Warning: This review contains spoilers.
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are making life difficult for comic reviewers. Month after month, they continue to produce fantastic issues of Daredevil, forcing critics to come up with new ways to sing their praises. Daredevil #9 is no exception to this trend, though the generally fun tone that has characterized this run begins to crack. It appears that Matt Murdock’s world may once again come crashing down, this time at the hands of children with the powers of the Purple Man.
Mark Waid has asserted on multiple occasions that his Matt Murdock is not inherently “lighter” than past incarnations and that the tragedy that he has experienced is simply hiding below the surface. That latent tragedy comes boiling to the surface during a confrontation with the mind-controlling children introduced in the previous issue. Unknowingly, they force Matt into confronting his deepest, darkest emotions head on. The effect on Matt is more crippling than anyone could have imagined.
Waid truly outdoes himself here. Matt’s inability to face down his emotions is heavily touched upon early in the issue, but the reader is distracted from the core of the conversation by the banter between Matt, Kirsten, and a comically disguised Foggy. The latter of that trio pokes fun at the idea of Matt Murdock writing an autobiography, mostly because it’d be the most depressing thing ever written. Though Matt claims that he’d have no problem revisiting his past, Chris Samnee’s imagery shows that Matt is likely in denial – a scenario that comes to fruition the issue’s aforementioned conclusion.
As great as Waid’s script is, Samnee’s ability to translate it into art is truly special. This is no less evident than when revisiting the issue’s cover after reading through it. The imagery has a simple, if somewhat abstract aesthetic. However, it is a microcosm of the issue’s narrative in which Matt, seeming cheery, is forced off the deep end by the issue’s antagonists, with the Purple Man at the root of it all. In one image, Samnee masterfully conveys base elements of a single issue. Anyone looking to see what he can do with a whole issue’s worth of pages should check out Daredevil #9.
Note: This review was originally published at InfiniteComix.com