The 10 Best Comic Books of 2012

5. Daredevil (Marvel Entertainment)

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee, Mike Allred, Paolo Rivera, Kano

Most of Marvel's titles are more concerned with tricking readers into picking up vapid, lifeless storylines that promise “shocking twists” rather than engrossing plots and memorable characters. Mark Waid’s Daredevil, however, continues to deliver superb superhero tales every month with an eye on creativity and brilliant characterization.

In 2012, the Man Without Fear took on some of the most dangerous crime families in the world, battled the Mole Man, and questioned his own sanity, all while being illustrated to square-jawed perfection by a stable of artists, most notably Chris Samnee.

Daredevil continues to find that nebulous balance between light-hearted superhero storytelling and deep, complex psychological drama. Waid is a master at this because he continuously avoids falling into the trap of most former Daredevil writers by making the character too dark. With that old school, swashbuckling mentality, the book flourishes.

The last few issues, in particular,presented Daredevil battling against a new, terrifying version of The Spot, a D-list Spider-Man foe that Waid made into a bona fide threat in just a few short issues. The way he revamped that one villain is a microcosm of the way he revamped the whole Daredevil franchise, and, in turn, gave modern writers a blueprint as to how to craft dense, fulfilling superhero stories without resorting to needless sex and violence.

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