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Daredevil

Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

By the time you read this, Netflix's Daredevil series will have premiered, and many of you will have already burned through the entire thing. Although its take on DD's costume is based quite a bit on The Man Without Fear miniseries, it's rumored he'll be in red by the end of the season. Amusing, then, that he's just stopped wearing his familiar red costume in the comics.

Without sight but also without fear, when Daredevil senses evil there's nowhere to hide...

For some reason, every few years there's a big Daredevil storyline where Matt's secret identity gets outed. The first time was in #24, when Spider-Man wrote him a letter that Foggy Nelson and Karen Page intercepted; that led to Matt posing as his own twin brother Mike for a few years. Then a TV station in San Franscisco spilled the beans. Karen Page traded the information for drugs. A cheap tabloid revealed it. A real newspaper revealed it. And every time he's somehow managed to get the genie back in the bottle... until just recently, when he willingly admitted it himself under oath in open court to get out from under a group of white supremecists that was blackmailing him. So now, rather than dressing in a costume, he just wears a stylish red suit.

Although there is now a modern Marvel Legends suit body, that's not what this figure depicts. This is the classic costume - we don't even get the courtesy of a yellow repaint! Unlike the last Daredevil, the overlapping D's on his chest are not sculpted, just painted - this figure uses Hasbro's current standard body, with the details painted on. Although DD's red costume was designed in 1965 by Wally Wood, Frank Miller changed it slightly: Wood drew smooth, rounded D's, while Miller went back to Matt's original costume, and made the letters pointier; that's the way it's looked ever since.

The head, of course, is a new sculpt. It's thick enough to look like the son of a boxer, but has a refined thinness that reminds us he's not a fighter by trade (well, except that he is - he gets punched in the face all the time). It does look like the sculpt was influenced by Chris Samnee's art for the current DD series, which is a good thing.

On Hasbro's last Daredevil, the skintone on his exposed jaw was really pale - "I've never gone outside in the daylight" pale. This one is a ruddier tone, so he doesn't look sickly. The suit is entirely red, of course, but in two tones: a dark red for the torso and limbs, and a brighter shade on the gloves, boots, belt and holster. Oh, also his eyes and his logo. If they're not going to go with the same red for the whole suit, this is the way to do it; light extremities on a dark body look better than dark extremities on a light body. Makes him look like he'd blend into shadows easier. Still, it would be interesting to see them do it like it's done in the comics: the same shade of red for the entire body, but given shading on the body, and left flat on the boots and gloves.

A shared body means shared articulation, so DD moves at the head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, boots, and ankles. He's armed with his billy club, a two-piece stick that can combine into one. It's molded from exceedingly soft plastic, to the point where you can nearly tie it in a knot. It's like he's fighting with a pool noodle. The two pieces fit in the holster strapped to his left thigh - that's a separate piece, too, just like his belt.

Daredevil also comes with the scrawny left arm of this series' Build-A-Figure, the Hobgoblin, as well as a pumpkin bomb for Hobby to throw. But we'll talk more about that when we get to the BAF review.

Daredevil has been one of the best books Marvel's been publishing lately, thanks to the clever writing of Mark Waid and the stylish work of the various artists who have traded off duties through its run. It's no surprise that I'm always in favor of a good new Daredevil action figure, and this one is very very good.

-- 04/13/15


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