Mark Waid and Greg Rucka bring Daredevil and Punisher (respectively) to the red carpet premiere of "The Omega Effect" crossover in "Avenging Spider-Man" #6. This combination of talent and characters results in a book that is every bit as enjoyable as you can possibly imagine.
Given that this first installment in "The Omega Effect" crossover occurs in a Spider-Man comic, Spider-Man gets the most screentime and the best lines. Waid is no stranger to the wallcrawler, serving up some classic Spidey moments and lines throughout the issue. Add in the very specific characterizations of Daredevil (by Waid) and Punisher (by Greg Rucka), and the comic becomes so full of fun, adventure and great characterization that it truly doesn't matter which one of the trio is flying their logo on the cover.
Waid's Daredevil is confident and calm, able to stand up to the Punisher even as he tries to understand the situation surrounding him. As readers of the ongoing "Daredevil" title are aware, the Man wIthout Fear possesses a drive that contains the combined secrets of four of the world's biggest crime organizations. Naturally the Punisher wants to use it as a checklist/how-to in dismantling (read: killing) those organizations. Rucka's Punisher is a man of few words, abstaining from conversation as much as possible, but given the general gabbiness of Spider-Man and the brutally frank nature of Daredevil, we're treated to the most the Punisher has had to say since Rucka first started crafting the adventures of the man formerly known as Frank Castle.
Marco Checchetto simply delivers the work of his career. Checchetto has been drawing stunningly real yet gritty artwork on "The Punisher," but that book has been concentrated on more a mundane opposition and supporting cast. Here, with Hand ninjas jumping from rooftops and scaling buildings to chase down Spider-Man and Daredevil, Checchetto is able to flex a little bit. The artist draws some real world versions of the costumes of Spider-Man and Daredevil, but does so in a manner that doesn't make either character look goofy or corny. Matt Hollingsworth's colors present a muted pallette, adding to Checchetto's realistic visuals while adding testimony to the striking visual contrast Spider-Man and Daredevil would bring into a stark real world.
I've been enjoying "Daredevil" and "The Punisher," so I won't feign shock at enjoying this book. What did surprise me, however, was the extent to which I enjoyed it. In this issue, Waid and Rucka build enough of a story that anyone could pick it up and find their way along. If you happen to be a regular reader of either title, the story just enhances the characters and whets the appetite for more. Thanks to great creators and fabulous characters, "The Omega Effect" is off to a great start.