Daredevil pounds pavement and breaks bones on a crusade against the upstart gang terrorizing Hell's Kitchen. But that crusade will put Matt face-to-face with his deadliest enemy - and threaten the very souls of those closest to him.
Father Matt may be a man of God, but Daredevil is a man of anger. The two sides of Matt Murdock are chiefly separated by the emotions Matt feels at any given time. It’s a strong idea to build a series around, but is it going anywhere in Daredevil #3?
Daredevil #3 opens with Daredevil infiltrating the Daily Bugle in hope of finding out what Ben Urich’s angle is with his attacks on St. Nicholas’. He observes a disagreement between Ben and Robbie Robertson over modern media but is called back to St. Nicholas’ before he can learn anything useful. Back at St. Nicholas’, Father Matt is late for an appointment with child protective services. The meeting ventures on to the topic of the rumors about St. Nicholas’ which leads to Matt once more taking to the rooftops as Daredevil to get his anger out.
The new Daredevil run pushes the Matt/Daredevil duality in a fascinating and extreme direction. Ahmed goes with one of the starkest contrasts possible: casting Matt as a priest, a role that is reflexively associated with non-violence, while keeping him as Daredevil, a notably violent hero. Daredevil #3 is the best example of this yet. Matt spends most of the issue at work as Daredevil and it comes in direct conflict with his responsibilities to the children in his charge. At the same time, Matt fuels his work as Daredevil with his frustrations from his work at St. Nicholas’. For now this is more nebulous character development than fuel for story advancement, but it remains the series’ most compelling story component.
Ben Urich’s conflict with Robbie over what sources are legitimate and acceptable for the Daily Bugle reads like it’s supposed to be topical. But at the same time it comes off as dated. Does anyone believe that new purveyors care anymore? Urich may be wrong, but Robbie’s argument comes off as “old man shakes fist at clouds.” He’s written as though he doesn’t understand any part of modern media.
That said, the storyline that sees Ben Urich investigating/attacking St. Nicholas’ introduces a problem that Matt may not be able to punch his way out of.
The two penciler/inker teams work well in Daredevil #3. The split happens at the right moment with a final action sequence. Daredevil looks angrier and more intense. Indeed, this version of him looks like a person who is using violence as an emotional outlet as opposed to simply a consequence of crime fighting. Considerably more linework emphasizes the character’s intense emotion. The detail isn’t just on the lower part of Daredevil’s face, adding intensity to every move his mouth makes. The extra lines and shading around the mask’s eyes and forehead communicate how angry Daredevil is in a way the smoother, softer art in the early pages does not.
Conversely, the softer style works well for the St. Nicholas’ storyline which, as noted, is currently not a problem Matt can punch.
Aburtov’s coloring stays largely consistent between the two art styles. But there are subtle differences in the look of Daredevil’s costume. Certainly setting the aforementioned action sequence at night as opposed to the rest of the issue that takes place during the day justifies dulling the costume’s color. But the extra and heavier shading gives the red an added dimension, keeping it distinctive but not quite the shiny red beacon that it can be.
The extended action sequence in the latter half of Daredevil #3 is sound effect heavy–perhaps excessively so. Cowles ties many of them to the moves and impacts during the fight sequence, reinforcing the action. Others feel like they’re just there.
The current Daredevil run is a high quality series that is starting to feel like it’s laying groundwork without getting anywhere. Daredevil #3 is the biggest transition issue yet. The series continues forward, but future potential remains its greatest selling point.
Daredevil #3: Anger
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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