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Daredevil: Born Again Paperback – January 20, 2010
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The story is psychologically very engaging; it's let's you get into the heads of the characters and immerses you into their ugly, unsettling perspectives. The storytelling is extraordinarily well done, great style, Frank Miller is in rare form. The whole thing is very uneasy and gripping, I haven't seen anything like it since "The Killing Joke".
One of the aspects that some readers may count as negatives is that it isn't really a very action packed story. You can count the fight scenes on two hands, but they are well done but some are really quick. But again, the conflicts are more psychological than physical, think "Godfather" vs "The French Connection". I'm a sucker for empty headed action comic books, and have been bored by some comics without enough action, but this is so well done that I was engaged the whole time. The ending may be a sour spot for some readers, but I don't want to give more information than to avoid tarnishing perceptions.
Again, I loved it, I see it as a great work of art more so than a comic book just for fun. If you like Daredevil and/or Kingpin and/or Frank Miller you should definitely give it a try.
It BLOWS AWAY Frank Miller's previous work on Daredevil, and in my opinion even tops Batman: Year One or Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. I've read hundreds of Marvel comics, from the 60's to the present day, but none come close to being as epic as Daredevil: Born Again. It is really that good. Miller's writes drama and tension as good as the best Hollywood films. and Miller summarizes David Mazzucchelli's art in a blurb at the end of the story quite nicely:
"It's almost criminal how easy David makes it to write a script. He makes a three-dimensional stage of the individual panel, complete in authentic detail, nonetheless uncluttered and utterly readable. He creates actors whose dramatic range is startling, whose best and most compelling moments are wordless. He's talked of writing his own comics. Keep your eye out for them. I will. - Frank Miller, 1987"
(Incidentally, Mazzucchelli did in fact write and draw his own graphic novel, Asterios Polyp, which was released in 2009 to stellar reviews. Although I wouldn't know since I haven't read it yet... again, I'm very cheap.)
The hardcover is of good quality too. The only problem I have is how Marvel collected the issues. This book contains Daredevil #226-233, which were all done by Miller and Mazzucchelli. But since Born Again starts in issue #227, Marvel decided to stick issue #226 all the way at the end of the book, which doesn't make sense to me. Although not officially part of the story, #226 works as a prelude to Born Again, introducing some characters and elements that play a pretty big role. So I highly recommend going to the back of the book and reading that issue first. Be careful not to spoil yourself by coming across the last few pages of the main story. This is the only problem I have with an otherwise amazing collection.
My final advice: if and when you buy this book, read it all at once. You can thank me later.
It belongs alongside Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen as one of the greatest comic book stories of all time.