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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Daredevil: Wake Up

Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Painted art: David Mack

What's it about?
There's a little boy named Timmy, he's the son of a third rate supervillain named Leapfrog.  Timmy is barely talking and when he does rouse himself it is to narrates a fictional superhero fight.  All anyone knows is that Leapfrog was last seen fighting Daredevil (our hero) and is now missing.

Ben Urich is a reporter at the Daily Bugle and has taken an interest in Timmy's story.  Unfortunately neither the police nor his editor seem to think it is worthy of his time.  Nonetheless he decides to investigate and discover what has happened to put Timmy in this catatonic state.

Published as part of the Marvel Knights series, this book collects issues 16 to 19 from the (then) ongoing Daredevil run.  No previous knowledge is necessary.  Books carrying the Marvel Knights tag deal with more mature themes than your average Marvel comic book and are meant for people aged 15 years and up. 

What's good about it?
It's only short, running at just four issues collecting into one book, but it's powerful.  Nominally, Daredevil is the hero of this book, however this is less about superheroics than about real people and their duty towards others.  It's a book about journalists and the roles and responsibilities they have.  It's a book about what happened to a damaged child when his worlds collide and the authorities fail him.  It's about what it means to relate to each other and how important it is to connect with and look out for others.

It's touching and heart wrenching.  As it's told from the viewpoint of Ben Urich we get to see an ordinary person's view of the superheroic world, making it a more down to earth read.

What's bad about it?
This is not a criticism of the book per se, but more a warning - some readers may find this book triggering as it features scenes of violence against children.

What's the art like?
Glorious.  All of it, barring the first few pages, is painted.   It's an emotional chaotic style that succeeds in mirroring the fragmentation and confusion of Timmy's and Urich's mind.  As is usual in quality art, the backgrounds mirror an complement the mood of the scenes.  The layout and letters are used to emphasise the feelings of the characters

Other Information
This title appears to be out of print, more;s the pity but you should be able to pick it up from eBay or Amazon.  I would suggest paying about £10 for a good quality used copy.  Some people on Amazon are selling it new for £17.50, I would argue that is far too much.
ISBN: 078510948X

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