DAREDEVIL #8 [Review]

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DAREDEVIL #8/ Written by CHARLES SOULE/ Art by GORAN SUDZUKA/ Colors by MATT MILLA/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

After concluding the last short story arc featuring Elektra, Charlie Soule starts readers on a new international tale called “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Daredevil #8. The cover depicts Matt Murdock sitting at a poker table, which as a blind man should prove to be quite challenging… and hilarious.

The newly appointed New York prosecutor, Matt Murdock finds himself in a high stakes Texas Hold Em’ tournament in Macau. He uses his radar sense and superior intellect to take his opposing players down one-by-one, until he reaches the final round against a telepath who’s employed by the casino to insure they never lose. Along the way Matt entertains an attractive female spectator, explaining the situation at hand, as he marches his way towards $10 million dollars. Matt faces his telepathic opponent in a mental battle to protect not only his cards, but also every secret he keeps in that brain of his. In the end, his high risk becomes a high reward as he gets handed a giant check he can’t cash because it’s made out to Laurent Levasseur – the fake name he had used to enter the tournament. All this before meeting a sticky friend on the rooftop to advance their mission.

Daredevil may not always seem like it, but he is a complex character who’s tough to write a balanced version of. There is the classic snarky and smiling man without fear, the dark and tormented devil of Hell’s Kitchen, and this perfect blend of them both that readers have been enjoying in this series. Charles Soule has put together a flawless single issue for diving into everything that makes Daredevil a great character and hero.

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The very first page of Daredevil #8 exposes readers to a hilarious, tone-setting image that might be my new personal favorite. Daredevil utilizes his radar sense in an environment away from tracking and beating up bad guys as he identifies the tells of each poker player. The mental battle between Matt and the telepath sums up everything about why they call him Daredevil. Matt’s inner monologue, spilling out simultaneously within the mind fight, is Soule’s pitch perfect definition of who the character is. Every step of the way with this story gives readers something to smile about, treating us with a perfect storm of everything we love about comic books in the first place.

Daredevil #8 is also visually stunning, reminiscent of the noir-pop style of Batman: The Animated Series in Sudzuka’s illustrations, though it’s Milla’s coloring that’s the real stand out. The first couple of pages are mostly gray and white with brilliantly placed touches of red. Following that, when Matt starts to utilize his radar sense, the colors explode as readers experience a perfect illustration of how Horn Head’s abilities work. Every single bit of color is strategically placed to give readers a better picture of how Matt Murdock sees the world.

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This creative team will end up being as important to Daredevil comics as Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been for Batman. In a series that has already had some of the best Daredevil to come out for a long time, this issue stands as being particularly brilliant. Whether or not you care about the character at all, Daredevil #8 is a perfect example of what comic books are all about. This is what a perfect issue feels like.

Flawless.

Masterpiece.

Rating 5

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