The first of Marvel’s recent Essential ramp-up is now
reviewed. Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 2
is out as well, to be followed in the next three
months by Essential X-Men Vol. 5,
Essential Spider-Man Vol. 6, and
Essential Avengers Vol. 4. It looks like
Marvel wants to release an Essential each month now,
which makes me very happy. (Rumours of more
Fantastic Four, and some Invaders and/or Defenders
stuff are about.)

General Information

Title: Essential Daredevil Vol. 2

Credited to: Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Friends

Original Publication Date: 2004 reprint of material
first published
from 1967 to 1969

ISBN: 0-7851-1462-9

Cover Price: $16.99US, $27.25 Can. Yes, the price of
Essentials has
increased by about 7%, but the page count has
increased by about 10%,
so I’m not upset. Also, the price hike means they
might be able to
maintain a schedule that releases a book a month.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca
(I don’t know why Amazon thinks it’s a hardcover.
It’s not.

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

The early adventures of Daredevil are continued.
He’s still a
goofball, instead of the dark and brooding hero he
later becomes.
It’s actually a lot of fun, and the Mike Murdock
plotline is a neat
little piece of comic history.

This includes Daredevil #26-48,
Daredevil Special
#1
, and the cross-over issue Fantastic Four
#73
.

High Point

Significant events for the Masked Marauder.

Low Point

The utterly pointless and rather nonsensical Captain
America guest
appearance.

The Scores

There was some original stuff in here,
including a few
villains who won’t be coming back, instead of taking
the usual route
of letting them appear again later if they’re
popular. Much of it was
just more superhero action, though. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The artwork is impressive, which surprised
me. I don’t
generally like Gene Colan’s old work, although I
liked his Tomb of
Dracula
stuff. (Incidentally, Essential
Tomb of Dracula
Vol. 2
shipped last week, and is in the review
queue.) His work
on The Incredible Hulk was downright awful,
but the stuff he
does here is pretty good. I give it 5 out of 6.

The stories are almost always interesting,
and they tend to
move forward Matt’s personal life in some way, with
the exceptions of
the Fantastic Four cross-over and the
Captain America guest
appearance. I give it 4 out of 6, for entertaining
with some very
simple stuff.



The characterization is pretty clear.
Daredevil is still a
wisecracker, but Matt, Mike, and DD all have distinct
personalities,
with DD being played more like Mike when Foggy and
Karen are around.
I give it 4 out of 6, limited due to one dimensional
characters.

The emotional response is pretty good. Some
of the above
categories have been hurt from the simplicity of the
title, but
sometimes the simplicity just makes it great escapist
fun. Much
better than the first volume. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is very good, both within and
between issues. Very
good march through the saga. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very fun read, and one of
the better
Essentials. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Essential Daredevil Vol. 2
receives 34 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Also in the review queue are Ultimate Six,
Exiles
#38-45
, JLA: Heaven’s Ladder,
Essential Captain
America Vol. 1
, Essential Captain America
Vol. 2
, and
Essential Tomb of Dracula Vol. 2. Also, my
copies of
Marvel Age Spider-Man Vol. 1, Marvel Age
Spider-Girl
Vol. 1
, Marvel Age Sentinel Vol. 1, and
Daredevil:
Hardcore
could show up any week now. If you
have a preference
for the sequence in which these are reviewed, let me
know by e-mail or
through the
comments below.