Here’s Kevin Smith’s first outing on old Hornhead.

General Information

Title: Daredevil: Guardian Devil
Author: Kevin Smith
Pencils: Joe Quesada
Inks: Joe Palmiotti
Original publication date: 2003 reprint (fourth printing) of issues first published in 1998 and 1999.
ISBN: 0-7851-0737-1
Cover Price: $19.95 US, $31.95 Can
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Issues Collected

This collects the first eight issues of Daredevil‘s second volume, which includes the entire run by Brian Michael Bendis.

Premise

Daredevil is thrown into the role of protector to a child who may be of significant religious importance.

High Point

The conclusion of issue 5.

Low Point

Issue 7 reads like a cheap Bond movie climax. While that is, technically, appropriate, it’s a step down from what comes before and after it, which is disappointing in a climax.

The Scores

This was moderately original. The story arc about the child is something I’ve never seen in comics before, but almost everything that happened to Daredevil’s personal life has been done before, and done better (not that it isn’t done well here.) I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is good on its own, but I’m not sure it’s well suited to the story. When characters keep going off model, I’m reminded of goofy little Hanna-Barbara cartoons designed for comedy. This is not at all the mood one should be in when reading a story like this. The art looks good, but the mismatch with the story keeps the score down to 4 out of 6.

The story itself is well done. Guest stars are used sparingly and appropriately, and the ultimate villain is used much better here than in most of his other appearances. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is fantastic. Heroes and villains shine through, exposing the types of people they are through their actions. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow was very well done, for the most part. The only real problem I had with it was that the story reads like it happens over a few days, but the dialogue says it’s weeks. I don’t see where the days worth of “down time” fits into the timeline. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was not considerably hampered by the lack of original situations. This was still a powerful story, even though the aspects of it have appeared in various combinations in other collections. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a very good collection, that would have seemed a little bit better had I not read Daredevil: Born Again first. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Daredevil: Guardian Devil receives 31 out of 42.