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Review: Daredevil: Dark Nights #1

DDDN1With Daredevil, crisis is always afoot—not the monotonous crisis that reiterates itself over and over in every almost-the-end-of-the-world superhero comic series on the market these days, but the very human sort of crisis that is high strung with emotion, full of challenges faced by every-day people. Maybe it’s Murdock’s (dis)Ability that makes him seem so much more relatable, intuitively closer to humanity than all the other supers, but Daredevil stands above superhero books as something I feel personally invested in. The $2.99 cover price is no object, even for my tight college-student budget: I need to read Daredevil because he needs me; humans need as great a touch of humanity as we can get these days.

Though what I’ve said may border on poetic absurdity—am I really heaping praise on just another comic book?! Well, yes.—I had to stop reading and write out the above when was halfway through Lee Weeks’ first installment in this new mini-series, Daredevil: Dark Nights #1, the first of three written by Weeks, with five to follow, for a total of eight issues in this series of talented artists taking on the Man without Fear. I’m a huge fan of the on-going Waid and Samnee Daredevil, it’s always top of my list to read on the week of release, and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I love Daredevil (the character and the book, but God forbid, not the movie!) so much. Dark Nights #1 proved the final Muse in my effort to locate my inner motivation for sliding my Daredevil issues to the top of the stack each month.

I think I’ve talked the book up enough, but just to be sure: a review.

I haven’t encountered Weeks before since I’m new to Daredevil, having only picked up the book around issue #21, Superior Spider-Man’s first appearance in comics, a few months ago (In fact, I had to buy it off a retailer for $15, and even though I knew that price wouldn’t hold, I was desperately interested and splurged despite my better instincts). If you’re like I was before today—and you’re a sane person who enjoys beautiful, complex, thoughtful art—then you need to take a look at Weeks’ art. Daredevil: Dark Nights #1 is both written and illustrated by Lee Weeks, with Lee Loughridge providing colors. Weeks’ page set-up is amazing, with the juxtaposition of panels and the placing of internal monologue and external dialogue some of the craftiest work I’ve ever seen: this books is like visual opium for a comics lover! I couldn’t find any online images of some of the best pages, so you’ll just have to find them yourselves for a little currency.

And Weeks’ writing is top notch, bringing Daredevil to life with just as much rigor, reality, and justice as Waid. The story is driven forward by dialogue, internal thought from Murdock, and Biblical quotes that drive home messages of moral justice and tie Daredevil to the fight/plight of the common person: drunks, hobos, thieves, a girl dying and in need of a transplant, a city trapped in a blizzard.

Daredevil falls; overcomes; sets out to triumph despite the odds. It doesn’t sound all that incredible, in facts these are the ingredients for just about any superhero comic, but in the words and pencils (again, the page layout!) of Weeks, Daredevil: Dark Nights #1 is a book that you can’t really miss. I know I’m in for the rest of the series, are you?

Story and Art: Lee Weeks Colors: Lee Loughridge
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

General Marvel