Due to a distinct lack of time on my part this week, and the fact I’m going to be away for a week (try to fight back your tears), I’m just going to focus on the good this week. And man, there was a lot of it.
So many quality titles hitting the shelves this past Wednesday, but despite all the greatness on display, there was one title that stood head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
So, without any further ado, I give you…
Daredevil #26 (Marvel Comics)
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Review: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s latest offering was the first comic I read this week, and as I worked my way through the rest of the bag, it’s safe to say that nothing else even came close. In fact, I’d go so far as to call this a perfect comic.
Yeah, I said it.
It features drama, pitch-perfect characterisation, twists, turns, emotion, humour; just an incredible, incredible comic in every sense of the word. Without delving too far into spoiler-land, the identity of the mastermind behind Matt’s suffering over the past twenty-five issues is finally revealed (in an absolutely stunning ‘brainstorming’ session between Matt and Foggy), and after so much hype, the final payoff delivers in every conceivable way. This is the culmination of literally years of subtle maneuvering, with all the plot threads finally coming together in one beautifully poignant moment. Storytelling at its absolute finest.
There’s just so much amazing stuff going on in this book that it’s difficult not to find myself gushing about every little detail. Matt’s increasing paranoia and panic following his run-in with truly terrifying villain Ikari in the previous issue (is it paranoia if they really are out to get you?) is beautifully conveyed, as we see him becoming more and more agitated and – dare I say – fearful. Seeing the usually unflappable ‘Man Without Fear’ literally running scared from this new adversary provides the emotional undercurrent of this entire issue, and we can’t help but feel we’re right there with Matt as he struggles to compose himself in the face of this truly unique threat.
Chris Samnee delivers yet another stunning piece of visual work here, including his usual brilliantly creative panel layouts and flawless visual beats, and his efforts are complemented perfectly by the distinctive colouring of Javier Rodriguez and the innovative lettering of Joe Caramagna. The visual aesthetic of the comic marries up perfectly with Waid’s razor-sharp writing, resulting in a comic that has a gloriously ‘old-school’ feel about it, and that manages to be simultaneously fun, moving and dramatic. Truly a work of art in every sense of the word.
And if the stellar main story wasn’t enough, we’re also treated to a inspirational and moving backup story as Foggy visits some young children on his cancer ward and witnesses them writing their own superhero comic. Another amazing slice of storytelling, and the cherry on what was already one hell of a sundae.
All in all, I’m not sure what else I can say about this title that I’ve not said before. Amazing writing and amazing artwork combined to create a comic that will make you laugh, gasp, cheer and cry (well, not me, because I’m all manly and stuff *cough*). If you’re not reading it already, YOU NEED TO READ IT! Seriously. Along with Hawkeye and Saga, this is pretty much the pinnacle of comics right now. You owe it to yourself to at least check it out.
Honourable Mentions: Art Baltazar & Franco made an extremely interesting first impression with The Green Team #1 (DC Comics) – the spiritual counterpart to Gail Simone’s ‘The Movement’ – as we get a chance to see just how the 1% lives. Also in DC land, both Aquaman #20 and Justice League #20 delivered tremendously entertaining side-stories, with the latter preparing for the upcoming Trinity War. Fantastic Four #8 (Marvel Comics) by Matt Fraction continues the ridiculously high standard of writing we’ve come to expect from him. Uncanny X-Men #6 (Marvel Comics) by Brian Michael Bendis gives us another riveting side-story based in limbo, beautifully illustrated by the absolutely fantastic Frazer Irving. And finally, in a great turnaround, Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man #10 (Marvel Comics) finally turns regains its footing in a major way following the revelation of the last issue. It’s great to finally see OctoParker standing on his own two (eight?) feet, and hopefully now we’ll be able to enjoy the potential this story has without Slott trying to avoid being skinned alive by the pro-Parker crowd.
And that, sadly, is it. No Bad or Pretty this week, but I’d still love to hear what you guys thought was below-par or beautiful to look at this week. Help a brother out, will ya?
And don’t forget to tune in again next Saturday. Same Ceej time, same Ceej channel!