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DD Book Club: Daredevil Yellow
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:57 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club: Daredevil Yellow Reply with quote

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“The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked to the mat, it is in how he gets up.” Those are the words blind attorney Matthew Murdock’s father lived and died by. Prizefighter Battlin’ Jack Murdock’s murder set in motion a chain of events that exploded with a new super hero swinging out of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen — the blind Acrobat Daredevil. In this retelling of the early career of the Man Without Fear, the Eisner Award-winning team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (Spider-Man: Blue, Batman: The Long Halloween) have taken an inspiring action-adventure story and blended it with a romantic comedy. The result, highlighted by Sale’s dazzling ink washes and Matt Hollingsworth’s spectacular color, is the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of two young people in love — Matthew Murdock and Karen Page.


Daredevil Yellow #1 - Championship Season



Due 8/15
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this series deserves some context:

This series is kinda of a retelling of the first 4 issues of Daredevil, but with some stuff changed or added in to create a new story. So in a way, its going to cover some of what Man Without Fear did in a basic sense, but really the origin is all it has in common, otherwise the villains are different and the supporting cast is different too (Karen Page instead of Elektra for example).

This mini series takes place right after Karen died in the comics and it has a framing device of Matt writing a letter to try deal with his feelings about her death, remembering when he first met her. I kinda like that framing device, it does give this series a different focus then the original Silver Age stories (also some of the more goofy elements are taken out and there is some darker content not found in the original stories). Though it would hard to square this with Man Without Fear.

Jeph Loeb is the ultimate hit or miss writer, he has done some good stories and some really bad ones. I would argue this was one of the good ones, though it has its flaws.

Anyway on to the issue, this is a lot of set up, covering the death of Jack Murdock. This is well covered territory, but I like the character moments with Jack in the restaurant and in the ring. I like some of the stuff with Matt too, I like the origin of his yellow costume (that it was made from Jack's boxing robe, which is as a good an explanation as you can get for a costume that was too silly for the Silver Age). I also liked Matt's outburst against the judge when Slade and Fixer were released, showing a younger, more brash Matt who is dealing with a recent emotional tragedy.

I will give this issue 4 stars, sure its well covered territory, but I think it did a good job.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have the fondest memories of Daredevil: Yellow, but I have to admit that I enjoyed rereading #1 more than I thought I would.

First of all, this is indeed well-travelled territory -- even more so since the Season One book was released. Before reading Yellow, I had read Miller's Man Without Fear, Marvel Masterworks Volume 1, plus retellings by Roger MacKenzie and others.

I had also never heard of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale before. I had not read The Long Halloween or Dark Victory, so I didn't understand the hype their names were generating when Yellow was being publicized.

But I guess this issue's main strength for me was fleshing out Jack Murdock's character. We really get a sense of who this man was. He was a loving father, even if he was quite naive.

I also like the court case that follows Jack's murder. Sale does a great job depicting the slimy lawyer defending the Fixer. It's alarming to go back to Stan Lee and Bill Everett's issue. They gave no reason why the murder had gone unsolved.

It's a well-written issue. The scenes flow nicely, and it has a nice sense of time and place.

There were things I didn't like. I don't like how Matt Hollingsworth makes the red costume look burgundy. The opening page is a splash page, that hits you with a ton of burgundy, and it looks completely washed out.

The entire project seems kind of redundant to me as well, having read Man Without Fear and Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 not too long before. There isn't too much to distinguish Loeb and Sale's work from those two. Sure, there isn't Miller's ultra-violence, and Loeb has provided Yellow with a romantic touch with the letter to Karen, but I really think we've been here before.

I'll give this issue a 3.5 out of 5.
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james castle
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a weird one which I’m almost predisposed to dislike. It came relatively close to Man Without Fear and therefore seemed a little unnecessary. Plus, what’s the twist with this one? It’s lighthearted? Yeesh. Plus, it’s book ended with Karen’s death (something that never ceases to make my blood boil). Double yeesh.

Still, reading it again I liked it more than I remembered. Not that I love it now. Here’s a couple things that bug me:

Where's the Old Man?


Matt’s defining moment is not the murder of his father and his subsequent mission of revenge. That’s Batman (and the Punisher...and Spider-Man). Matt’s moment is saving the old man. He’s brave, acts selflessly and pays dearly for it (but also gains from it). It’s that moment that defines Matt so it’s super weird that it’s left out here. Maybe it shows up in later issues? I dunno. But it’s absence is weird.

Kids Having Kids

Loeb’s addition of calling Jack “The Kid Murdock” (in addition to him being called “Battling Jack Murdock”?) is dumb. Also, what does it mean that he was “born ‘Battling Jack Murdock’”? And why does the announcer call him “Battling Jack” when he wins? Aren’t they calling him “Kid” now?

Also, how old is Jack? The awkward line of dialogue “...and my Dad, over the hill when he was forty, kept winning” sort of suggests he’s 40. But maybe just suggests that he WAS over the hill when he was 40 but is currently older but also over the hill? If he is 40 and Matt is just finishing law school and is therefore 21 at best and 25 at worst means that Jack had him when he was 19...or 15?

At Least He Got Around to It

Speaking of timing, even though it’s in the original I really don’t like Matt finishing up law school and then graduating and then starting a business and then avenging his father. I mean months go by and then he gets around to it? Miller’s versions (in which the vengeance is immediate) is much better.

Other Stuff

A quick google search seems to reveal that boxing as a southpaw doesn’t really throw you off balance (why would it?). I hate writers making up "facts" just to serve their story.

I groaned out loud when Jack says his tie (which is yellow) is his lucky colour.

The worst is the whole: “The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked down but how he gets up” thing. Loeb is obviously trying to craft some “with great power” type thing but it’s just hacky. It’s cliche and even the cliche is dumb. Does anyone really think that the measure of a man is in how he get’s knocked down? “Son, the measure of a man is how he gets knocked down” - “What? You are a terrible father”.

Okay, never mind, it looks like I do kinda hate this series. The page of Matt jumping from the fire escape is cool though.

BONUS REVIEW: The Long Halloween is really disappointing. Don't believe the hype.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
I don't have the fondest memories of Daredevil: Yellow, but I have to admit that I enjoyed rereading #1 more than I thought I would.

First of all, this is indeed well-travelled territory -- even more so since the Season One book was released. Before reading Yellow, I had read Miller's Man Without Fear, Marvel Masterworks Volume 1, plus retellings by Roger MacKenzie and others.

I had also never heard of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale before. I had not read The Long Halloween or Dark Victory, so I didn't understand the hype their names were generating when Yellow was being publicized.

But I guess this issue's main strength for me was fleshing out Jack Murdock's character. We really get a sense of who this man was. He was a loving father, even if he was quite naive.

I also like the court case that follows Jack's murder. Sale does a great job depicting the slimy lawyer defending the Fixer. It's alarming to go back to Stan Lee and Bill Everett's issue. They gave no reason why the murder had gone unsolved.

It's a well-written issue. The scenes flow nicely, and it has a nice sense of time and place.

There were things I didn't like. I don't like how Matt Hollingsworth makes the red costume look burgundy. The opening page is a splash page, that hits you with a ton of burgundy, and it looks completely washed out.

The entire project seems kind of redundant to me as well, having read Man Without Fear and Marvel Masterworks Volume 1 not too long before. There isn't too much to distinguish Loeb and Sale's work from those two. Sure, there isn't Miller's ultra-violence, and Loeb has provided Yellow with a romantic touch with the letter to Karen, but I really think we've been here before.

I'll give this issue a 3.5 out of 5.


I think its a little too soon to say this series is redundant compared Man Without Fear at this point, at this point the series Yellow is dealing with the same characters that the beginning of Man Without Fear dealt with (Matt, Jack, Foggy, Fixer and his goons). In some later issues this series will deal with characters that did not appear in the MWOF mini.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read this story for the first time a few months ago. I remember it just being such a heartwarming story. It starts off setting up the premise quite well with the tragedy of Karen's death. The rest is a nice trip through nostalgia. Not only is this Matt's origin, but it's the original origin, not Frank Miller's. Matt and Foggy are in college together. There's a fun, light-hearted tone to the narration. The "I can't imagine which of us was more blind" is a good example when talking about Jack working for the Fixer.

Another thing that struck me when I read it last time is how much the Netflix series borrowed from this. I knew it borrowed from Man Without Fear, but the whole fighting Crusher Creel thing is straight from here. So is "The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked down to the mat, it's in how he gets up."

As a side note on the legal front, I'm still skeptical that you can move to dismiss a charge at an arraignment like that in New York (much like the complaint about the Southpaw thing being made up to fit the story, that feels made up too). But it works as far as the story goes. They have to show why someone who believes in the law and promises his dad not to fight takes the law into his own hands (and breaks the law) and decides to fight. Unlike Man Without Fear, this first issue isn't ending with the death of Jack Murdock. Rather, the whole process of becoming Daredevil is playing out here. Partly by sticking to the original version, it's a bit lighter on the backstory, but I think it works well.

Overall, this story is mostly set-up. It sets the tone (the watercolor style of the art certainly helps there too), it sets the characters. I don't know if this is a great introduction to the character because it plays a lot on the sentimentality that goes with being familiar, but it's a great reinvigoration of the character - particularly if you aren't familiar with the Silver Age version. Certainly, the comparisons to Man Without Fear are inevitable here, but I think it does a good job of staking out its own territory (granted, I haven't read Season One, which may be closer). Four Stars.
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LightningandIce
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read this once, for the first time last year, and instantly loved it. Thus far I've considered one of my favorite DD stories. We'll see if that still holds up on a second reading, but it looks pretty good so far. I originally wanted to pick this up because I wanted to see more of Matt's early adventures without having to track down rare issues or shell out for the Masterworks, and this seemed to have everything I wanted without the Silver Age camp.

Nobody has mentioned yet, but this is one of a few very similar romance-themed works by Loeb and Sale that were named after colors. It also includes Spider-Man Blue, which has has a similar premise to this with Peter reminiscing about Gwen Stacy, and Hulk Gray, which is presumably the same thing. I haven't actually read those but I felt it was worth noting.

I like this issue a lot. It's a retread of what we've seen a thousand times already, but I still feel this is something new. I love the restaurant scene. It let's us see Jack as an actual character instead of just a plot device. Indeed, despite being short, this issue seems like it gives Jack quite a bit of character.

The things that other people here didn't like aren't that big of a deal to me, and some things I actually liked. This is radically different from Man Without Fear, but Man Without Fear isn't canon. I'm not saying it isn't a good story, but it was written as an adaptation and contradicts too much of the early stuff. Other than Matt's training with Stick, very little of MWF can fit within the story of Daredevil without major contradiction.

This, on the other hand, is an outright re-telling of the original events, minus some of the silliness of Stan Lee's writing. It enhances the story, and does a very good job with it. I can see why people who think of MWF as canon wouldn't like this one, but I think Yellow works far better both in-canon and in-character. The writing, Matt's actions, and the connection with Karen Page all make Matt into a more sympathetic and likeable person.

Leaving out origin of his powers bothered me the first time I read this, but on second reading, I don't mind. It's not like we haven't been reminded of it a thousand times. You could say the same about the stuff with Jack and the Fixer, but as mentioned, this story fleshes it out. I don't think the accident was necessary in this context.

I don't mind Jack being called kid. It's clearly explained why in the text: he was originally known as "Battlin'." After he started to get back into the context, the papers started calling him "Kid" as a joke. He doesn't like. It makes sense to me.

Similarly, "It ain't how you get knocked down but how you get up" (or whatever the quote was) might be a little cliche, but it fits Daredevil perfectly. Look at how many times his life has been ripped apart and he came back from that. It sums up Born Again just about perfectly. So yeah, having the little quote may be kind of cliche, but it perfectly captures the essence of Daredevil.

What I really love, though, is the time it takes between Jack's murder and Matt taking up the mantle. Unlike what somebody else said before me, I actually thing this is great. It's a huge asset to Matt's character. Here in Yellow, we see the justice system at work. The killers go to court. It fails. Matt gives the justice system time to work it out, and it that time, it still fails. That's when he decides to become Daredevil.

That makes a huge distinction here. This, along with what we'll see next issue, shows that Matt is not just out for revenge, but he truly wants justice. He has faith in the law and only does what he does when the law fails. It's the difference between wanting payback and wanting the make the world a better place. That's an issue that has come up from time to time all throughout DD, and if you really wanted to analyze it, you could look at how he acts here compared to how he acts in Bendis's run and see what the differences are in his worldview. It also helps to reconcile the contradiction between being a lawyer and being a vigilante. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how important that time is for Matt's character, at least in his early days.

So this issue might be simple, but it brings a lot of new perspective to something that was old news. It's well written, looks good, and is a promising start. I still love it so far.
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james castle
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LightningandIce wrote:
Nobody has mentioned yet, but this is one of a few very similar romance-themed works by Loeb and Sale that were named after colors. It also includes Spider-Man Blue, which has has a similar premise to this with Peter reminiscing about Gwen Stacy, and Hulk Gray, which is presumably the same thing. I haven't actually read those but I felt it was worth noting.


This is sort of my problem with it maybe. Yellow was just latest in a series of wistful looks back. There's even a new Captain America one that just came out (White)? It seems to me that the point of these comics isn't to create a uniquely Daredevil or Spider-Man or Captain America story. It's just to create a wistful story. It's the form, not the content that's driving things. The result is something that's fairly simplistic that doesn't say a whole lot about the actual character.

Which is fine, really if you're into that kind thing.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
Another thing that struck me when I read it last time is how much the Netflix series borrowed from this. I knew it borrowed from Man Without Fear, but the whole fighting Crusher Creel thing is straight from here.

Actually, I forgot to mention that! I was very surprised to find that in this issue!
james castle wrote:
This is sort of my problem with it maybe. Yellow was just latest in a series of wistful looks back. There's even a new Captain America one that just came out (White)? It seems to me that the point of these comics isn't to create a uniquely Daredevil or Spider-Man or Captain America story.

Daredevil: Yellow was actually Loeb and Sale's first offering in their Marvel colour series. I only read Spider-Man: Blue a couple of years ago, and, while touching, I was underwhelmed. I actually prefer Hulk: Gray. Maybe I find the Bruce and Betty relationship more compelling than Matt/Karen or Peter/Gwen.

But are you telling me that Captain America: White finally came out? I'm assuming it's about Steve and Peggy.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
Mike Murdock wrote:
Another thing that struck me when I read it last time is how much the Netflix series borrowed from this. I knew it borrowed from Man Without Fear, but the whole fighting Crusher Creel thing is straight from here.

Actually, I forgot to mention that! I was very surprised to find that in this issue!
james castle wrote:
This is sort of my problem with it maybe. Yellow was just latest in a series of wistful looks back. There's even a new Captain America one that just came out (White)? It seems to me that the point of these comics isn't to create a uniquely Daredevil or Spider-Man or Captain America story.

Daredevil: Yellow was actually Loeb and Sale's first offering in their Marvel colour series. I only read Spider-Man: Blue a couple of years ago, and, while touching, I was underwhelmed. I actually prefer Hulk: Gray. Maybe I find the Bruce and Betty relationship more compelling than Matt/Karen or Peter/Gwen.

But are you telling me that Captain America: White finally came out? I'm assuming it's about Steve and Peggy.


Blue was okay, but it felt like a copy of this story, only with a different love interest and different villains, since Yellow came out first, Blue seems less novel. Also since Yellow came out right after Karen Page died, while Blue came out decades after Gwen Stacey died, I think Yellow has more of an impact then Blue. I mean Blue is different in some ways to Yellow, but it seems like the basic structure is the same.

I will say that since we are reviewing Yellow, there is really no reason to Review DD Season One, that is just a less interesting version of this story.

I do wonder that between this story and Season One whether Man Without Fear is canon anymore.

Also I like Tim Sale`s art work, its very stylized, but has kinda of a pulp like quality to it.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Yellow #2 - The Measure of a Man



Due 8/23
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mike, far be it from me to correct you, but you mean 8/17?
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The due date is always the week after it's posted. I suppose I meant 8/22, though. Honestly, due dates are kinda optional. The idea was to encourage people to post early, but at least by that date.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comments on this issue are going to echo many of my comments from the first issue. It's better than I remember it being, but it's covering a LOT of well-trodden ground. Yes, it's a more sophisticated version than Lee and Everett's original tale from April of 1964, and I prefer Tim Sale's art to Everett's (especially that splash page where Daredevil says, "Testify"). I also thought that toss of the billy club to switch the train signal was a nice addition, especially because the page turn made you worry (for a split second) that he was going to let the Fixer get run over.

I can't believe that Jeph Loeb allowed himself to write out the words, "What are you going to do? Have me fixed?" Even if you don't think that line is gross, you have to admit it's cheesy.

I think the real star of this series is Tim Sale. He's the one bringing something new to this project. I honestly think Loeb's job isn't that hard here. Stan Lee did all the grunt work (along with Bill Everett, Joe Orlando and Wally Wood) 37 years earlier. He's not changing any story, he's just fleshing out some scenes here and there. With the Man Without Fear, Frank Miller added characters he created and entire story elements to Lee's groundwork. Loeb isn't really adding anything.

Still, the monologue and dialogue are pleasant enough, and Sale shines throughout this issue. Even if I don't think this series is of any importance, there are worse things to read. 3/5[/i]
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part two. It's essentially part two of the very first issue. I'm curious if the fights at all line up with the ones drawn by, uh, Wally Wood? (*Looks it up and see it's Bill Everett* Daredevil really didn't have an iconic artist to start). While the story is still the light-hearted tone overall, there is a nice bit of darkness in this first fight. At one point, Daredevil is pointing a gun at the guy. Plus, the narration shows a pretty explicit desire for revenge instead of justice. Every blow he inflicts is, in his mind, inflicted by his father. Overall, it's very much beat for beat the original story. But it clearly invokes the character as he's involved since then.

The last scene, I suppose, could be described as a sideplot. Obviously, as the story is a letter to Karen, it's important thematically for everything that will be covered. But, as it stands right now, it feels a bit tacked on. I do think Tim Sale draws a lovely Karen Page, though. Not as lovely as Gene Colan, but quite good in that shot right there.

Three and a Half Stars. It feels a bit light overall.
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