Visionaries, Vol. 2

by Frank Miller
(Marvel, 2001)

Normally, I highlight other genres when reviewing comics, because the comic book industry is absolutely LOUSY with superhero tales, the vast majority of which are done badly. But this is different. Marvel Comics' trade-paperback collection, Daredevil: Visionaries by Frank Miller, is like nothing else ever done on the spandex scene.

Miller's work on Daredevil began in 1979 when he came on as the book's artist. Over the next few years, this second-tier character would become one of Marvel's brightest stars, as Miller moved on to write the book as well. Daredevil: Visionaries collects much of his run on the book in three volumes.

With his work in Vol. 2, Frank Miller told a story of the seamy underside of New York's "Hell's Kitchen." It was gritty crime drama that just happened to involve a guy in red tights.

It was about climbing the ladder of the underworld, only to have your fingers stepped on by the Kingpin, the man at the top of that ladder. It was about Daredevil's alter ego Matt Murdock, discovering that his first love, from his college days, was now a hired assassin working for the Kingpin. It was about the heart of that assassin being turned, a new path chosen, alas, too late.

Intrigue, betrayal, tragedy. Only three of the many ingredients that make this book impossible to put down. An extremely moving story, it even allows the hero to have all-too-human weaknesses.

[ by Mark Allen ]
Rambles: 2 November 2002

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