Eliot Cole reads Daredevil #12 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee for Bleeding Cool;
There is a horrible, horrible, 'office word' called "Synergy" that my friendly proof-reader rightly advises me not to use. So I don't, but there's a lot of good blending of complementary talents on Daredevil since Waid's relaunch last year. Added to the obvious effect that there's a good mesh between those collaborating on any given issue, Marvel are contriving to ensure a coherent visual style with their artist to assist in bringing us a strong long form narrative.
The overall effect of the art is using quite classic lines like Ditko and crew back in the day; the flat colouring style also aping the past, but with a larger palette. Here Samnee and Rodriguez (S&L) bring back the fantastic, new, 'red line' Daredevil sonar-view, and that would actually be all you would need for some visual representation of the current ongoing style. However they also show an art style that is on the same page as Rivera, Martin et al.
The goofy looks, and the playful, cartoon expressions are so wonderful that S&L may even trump the previous teams for the glee that they're providing, here. We also get very strong and contrasting colour choices that serve to bring the characters to the fore. Although with panel focus they almost always fill or centralise the primary concern in the 'screen'. That's no criticism, just noticing it as quite a film like tic.
Humour is a big part of this book now, as well as a general levity around Murdoch's character. We've seen the impact, that Foggy is now a little more serious, and less of a pratfall character.
No pratfalls? Not so in this issue. The light humour here, is great, where we regress back to Foggy and Matt's college days, and how they handled their demon disciplinarian.
This issue is like a lovely little mix of recent Community episodes, the classroom court, the fairground, the metametameta … OK, I'm stretching that too far, but it is nicely, and accidentally, prescient.
S&R mix up the styles a little from the bare first page, to more detailed affairs such as the second and fifth. But it's hard to work out where the detail comes from to someone like me with little knowledge of the pencilling/colouring craft. I like to think that Rodriguez is working hard here, though. Sometimes the pencils given to a colourist can be like the script that is given to the penciller, when it works it's beautiful.
To show the humour, and actually some of that good detail work (with some nice layering) on page five:
It's a beautiful panel, something that might end up as a full page spread in an online comic book. But it could work as a one page splash, too, as you'd still get good pay off with the next panel either way. There would be even more scope for fleshing out the relationship, and you could fit a ton more soundbites in. But it's also a great panel in context, because all of the colour and light are in direct contrast with the next panel.
Said panel also being a contrast in Murdock's life, the light/dark, colour surfeit/colour sparsity, drama/comedy. It's very nice. It's nice when artists can bring something like this to the table and make it look so easy. Whether it's conscious or not, it's very effective.
Sorry to ruin one of the nice points in the book, but I really think it's indicative of what goes on here.
Waid is a master story teller; 20 pages of story and it feels like 30. The suit is only out once, and his treatment of Murdock makes him more relatable than he's been in years. His easy handling of conversation, the style in which this is done feeling very real, his able handling of action (only hinted at here with the last couple of pages) and the general pacing (again, see the last four). In a single panel Waid also nails Spider-Man's voice, which I might imagine came from his time on the ASM team a while back.
This is my stand-out comic book of the week. Like FF last week it's a stand-alone book, but I think that there's more reference to the current goings on in the series. I'm in love with the art combo, and I really don't think that Waid has put a foot wrong the whole series.
Other websites pen their opinions in to a score, which I like. It's an instant indicator of like or dislike. I'd go a four out of five on this issue. We know how good Waid can be on Daredevil, this is an excellent example of that.