Daredevil #1 (by Charles Soule) – Comic Book Review

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It seems as though Marvel cannot go two weeks without relaunching one or more of its series. First it was Marvel Now, then All New Marvel Now and now in the wake of its universe redefining crossover Secret Wars we have yet another series of #1 comics pouring in. The uncertainty of seeing books continue past 12 issues has been a deterring me from reading Marvel books as of late but I could not help myself when I heard the words “new Daredevil series”, so here we are.

I had not been keeping up with Mark Waid’s brilliant run all the way to the end due to commitment with school/lacking a job at the time so I am going in without much background knowledge on how the previous series lead into this one. I have heard that there isn’t much in the way of continuity between this series and the previous one anyway but let this serve as an explanation if I miss something about the new status quo the book sets up.

My initial impression of this new series is one of cautious optimism. The book starts things out by returning Daredevil to New York city (the last series had him in San Francisco if I am not mistaken), which is a bit of a drag because I really liked how Marvel was making an effort a few years back to spread out its heroes to different parts of America. Also, Matt and Foggy are on the outs due to some vaguely defined measures that Matt had to take to make his identity as Daredevil a secret again (for those who don’t know, Daredevil’s identity has been public knowledge for many years in the comics). I’m not sure how I feel about this change in dynamics between Matt and Foggy though, as these characters have been through so much together at this point that it is hard to believe Matt could have burned that bridge without doing something truly terrible.

It is not all bad though because Daredevil seems to have a brand new friend in Blindspot, his invisibility empowered partner (sidekick?). If I could give Matt Murdock any advice in superheroing, it would definitely be that he should not have sidekicks with ironic names that elude to his identity as Matt Murdock. It would be like Spider-Man’s sidekick being made The Photographer, it is just bad for business. It is hard to get a read on this character since I have not read the Point One story that introduced him.

That covers the “cautiously”, now let’s move onto the “optimistic”. Ron Garney’s art is fantastic and gels well with the darker tone that Soule is going for. The new enemies that Daredevil is taking on are compelling (the silly name of Tenfingers not withstanding) and the book being written by a lawyer can only serve it well moving forward. One big problem with the Netflix show was its lack of focus on Matt’s vocation and some of the best stuff from the Brian Michael Bendis run featured Matt in the courtroom.

I also like the prospect of Matt having a secret identity again. The previous run did a lot of great things with Matt’s public identity but I have always been a sucker for old school superhero secret identities. It serves to isolate Matt from his usual support system, which is clearly the larger goal that Soule has in mind with this book. Here’s hoping that the circumstances of the public forgetting that Matt Murdock is Daredevil aren’t as preposterous as they were for Spider-Man in One More Day.

I plan to keep buying and reviewing the book unless it gets bad but Soule has proven himself capable in the past and like I said, I am cautiously optimistic. Now, if they can just get rid of Daredevil’s terrible black costume…

 

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