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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Yellow to Red...
on October 24, 2003
A friend recommended this to me and the first thing that struck me was the funny title. Daredevil, the man without fear - YELLOW?. What an irreverent oxymoron. It's like saying "Superman Weakling" or "Flash Slowcoach". A look at the book allayed my fears - he really WAS yellow, but perhaps only in costume, not in character. I opened this book reluctantly, expecting to see a travesty of one of my heroes. Five minutes later I walked out of the store with a fine addition to my comic collection.
Jeph Loeb has outclassed himself yet again. The slow yet beautiful story recounts Daredevil's origins and his gradual rise to fame as "New York's favorite son". It reads like a personal diary with beautiful introspective monologue, especially the references to boxing and his dad. Essentially it's one long flashback explaining why the costume changed from yellow-and-red to all-red, with our hero remaining mired in tragedy all the time. Along the way Daredevil/Matt Murdock meets his first love, battles a few guest supervillains and there is even a cameo appearance by some other Marvel uberpeople.
Daredevil's blossoming relationship with Karen Page is explored deeply throughout, yet I found the denouement to be unsatisfactory. After developing one phase of the man's past so well, the ending is a little rushed and abrupt. The book's conclusion is squeezed into 3 brief pages starting with "the rest of the story you know too well". At this point the book was already too big and needed to end soon, but the main threads (e.g. just how did one of the important characters die?) are left dangling in unsavory suspense for the DD newcomer.
Exquisite water colors! There are loads of full-page panels and several double-page spreads. In fact each page has at the most 3 to 4 panels, which is appropriate becuase this is not an action thriller. The attention to detail can vary from a monochromatic background to a full-paged intricately pencilled Manhattan skyline stretching away to the horizon. There are unforgettable scenes like DD ruminating on the Empire State Building's spire. And there is good use of the color black (yes black is a color!) though there aren't too many dark moments here.
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have proved themselves a formidable team once more. Adrenaline junkies will be disappointed with the book if they're expecting a series of senseless bashemups. This tale is not fast-paced or action-packed. The plot is a "year-one" rewrite lacking twists and turns. There are no hysterias or histrionics. The book is a carefully designed work of art. Those who appreciate subtlety or visual poetry will dig this title. Overall, this is one colour-changing trip you'd want to experience at least once.