Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Quick Comic Reviews: Guardian Devil

It's Daredevil!... from the guy behind Mallrats and Clerks
...I despise Kevin Smith's work...every single movie he's made (YES, even Chasing Amy), that wretched TV show of his, almost every book he's written, in fact practically every word he utters is written off by me as pretentious drivel, (especially his quote regarding  "failing upwards" in Hollywood, ironic given his recent "masterpieces" like Cop-Out.) So bear in mind, I am trying my best to be unbiased in this review, after all there are a lot of comics out there that I like which have been penned by writters that I do not like, and I've heard from several sources that this is considered to be one of the best Daredevil books on the market. So will Kevin Smith finally chalk up one mark in the good column in my books, or will I have yet another piece of his work to add to the dartboard?

Huh, where have I seen this image?

Oh...yeaahhh. Also, yes there is a direct reference to Ben Affleck in the book
Matt Murdock is having a rough time, between pining for Karen Page and having a crisis of faith even he is starting to get depressed about how terrible his life is, however things get literally biblical when a baby born to a virgin whom is supposedly a new savior finds it's way into Matt's care; along with a mysterious group of people warning Matt of what is to come from the child...along with them knowing his secret identity as Daredevil. Is Daredevil embroiled in the events of Armageddon, or does something stink to high heaven,

...this comic talks too much, and I don't just mean that the dialogue balloons take up half of most panels, thus making this one of the wordiest comics I've ever read with most of it being pretentious and melodramatic narration, or characters waxing poetic to pad things out (in fact I'll let Hamlet sum up this book's writing) 

One of the problems of this comic's wordiness is that it breaks the rule of visual story-telling, show don't tell, with several of this book's MANY subplot's being introduced, forgotten, and then revealed as having been resolved off panel or flat-out just hand waved away in time to wrap things up for the ending instead of building on the main story with that subplot. If you couldn't seemlessly work this subplot into the overall narrative, then why bother including it in the first place for any reason other than padding. Oh and if you're a Kevin Smith fan, you'll find quite a few references to his work hidden in the story, and you'll be entertained long enough until it gets extremely annoying.

My main issue with the book however is a difficult beast to deal with in this review since it revolves heavily around the ending, I'm not in the business of spoilers (unless they are so painfully obvious that a child could point them out) because what I find to be either woefully predictable, or out of left field stupid could be enjoyed by one of my other fellow comic-readers/critics. But suffice it to say...the ending is incredibly stupid, comes out of left field, making no sense on it's own logic or even in the logic of Daredevil crossing over with Marvel's other characters, and it's one of those "IT WAS ME! IT WAS ME ALL ALONG" type endings with the antagonistic party has orchestrated an incredibly convoluted plan and has a grand reveal at the end that leaves you scratching your head in confusion more than picking your jaw up off the floor in shock.

Oh look, Daredevil encounters Bullseye... who may or may not kill someone important,gee how can I contain my surprise? 

And my final qualm with this book is yet another one I'm going to have trouble conveying since it involves spoilers, but Smith's work on Daredevil is practically indistinguishable from anyone elses. Miller, Brubaker, Bendis, and currently Waid have all added to Daredevil's mythos and had their own fairly unique takes on the character, Smith just regurgitates past plot points with different characters (particularly one infamous one from Miller's run) except not as good this time around because we've been there and done that already.

I will say, this moment with Doctor Strange is kinda awesome, but is also kinda ruined by being the big deux ex machina of the comic.

Now to get even more controversial, every outside opinion I got on this book was negatively critical of the art, calling it "cartoonish", and was done by none other than most-hated-man-in-comic-industry Joe Quesada (the guy who made Spider-Man sell his marriage to the devil). But you know what...I actually like this art, I know I must be out of my mind, but I actually like the look of this book a lot. There are a few perspective issues here and there, but I won't deny that I do like Quesada as an artist. I will say that the sometimes the colors are a bit too dark.

So in conclusion aside from some nice artwork, my utter contempt for the work of Kevin Smith has not changed in the slightest with this book. You might chalk up this review to personal bias, and I fully admit that it's present, but I do try to go into every comic I read without any preconceptions and have found myself incredibly satisfied on more than one occasion, but not here.



  • Good art (in my opinion)
  • First few issues are fairly strong
  • Beyond lame ending and reveal
  • Numerous sub-plots dropped and forgotten
  • Excessive dialogue for the sake of padding
  • Lots of unfunny narcissistic references to Smith's other work

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