Monday, March 12, 2012

Review- Daredevil: The Man Without Fear

DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR (MARVEL PREMIERE CLASSIC VOL. 18) (Marvel, 2008; Hardcover)
Collects Daredevil: The Man Without Fear Nos. 1-5 (cover dates October, 1993- February, 1994)
Writer: Frank Miller
Artists: John Romita, Jr. (pencils) and Al Williamson (inks)
This is a retelling of Daredevil's origin, with all sorts of back story inserted. It is extremely dark and gritty, and it is also extremely well done. Frank Miller is a good writer, but I have never been crazy about his artwork. Here we have the work of the ever capable John Romita, Jr. and Golden Age great Al Williamson to help propel this to levels of greatness.
Miller does a tremendous job of creating an atmosphere with his first (and sometimes second) party caption box narratives. You simply cannot create this much atmosphere and tension with picture heavy, text light modern decompression-style comic book storytelling. That's not to say that this is a Don McGregor book; indeed, there are pages with little to no text on them at all. Miller understands pacing and story structure, and like most comic book writers of his generation, when to speed it up and when to slow it down.
This was another one of those $10 box convention finds, where old overstock is blown out. This was sealed and in mint condition. It's also the only way that I would've bought this variant design dustjacket. While I like the appearance of it, they all have numbers on the spines, which means that if you have them all they all line up and look real pretty. I do not buy all of the Premiere Classics Hardcovers, so that is why I don't buy this dustjacket design.
The OCD zone- This was a blast from the past, in a bad way. While I love this paper stock, this book has the glued mousetrap binding that I loathe. I don't enjoy fighting to keep books open. If you were to let go and try keeping this book open with one hand...SNAP!, like a mousetrap.
The restoration is excellent, and there are a ton of DVD style extras in the back, such as the original proposal, scripts, unused artwork, and even the covers of the older trade paperback printings. It's the extras and attention to detail like this that make Marvel's collected editions department superior to DC's in every way, shape, and form.

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