Alexander Irvine and Tomm Coker’s Daredevil Noir

daredevil-noir_covOne has come to expect tight, absorbing writing from Alexander Irvine, and one is not disappointed in the Daredevil installment of the Marvel Noir series. Daredevil is not one of those superheroes who’s been very much on my radar, so I had the added attraction of a new character without, in my mind, any history to muck things up.

Matt Murdock wanted to go to law school, even though he was the son of a prizefighter from Hell’s Kitchen in the Depression. Then he was the orphaned son of a prizefighter who refused to throw his fights — orphaned and blinded. Somehow he wound up as a private investigator — and a Vaudeville stuntman known as “Daredevil.” And then comes Eliza, claiming to have information to put away Orville Halloran, who seems intent on starting a gang war. And he may have a connection to the “Bull’s Eye Killer,” who has been leaving a trail of dead bodies throughout the Kitchen.

As noted, Irvine’s script is superb, tight and coherent, and making good use of narration outside the dialogue. Tomm Coker’s graphic work is equally praiseworthy, straddling that sometimes uneasy boundary between realism and abstraction with no worries, and echoing a technique I’ve noticed in manga: Coker makes excellent use of texture to build body in the images. It also gives a very strong newsprint graphic feel to the images, although the mood is somewhat murky. The whole thing flows very smoothly.

This is one of the better entries in the Marvel Noir series so far, and particularly for fans of Irvine, one worth checking out.

(Marvel Comics, 2010) This collection includes Daredevil Noir #1-4.


Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there. You may e-mail him, but include a reference to Green Man Review so you don’t get deleted with the spam.

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