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Daredevil by Mark Waid Volume 5 is his best yet

Daredevil by Mark Waid Volume 5

While I still love Frank Miller’s runs of Daredevil best, this latest hardcover of Mark Waid’s is the best he’s done. Volume 5 collects Daredevil Volume 3 issues 22 through 27. I didn’t really like the start of Mark Waid’s Daredevil with the Omega Drive. It felt a little too mainstream Marvel, like I was reading the Avengers without most of the Avengers. It got better, but this volume just blew the previous out of the water.

Some things were interesting but minor. It was cool to see Stilt-Man again in a funny way, and there was a little fight with Spider-Man. But there were a few things happening that were absolutely great. First, Ikari is a great villain. I know we don’t know much about his personal motivation. No, he’s not a well-rounded character yet. However, I hope we see more of him in the future. We also got to see Stick in some flashbacks. I kind of thought Waid was going to downplay Stick, but apparently I was wrong.

Daredevil begins to piece together who’s after him and who has been sending people to harm him. It was exactly who I expected, but it doesn’t mean it was any less cool, especially how Foggy figured out who it is before Matt. Speaking of Foggy, it’s great to find their relationship getting repaired. The roles flip back and forth, and we see that maybe they perform the same function for each other. They need each other. While Daredevil might be called the Man Without Fear, we see him incredibly scared in this volume, and Foggy is the one who has to keep him grounded, despite imposing health problems.

While I prefer hardcovers over single issues, it’s going to be extremely hard to stay away from Daredevil until the next volume is released!

The Sentry: Reborn

The Sentry: Reborn

After enjoying the idea of the Sentry, I went back and read his original series and The Sentry: Reborn miniseries. The original The Sentry miniseries has an interesting background story. In the Marvel Universe, the Sentry is supposedly one of the first superheroes, but for some reason, no one remembers him. Over the course of the miniseries, it’s revealed why no one remembers. It also explores his nemesis, the Void, a being of pure evil. What’s especially interesting is that Marvel plays up the idea by acting like they found old sketches and notes about him from 60’s.

The Sentry: Reborn adds a lot more twists to his story. It examines the relationship between Robert Reynolds, his alias as The Sentry, and The Void. Reynolds’ therapist is also a major character as they deal with Reynolds’ schizophrenia. It’s very fascinating. The Sentry is very similar to Superman in that they’re both incredibly powerful “classic” heroes. They’re both forces of pure good. However, out of his costume, Reynolds is highly unstable, suffering from schizophrenia, depression, delusions, agoraphobia, and substance abuse. It’s definitely a different direction than Superman!

I do have to say that the art style in The Sentry: Reborn was rather disappointing. The proportions consistently looked off to me, and faces looked especially bad. John Romita Jr. is a pretty famous comic artist, so I don’t know if he used a different style for this or if I just don’t like his style. Regardless of art problems, I still thought it was a great book!

The Disastrous Daredevil

As a Daredevil fan, I figured it was about to time I watch the movie that’s universally despised. Having watched it, I can understand why.

The two biggest problems with the movie are probably Ben Affleck didn’t seem to really care about the role and that Daredevil didn’t seem to be a true hero. The fight scenes weren’t great either. It’s too bad Frank Miller wasn’t directing.

There were some minor differences that didn’t bother me too much. For one thing, I was sad that Matt’s father wasn’t called Battlin’ Jack Murdock, but oh well. The big problem was revealed when we saw Daredevil origin. As he runs away from the reveal that his father’s a thug, he causes an accident that spills radioactive waste in his eyes, blinding him and heightening his other abilities. How heroic. Boy runs away and causes an accident. The hero I know as Daredevil saved an old man from getting his by a truck, thus getting in the accident himself. Speaking of being a hero, in the comics Daredevil chases the man involved in his father’s murder into a subway, but the man has a heart attack. This was transposed onto an unrelated person for the film, but rather than simply having a heart attack, Daredevil leaves him on the train tracks to get by a train. Leaving someone to get killed is not in his character at all. It’s confusing that they would even think to put that in the film.

Elektra enters a coffee shop and sits to drink before even buying anything. There’s a goofy romantically tense fight between Matt and Elektra in a park when they first meet, and no one seems to care. Scenes seem to shift as people fight. The Kingpin isn’t the calculating, brilliant man of the comics. And why was he involved in Jack’s death? They throw Karen Page into the film for no reason. Was it just so fans could recognize a character from the comics? There were no sparks between her and Foggy or her and Matt, leaving her inclusion pointless. It was just sloppy.

There were, however, redeeming qualities. For one thing, Jack Murdock decides to win his fight against John Romita despite being told to throw it. He also learns that many other people he defeated actually threw their fights, including Miller, Mack, Bendis. These are all obvious references to important people involved in the writing of Daredevil comics, which I enjoyed. Michael Clarke Duncan portrayed Kingpin excellently. I also enjoyed Colin Farrell as Bullseye even if I kind of missed his costume. Bullseye is crazy, and this is especially noticeable in his facial expression and eyes. Farrell pulled it off.

While I wouldn’t think about saying the Daredevil film was good, I enjoyed it. However, I’d recommend that if you’re not a fan, stay away. That isn’t because you wouldn’t appreciate it. Rather, it’s because I wouldn’t want to taint your impression of Daredevil before experiencing Frank Miller’s take on the Man Without Fear.

Marvel’s Siege

I finished Marvel’s Siege recently, which admittedly is three years old. It deals with Norman Osborn’s siege of Asgard and his fall from leading H.A.M.M.E.R. I didn’t read any Dark Reign, so I didn’t see any of the comics that dealt with Osborn being the leader of H.A.M.M.E.R., but it was interesting to see him leading in Siege.

Osborn’s an interesting character, dealing with his own mental instabilities and struggles with the Green Goblin persona. Siege deals heavily with the Sentry who, with The Void, parallels Norman Osborn in many ways. The story makes me wonder about Osborn’s motives and whether there might be good in there, buried by crazy. More than that, it makes me extremely interested in The Sentry. I’ll have to go back and read his mini-series when I can find it.

I really enjoyed Siege despite not knowing some of his Avengers. Seeing Bullseye as Hawkeye was pretty cool too, although I suppose that wouldn’t have been new if I had been reading Dark Reign. After reading Osborn’s rise in The Secret Invasion, it was fitting to see his fall.

Daredevil Volume 3

Daredevil by Waid volume 3

The third volume of Mark Waid’s Daredevil collects issues 11 through 15 of Daredevil volume 3 along with issue 6 of Avenging Spider-Man and issue 10 of the The Punisher volume 8. The Omega Drive continues to be a driving factor, but Waid manages to get other unrelated stories into the comic while still keeping the focus on the Omega Drive.

The story flows seamlessly between the three different series without the art or writing changing styles drastically. By the end of the collection, the Omega Drive story arc comes to what I assume is a conclusion for the time being. It comes as a nice bit of a twist as well.

My favorite story in this book was unrelated to the primary story arc; as Matt talks to his date about his friendship with Foggy, he recounts his college days. It goes into the details surrounding a professor lying in an attempt to get Foggy expelled, Matt risking his college career to defend Foggy, and Foggy repaying Matt. I’ll withhold the details, but it’s a great story.

In the second volume of Mark Waid’s Daredevil, my favorite story was also one unrelated to the main arc of the Omega Drive. The best Daredevil stories seem to be the ones that don’t cross-over with the rest of the Marvel universe. In addition, Waid intends to return Daredevil to the swashbuckler he once was and to take him out of the darkness. I think the dark stories work better. Despite preferring a harsher tone, Waid’s Daredevil continues to be interesting and fun. In the final of this collection, we definitely see some dark things happen to poor Matt again as the story arc changes.