Emotions are powerful. A strong emotional reaction can either enable or cripple. They can impair day-to-day activities and allow for extraordinary feats. Emotions, in essence, make people feel alive. They can also overwhelm, especially someone with enhanced senses such as Matt Murdock. Daredevil #10 opens with the titular hero defeated, writhing from an emotional overflow caused by the “children” of the Zebediah Killgrave – the Purple Man himself hovering above delivering repeated blows. Embracing and overcoming one’s emotions are strong plot threads in the latest chapter of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s saga.
As enjoyable as Mark Waid’s writing has been, Chris Samnee’s art has been a major draw for this title – and for good reason. Not only are his characters and settings beautifully rendered and aesthetically pleasing, but each issue’s layouts and his use of imagery has elevated the series to a top-tier comic. Samnee opens Daredevil #10 with Matt in what can be described as a dream-like state. The result of a an emotional overload brought on by the Purple Man’s “children”, Matt cowers in the fetal position as he is overcome with depression. The imagery sees Foggy and Kirsten slipping away from Matt’s view until he is left in total darkness. This series has done a wonderful job in relaying specific emotions to the reader through its words and images, and here Samnee conveys in a hauntingly beautiful manner the darkness and isolation one feels in a depressed state. He also adds the nice touch of depicting Foggy and Kirsten in Matt’s “radar vision” as that’s how he would see them. While the remainder of the issue does not contain anything near as abstract, this opening sequence effectively draws the readers in through the art, and the quality rarely dips below pristine.
Mark Waid continues to prove himself to be the master of “pure” superhero comics. Though his stint as the writer of Daredevil has tackled several real world matters, he continues to depict his heroes as inspirational figures that can overcome insurmountable odds – even if those “odds” come in the form of telepathic children that just want to play video games and eat junk food. When examined from afar, it’s an interesting notion that Waid’s script begins in a black void and ends in the colorful visage of an arcade. It’s an interesting mirror to Matt’s emotional state throughout the issue. Though depression is something that is never truly cured, Matt is able to overcome his emotional trauma like so many others in society.
Daredevil #10 nicely wraps the Purple Man arc, but also directly addresses one of the more prevalent mental disorders – one that affects millions of people around the world. Waid and Samnee are effectively making Matt Murdock a greater symbol than he already is. Not only is he someone that can bring hope the physically handicapped, he now can also be look to as a beacon of light for those suffering from various mental issues. He is a truly inspirational figure, which is the mark of a hero.
Note: This review was originally published at InfiniteComix.com