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Daredevil: Marvel Masterworks [Hardcover]

Stan Lee , John, Sr. Romita , Gene Colan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 2001 Daredevil
Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, was blessed with some of the finest artists during his early days and this volume from Marvel's Masterworks series of classic reprints puts them on display. This volume boasts the arrival of John Romita, Sr. to Marvel and his realistic portrayals of people and heroes. It also heralds the debut of Gene Colan as series penciler, the beginning of a long, highly regarded run.

The action, from Stan the Man Lee, doesn't pause to admire the pretty pictures as Daredevil confronts his nemesis the Owl and the coming of the deadly Gladiator. Daredevil also meets up with Ka-Zar, the former Kevin Plunder, currently lord of the hidden Savage Land. And then there is the first meeting with Spider-Man, and the first glimpse of Romita's interpretation of the wall-crawler.

The Masterworks series recolors the pages, cleans up the reproduction and presents the stories in archival volumes that can proudly withstand the tests of time-just like the stories and characters themselves.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gene Colan takes over as the artist for "Daredevil" March 31 2003
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The theme of this Volume 2 collection of "Daredevil" comics for the Marvel Masterworks series ends up being not about the character but rather who was going to be the definitive artist for the series. These ten issues of "Daredevil" start with John Romita (Sr.) doing the illustrations over Jack Kirby's layouts and then his own pencils, but then we have the first appearance of Gene Colan, who I always considered the definitive artist for the Man Without Fear. Yes, Frank Miller has few peers when it comes to creative layouts and he redefined the character when he was writing and drawing the comic book, but nobody draws better looking women in the Marvel Bullpen than Colan. Actually, "Daredevil" was not his best work, which appeared when he drew "Dr. Strange" and "Dracula," but this was the comic book where he established himself as a first rate artist.
"Daredevil" was always one of my favorite comics, long before Miller gave it cult status. Part of it was Colan's distinctive artwork, but I also liked the character's secret identity of Matt Murdock, attorney for the downtrodden. I always thought this made DD the ideal Marvel character to have his own television series, which could involve equal parts courtroom drama and superhero action, but the movie pilot they did a few years back simply did not click. This particular collection of ten issues are dominated by a couple of team-ups between old hornhead and a pair of other Marvel heroes, Ka-Zar, Lord of the Jungle, and the Amazing Spider-Man (check out the classic cover on issue #16). I always liked the scene where Spidey figures out Daredevil's secret identity and tries to get Foggy Nelson to confess.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, but-- Sept. 6 2002
Format:Hardcover
Great artwork. John Romita. Gene Colan. Stan Lee at the helm. 'Nuff said.
But what's interesting is to compare these issues with the Lee/Ditko Spiderman issues of the same time period. Daredevil's personal problems are weak and insipid, especially in comparison: "Karen can't love me because I'm blind, etc." An ace lawyer with super hearing should be able to detect her pulse picking up when he's near. Then later, "I can't tell her I love her because Foggy loves her too." Some of it reads like a bad "Millie the Model" issue. I can only think that the early issues covering DD's personal storyline were hindered because the artists (though all great) kept changing.
Even with some lousy thought-balloons and odd plot twists, it's still early DD. It's still Marvel when it was creating one of its most unique characters. It still ran circles around the DC issues of that day.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been better... March 31 2002
Format:Hardcover
I see that some people criticsized the previous Daredevil Masterworks volume for the coloring -- i.e. coloring was too garish. Well, unfortunately that again is the case with this volume. The coloring is garish and simplistic. This really backfires on the Gene Colan issues since his rendering technique had a subtletly and style to it. That type of illustration really calls for a corresponding subtlety and style in the coloring. Unfornatunately that's not what we get with these reprints. And didn't Frank Giacoia ink issue #20? ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lee, Romita and Colan at their Best! Oct. 22 2001
Format:Hardcover
Daredevil Masterworks Volume 1 introduced the character as a unique hero with unusual abilities. Under the direction of Stan Lee and Wally Wood, Daredevil was defined as an urban-adventurer who also relied on his smarts as Matt Murdock, Attorney-at-Law. Wood gave the Daredevil strip a look reminiscent of 1940's detective films and Lee wrote imaginative scripts with pulp-fiction flare. Volume 2 gives us a different interpretation. With the introduction of Johnny Romita as artist, and his more streamlined, super-hero look, Stan Lee turned Daredevil into a swashbuckling adventure strip in the same mode as many of the Marvel books of the 1960's. Issues 12-14, which begin this volume, are so far removed from the original concept of Daredevil, that it must have been a shock for original readers. Ka-Zar, Lord of the hidden Savage Land is on hand for a tale complete with lost siblings, destructive weapons and pirates! Issue 15, featuring the Ox, returns Daredevil to the original concept and it's all the better for it. Romita's artwork is especially great on this classic Stan Lee tale of betrayal and redemption. Issues 16 and 17 are a super-hero slugfest as Daredevil vs. Spider-Man in their second meeting. The supporting cast plays a pivotal role as Lee creates a great sub-plot that ends much too soon. These are the issues that proved Romita was the right artist to succeed Steve Ditko on Spider-Man. Issue 18 introduces the Gladiator and once again returns to the original concept and continues the sub-plot from issues 16 and 17. Issue 19 is Romita's final issue and it's great. Stan merges the two styles of writing and creates a template for things to come. With issue 20 we're introduced to the definitive Daredevil artist of the 1960's, Gene Colan. Colan achieved the perfect balance to Wood and Romita's work. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars awesome art, important stories, sub-par writing Sept. 22 2010
By pig doctor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this due to all the love I had for the first volume of the Daredevil Marvel Masterworks (collecting issues 1-11). Issues 12-21 (collected herein) are nowhere near as good. These stories have a very old-world adventure feel to them, with DD almost acting as an Indiana Jones type. For some reason, the writing just doesn't gel with me, and Stan Lee seems like he's going through the motions even more-so than he had in other books at the time (basically, all titles that weren't the Fantastic Four or Silver Surfer).

The art on the other hand is brilliant. John Romita Sr. was an absolute master of the craft. Every image jumps out at you with stunning pop sensibilities. His art was a visual forerunner to the amazing work that Gene Colan would provide for many years on the Daredevil title (Colan's first two issues are the last two in this volume). The art is even an unbelievable step above the work of Bill Everett, Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, and Bob Powell in the first volume.

The stories within are also important from a character-history standpoint. Ka-Zar's origin is discovered, the Gladiator is introduced (a villain who, second to the Kingpin and Bullseye, appears in every major DD writer's run), the Masked Marauder is introduced (a villain who later dies under the ink of Frank Miller), and Daredevil meets Spider-man for the first time. In fact, based on Romita's work drawing Spider-man in Daredevil, Stan Lee took Romita off of Daredevil and gave him penciling duties on the regular Spider-man title.

Even though Daredevil's my favorite superhero, if I knew the content of this book beforehand, I wouldn't have shelled out the money for it. But, due to the gorgeous art, there's no way I could ever get rid of it.

writing: [5/10]
art: [9/10]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been better... March 30 2002
By King Ghidorah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I see that some people criticsized the previous Daredevil Masterworks volume for the coloring -- i.e. coloring was too garish. Well, unfortunately that again is the case with this volume. The coloring is garish and simplistic. This really backfires on the Gene Colan issues since his rendering technique had a subtletly and style to it. That type of illustration really calls for a corresponding subtlety and style in the coloring. Unfornatunately that's not what we get with these reprints. And didn't Frank Giacoia ink issue #20? ...
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gene Colan takes over as the artist for "Daredevil" March 31 2003
By Lawrance M. Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The theme of this Volume 2 collection of "Daredevil" comics for the Marvel Masterworks series ends up being not about the character but rather who was going to be the definitive artist for the series. These ten issues of "Daredevil" start with John Romita (Sr.) doing the illustrations over Jack Kirby's layouts and then his own pencils, but then we have the first appearance of Gene Colan, who I always considered the definitive artist for the Man Without Fear. Yes, Frank Miller has few peers when it comes to creative layouts and he redefined the character when he was writing and drawing the comic book, but nobody draws better looking women in the Marvel Bullpen than Colan. Actually, "Daredevil" was not his best work, which appeared when he drew "Dr. Strange" and "Dracula," but this was the comic book where he established himself as a first rate artist.
"Daredevil" was always one of my favorite comics, long before Miller gave it cult status. Part of it was Colan's distinctive artwork, but I also liked the character's secret identity of Matt Murdock, attorney for the downtrodden. I always thought this made DD the ideal Marvel character to have his own television series, which could involve equal parts courtroom drama and superhero action, but the movie pilot they did a few years back simply did not click. This particular collection of ten issues are dominated by a couple of team-ups between old hornhead and a pair of other Marvel heroes, Ka-Zar, Lord of the Jungle, and the Amazing Spider-Man (check out the classic cover on issue #16). I always liked the scene where Spidey figures out Daredevil's secret identity and tries to get Foggy Nelson to confess. In terms of villains there is a two-issue fight with the Gladiator (whose whirling circular saw blades on his gauntlets always struck me as a rather bad idea) and Colan's debut involves a two-part return engagement with DD's old nemesis the Owl.
On the interpersonal level the love triangle between Matt, Foggy, and Karen Page hits a low point when Foggy dresses up like a rather frumpy Daredevil to impress Karen and has to be rescued by the real article. The Spider-Man issues are above-average but you will not really find any classic "Daredevil" tales here. What you do have is the stage being set for the first period of glory days in the history of the comic book, when Matt had to create his twin brother Mike and the Jester first showed up to cause headaches for old hornhead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Collection of early Daredevil Comics 1-11 c.1964 March 2 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the best, though flawed, collection of the first 11 issues of Daredevil by Marvel Comics. Some recoloring of a few pages are funky, but readable. The artwork by the late Wally Wood is dramatic and inking/shading supurb. Of special note is the issue 7 guest star by Prince Namor, the Submariner. Stan Lee has referenced this as the definitive example of how a comic book should be written.
4.0 out of 5 stars Daredevil's Original Tales Dec 22 2013
By FoggyNelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this to get a better understanding of my favorite character. Did not disappoint. With that said, keep in mind this was written during the 60's so the art and writing is different than what you would encounter in a modern comic.
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