Feeling more than a little unnecessary and out of place for a comic that just relaunched with a brand new issue last month, and feeling more like an annual or special than part of the ongoing continuity, the over-sized Daredevil #1.50 is 50th Anniversary celebration of the character which takes a look forward rather than back with what Mark Waid has in mind for the character going forward.
Split into three separate tales, each of which take place years in Matt Murdock’s future introduces us to Matt Murdock‘s son Jack and the villain Jubula Pride who turns most of the city of San Francisco in order to push Daredevil out of retirement to confront a villain who he, but not the reader, knows all too well.
Featuring back-up stories of Murdock’s wife by Brian Michael Bendis by and artist Alex Maleev and wacky fake twin storyline in homage to the character’s goofier period by writer/artist Karl Kesel, Daredevil #1.50 is a curiosity more than anything else offering a glimpse of what Waid might do with the character given no constraints and several decades. Hit-and-Miss.
Picking up from the events of the last series’ final issue, Matt Murdock has publicly outted himself as Daredevil, was disbarred in New York, and has moved across the country to San Francisco with his kinda sorta girlfriend Kristen McDuffie.
Bringing over the same creative team from the last series (making a renumbering even less necessary), Murdock’s new situation allows the drama queen to publicly share his unique abilities with the local police. However, the hero does find jumping from building to building much more difficult in California than in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen.
Daredevil #1 sets up the new series with McDuffie helping Murdock in both the courtroom and as an extra pair of eyes on the unfamiliar streets as the vigilante attempts to save a kidnapped girl who terrorists plan to use as a living bomb. My only real complaint with the issue how hard it works to stay away from the subject of Foggy Nelson before the inevitable tease of the outcome of his cancer treatment. And no, I’m not buying Waid and Samnee killed him off-panel. Worth a look.
With the final issue before yet another relaunch, writer Mark Waid and Chris Samnee send Daredevil out in style with Matt Murdock‘s public admission in a court of law to his radar sense, his vigilante activities, and why he enjoys parading around in red tights. Daredevil #36 feels a little rushed as it deals with Murdock’s big shocker while also tying up the loose ends of the Sons of the Serpent, Foggy‘s life-threatening illness, Matt’s relationship with Kristen McDuffie, and setting up the new monthly title featuring Murdock and Nelson in San Fransisco.
Before its over Daredevil will get to kick a little ass and kiss the girl, but Nelson and Murdock will both be disbarred (setting up more obstacles to their possible return to New York sometime down the line). As to McDuffie, it’s left unsaid whether or not she will be accompanying the partners out west or if this is (for now) the end of Matt and Kristen’s story.
The final issue does its best to justify an unnecessary renumbering and reboot next month while providing a milestone in both of Murdock’s chosen professions. Worth a look.
With the penultimate issue of this version of Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil before Marvel reboots the title along with most, but not all, of the Marvel NOW! titles in favor of yet another new numbering scheme that may or may not last a full year or two, the writer sets up the pieces for major shifts for Matt Murdock both in the courtroom and while donning his red tights.
Blackmailed by the Sons of the Serpent (who have a full portfolio on Murdock’s night-time activities and a complete profile highlighting Daredevil’s weaknesses) to represent a member of their organization who is actually innocent of the crime he’s been accused of, Daredevil calls on the help of Elektra to help him work out his options (and punch bad guys). Stuck in a no-win situation, Murdock does what he does best – improvise.
The move Waid makes here is certainly bold, but it’s also a genie that’s going to be hard to ever put back in the bottle should Marvel find an outed Matt Murdock problematic to deal with.
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The final arc of the eight-issue anthology mini-series comes to a close as Daredevil sets out to save Misty Knight from her Cuban drug lord ex-boyfriend. It also offers a flashback of the series of events leading up to Knight loosing her arm and requiring a bionic replacement.
Separated for most of the issue, Daredevil: Dark Nights #8 doesn’t offer much in the way of banter between the two heroes. And although she gets to do a little butt-kicking in the final few panels (including saving Daredevil from Carmen Averez), I’m a little disappointed that Misty Knight spends so much of the final issue of the series as the damsel in distress.
Daredevil: Dark Nights may not have delivered great stories over its eight-issue run, but the adventures of Matt Murdock had their moments and I’m sorry to see the series coming to an end as Marvel gears up to a big February relaunch of several of their core titles (including Daredevil). For fans.
The series begins to wrap-up its ongoing stories as Daredevil moves ever closer to its final issue. Returned to New York, Daredevil puts the pages he stole from the Darkhold and a little Avengers tech to good use to not only expose and take down the Jester and deal another blow to the Sons of the Serpent by exposing their plot to divide the city.
Although I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Sons of the Serpent arc, this issue works well on resolving several loose threads by returning Daredevil to New York and bringing back Kristen McDuffie who Matt Murdock finally stops playing coy with and asks for her help (which almost ends disastrously for them both).
Although the tone is upbeat and Daredevil manages to get a victory while sidestepping disaster, it’s obvious from the last couple of panels that the final two issues of the series are likely to be far darker as the fate of Foggy Nelson will finally be decided (and apparently the news isn’t good). Worth a look.
Daredevil and Misty Knight‘s adventures continue as their helicopter gets shot down miles from Cuba on their way to track down the kingpin whose men kidnapped Matt Murdock’s latest client. Eventually the pair make it to land only to face new threats including the rocket-launcher-totting Carmen Averez and the kingpin’s soldiers.
The quips and sexual tension between the two characters continue throughout the issue (as does Misty’s disappointment about not having her way with the hero under the moonlight). There’s plenty of action as well and an important reveal Misty’s insight on their target which sets up next month’s final issue of both the arc and the anthology.
There are some fun moments here, but the issue is really used to set-up the various conflicts in next month’s finale. Although it hasn’t been as good as Mark Waid‘s run on the regular title, I’ve enjoyed seeing other writers and artists play with the character over the past few months in these isolated tales. For fans.
Marvel.com has confirmed that Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, BtVS Season Eight: Wolves at the Gate) has signed on to be the showrunner for Netflix’s 13-episode Daredevil series. Goddard will also write and direct the first episode which is set to premiere sometime in 2015
Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.
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Daredevil‘s unusual adventure in the South continues as he finds himself shot by locals who take him for one of the monsters and then saved by the Legion of Monsters, repaying his earlier attempt to save them from a lynch mob in the last issue. However, the hero finds himself in a stand-off with the group who attack him again once they realize the dangerous information he’s after.
After coming to an understanding with the group, and finally armed with the knowledge of what the Darkhold is, Daredevil sets out to confront Lucien Sinclair, a local wizard of the Sons of the Serpent with pages from the magical totem which could cause serious problems for everyone involved (and which it appears Daredevil has his own plans).
Like the last issue, Daredevil #33 is weird and goofy adventure but I thought the humor worked better this time around. Daredevil’s right of passage to get to Sinclair works well, as does the panel showing the pissed off hero finally confronting the wizard. Worth a look.