going to. A mystery like that will probably be better for a slow boil and in the meantime Matt and Kirsten's hazy and undefined relationship is more than interesting enough for me. Besides, arguably the #1.50 one-shot gave us enough clues for the time being.

As to what this issue is doing it's another pleasingly direct issue of Mark Waid Daredevil. Someone's kidnapping Mafiosi, Matt Murdock's contact Deputy Mayor Charlotte Hastert brings him the case and away we go! If this seems like damning with faint praise it is not. What superhero comics need right now are a few more series like this because we've spent damn near two decades now de-constructing, reconstructing and subverting this art form to the point that there really is mileage in writing “standard” superhero stories with modern techniques.

Aside from that the issue sketches in some more of Matt's life in San Francisco, consciously fails to define his relationship with Kirsten (so she's probably going to live a while longer) and even introduces one of San Fran's native heroes to the mix. Marvel's San Francisco has a storied (if spotty) history so seeing that come into play was nice. There's a lot of foreshadowing, mainly name-dropping the Owl who we know will be a big cheese in this series from #1.50 and you're confident in where things are going but then Waid pulls out a last page twist.

Original Sin #0
What did this issue do? It made me care about a character I had no previous knowledge of and added layers to one I've known practically my entire life.

It didn't look like either was going to happen to start with. The issue is mainly the new Nova, Sam Alexander, soliloquising about his relationship with his absent, alcoholic father in the general vicinity of a more-silent-than-usual Uatu. Since I'd never read a Sam Alexander story and barely read any Nova stories this wasn't a promising start. I mean that's as basic an origin as you can get, the only real distinction is that a young man has daddy issues.

But this is Mark Waid writing and as we deal with four paragraphs ago Mark Waid does simple only so he can pull the rug out from under you with something clever and makes Sam's origin actively relate to Uatu's character. As an origin primer it's a good choice because really the only other thing this telling has going for it is one small different detail from the standard telling so giving it emotional weigh gives me another reason to stick around.

Yes, it's true that Uatu's strong silent act does not quite ring true. Just a week or so back he was keeping Hank McCoy up all night (in All-New X-Men #25, by talking, what did you think I meant?) and he's never been big on keeping to his non-interventionist vows. 

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Daredevil was indeed a delight. And I have to admit to being totally taken in right up until the final page!

I haven't been reading Nova or the whole Watcher thing, but Uato being the strong silent type also strikes me as being a tad disengenuous. He's never been shy about yapping about stuff before, albeit in a totally pretentious manner.