Daredevil #29: Corruption Run Amok
Mark Waid continues to impress with his Daredevil run. After a lengthy story arc that culminated in a battle with Bullseye, Waid is setting the Man Without Fear up to take on corruption in the halls of justice. Ending a short, two-issue arc, that started in issue #28, Daredevil runs afoul of a massive plot to silence an old rival, but not a rival in the standard comic book mold.
Nate Hackett was the first boy to introduce a young Matt Murdock to turmoil through endless teasing and humiliation. It was, in fact, Hackett who sent Murdock running, crying, into the streets where a certain radioactive goo was spilled on him, giving birth to a hero. Now, years later, Hackett has returned. An affable and clueless loser about to face charges stemming from his involvement with the Sons of the Serpent, a white power group who seem to be growing some massively long arms.
During his trial, the judge shoots Hackett. The court officer attempts to kill Murdock, but is less than successful. Turns out the “charges” against Hackett were a set-up to get him to the courthouse for an execution. An entire courthouse, the people within it, and a judge, all on the Sons of the Serpent payroll – this means a whole section of our judicial system has been corrupted. While issue #29 is a fun read, it’s really all about setting up Daredevil’s next romp.
Our hero gets Hackett out of trouble, defeats the bad guys, and then sets out to find and crush all the Serpent Sons in society. Waid also hands us a cliffhanger ending, involving the appearance of someone that Murdock is either happy or just surprised to see. Waid keeps the action quick, and the dialogue snappy. Waid’s an effortless storyteller; he just understands implicitly how to get from A to B in an entertaining way.
Javier Rodriguez takes over for Chris Samnee on this outing. While there’s nothing wrong with Rodriguez’s art, it’s clear he’s attempting to jump the Chris Samnee train. I’m not sure if this is a purposeful move to keep the artwork cohesive, or if Rodriguez simply has a style that close to Samnee. His character pencils are also heavily influenced by Silver Age artists and, like Samnee, there is little in the way of backgrounds here. The colors are bold, with bits of shading but not much. Rodriguez doesn’t have the same ability as Samnee, but he makes an effective fill in.
Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is currently in a series without equal.
(5 Story, 2.5 Art)