Travelling Man's Blog

Review: Avengers Issue 1 by Travelling Man

avengers issue 12Written by Mark Waid

Art by Adam Kubert

Colour art by Sonia Oback

Letters by VC’s Cory Petit

Cover by Alex Ross

Published by Marvel

‘You’re a Jerk!’

Written by Mark Waid

Art by Mahmud Asrar

Colour art by David Mccaig

Letters by VC’s Cory Petit



With a team like that on the book, not to mention a team like this IN the book, most of you will be inclined to pick this up without any words from me.

Go do it, it’s GREAT.

Need convincing anyway? Okay. Waid gets these characters on a level few other authors do. The absolutely killer cold open confirms that, but it’s the interplay between Sam and Tony that will sell you. One is a man wearing the shoes of a mentor he’s estranged from, the other is…well…kind of broke right now. Both of them are starting from zero and Waid cleverly sets up a playful friendship between the two that’s very different to that between Steve and Tony. It’s closer in tone to the Ollie/Hal ‘Hard travelling heroes’ era from DC. Two guys, both with lots to prove, both with little to rely on but each other.

That need for these characters to do something bigger than them looks to be the foundation stone of this new team. Along with that other classic Avengers motivation; crisis management. Waid cleverly folds the aftermath of Secret Wars into the story, giving the characters a motivation, foe and serious problems all in the space of a few pages. He also hands us the single best Iron Man suitup sequence you’ll see in comics this year. All of which is presented with precision, subtle colouring by Oback and almost casually impressive detail by Kubert. This really is a ludicrously good looking book with plenty of narrative muscle under the hood.

But the story that stays with you is the backup. On paper it’s deceptively simple; Nova tracks a monster to Jersey City, Ms Marvel helps out, they bicker. What makes it brilliant is the way Waid refuses to back down from the hormonal apocalypse that is adolescence. These are arguably the two sweetest natured characters in the Marvel universe right now and they do almost nothing but piss each other off even as they’re frantically trying to do ANYTHING ELSE. It’s an incredibly accurate account of teenage horror, and the chemistry between the two is all the sweeter for how vastly bad they both are at it. Plus Asrar’s art is just flat out stunning. It’s got an open, friendly quality to it but with clever character work that Mccaig’s colour work really helps bring out and Petit’s letters land with crushing accuracy. You will cringe at how badly these kids mess up around each other. I certainly did.

Another strong entry in the relaunched Avengers titles, this has buckets of heart, a ton of humour and gets a lot done in its first issue. Highly recommended.

Review: Avengers Issue 0 by Travelling Man

Avengers Issue 0

Written by James Robinson (Squadron Supreme), Mark Waid (The Vision & Scarlet Witch), Al Ewing (The New Avengers and The Ultimates), G. Willow Wilson (Captain Marvel & Alpha Flight) and Gerry Duggan (Deadpool)

Pencils by Leonard Kirk (Squadron Supreme)

Art by Mahmud Asara (The Vision & Scarlet Witch), Gerardo Sandoval (The New Avengers), Victor Ibanez (Captain Marvel & Alpha Flight), Kenneth Rocafort (The Ultimates) and Ryan Stegman (Deadpool)

Colour by Frank Martin (Squadron Supreme), Sonia Oback (The Vision & Scarlet Witch), Dono Sanchez Almara (The New Avengers), Laura Martin (Captain Marvel & Alpha Flight), Dan Brown (The Ultimates) and Richard Isanove (Deadpool)

Inks by Paul Neary (Squadron Supreme)

Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham (Squadron Supreme), VC’s Cory Petit (The Vision & Scarlet Witch), Vc’s Joe Caramagna (The Uncanny Avengers), Laura Martin (Captain Marvel & Alpha Flight), VC’s Joe Sabino (The Ultimates) and VC’s Clayton Cowles (Deadpool)

Puiblished by Marvel

Everything old is new again, and as a result we’re in an extended phase of gearing up for the Marvel Universe. This time it’s the turn of the Avengers family with this preview book that sees a certain team checking in on the various subdivisions of the Avengers. It’s an interesting idea, and one that could have been crushingly dull. Instead, it works a treat.

The framing story here sees the Squadron Supreme, for want of a better word, reassembled. The legendary Marvel characters, designed to evoke their DC counterparts were either absent or largely folded into the Avengers during the Hickman-scripted opus that’s just finished. Here they’re out for themselves and have a cold, rational viewpoint that marks them as something other than hero, and more than villain. I’ve struggled with a lot of Robinson’s Marvel work but this is good, clever stuff and he has a nice line on Nighthwk in particular. The art, from Leonard Kirk, inked by Paul Neary and with colour by Frank Martin impresses too. These characters have been given a definite, if subtle, makeover and it gives them a relevance they might otherwise have lacked. Good lettering from Travis Lanham too,

‘Eidetic’ the Vision & Scarlet Witch story that follows it is phenomenal. Mark Waid is at his best when he cuts to the heart of characters and that’s exactly what he does here. The Vision has begun to hallucinate and, realizing he can no loger distinguish reality, takes drastic steps to solve the problem. Waid renders all this with an absolute laser focus on the relationship between the Vision & Wanda and brings his customary heart and poignancy to every page. Mahmud Asara, who’s work I’m seeing here for the first time, does an astounding job bringing it to life too. The art is atmospheric but detailed, character-focused but light on it’s feet. Sonia Oback’s exemplary colour work really helps too, as does VC’s Cory Petit on letters.

The next story brings us to Captain Marvel & Alpha Flight, repositioned here as a Stormwatch-esque low Earth orbit space station. G.Willow Wilson is one of the best writers working in comics today and this story shows why. She sets up her premise, gives her heroine plenty to do and continues and expands on the tradition of Captain Marvel having a large supporting cast. This feels like both a continuation and evolution of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s defining run and any fans worried should rest assured Carol’s in really good hands.The story is fast paced, clever, sets up what’s to come but stands alone and Victor Ibanez’s smart, clean lines are exactly what it needs. Laura Martin, one of the greatest colourists in the game impresses too, as does Petit once again.

Al Ewing’s first of two stories here ‘Everything is New’ introduces the New Avengers in a wonderfully nasty way. Ewing’s writing is exuberant when he cuts loose and that’s perfectly in step with Sunspot and his ‘Throw money at it! It’ll be FINE!’ approach to running a team. This looks like the team that will play fastest and loosest with the rules and that’s reflected in Gerardo Sandoval’s flamboyant, Madueira-esque art. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but Dono Sanchez Almara on colour and VC’s Joe Caramagna on letters keep it in check. The pages ring with energy and enthusiasm and you can’t help but be swept away. That being said, this is the book I’m most interested to see shift gear to quieter character moments. Firstly because I want to see what Sandoval does with them and secondly because that’s where Ewing excels.

Which he neatly proves with ‘The Opposite of Kicking’. Even better, it marks the return of America Sanchez to Marvel comics. Ms America was one of the best parts of the wonderful Young Avengers run and the spirit of that is very much present here. Ewing uses her as the window into the Ultimates’ world and plants the same doubts and cynicism in our mind as he does in hers. Better still, he throws us possibly the best scene you’ll see all year. The way America solves the problem at the heart of this story, and the joyous art of Kenneth Rocafort, is amazing. This is superhero comics with an epic scale but real compassion and gentleness to them and it reads like nothing else in the industry. With excellent work from Dan Brown on colour’s and VC’s Joe Sabino on letters this is the strongest entry in a strong book by a good margin.

Gerry Duggan’s work on Deadpool is up next, with ‘The Night That Hell Froze Over’. Ryan Stegman’s brawny art style and Richard Isanove’s amazingly good colour work are on top form here but it’s Duggan, and what he does with Wade, that you remember. This is the most unexpected, and yet logical, approach to the character in years and even when you know it’s coming, the final panel has surprising emotional weight. Impressively done.


This could have been a hot mess of a book, little more than a series of trailers. Instead it’s an immensely confident, assured look at the new state of play with the Avengers. Pick it up, find something you like and jump aboard. Because this is an Avengers world now, and based on this issue, it’s in good hands.

Review: Archie Issue 1 by Travelling Man

archie issue 1Written by Mark Waid

Art by Fiona Staples

Colouring by Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughan

Lettering by Jack Morelli

Published by Archie



Archie Comics are, along with Disney comics, something that never really made it across the Atlantic. Those that got them were fanatical about them but the everyday story of Riverdale’s most incompetent bachelor, the two girls who love him and the wacky japery of their high school and young adult lives never really made much impact in the UK.

A couple of years ago that started to change. The decision to explore both Archie’s possible futures and the gloriously nasty Afterlife with Archie provided different perspectives on a character that had, in the past, seemed to be the embodiment of narrative calcification. Archie would always screw up, Archie would always be torn between Betty and Veronica and nothing would ever actually change.

Now, everything has. Afterlife offers a fascinating and bleak look at the world’s most idyllic smalltown turned zombie apocalypse, The Married Life examines the two possible futures for original Archie and Archie vs Predator is surely the cutest the most terrifying alien hunter in the universe has ever looked.

Then there’s this; a new start that brings Archie back to school but updates him for a modern audience. Done wrong it would have been catastrophic. In the hands of Waid and Staples, it’s the most accessible, relevant and fun Archie’s been in a long time.

The basic idea is the same; Archie is a good natured, very competent and cripplingly un self-confident High School senior. As the book opens, he and childhood sweetheart Betty are…sort of…broken up. A thing has happened, something referred to only as ‘The Lipstick Incident’ and they can’t talk to one another, or anyone else, about it.

Well, aside from you.

The secret to the book’s success is twofold. The first part of that is Waid’s willingness to engage with the characters in new ways. Archie talks to the reader a lot and in doing so makes it a much more inclusive, welcoming read than it otherwise would be. He’s a likable guy and when he addresses you that not only comes across but short circuits the years of continuity, and cliqueish set up, the book could otherwise suffer from.

The second part is Staples’ astonishing art. There’s a strong case for her being the best artist working in the field today and this book only makes it stronger. The concert scene in particular, as well as her incredible eye for character and comic timing, is some of the best art you’ll see this year. Like Waid’s script its light on its feet, focusing only on what’s happening and not the years of continuity the book cleverly sidesteps.

Rounded out by Morrelli’s subtle, informal lettering and the excellent colour work by Andre Szymanowicz and Jen Vaughan, this is a book that fizzes with energy, humour and relevance. It’s that rarest of beasts; a relaunch that’s perfect for established readers and new ones alike. If you’ve never visited Riverdale before, then now’s the perfect time. If you’ve been before, there’s never been a better time to go back.

Review: SHIELD Issue 4 by Travelling Man

Written by Mark Waid

Pencils by Chris Sprouse

Inks by Karl Story

Colours by Dono Sanchez Almara

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Published by Marvel



Phil Coulson’s rolodex cycles round to Sue Storm. The Invisible Woman is the perfect agent for a hostage extraction in South Africa. But, from the moment Sue arrives, it becomes clear things are far more complex than they thought and she, and Phil, will need to go to some dark places, in every sense, to get the job done.

This is the best issue of SHIELD so far and, given the strength of the book to date, that’s saying something. A lot of that comes from Sprouse, whose precise, clean style is as good a fit as Humberto Ramos’ fluid lunacy was for the Ms Marvel issue. Like that story, the art embodies the themes of the story as well as illustrates it. Kamala’s story was a frantic live action cartoon romp, this is a precise, clinical dissection of a difficult situation, the one thing that haunts Sue Storm and the really crappy things Phil Coulson sometimes has to do. Sprouse’s detailed, minimalist work is perfect for that kind of thing and he’s backed up by some excellent, rich colour work by Almara and sharp, expressive inks from Karl Story. Caramagna, one of the best letterers working at present, does excellent work too.

Waid’s script is the definite star this time though. Waid has become an expert in using one single, short line to elicit a massive emotional response. Waid understands not just emotions, but when people have no choice to be emotionally honest and the conversation between Uatu and Nova about their dads in Original Sin 0 shows just how good he is at that. There’s a line Phil has here that’s better. It’s honest and perceptive, sweet and kind and absolutely crosses every line there is. He has no choice saying it, he’s not happy he said it and Sue’s even less happy, but it gets the job done. The follow up, on the final panel, even deepens the friendship between the two. Sue, who views her occasional SHIELD work as something she does just for her, clearly likes Phil a great deal but is less fond of his job. Phil, as we’ve seen, is a colossal fanboy and hates having to push one of Sue’s buttons. But he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, and she knows that, and she knows he’s right. It’s complex, nuanced writing all done in three lines and it marks this series out as something genuinely special. Another assignment successfully complete for one of the most interesting books Marvel put out right now.

Review: SHIELD Issue 3 by Travelling Man

Written by Mark Waid

Pencils by Alan Davis

Inks by Mark Farmer

Colours by Matthew Wilson

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Published by Marvel



Three issues in and the done-in-one style of the title is really starting to pay off. This time round, Phil deputises Spider-Man to help break into Doctor Strange’s house which has mysteriously sealed itself off. Spidey’s there as a canary, Pavel P Rasputin is there on work release as magical muscle. Phil’s there because he never asks his people to do something he wouldn’t.

This is one of the best artistic fits for the series so far. Davis draws Spider-Man like no one else, combining very real physical presence with inhuman grace to make him bound around the pages with effortless grace. His Coulson is good too, but it’s the supernatural where Davis, Farmer and Wilson really shine. The journey through the house is a riotously colour parade of horrors as magic is unleashed, Pavel decides he probably wants no part of this and Phil does the difficult stuff while Spidey does the hero stuff. It’s a loose, kinetic style, both in script and art, and it works beautifully, playing like an old Avengers (Steed and Peel, not Stark, Rogers, Odinson and Associates) with its cheerfully mutable take on reality. Plus Caramagna has great fun with some nice meaty sound effects, all of which combines to make this feel like a road trip to classic Marvel horror as much as a search for something mystical and dangerous.

Plus, once again, we get some welcome insights into both Phil and the way the series is unfolding. Coulson is a fiercely dedicated leader, a man who is willing to sacrifice himself but no one else and as we see here, that’s possibly a weakness. Plus, it’s now pretty clear that someone, or something, is moving against the Marvel universe as a whole and Coulson is the only one who has spotted it so far. What he does about that remains to be seen. What’s no longer in doubt is that SHIELD, and this series, are both in very safe hands.

Review: Princess Leia Issue 1 by Travelling Man

Written by Mark Waid

Pencils by Terry Dodson

Inks by Rachel Dodson

Colours by Jordie Bellaire

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

£2.85 or £1.99 with that medal you got when you blew up the Death Star or your SuperCard Go!


There is a single problem with this book; it’s a mini-series. It’s a little weird to see the only (And first) female centric Star Wars book be a short run deal but if it’s successful I’d imagine the sequels will follow hot on its heels. And believe me, this deserves to be successful.

Waid’s script picks up from seconds after the credits roll on Star Wars. Medals have been handed out, Alderaan base is being broken down and evacuated and…Leia has nothing to do. The last surviving Alderaanian royal family member is a figurehead, an idol.

A target.

Isolated from the front lines and unable to do anything without protection, Leia realizes two things in short order; she’s more useful than anyone else knows and she’s far from popular amongst the troops. The very protection designed to keep her alive is making her appear cold and aloof. Something needs to be done, so, with the help of female fighter pilot Evaan she decides to build herself a mission. She’s going to bring every surviving Alderaanian home.

That’s the genius of Waid’s script, that perceptual shift that Leia is in the middle of and only she can really see. The Rebellion has always been a unified front of sorts but by having the troops grumble about the brass, Waid breathes more life into them than a good chunk of any other Star Wars fiction has ever managed. Evaan , tall where Leia’s short, laconic where Leia is determined, is a brilliant foil too. She and the Princess are each other’s conscience and their double act is at the heart of the series. Both are intense, intensely talented women. Both are in a war not of their choosing and both have lost their home. By making them both Alderaanian, Waid makes the series personal without being overblown and emotional without being overwrought. He also puts the greatest tragedy in the original movies front and centre and uses it to explore what loss feels like. Both women are wounded, both women feel incomplete and both are looking for a fight. Leia finds it for them and a crucial moment shows how much Evaan has bought into the mission without her having to say a word. The emotional storytelling here is nuanced and impressive and the Dodson’s brilliant artwork ensures every beat rings out loud and clear. Bellaire, one of the best colorists in the business, nails the original movie palate too while Caramgna’s lettering gets every voice on the page and standing out.


This is the best one of the new Star Wars titles by a mile, and given the remarkable quality of the line that’s even more impressive. Character driven, smart and at times very funny it’s a seamless addition to the movies and a must read for fans.

Review: Agents of SHIELD Issues 1 and 2 by Travelling Man

Written by Mark Waid

Art by Carlos Pacheco (Issue 1) and Humberto Ramos (Issue 2)

Inks by Mariano Taibo and Jason Paz (issue 1) and Victor Olazaba (Issue 2)

Colours by Dono Almara (Issue 1) and Edgar Delgado (Issue 2)

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Design by Jessica Pizzaro

Fitz and H.E.N.R.Y. strips by Joe Quesada



Phil Coulson has had a busy couple of years. He’s been a breakout pop culture sensation, dead, resurrected, the subject of a TV show and now finds himself pulling duty across multiple media. Coulson is now the Special Ops Supreme Commander of SHIELD and he and (some) of his agents, have made the leap across to comics in a big way. Based on these two issues they’ve got plenty to do.


In terms of structure, this book is as perfect as it could be. Single issue stories, each focusing on a different element of the Marvel universe, is a great way to not only make it as accessible as possible to new readers but to grandfather these characters into established continuity. There’s a lot of speculation over just what Marvel have planned for the near future of their universe and you’ll get no direct answers here. What you will get is a hint of the willingness they have to make things easy for readers and a lot of fun action beats.

Waid is the best possible candidate for this job and he nails Phil’s polite, calm manner from page one . He also folds in some welcome vulnerability and a neat extrapolation of something we’ve only seen hinted at before now. Phil Coulson is a fanboy, a man whose love for superheroics has led him to not only study them but put his brain to use to defend us against them when needed. That’s why he’s Phil. That’s why he’s an Avenger. He’s always the smartest and sweetest person in the room. No one does clever, kind, troubled souls like Waid and he’s on top form here. The entirety of issue 1, itself an apocalypse scale battle crammed with guest stars, is designed to show us how Coulson’s brain works and it’s extraordinarily clever. It also shows just how dangerous he is and, in doing so, proves his decency. Phil Coulson is a good guy, because if he wasn’t we’d all be in trouble.

That first issue is a great statement of intent and the second puts Coulson and his team next to Marvel’s breakout star, Kamala Khan. Humberto Ramos, a long time Waid collaborator has the perfect style for Kamala’s frantic life and there’s energy in every single panel. Where the first issue plays like an action movie, the second plays like a really good episode of a cartoon and a lot of the success in both cases is down to the art. Pizzaro and Caramagna impress throughout and Pacheco, Taibo, Paz and Almara bring a precision to the first issue that raises every character note. Meanwhile, Ramos, Olazaba and Delgado showcase not just the action but the heart of issue 2’s script. Kamala is one of the most genuine, sweet characters Marvel have on the roster and Waid cleverly uses both Coulson and Simmons to highlight that. The last scene in particular is one of the most unforced, sweetest moments in comics so far this year and, unlike Kamala’s school, every character walks away looking good.


If you like the TV series, then you’re going to like this book. If you like the TV series but can’t stand Ward or Skye, you’ll really like this book. It works as a gateway to the Marvel universe, does fun things with the TV and comic characters and is a showcase for some of the best artists working in the field. Also, most importantly, it’s fun and that’s what keeps Phil in his job, and me coming back for more.

Review: Hulk Issue 1 by Travelling Man

Written by Mark Waid

Penciled by Mark Bagley

Inked by Andrew Hennessy

Coloured by Jason Keith

Lettered by VC’S Cory Petit

Published by Marvel

£2.85 or £1.99 with that SuperCard Go! You found in the remains of the lab…


Bruce Banner has found something approximating peace as an agent of SHIELD. He’s all but rehabilitated, the Hulk and Banner finally existing in a mostly easy truce. Until someone shoots him, point blank, in the back o the head and Aaron Carpenter is called upon to save the life of the most dangerous man on the planet, and the scientist whose ruined brain he shares…


Waid’s run on Hulk has been one of the best in years and here, just like his equally impressive Daredevil run, he uses the restart to tell a very different story. It’s a smart move, simultaneously acknowledging the sales boost inherent in the issue 1 and justifying it. He also lays out a hell of an opening mystery. In short order we get hints as to who shot Hulk (That looks a LOT like a SHIELD uniform to me. Romanov? Hill?), an elegant retelling of his origin and most importantly the introduction of Doctor Aaron Carter.

To the best of my knowledge we’ve never met Carter before but he’s one of the most important characters Marvel will write this year. Carter is a surgeon, the man brought in to save Banner’s life. He’s a brilliant, gifted professional but he’s also completely out of his depth. He’s our point of identification and, through him, we see a potted history of how the public’s view of the Hulk has evolved. Carter’s own connection to Banner is handled with honesty and pathos and by the end of the issue he’s shown to be a hero in his own, fragile, way. Carter is us, a man finding himself in a room with a wounded god and forced to make an impossible decision. His bravery is the most affecting thing about the issue and will stay with you once it’s done.

On the art side of things, Bagley’s style initially seems like a dubious fit. He’s best known for Ultimate Spider-Man and there’s the same relaxed, expressive feel to the art here. However, when the Hulk makes his inevitable appearance, the choice of Bagley makes perfect sense. His Hulk is a wild-eyed force of nature, wracked with agony even as he rampages across the book. Plus, Bagley absolutely nails the final image of the issue, which sets up the entire plot. Keith’s colours help here too, especially in the way the Hulk, and the closing pages, are coloured whilst Hennessy’s inks give everything a little extra weight and detail. Petit’s lettering ties everything together, and, again, the final pages are where it really works.

Waid’s having an excellent run at Marvel at the moment and this is no exception. A mystery and a tragedy knotted together, this is a series that’s going to be a lot of fun to watch as it unties.

Review: Original Sin Issue 0 by Travelling Man

Written by Mark Waid

Penciled by Jim Cheung and Paco Medina

Inked by Mark Morales with Guillermo Ortega, Dave Meikis, Juan Viasco and Jim Cheung

Colours by Justin Ponsor

Letters by VC’s Chris Eliopoulos

Published by Marvel


Nova is young, gifted and holding onto his powers by the horns on his slightly snarky AI-powered helmet. It’s tough being a hero but being a kid hero? Even tougher. You need friends, mentors, people who’ll listen. And what better listener than someone whose job is to Watch?


You expect the first issue of a crossover like this to be a lot of things. Sweet is never one of them.

That’s what makes this brilliant, above the clever retelling of the Watcher’s origin, the dizzying array of worlds he observes and the impending sense of doom that hangs over him. This is a genuine, sweet, funny book about a boy with the oddest job in the world, his friend and the things they have in common. Waid has always excelled at teenaged heroes who speak slightly faster than they think, and his run on Impulse remains one of the all-time classics. Here, there’s the same gentle humour and easy-going, relaxed dialogue but it’s all quietly, sharpened to a point. A single line in the middle of the book that’s so transparent and genuine that it hits like a freight train. There’s incredible bravery behind both that line and the action that leads to it, and an undercurrent of the sort of friendship that if we’re lucky we get a couple of times in our lives.

You’ll tear up. It’s issue 0 of a Marvel crossover, a scene between a teenaged hero with a bucket on his head and a silent, bald alien and you’ll cry. God knows I did.

The rest of the issue is great, don’t get me wrong but that single line wins out over everything. It’s something I’ve never seen done before, using an issue 0 to tell a complete story that also ties into the imminent mini-series and it really works. It’s helped immensely by Cheung and Medina, who’s slightly chunky,s tylised look gives every character real depth and humanity. The legion of inkers deployed on the book also turn in heroic work, especially on the double page spread of just what the Watcher sees whilst Ponsor’s colours are rich, deep and completely alien. It’s complex, needlepoint work and they all hit every mark perfectly. Likewise Eliopoulos whose work is central to the other line that’ll hit you square in the feels. Each person’s work locks together to create a book that’s seamless and machine-tooled to a level a lot of comics never come close to. You won’t read a better opening to a superhero mini-series this year and that’s even before we get to the CSI:Moon stuff we know is coming. Remarkable, honest, emotional storytelling that does six impossible things before Breakfast. Pick it up.

Review: Daredevil Issue 1 by Travelling Man


Written by Mark Waid

Pencils by Chris Samnee

Colours by Javier Rodriguez

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Published by Marvel

£2.85 or £1.99 with that money off coupon from Mcduffie and Murdock, Attorneys-At-Law


Daredevil is, for a chronically unlucky man, a blessed fictional character. We’re coming up on something ridiculous like a solid decade of Daredevil writers leading the way in how to tell contemporary superhero stories and this new volume is no exception. It helps, of course, that Waid and Samnee aren’t new at the job but it helps even more that this is a new direction, and a new city, for Daredevil. He’s moved coasts, operating out of San Francisco with a new partner, a new city and new challenges.

It’s not going that well.

Waid’s script has two absolute masterstrokes encoded into it. The first is that he never loses sight of the fact Matt isn’t just tough, he’s clever. There’s an action beat involving a bomb defusal here I’ve never seen before that’s flat out brilliant and it’s not the only one. Stripped of his support system, Matt becomes much more than an urban ninja with a blackbelt in New York. He becomes a man who uses his brain as much as his body, a hero who’s smart and dangerous, not just dangerous.

The second masterstroke is that he needs to be smart. If Matt’s a blackbelt in New York he’s a first lesson white belt in San Francisco and Waid and Samnee get some of the best moments of the book out of him having to improvise on the fly. The city is built completely differently, shaped completely differently and watching Matt adapt to it even as he’s under threat is immense fun. You get the same sort of angles and fluidity of motion, but there’s a real sense of it being a new place and, through that, a new start. If you’re a San Franciscan native, as my fiancé is, you may well have some issues with the geography but roll with it, Matt is.

Rounded out by wonderful, poppy colour work by Rodriguez and some magnificent, Eisnerian lettering from Caramagna this is a great start to yet another great run for the Man with No Fear. Ot only that but this is an arbitrary restart in numbering that, for once, makes perfect sense. Clever, funny and tough, just like it’s lead, this is great. I await the inevitable Golden Gate Bridge fight with glee.

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