Mark Waid has built impressive, overarching weight to his run on Daredevil. His venture into writing the man without fear can be described at certain points as being about Matt Murdock being capable enough to overcome the hardest of challenges. It can also be described as being about Matt Murdock having the gusto to stick to morally righteous principles. Collaboratively, though, his Daredevil is about the horned hero overcoming depression and finding prideful happiness. Daredevil #9 engages this head-on, offering a clever and emotionally-resonate chapter in the ongoing struggle of Matt Murdock’s search for competent, mentally-healthy living.
Currently, Daredevil is at odds with a group of five dastardly kids pegged as the “Purple Children.” Their superpowers grant them the ability to supernaturally impose their will upon other people; if they think and feel it hard enough, their victims will too. This leads to a whole load of antics surrounding juvenile grand theft auto, but more importantly, it leads to a stunning and brilliant sequence that spirals Matt back into his depression. When forced to vividly confront sensations of “pain,” “grief,” “rage,” “loneliness” and “despair,” memories come back and he crumbles into a ball of defeat.
All of that is caked thematically with another part of the comic, focused on Matt attempting to write an autobiography for a large sum of cash offered by a publisher. Matt’s fight against depression has always been in the background, or only dabbled into when in the forefront. This issue changes that, directly confronting it, and it’s lovely. The story of Daredevil, as told by Mark Waid, is inspiring, complex, and genius.
The comic remains fun despite all of this. The pencils from Chris Samnee shine, delivering at one point an amazing action sequence that takes remarkable advantage of the comic book medium. Five panels across a single page showcase an explosive bit of destruction and acrobatics that is meant to take place in the span of a few seconds. On top of that, comedy is present and works wonders for lightening the tone. When something meaty isn’t being done with Daredevil’s supporting cast, they’re put to use for solid laughs.
Daredevil continues to kick ass and make itself boldly deserving of being read. Mixing light fun with heavy themes is something superhero comics amazingly well, and Waid’s Daredevil is that idea at play to a tee.
Story: Mark Waid Art: Chris Samnee
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
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