Pros: The book contains some excellent stories that show how cool of a hero Daredevil is. Some of the stories feature an emotional and heartfelt message, adding an additional level of depth to the story. Paolo Rivera’s art is great once again.
Cons: The collection includes a Spider-man crossover full of both lackluster story and art.
Overall: Mark Waid continues to do some great things with Daredevil in this second volume. This collection shies away from decompression and civilian life as action and superheroes take center stage. However, this does not mean that character development is cast aside, as readers may end up learning more about Daredevil than they thought they would. Despite a lackluster crossover story, this is an excellent collection and serves as additional proof that this series is in good hands.
In the last volume, readers were reintroduced to both Daredevil and Matt Murdock; the book’s pages were relatively split between the vigilante hero and the man behind the mask. In Daredevil Vol. 2, the focus is firmly placed on heroics. This works out perfectly as it serves to tell some great stories while also managing to stop the series from becoming too decompressed. It also serves as a perfect medium to tell some of the more emotional stories that Waid plans on telling. Overall, this is an excellent continuation to what is shaping up to be a spectacular series.
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With less focus on Matt Murdock’s civilian life, this comic makes plenty of room for the perilous situations and death defying feats typically performed by Daredevil. Here readers get to see the “man without fear” race Spider-man in a freefall, punch out Mole Man, and literally escape from the jaws of death. Along with the action, his powers are highlighted in some more unique ways than before, the most interesting of which is his ability to detect holograms. All in all, this collection produces several small and tight-knit story arcs which manages to double down on action and heroics. If readers were upset about the decompression and focus on civilian life in the previous volume, then this volume will more than make up for it.
Despite the bravados and action packed exterior, this book features a plethora of emotional and thought-provoking conflict. The collection starts with a Daredevil story that barely features the “man without fear”, mostly it involves a man trying to save a school bus filled with blind children in a harsh winter storm. Later, Daredevil faces off against the Mole Man. This villain has been stealing dead bodies yet sees nothing wrong with it. He questions why Daredevil even needs to return the bodies, after all, the person inside is gone. Readers get to see Matt Murdock dealing with this realization and coming to grips with the fact that in some ways Mole Man actually has a point, no matter how upsetting this may be. To top everything off, the collection ends with Daredevil advocating ethical treatment for a man who had just recently made an attempt on his life.
Despite all of this book’s high points, it hits its lowest point during the small crossover it has with the Amazing Spider-Man series. Though fun at points, the two issues of this crossover don’t feature the two heroes teaming up as much as they feature Daredevil doing everything while Spider-man provides comedy. It makes one question why this crossover was even done in the first place since it really could have easily just been a Daredevil comic. Overall, this crossover was rather weak and felt a little forced. Since the next volume has a crossover in it also, hopefully that one will turn out to be an improvement.
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Paolo Rivera’s art is just as good as it was in the last issue so check out our review of that issue to see a full description of it.
Outside of Rivera’s art, the collection suffers a little bit. Khoi Pham does a pretty good job imitating Rivera in terms of the art this series has given so far, it just barely falls short. The real root of the problem is the crossover issues. They are a large departure from the rest of the art in this collection, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if the art in them was good. The Daredevil issue is just lackluster but the Amazing Spider-Man issue is simply bad. Paired with a less than thrilling story, these crossover issues really try to drag this collection down.