Last year, in celebration of the character’s 50th anniversary, Daredevil gave us a glimpse of Matt’s future. The last few issues have slowly assembled the elements of that future together into the present day storyline, but despite how bad things have gotten, it’s been easy to take comfort in knowing that everything will turn out alright in the end. This issue showed that just because things will get better a few years down the line doesn’t mean poor Matt’s life won’t get really dark first.
After villains The Shroud and The Owl ruined Matt Murdock’s law practice and broadcast his few remaining secrets to the world, he was forced to go to his arch-nemesis Wilson Fisk for help. Matt doesn’t have any good options left—but this was inevitable. Since writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee revamped the book in 2011, they’ve taken a historically very dark, almost depressing character and injected some much-needed levity.
However, that doesn’t mean Matt hasn’t been through a lot in the past few years. He revealed his secret identity to the world, moved to San Francisco, actually maintained a steady relationship with fellow lawyer Kirsten McDuffy, helped best friend Foggy deal with a potentially fatal cancer diagnosis and finally found out what happened to his mother. Even so, he’s been relatively happy, but with the end of Waid and Samnee’s run ending with issue #18, things are going to change.
The David Marquez-drawn teaser images for the All-New All-Different pseudo-reboot of the Marvel Comic Universe released earlier this month suggest that Matt’s life is about to return to the darkness long-time fans (and those lured in by the Netflix TV show) expect for the character. But I hope readers coming to the book anew go back and read Waid’s run—if only to appreciate the incredible mix of color and shadow Samnee and colorist Matt Wilson (of The Wicked and the Divine) brought to the title every month. Sullenness and pessimism are often mistaken for complexity, but letting Matt experience wins, losses and even hope is far better storytelling than watching him repeatedly get beaten up. Hopefully the new creative team remembers that.
By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over every detail of America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture and celebrity obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to. You can find her risking her life by reading comic books while walking down the crowded streets of New York City, having inappropriate emotional reactions at her iPad screen while riding the subway or occasionally letting her love of a band convince her to stand for hours on end in one of the city’s many purgatorial concert spaces. You can follow her on Twitter to read her insightful social commentary or more likely complain about how cold it is at @MarisaCarpico.