My Week in Comics: July 22, 2011

Man, hiatuses are NOT fun. Good thing the comics keep coming so I have something to talk about here! So what did I get myself into this week in comics? Read on to find out!

The clock winds down for DC's Mistress of Magic. Come September, this little book goes the way of the dodo by way of the big DC reboot. Which is sad, since it looks like the Zatanna title is just biding its time, waiting for the ax to fall. That's not to say that Zatanna #15 is bad, though. It's a standard done in one by Derek Fridolfs filling in for Paul Dini (if ever Dini comes back at all) that sees Zatanna flexing not just her magical muscles, but her actual ones, as she's forced to fight for her life when evil-doers with machine guns come knocking her door!

It's a nice enough issue, showing us a Zatanna that's more than capable of handling her own even without her magic. She thinks on her feet, and isn't afraid to put a foot into someone's face if magic just doesn't cut it. It's an aspect of her I don't see very often, which makes this issue at least a little different. Jamal Igle is his usual best here, busting out a gorgeous Zatanna in the middle of great-looking and dynamic action scenes.

It's sad to think that there's no Zatanna ongoing in the grand scheme of the coming DCnU . It does raise questions as to why we keep buying DC's stuff when it will all be more or less history come September. Maybe I'm crazy like that. Regardless, without the shadow of DCnU hanging over it, Zatanna #15 is a good, action-packed done-in-one. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

15 Love is a weird book. Not because of the content, but because its better suited as a manga than a 3-issue miniseries worth 250Php a pop. But I digress. Let's take a look at what it's about first.

15 Love #2 continues the drama from issue 1. Mill Collins is slowly shaping up to be a tennis prodigy, and it only took a slob of a coach to make it happen! But the climb to the top of the tennis world is paved with bitchy arch-enemies, handsome distractions and an unexpected gig as a model (Mill the Model...where have I heard of the before?) Will she be able to focus long enough to get out of last place?

I picked up 15 Love on a whim since it's so far out of Marvel's field, and I'm a sucker for manga. I enjoyed what I read, but I had this nagging feeling that I would have enjoyed it more if it was in manga form. 15 Love #2 gives me more of that feeling. Andi Watson tells the story at a fast clip, firing off development after development faster than you can read them. A LOT happens in this book because of it, which is okay since it really gives it that anime episode feel.

Speaking of which, Tommy Ohtsuka provides art in this series (complemented by Guru eFX on colors), and his style serves the story well. Ohtsuka does manga style good, and fans will find a lot to love with that look. It could have used a little polishing up in the storytelling department (a lot of weird composition choices), but that's moot since this series has been in the can for years now.

This is a teen drama book, no question about it. Not exactly something you wait a month to read what happens next for, which is probably what comic book readers thought too. That's sad, since there's a lot of potential in this book. With the last issue on the way, 15 Love will only have to worry about getting out there than getting bought. 15 Love #2 is a 3.5 out of 5.

And so we come to Daredevil #1, a new ongoing and a new beginning for Matt Murdock and his high-flying alter-ego. I have to warn you though: it's colorful, it's fun, and it's exciting. In other words, it's damn good.

After years of being life's punching bag, Daredevil sheds some of that heavy emotional baggage and returns to his swashbuckling roots courtesy of writer Mark Waid. I absolutely love the lighter and fun tone of this book. I never thought I'd live to see the day grim and gritty take a backseat to fun superheroics, but here it is!

Waid obvioiusly had fun writing this issue. It just oozes of Silver Age superhero fun, I had to double-check to see if I was still in 2011. In the first half of the book, DD stops The Spot from kidnapping a mob boss' daughter, and we're schooled on the basics of Daredevil's powers and abilities through an exciting and smartly played action sequence. That's what you call learning while having fun!

Of course, it's not all fun and games for Daredevil. He's been through a lot of hell lately, from running The Hand to having his secret identity leaked to the public, but Waid doesn't ignore what came before, nor does he let them define his story either. Waid weaves all that into his narrative and provides some interesting challenges not only for Daredevil but for his alter-ego Matt Murdock to overcome, like having to deal with Matt's newfound celebrity status as the man who might be Daredevil. Needless to say I'm now excited to see what happens next.

What puts this issue even more over the top is the art. Paolo Rivera and Joe Rivera takes the task of translating DD's unique powers to the printed page and gives us a visual feast that has to be seen to be believed. The depiction of DD's 'sonar sense' is awesome, and the art dances to the beat of the story in a way that makes it so easy and fun to read. Want to know how Daredevil 'sees' The Spot? Trust me, you'd want to pick up this book to find out.

I'm still pinching myself, because I can't believe a comic of this quality came from Marvel, let alone exists. Daredevil #1 is the best single issue that came out this year, full stop. This is a 6 out of 5. Pick this up on sight!

Marvel's got a hit in its hands with Daredevil. You can quote me on that. So what did YOU pick up this week? Is Daredevil made of win or fail to you? I really want to know! So leave me a comment and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

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