One of my favorite parts of every new issue of Daredevil is the very beginning. For those of you who don't read Daredevil (you really should), each issue begins with a newpaper styled recap of what came before. I don't normally pay attention to recap pages, but there's always plenty to enjoy in Daredevil's, whether it's humorous comments about the Marvel Universe or lines that slightly bend the fourth wall. What really got me this time around was the caption under the photo of Daredevil, which comments on how he "seems to almost be having fun these days". It sums up exactly what I love about this series, and made me eager to tear into this issue.
Last issue's cliffhanger quickly led into an action scene, which was made all the more enjoyable by Matt Murdock's commentary. That he was able to take out this crop of baddies so easily added a lot of impact to his struggles later on in the issue. If a guy can take out six armed mercs wearing night vision goggles without breaking a sweat, then you know that any villain who gives him trouble must be scary stuff. I have a soft spot for any character who wears a luchador mask, and I'm eager to see what Mark Waid has planned for the new baddie Bruiser. His logo littered costume makes me think of the wonderful superhero series Tiger & Bunny, and I hope we get to find out a little more about his list.
Many of the questions raised in the last issue were given answers here, and I'd probably be expecting this story to wrap up in issue #6 if it weren't for some new elements introduced that seem to be building to something really big. It makes me wonder if this case will ever get a clean ending. I loved that Matt isn't even making the most basic efforts to hide that he's Daredevil from Austin Cao. Quite a few fans have been speculating that Austin will join the book's main cast, and this seems to back up that line of thinking. Of course, at this point, I could completely believe that Matt's given up on trying to conceal his secret identity, which makes Foggy Nelson's attempts to keep up the facade all the more amusing.
Speaking of Foggy, this was a really great issue for him. I've liked him since the start of this Daredevil run, but his concern for Matt here really increased my appreciation for the character. I don't want Matt to go back to being miserable all the time, but I like that Waid's acknowledging that things aren't always that simple. I've mentioned before that I really can relate to this take on Daredevil, and as much as working to have a positive outlook on life has helped me, it's not a magic fix for everything that's wrong in my life. This was a nice carry over from issue one, and I hope we'll get to see Foggy and Matt talk about this soon.
Paolo Rivera is a tough act to follow, but Marcos Martin is doing a terrific job of it. Sound effects and panel layouts continue to be used brilliantly and remain one of my favorite aspects of the book. His line work is smooth and sharp, and he creates some really terrific poses, especially near the end of the issue. The facial expressions are also great- the scene at Kristen and Dina's apartment had a bit of a Cliff Chiang vibe, which is always a good thing. Javier Rodriguez returns as the book's color artist, and his work continues to make the book feel bright and fun. What really excites me about the art in Daredevil is how much it embraces the fact that it's a comic book. Onomatopoeia is a huge part of what makes the medium fun, and I love how well it's used here.
When a comic is as consistently good as Daredevil is, they don't seem to get as much attention has they should for being great. That's a shame, because I have had a blast reading every issue so far, and I think there are a lot of comic readers that would feel the same if they gave this book a chance. When I pick up a new issue of Daredevil, I know I'm going to love the heck out of it before I even turn the first page. The comics world needs more constants- books you can count on to be terrific no matter what. Daredevil is one of those constants. It's reliably great to look at, reliably fun, and just a great comic reading experience every month. I really think this is going to be remembered as one of the all-time best Daredevil runs, and I'm excited to be reading it while the story's still unfolding.