Normally, I highlight other genres when reviewing comics, because the
comic book industry is absolutely LOUSY with super hero 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 Frank moved on to write the book as well. Daredevil: Visionaries, volumes one and two, collect much of his run on the book, with volume three due out in a few months.
With this work, Frank Miller told a story of the seamy underside of New York's "Hell's Kitchen." It was gritty crime drama, which 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, that even allows the hero to have all-too-human weaknesses.
What you just read is a synopsis of Volume 2, the most highly recommended, as it is where Miller begins writing, and where most of the classic material is found. Volume one covers his first nine issues. While not bereft of the urban crime element, it contains much more super hero lore, and is made more enjoyable by Miller's dark, moody art style.
Find Daredevil: Visionaries at comic shops, bookstores, or by going to www.marvel.com, and clicking "shop." Daredevil: Visionaries, published by Marvel Comics, 174 pages, $17.95.
Review by Mark Allen
End Audio Series
Michael Vance has teamed with William Windom to present an incredible collection of SF and fantasy stories. Set in the eerie town of Light’s End, Maine, these stories have been called “[a] meshing of myth and reality, [of] stack details of place, an...unromantic vision of horror...” Light’s End is a gathering place for the worst in human nature.
Mr. Windom's impressive experience has prepared him well for the telling of these scary tales. He is well known for his TV roles on Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, and Barney Miller. He also won an Emmy for his TV series My World…and Welcome to It. His movie roles in To Kill a Mockingbird and True Crime won him additional acclaim. His stage performances as James Thurber and Ernie Pyle have entertained thousands. He's performed in eighteen Broadway plays, countless radio shows, and several books-on-tape.
Michael Vance's work is published in numerous magazines. He has appeared as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, Forbidden Adventure has been called a "benchmark in comics history”. Vance, best known for his Suspended Animation columns, briefly wrote the comic strip Alley Oop and his own strip for five years, Holiday Out. He also wrote comic books including Straw Men, Angel of Death, The Adventures of Captain Nemo, and Bloodtide. His work has appeared in comics anthologies, and he is listed in the Who's Who of American Comic Books. With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote Global Star, a world where babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are common, and the New York Times is “trash journalism”.
Suspended Animation readers will be able to order a copy of Lights End Volume 1 personally autographed by both William Windom and Michael Vance. Volume 1 contains the stories "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposed."
What are you waiting for? It's just $19.95 signed or $11.95 not, plus shipping.
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Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed?