I started writing this on Sunday, right after I finished reading Daredevil: The Man Without Fear
(by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.) and Daredevil: Yellow
(by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale), but then got sidetracked by some fanfic and a really pretty vid (in case anyone's interested it was a TS vid by Seah & Margie, called Black Cat, and can be found on this site
). So the post got never finished on Sunday.
Anyway, Daredevil -- and, as an aside, how exactly did
I get from "I don't really read superhero comics." to reading Spider-Man, then Nightwing, then following most of the fricking Bat-Family, and now Daredevil? I mean, I have read Superhero stuff from time to time before when I loved the artists, or it was a famous or groundbreaking comic in some way, but until recently I've never followed the characters for their story. At least so far I haven't fallen for the cosmic battles and spacemonster stuff, but mostly for crime (and freak) fighting heroes with moderate or no superpowers (okay it is arguable whether Spider-Man's power's can be described as "moderate" but at least it's balanced by him being a science geek with a ton of personal problems). That is at least still somewhat similar to my fondness for detective stories, mysteries, and the like. Not that my resolve to avoid the spacemonster genre is absolute or anything (case in point, I read Outsiders).
But back to Daredevil. Both TPBs are retellings of Daredevil's origin, or in case of Yellow
more like a "Year One" thing with the origin and early events in Daredevil's career as superhero. Also I think Miller's might be the official retcon these days. Because I read both right after one another I couldn't avoid to look at them in comparison, even though I think that this is probably not the best way to think about them.
Overall I like Miller's version of Daredevil better than Loeb's, though I don't care much about the "adept" stuff, and him and Elektra being the only two somethings (sorry I don't know the Daredevil/Elektra stories Miller wrote yet, and this TPB isn't terribly specific about this mythic (?) stuff). Maybe it's just because by now I feel a definite overkill with characters who are born as special for some kind of battle. But other than that I liked this Matt very much, probably because I have a thing for angst and don't mind a heavy dose of tragic (melo-)drama. I like that Daredevil isn't a "nice" superhero and that his actions have sometimes dire consequences, but neither is he a maniac mowing criminals down with automatic weapons. Yellow
otoh has quite a bit more levity, and for all the somber "letter to a dead girlfriend" narration its Matt is much less tortured. This young Matt enjoys being Daredevil in a more "innocent" playful way -- in as much as you can say it is innocent to dress up in a devil costume and beat up criminals in the first place -- he has definitely less anger and rage. It's more like in classic superhero comics, there are wacky fights with costumed supervillains etc, and yet at the same time it is not really like that, despite the homage element, because the darker future is always there: Not just in Matt's narration and our knowledge of the future tragedies ahead, also in moments like when Matt watches the execution of his father's murderer. I liked that in Yellow
Matt's father wasn't killed when Matt was a kid, it makes for some variation in the murdered parents origin story, that so many superheroes have, and is obviously part of why this Matt is "lighter."
I enjoyed the art in both books, but I have to say that especially John Romita Jr. has become a lot better since then. I thought some of the crosshatching looked quite unfortunate, but then I only like crosshatching when it's done really well and with good effect for the surfaces it's supposed to depict, and that is really hard to manage. And I like Tim Sale's Batman art better than his Daredevil, but that's mostly because I think it suits that universe better.
To finish my a bit disjointed comments, both books are definitely worth reading.