Written by Charles Soule
Art by Goran Sudzuka and Matt Milla
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Justin Partridge
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Like chocolate and peanut butter, the pairing of Daredevil and Spider-Man will always be satisfying. Daredevil #9, the second part of the new “Blind Man’s Bluff” arc, calls in the Web-slinger for yet another entertaining team-up between the former Marvel Knights. While the art team of Goran Sudzuka and Matt Milla make the most of the pair’s high-flying fighting style, writer Charles Soule also uses this month’s guest star to great success as a contrast to Matt’s return to the hard-edged vigilante, playing him very well against Peter Parker’s sunny demeanor throughout. Armed with one of the consistently entertaining pairings in comic books and some striking vintage inspired artwork, Daredevil #9 is a safe bet.
Standing atop a Macau casino, Daredevil lays out the plan for a risky casino heist. By bringing in Spider-Man, Daredevil assumes that things are going to go a lot smoother, and to a point they do, but not in an emotional sense. Charles Soule really makes a meal out of this month’s team-up, both action wise and thematically. Aided by the stylishly old school pencils of Goran Sudzuka and simplistic yet evocative colors of Matt Milla , Soule shows us once again why the pair are so effective in the field as they tear through rooms full of Triads with surgeon-like precision. That said, it is Soule’s use of their differing personalities that proves more dynamic than all the punching and thwiping.
Matt’s curtly powerful approach toward crimefighting stacked against Peter’s aloof bantering has always been an entertaining source of friction for the pair, but Daredevil #9 takes it just a step further due to Matt’s recent return to a hardened vigilante. Characterized by Soule and Spidey as a “black-costume phase,” Peter playfully tests his boundaries with Matt only to finally stand up to him in the issue’s finale, taking him to task for keeping him in the dark. This is turn causes Matt to let down his walls to one of his most trusted allies, dropping his hardened exterior to show the heart of a hero that still beats under his costume. It’s an interesting dynamic that Soule employs here, one that delivers all of the surface-level enjoyment that one would find with a team-up, but that also injects some much-needed tension into the pairing as well. This new look at the DD/Spidey connection culminates in a welcome new angle in the face of Matt’s recent readoption of his secret identity.
On the art front, Daredevil #9 is a fine example of how less can be more, in terms of coloring. While Goran Sudzuka’s panel layouts and action blocking are great, it is Matt Milla’s coloring that proves to be this month’s standout artistic contribution. Throughout Daredevil and Spider-Man’s nighttime heist, Milla only uses a handful of colors, the blue-black of the night sky and a pale yellow for the interiors being the anchors and the reds, blacks, and blues of the hero’s costumes shining through each page. As the sun comes up Milla starts to pour a warm orange yellow across the page but even still, he isn’t oversaturating the page or using erroneous shading to sweeten the pot. Milla keeps his palette simple, but still the style shines through, highlighting Sudzuka’s tight blocking and giving Daredevil #9 a slick set of visuals for the team-up.
While not exactly the most explosive of team-ups, Daredevil #9 still manages to shine a new flattering light on one of Marvel’s greatest heroic pairings while still staying true to why the two work so well together in the first place. Thanks to Charles Soule’s emotional intelligence and sense of pacing, aided by Goran Sudzuka and Matt Milla’s knack for simple and stylized artwork, Daredevil #9 mines a bit more out of this team-up than just base level entertainment. There is always fun to be had seeing two heroes taking on rooms full of thugs, but its even better when the creative team presents them as human beings and that is exactly what Daredevil #9 does.