Daredevil Annual #1
Written by Erica Schultz
Illustrated by Marcio Takara
Colors by Marcelo Maiolo
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki, and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Variant Cover by Gerardo Zaffino
Edited by Sarah Brunstad
(Summary) Flashback to the early days of New York street-level vigilantism, when the cops and the superheroes still held a massive distrust for each other. We follow detective Misty Knight as she hunts down crime lord Frankie Fear, while also trying to avoid Daredevil getting in the way of her investigation.
(Review) The story on display here is something we’ve seen a thousand times before. The cop who hates superheroes forced to work together with one, eventually changing their opinion on costumed heroes. And, while this story falls into many of the tropes common to that type of plot, it manages to slightly subvert things by putting the majority of the focus on the police. Daredevil is barely present in this issue, which may be a negative for some readers, but I see it as a unique story telling device. Other than that, though, this story is fairly by-the-book and unremarkable. Aside from the change in perspective, it doesn’t do much to separate itself from others that use the same framework.
As for the art, Takara does a great job with this issue. It’s got a real grit to it, as all Daredevil stories should have, and every panel has a real sense of motion to it. Sometimes this style of art leaves the characters looking a bit flat, but everyone in this issue is incredibly expressive. There’s also a fantastic page at the very beginning of the book showing an idealized version of a few street-level Marvel heroes that I loved. It’s full of great colors and details, it might be one of my favorite single pages I’ve seen in a long time.
(Conclusion) This is a fine little story for an annual issue. It’s nothing groundbreaking or particularly stand-out, but for what it is it’s fun and better than most.