Daredevil graphic novels

My local library branch now has a graphic novel section. I was astonished, really. While I can understand why they put it in the “young adult” section, they may want to reconsider their filing, considering they had Watchmen filed there as well, and that is anything but a children’s tale. I thought about flipping it open to one of the sex scenes and showing it to a librarian, but decided that kids should be exposed to really good graphic novels, so I left it.

I checked out three Daredevil graphic novels. I don’t know much about the Daredevil series, but after seeing Sin City, I wanted to go back and check out the original Frank Miller Daredevil work, and they had both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the “Visionaries:Frank Miller” graphic novels available, as well as the Guardian Devil run, by Kevin Smith.

Reading volume 1, I thought it was okay, but pretty pedestrian stuff, not anywhere near what I expected from Frank Miller, even a young Frank Miller in his first comic job. Volume 2 was an immediate quantum leap in quality of writing. On a hunch I went back and looked. It turned out that the issues in volume 1 only had Frank Miller as the artist (and apparently occasional co-plotter). Volume 2 is when he took over as both writer and artist. And the difference is stark. The stories have much more emotional depth, and are just plain more interesting. Volume 2 traces the Elektra story line, which is pretty awesome in and of itself.

The Kevin Smith run was okay. Nothing too great. He gets into his schtick about dealing with his lapsed Catholicism issues, but whatever.

I’m glad I was able to get these from the library – they wouldn’t have been worth paying for. Daredevil just doesn’t do it for me. He’s not an interesting character that I sympathize with. Even less so after seeing him played by Ben Affleck in the movie. He’s just a little too invincible for a blind man. Actually, that was the same issue I had with Zatoichi, which I saw last night at a friend’s house. Anyway. Not a huge fan of the Daredevil series. But Frank Miller, as a comics writer, is pretty awesome.

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