It's kind of a pity when a book shifts from a good creative team to another for an issue and the change is so glaringly evident that it causes the latter book to suck by comparison. Sadly, that's what happened to this month's Daredevil Annual, and sadly there was little I found redeeming in it.
It's a testament to the way that Mark Waid has reshaped this book and its universe that when Marvel gives the reins to another team, it just falls apart. The plot lacks a certain coherence, and I just had too many questions while reading the book to chalk it up to an intriguing storyline. It was just plain confusing.
Different elements were just thrown in at random times with little consequence. Characters were defined so poorly I was just left asking myself "why should I care?" Major players like Doctor Strange seemed very out of character, and the plot was so by-the-numbers that any superhero could have filled Daredevil's shoes and it would have been the same story.
So why is this a bad thing?
I suppose Annuals are special beasts in comics: usually, they're meant to wrap up 12 issue's worth of comics in a nice package, giving us something continuity-free. They also tend to provide some kind of catharsis for a long plotline.
Instead, this one just confused the heck out of me, and is apparently part of a storyline going on in FF Annual and a Wolverine book. This would be fine if there was any semblence of continuity in this book, but all I was left with was a feeling that the plot had been shoved towards a book that didn't really need it.
Daredevil Annual #1
The Verdict: I'll be blunt: if you like what Mark Waid is doing on Daredevil, skip this issue. If you want a two out of five, mediocre book, go ahead — you've been warned.