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Daredevil: Season One

Written by: Antony Johnston

Art by: Wellinton Alves

11 April 2012

Marvel/133 pages/digital copy/$19.99

In 2012, Marvel released its Season One series in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Marvel Universe. The project’s aim was to reintroduce the origin stories of some of the brand’s most iconic characters with the selection of younger creators, in this case Johnston (Wasteland) and Alves (Red She-Hulk).

Daredevil: Season One is a single expanded story as opposed to a compilation of issues. It’s told in a straightforward fashion tied together by a mystery surrounding St Finian Catholic Church and Father Mullen who employs the services of Nelson & Murdoch. Suspects tied to the mystery are introduced as Matt attempts to do some detective work in between action sequences. The revelation, although not predictable, wobbles in its assumption that key characters have actually made a connection.

What the story does well is balance the travails of Matt and Daredevil, and illustrate the progress of their separate lives as they both struggle to establish their reputation in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s also interesting to note that Daredevil is one of Marvel’s most religious heroes and the story uses the church for him to find solace.

The action is reasonably paced with convivial exchanges from the love triangle between Karen Page, Daredevil, and Matt’s law partner, Foggy Nelson. Daredevil fights one baddie after the other, most of whom have disappeared from mainstream limelight save for Electro. The story introduces villains key to the development of Daredevil’s identity with the likes of The Fixer and The Purple Man.

The illustration has the look of modern cartoons going towards realism.  Panels look clean and clear cut but aren’t used to more creative effect.

The comic does a decent job of visualising Matt honing on miniscule details in which the colour red envelops a panel with increasingly larger rings representing Matt’s sonar-like hearing.

To kick-start your Daredevil reading, the book includes Daredevil (2011-2014) #1 by Mark Waid (DC Comics’ 52, Kingdom Come) featuring a battle against Spot and a surprise ending.

Daredevil: Season One does a straightforward job telling the origin story of The Man Without Fear. The story isn’t too gripping but manages a coherent narrative. For those unfamiliar with the Daredevil franchise, Johnston and Alves have provided a good start. 

Review score: 7.5/10

Reviewed by Stephen Suminguit

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