I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Daredevil by Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, John Romita JR., and Bill Sienkiewicz

This massive book contains the some of the collection of Daredevil comics that Frank Miller did for Marvel. This includes the penciling work he did on two Amazing Spiderman comics that featured Daredevil. Like everyone else, Frank started at the bottom of the business, as hard as it is to imagine someone of his talent doing. This also includes the one time he collaborated with the legendary artist John Buscema for a comic under the Daredevil name called Badlands about a man without fear that's intriguing and has no masked Daredevil in sight.

The comic that really put Miller on the map was the Born Again storyline he did with Mazzucchelli where Daredevil's former girlfriend Karen Page sells out his name to a dealer for some heroin and Daredevil's real name Matt Murdock finds it's way to Kingpin. Kingpin, for whom Daredevil has long been a thorn in his side sets out to destroy Matt Murdock by taking him to the brink of insanity and therefore destroy Daredevil. The art is great of course, but the way the panels are set is really amazing and leads the story. And what a story it is. This is storytelling at it's best.

Miller's pairing with Bill Sienkiewicz produced the beautiful War and Remembrance which also features Kingpin. The art in the book is just plain gorgeous. There are hints of Monet, Toulouse Le-Trec, some Japanese influence and some modern art influences as well. It's rather dreamy in nature which fits the plot. Kingpin has kidnapped a doctor's wife in order to motivate him to cure his wife who is in a dream-like state. The man who is watching over the doctor's wife is unstable and the artist chooses to depict him as a Japanese macaque or snow monkey, at times.  Daredevil gets involved of course and nothing goes as planned.

The last story in the book he did with John Romita JR. (his father was one of the original Daredevil artists) is called Daredevil: The Man Without Fear and it goes back to his childhood and tells in detail Daredevil's origin story as never before. This would be the Daredevil bible. It was also going to be used as a script for a TV movie and after the comic there is a script for a TV movie. The 2003 movie did use this comic as the basis for the beginning of its movie and followed Romita's artwork shot-for-shot.   The paneling and artwork will blow you away. And the story includes a bit of everything: how he lost his sight, more information about Stick, meeting up with Foggy, and his first time being with Elektra, as well as the shadow of Kingpin.

Overall this book is really worth reading if you are a Daredevil fan or merely a superhero fan. Maybe you watch the TV show on Netflix and would like to know more. This book is a good place to start. It doesn't hold all of Frank Miller's Daredevil work. If it did you wouldn't be able to pick it up.  But it will make you hungry for more, so beware.

*I read the library's copy of this book as the reprint of this book is rather expensive.

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Daredevil-Miller-Omnibus-Companion-Printing/dp/0785195386/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483538534&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=Daredevil+by+Frank+Miller%2C+David+Mazzucchelli%2C+John+Romita+JR.%2C+and+Bill+Sienkiewicz

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