The Difference Between Mayoral Action and Superhero Action in Daredevil 602

By Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

“New York City’s uniformed protectors are under attack by the Hand.” It’s a straightforward premise, one with both obvious drama and an obvious solution: superheroes fight the ninjas. But as of Daredevil 601, Matt Murdock is more than just a superhero; he’s also the mayor of New York. Suddenly those simple solutions don’t seem quite as simple. Charles Soule, Mike Henderson, Matt Villa and Clayton Cowles’ Daredevil 602 illustrate the difference between the streamlined drama of the superhero and the complicated drama of the mayor. Continue reading

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Fisk Keeps His Enemies Closer in Daredevil 597

by Drew Baumgartner

Daredevil 597

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

What rock did these morally pure creatures crawl out from under and, more important, how do you go from innocent millipede to White House staffer without becoming soiled or disillusioned by the dirty realities of politics along the way?

Heather Havrilesky, “Will The West Wing go south?”

There are a lot of things to nitpick about The West Wing, between its heavy-handed Sorkin-isms and its penchant for too-saccharine resolutions, but the one criticism that I can’t stand is that it isn’t realistic enough. Of course it isn’t — it’s fiction. No, these aren’t how actual White House staffers would talk about issues, because how they actually talk would be totally impenetrable to the audience the show is actually made for. Tone-deaf critics would dismiss this as dumbing-down, but the alternative is a highly accurate but totally unwatchable bore. Policy wonks may lament that there’s no television truly tailored to their niche interests, but the rest of us want something, you know, entertaining. Moreover, we understand that in order to generate drama, characters in fiction may need to speak and act in ways that real people wouldn’t (hint: real people don’t only sit on one half of a dining room table or speak in iambic pentameter). Which means the hero sometimes has to be naive in their hopes and dreams — if they know they’re going to crash on the rocks, they might just call the whole adventure off, which doesn’t leave us with much of a story. Such is the case with Matt’s attempt to keep a watchful eye on Fisk. Continue reading

Capturing the Tension of a Post-Trump America in Daredevil 595

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The Kingpin, a literal supervillain, has just been elected the Mayor of Marvel’s New York City. If you can read that sentence and not immediately see parallels to the United States’ current political climate, then you’re clearly far blinder than Matt Murdock. In Daredevil 595, Charles Soule and Stefano Landini tap into the confusion, shock, fear, and paranoia that have come to define the last year for so many of us.  Continue reading

Revisiting the Past While Also Moving Forward in Daredevil 26

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Charles Soule’s run on Daredevil began with a bit of a “back to basics” approach, a return to the character’s traditionally dark tone after Waid and Samnee’s more optimistic run. Still, Soule wasn’t content to just do the same old things with Daredevil; Matt underwent significant changes, including adopting a new costume and sidekick, fighting new villains, and losing all of his old support systems. The last few storylines, though, took a step away from those changes — one was a straight-up flashback tale, and the other a Kingpin story. Daredevil 26 finds Soule reconciling all these various takes, moving forward with the status quo changes brought about by issue 25 while also revisiting concepts from both earlier in this run and long before it. Continue reading

Fist Fights and Legal Fights in Daredevil 25

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I’m about to blow your mind: superhero comics are full of fist fights. Crazy, I know. But with every punch or kick traded, there’s typically opposing ideologies. In Daredevil 25, Charles Soule and Alec Morgan match the high stakes of Matt Murdock’s Supreme Court case with the trappings of superhero fisticuffs. Continue reading

The Power of Friendship (and smoke) in Daredevil 24

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

How long can you stay mad at your best friend? In the case of Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, it took about 20+ issues. In Daredevil 24 Charles Soule and Alec Morgan finally begin to mend their broken relationship as Matt continues his grand quest to “legalize superheroing.” That, and pick on poor Tombstone. Continue reading

Daredevil 20

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Daredevil 20, originally released May 17th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: After 20 issues Charles Soule and Ron Garney finally give us the backstory of how Daredevil’s secret identity once again became a secret. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I’m very impressed with how they pulled it off. If the controversial Spider-Man arc “One More Day” is how not to accomplish an identity retcon, then Daredevil’s “Purple” might be the complete opposite. Continue reading

Commentary Track – Charles Soule Discusses Daredevil 1

commentary daredevil 1

Charles Soule was a virtual unknown when he started on Swamp Thing in 2013. Since then, he’s written some of comics biggest characters, from Superman and Wonder Woman to Deadpool and Wolverine. December saw him tackle the man without fear with the launch of a new volume of Daredevil. Drew sat down with Soule to go through issue 1 page by page, so get your copy handy and join us on the Commentary Track. Continue reading

Daredevil 1

Alternating Currents: Daredevil 1, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Daredevil 1, originally released December 2nd, 2015.

You might know me as Matt Murdock, defence attorney, here to help. That guy’s gone.

Matt Murdock, Daredevil 1

Drew: We’re living in the age of the comics auteur. We may not have yet settled exactly who the auteur is in a work that is written, drawn, colored, lettered, and edited by five (or more) different people, but so long as they work together in largely uninterrupted runs, we don’t really need to. That is to say, we may not be able to assign auteurship to one individual on, say, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run on Daredevil, but we can appreciate that they brought a distinct set of sensibilities to the character that are unique to their collaboration. On the whole, I think this is a good thing — it allows creators to play to their own strengths and follow their own interests — but it makes the prospect of following a beloved run particularly daunting. What works for one creative team might not work for another, which means that anything from costumes and character designs to theme and overall tone might be subject to change. Indeed, with the freedom (and perhaps pressure) for each team to bring their own take on the character, those changes are unavoidable. Daredevil 1 features plenty of changes from its previous volume, but writer Charles Soule and artist Ron Garney quickly set about showing why those changes are going to work. Continue reading

Daredevil 18

Alternating Currents: Daredevil 18, Drew and Spencer

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Daredevil 18, originally released September 2nd, 2015. 

Act three: The climax occurs as well as the dénouement, a brief period of calm at the end of a film where a state of equilibrium returns. In other words, it is simply the resolution.

Wikipedia, Act (drama)

Drew: It might be reductive to call the final act of a story the most important, but it certainly defines what kind of story it is; is it a tragic or optimistic? Is it about how people and things change or about how they stay the same? Is it about satisfying resolutions for the characters, or satisfying resolutions for the plot? I’ve presented some obviously false dichotomies there, but the point is, the exact nature of a story, from its ultimate message to its storytelling sensibilities, can’t be defined until that final act. That puts a lot of pressure on the final act — a pressure that is doubly true in comics, where the final issue may make up a tiny fraction of the series’ run. Of course, it’s under pressure that Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil has always had its highest moments, from moving Matt and company across the country to gracefully integrating into whatever crossovers Marvel cooked up to simply resolving the daring cliffhangers they came up with the month before. Daredevil 18, their final issue, is no different, which is exactly why it’s such a remarkable ending. Continue reading