(Part 2 of 6)
Writer: David Hine
Artists: Michael Gaydos, Lee Loughridge (c)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Daredevil: Redemption takes a step in the right direction this issue, elaborating on some of the details of the plot which was set up last issue and drawing the reader into a sinister conspiratorial murder mystery centred around a group of young ďSatanistsĒ in a tight-knit southern town. Characters which were only introduced briefly last issue get pleasingly fleshed out here, new ones are introduced, and there are already some interesting twists and turns which show a lot of promise for the plot over the next four issues.
Mattís discovery at the end of last issue casts the accused children in a fairly good light, making them look less like Satanists and more like an isolated, misunderstood group of kids in a town which has its own fair share of secrets and lies. Thereís a lot of focus on Matthew Murdock the lawyer in this issue - going over evidence, looking for holes in the prosecution and meeting other lawyers working on the case. A series like this shows just how little of this sort of thing we see in the regular Daredevil title these days, and as such itís a treat to see the character get his teeth into a meaty case here. His legal colleagues are excellently sketched characters, almost polar opposites, and itís interesting to see how Matt reacts to the hard-working, intelligent yet scruffy lawyer in comparison to his contempt for the flashy, lazy show-off of a corporate lawyer who has been assigned to the same case. These scenes capture well the fight for justice which goes on in Mattís civilian identity, an aspect of the character which is too often overlooked in favour of his costumed alter-ego, and itís an angle I enjoy.
Having said that, the in-costume Daredevil does make a brief appearance at the end of the issue. Itís unclear whether the inhabitants of Redemption Valley are familiar with the costumed crusader or whether heís an unknown quantity to them, and it may be the case that setting this story seven years in the past was a device to avoid continuity problems with the decidedly higher-profile Daredevil character that exists today. Either way, itís fun to see Matt embody his satanic namesake to strike fear into his enemiesí hearts, and the final image is a stark, moody shot which suits the character down to the ground. Michael Gaydos continues to turn in good work here, making his characters seem like realistic and simple everyday folk, yet still able to carry a disturbing presence or a sinister mood when necessary. It looks like thereís a lot more to be uncovered yet in this gruesome case, and I think Gaydos will be a perfectly judged artist to show it.
Thereís great writing this issue Ė some fun lines about southern wit and hospitality and a neat little sight gag about Mattís blindness Ė and strong characterisation of the leads. The plot is becoming more gripping as more is revealed about the children at the centre of the allegations. After a slow start, there are enough ideas in this issue to keep the miniseries going for a good while yet, and that can only be a promising sign for things to come. Casual fans will enjoy a dark murder mystery with occasional super-hero elements here, whilst Daredevil die-hards will rejoice that a DD miniseries has eventually reached its second issue. Either way, this is definitely worth picking up.
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