With the overwhelming number of Marvel Comics characters that are at the forefront these days, it’s quite easy to lose a few in the cracks. Heroes like Star-Lord and Groot have been able to steal the spotlight from some of the greats like Spider-Man and The X-Men. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought so many more fans to the folds, and while it’s quite the phenomenon, it’s a shame that we still forget about some old favorites.
When I was a kid I used to collect Marvel action figures. I had Spider-Man, Wolverine, Venom, The Hulk, Captain America, and about one thousand other guys. As a child you tend to pick out characters that look cool, have a cool name, or you may have heard or seen on TV. After asking my parents for Spidey, I looked around and found some other characters I thought looked cool: Punisher (he had a skull on his CHEST!), Silver Surfer (a dude made of Silver, yes!) and Daredevil (he’s dressed as a devil, righteous).
I loved my action figures then and I still love them now, but I’ve lost touch with some of those heroes over the years. Punisher has been consistently pretty strong, especially Garth Ennis’ PunisherMAX run in the mid 2000s, but the others have been hit-or-miss and non existent throughout most of my life. I am too young to have experienced Frank Miller’s Daredevil first hand, and Silver Surfer has become something of a supporting character over the past few decades. To me, Daredevil was always a lame version of Spider-Man and Silver Surfer was more of a prop than anything else. Then I decided to go on an adventure in Comixology. By my brother’s suggestion, I took a look two different series: Mark Waid’s Daredevil Vol. 4 and Dan Slott’s Silver Surfer (2014). Both looked just strange enough to read. Slott’s Superior Spider-Man was one of the coolest things I had read in years and Mike Allred’s wonderfully cartoony art just popped off of my iPad. Look at it in it’s bright, 60s-inspired glory! I had to give this one a shot.
I read some of Mark Waid’s Daredevil Vol. 3 and was impressed. I’ve always liked Mark Waid, as Kingdom Come may be my favorite DC arc of all time and Superman: Birthright was a great retelling of Supes’ origin. When I saw Chris Samnee’s and Javier Rodriguez’s cover art it brightened up my whole room, in a similar fashion to Silver Surfer’s. In an instant I was won over by how Dardevil’s art contrasted to the other books I have been reading. I was brought back to being a cartoon-junkie and wanted to delve into DD’s new adventures in San Francisco.
At first I couldn’t believe I was reading Silver Surfer. I found it difficult to understand how a character so invested in the Silver Age could be relevant today. What’s great about this series is that Dan Slott understands that Surfer is a little hokey, but he does a great job handling it. The art is a huge strength as it allows the reader to not take it all too seriously. Space has a fun, whimsical nature to it and as Silver Surfer cruises through the cosmos, stars and color speckle the page panel after panel. The art makes space feel so incredibly bright.
In this run, Surfer is much more human. He’s travelling through space trying to make right after his years as the Herald of Galactus. He ventures to strange planets and meets weird aliens and strange cities. The arc deals with his connection with an Earth woman named Dawn Greenwood and how it has become his cosmic duty to protect her. The series has found the perfect way to juggle goofy and compelling while introducing readers to cosmic entities like The Never Queen and Nightmare. You even get a little taste of the classic Defenders in a one issue team-up.
Slott’s Silver Surfer fits nicely into the vibe of the Guardians, and is a great vacation in space. If you want to read some fun sci-fi definitely give this one a shot!
Next we have Daredevil Vol. 4. I had to muster up willpower to get myself to read this one. I know Mark Waid is great, but finding the desire to read Daredevil is a bit tough sometimes. I’m glad I powered through it. Matt Murdock has recently moved to San Francisco because he had revealed his true identity in NY and his long-time partner Foggy Nelson had been “killed” by a terrible villain named Leap-Frog. As he starts his new career on the West Coast, Daredevil has found just as many problems as he had in NY. He still cannot hide his identity fully, and crime has followed him out to the Bay Area.
Waid’s grasp on Daredevil is a great fit for the character. He understands the strange dichotomy between someone who is both an attorney and a vigilante. Murdock’s legal instinct presents itself quite often as he handles most of his “cases” as both a detective and lawyer. He’s great at figuring things out, knows how to plan, and his expertise both physically and mentally take the forefront of the series. While DD is good at kicking people in the face, he’s forced to use his ability to think more frequently. There are plenty of comics where heroes smash their way through enemies, but Daredevil is almost always at a disadvantage. While his echolocation is a wonderful tool, his lack of any real super powers always puts him against the ropes. Waid finds brilliant ways to write Daredevil into a corner, only to show him gracefully backflip out. If you have enjoyed Daredevil in the past, or want to change up your comic library give this book a shot. I love it and cannot wait to read more. With Netflix’s Daredevil coming out in 2015, this is the perfect time to get a little more acquainted with The Man Without Fear.
These new obsessions are a bit odd for me, but I’m happy to really dig into some new series. I’ve also been reading Uncanny Avengers which is brilliant. I’ll keep you all updated with anything else I decide to start reading! Go hit the comic store!