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Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil Yellow #1

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale attempt to do for Daredevil what they did for Batman; that is put a fresh and innovative spin on the hero's earliest years. We can only hope that their turn on Daredevil approaches their success with the Dark Knight. The first issue contains enough promise to keep that hope alive.

Although we learn how Matt came to wear the short lived yellow costume this is not an origin story. In fact no mention is made of how Matt became blind or how he gained his extra-sensory powers. This is particularly glaring considering how much it's mentioned in the main book. There aren't any references to him having any special physical skills which would allow him to become a costumed crime fighter. Instead the focus is on Matt and his father, Battlin' Jack Murdock, the thought to be washed up boxer. This might be the most Jack Murdock has ever appeared in any story. Loeb does a good job of fleshing out the character and his reaction to his new found boxing success. Loeb, however, takes some controversial liberties with the outline of Daredevil's origin. The way I remember it Matt was much younger when his father was killed and the cornerstone of their relationship was Jack's insistence that Matt become educated to avoid ever having to fight for any reason. Loeb only makes a passing reference to this at the end of the book having Matt note he promised his dad he'd never be an "uneducated pug." I hope these changes are essential to the rest of the story and were not just a device to explain why Daredevil's original uniform was yellow. Connecting the costume to Matt's father is a good idea but I wonder what kind of material a robe could be made out of that it could also serve to clothe a super hero.

Although Loeb doesn't specify the style of the artwork clearly sets the story in it's original timeframe. Sale's artwork is strong throughout and captures the feeling of New York in the early Sixties. The first few pages featuring a present day DD are done against a dull gray background accurately reflecting Matt's melancholy over the death of Karen Page. The flashback begins in bright flash of color as the reminiscence begins at a particular happy time for Matt and his father.

One thing I hope Loeb addresses in a future issue is Jack Murdock's motivation and his involvement with the crooked manager, Sweeney. We know he agreed to take a dive in his fight with Creel (Crusher Creel of later Absorbing Man fame?) but Loeb never gives us a clue as to why. Apparently he changed his mind due to Matt's presence at ringside. Sweeney indicates Jack didn't know his previous victories were fixed which further begs the question as to why he would agree to throw the most important fight in his life.

Questions aside there is much to admire here. This is a very solid, if not spectacular, beginning. When judged against Loeb and Sale's past success this may not be enough to satisfy some people. However I believe if the tweaking of the original DD mythos is ground work for developments in the next issues they may just approach their previous heights.

Daredevil (and other related characters appearing) and the distinctive likenesses are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used WITHOUT permission.
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