Mark Waid Daredevil


I pretty much ignored the "Marvel Knights" version of Daredevil, which lasted 119 issues. Honestly, I had been "pretty much ignoring" Daredevil since Frank Miller left (the second time). The longer I stay away from a series the less likely it is for me to get back into it once I quit, and the constant flow of "new number ones" make it even less likely that I will pick it up again. But if there's one person who can overcome all those obstacles, it's Mark Waid. I have had a long-standing resolution to read all the archives and omnibuses I have bought over the years, and when I started reading and posting about Daredevil comics from the beginning (back in 2019), it was with the express intention of "reading my way up to" the first volume of the Mark Waid Daredevil omnibus. It may have taken me five years to get here, but I'm ready to go now.

Starting tomorrow.

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  • ISSUE #22:

    I don’t think Mark Waid is out to dump Foggy. From what I’ve seen, he values the characters.

     ISSUE #23:

    The opening sequence seems to say that the truck driver involved in DD’s origin was distracted by his cellphone. In the 60s we didn’t have any cellphones, but then Matt wasn’t born in the 50s or he’d be too old for jumping off buildings, so okay.

    Note: The truck is labelled “Acme,” so obviously Coyote is involved.

    This cover illustrates a gimmick from the Daredevil movie, one of the few Marvel movies I have seen.

    It’s the cover of TPB #5

    He confides in Foggy that he learned from Coyote that the same person who backed Coyote also backed Klaw and probably Black Spectre and possibly others as well.

    Please don’t let it be The Owl or The Kingpin.

    ISSUE #24:

    We get our first glimpse of the man behind Daredevil's problems. He resides in a clock tower and is himself inside a "sarcophagus" shaped like a cocktail shaker. Also in the clocktower  is a woman in silhouette.

    We had a woman in silhouette in an earlier issue. Don’t remember the circumstances.

    He doesn't even get to break up with her because she has already decided that they are broken up. It's a really fun and touching scene, and my poor description doesn't do it justice.

    It is very well done. It impresses Matt to the point where he begins to think he loves her.

    Here's a way to tell a good comic book writer from a mediocre one. A good writer will portray Hank Pym as a competent, confident Avenger; a mediocre one will perpetuate the unstable wifebeater stereotype.

    Haven’t seen the mediocre bits concerning Hank Pym, but I’ve certainly heard about them.

    Matt returns to the offices of Nelson & Murdock to discover that someone has delivered a crate.

    On the way, a bus passenger mis-identifies him as Spider-Man. Another gem from a good writer.

    He is able to take them out by triggering the fire alarm and overloading their super-sensitive ears. Then he calls Giant-Man who shrinks them and takes them back to his lab for study.

    The Ant-Man movies you don’t watch introduced me to his ability to shrink and enlarge things. It can be very entertaining. (PS: there are no wife-beaters in those movies.)

    ISSUES #25 through 27:

    Nothing to add to your excellent summaries. I surprised myself by catching up after all.

  • Issues #28-29 are drawn and colored by Javier Rodriguez, inked by Alvaro Lopez.

    ISSUE #28:


    The final-page splash of #27's main story becomes #28's first page splash, reworked as a Daily Bugle front page picture of "Daredevil spotted near the Sloan-Ketteing Cancer Center." Matt visits Foggy in the hospital and becomes nauseated by the smell of the chemotherapy, but sticks it out anyway. Back in the office, the search is still on for a lawyerto handle Foggy's caseload. Waitng for Matt is a new client, Nate Hackett, the bully who, years ago, gave young Matt the nickname "Daredevil." From Hackett's point of view, Matt was a stuck-up snob, but now he needs his help. After Matt's accident, Hackett was shunned as the kid who bullied him and his life took a turn for te worse. He admits he eventually fell in with the rasict group Sons of the Serpent, triggering Matt to flash back to Defenders #24.


    According th Hackett, his chapter was just a social group at the time, and he got out before it turned overtly rascist. Recently he was arrested on charges stemming from the activites of the Serpents after he'd left. Now he's suing the city for false arrest, and he wants Matt to represent him. He figures Mattowes him because Matt's life turned out all right and his own is in the crapper. Matt takes the case, not because he feels guilty for the way Hackett's life turned out, but because he truly believes Hackett is a victim of false arrest.

    The sequence on pages 16-17, BTW, is good example of the innovative page layouts for which this title has become known. As Daredevil swings across the top tier, he thwarts a mugging on the bottom tier as his billy clubs carombs off the panels themselves.

    Matt coaches Hackett how to defend himself and, when it looks as if he's going to win in court, the judge pulls out a handgun and shoots him! 

    ISSUE #29:


    The judge, the bailiff, the prosecutor, the court reporter... they're all in on it. When the capos come rushing in, the bailiff says that some guy in the gallery jumped up and shot the paintiff, then ran out through the back hallway. Matt says it's a lie, theat the judge shot him, but it's easy to convince the police that the "blind man" is mistaken. Matt pretends to be in shock, and the bailiff escorts him into the judges chambers. Once there, Matt turns the tables on him and gets him to admit he is working fof the Sons of the Serpent, as is the judge and the two others. In fact, he maintains "dozens" of people in the court are Serpents, and they pulled such an audacious hit hit because they expected to get away with it. Matt switches to Daredevil, but he doesn't know who is a Serpent and who isn't.

    A lady cop escorts an EMT into the court. A different cop, under the guise of rendering aid, attempts to smother Hackett. Daredevil suggests that the EMT is a Serpent as well, without knowing the man is Black. Daredevil is distraced when one of the other cops attacks him, and when he looks up, the judge and the EMT are gone. He trusts the lady cop, however, who covers the prosecutor and court reporter while DD pursues the judge. In the hallway, the judge forces his gun into the EMT's hand then identifies him as the shooter to a cop in te hall. the EMT drops the gun immediately, but the cop is a Serpent and is just about to kill him when daredevil arrives. Four other cops show up and Daredevil tells them the cop he has subdued is not legit, but one ofthe other cops identifies him as his brother-in-law. Then the BIL cop fingers the EMT as the shooter, forcing Daredevil to get him to safety.

    Daredevil jumps down the stairwell, carrying the EMT with him. He hears the sound of a radio jammer. Recalling that? Hackett is a radio engineer, he concludes that the Serpents suspected he might have overheard something. In the basement of the courthouse, Matt dicovers a bomb but is unable to disarm it. He uses a fallen cop's radio to tell the lady cop to evacuate all bystanders to safety. 24 hours later, visiting Hackett in the hospital, Matt informs Hackett that he is dropping the case on the grounds that he cannot sue the city because the cops who arrested him were fakes. He will, however, foot Hackett's medical bills because he plans to pump him for information to brings the Serpents down. Later still, Matt returns to the office to find "the last person [he'd] ever expect" there to apply for the job of Foggy's replacement.

    • Re issue #28 and Nate Hackett: Just where do bullies get off thinking it's their responsibility to bring down "stuck-up snobs"? And in particular, where does Nate Hackett get off thinking Matt Murdock "owes" him anything? Matt's a better man than I am; I wouldn't have given the likes of Nate Hackett the time of day.

  • ISSUES #28 and 29:

    A lady cop escorts an EMT Into the court. A different cop, under the guise of rendering aid, attempts to smother Hackett.

    In addition to Daredevil, she also witnesses this.

    He trusts the lady cop, however, who covers the prosecutor and court reporter while DD pursues the judge.

    I suspect we haven’t seen the last of her. She may be his next girlfriend.

    Matt informs Hackett that he is dropping the case on the grounds that he cannot sue the city because the cops who arrested him were fakes.

    I don’t think the cops that arrested Hackett were fakes. They were provided evidence of Hackett’s earlier membership, likely by one of the Sons of the Serpent who’ve infiltrated their ranks. Somehow, friends of his were able to help prove that he left the group. It wasn’t a false arrest because the NYPD thought they had a real criminal. Now Daredevil is going to try to dig out the bad guys in the criminal justice system.

    • I stand corrected.

  • I love Mark Waid's dialogue in the first few pages of #28 (and in lots of other places).  He goes the extra mile and makes Matt, Foggy and others feel like real persons with layers of complexity and sympathetic streaks all around.  Even Nate Hacket.

    Not too many other writers ever manage that level of characterization.

  • ISSUE #30:


    Not too many other writers ever manage that level of characterization.

    Case in point: Daredevil #30, page two. The last person he'd ever expect to apply for Foggy's job turns out to be Kirsten McDuffie, who steeped down as assistant D.A. because "the districe attorney [she] worked for was a pig [and she] needed a new gig. Of all the girlfriends Matt has had over the years, I think Kirsten is my favorite. She's funny! She's even fished "Mike Murdock's" old hat out of the trashcan and is wearing it. She has pretty much hired herself and, in the midst of peppering the staff with orders, adds, "...and get someone to tell me why Foggy keeps a hat this ridiculous in the office!" But Mark Waid is not only good at characterization, his plots shine as well.

    By page three, an alien named Ru'ach appears in the office seeking asylum. He knows of Matt Murdock from a tongue-in-cheek speech he gave in college proposing an "extraterrestrial bill of rights" which has been traveling through hyperspace via radio waves. Ru'ach also knows Murdock'se secret ID and wants Daredevil to introduce him to the Avengers. Suddenly,  the Silver Surfer arrives in pursuit of Ru'ach. The Surfer explains that Ru'ach is a member of a race known as the Achians, a.k.a. "The Souless Ones." Achians are "sentient lies who exist on the edge of perception, visible only when it suits their ends to be so! In their natural form, they are but elusive shadows chased fruitlessly by the corner of the eye! They are guileful manipulators who live to sow discord and malice on countless worlds!" 

    Essentially they win over the trust of a planet's "decision makers" (in this case, the Avengers) and cripple a planet's defense system from within. Even the Surfer has troble tracking him, but Daredevil can. He agrees to as long as he gets to "drive" the surfboard (at Daredevil's request, the Surfer bonded him to it mentally). Waid takes some liberties here, but the results are well worth it. this story has it all: great dialogue, good characters, a unique premise. When they finally subdue Ru'ach, he whispers something in Daredevil's ear: "She will never love you." Oh, no!

  • I have mentioned before how difficult it is for me to resume reading a series after I have dropped it. Case in point: Hulk (Incredible, Indestructible, etc.). I have often described Hulk as "my first favorite character" but there came a time where I found his series virtually unreadable and I dropped it. ("Don't buy what you don't read; don't read what you don't enjoy.") I'm always hoping for good on-ramps to get back in, however and, attracted by Mar Waid, I gave Indestructible Hulk (2012) a try. The new direction didn't appeal to me, so I dropped it after only one issue. I tried it once again (#6-8, drawn by Walt Simonson and guest-starring Thor), but I have never read #9-10 until today. (I was still in my "no crossovers" phase at the time.) 



    The premise is this: Bruce Banner went to S.H.I.E.L.D. with a simple offer: give him the equipment he needs to make the world a better place and in return, S.H.I.E.L.D. can use Hulk as a big gun for special missions. In order to ensure S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn't double-cross him, Banner makes a weekly call to his lawyer, Matt Murdock, to report that everything is okay. As this story begins, S.H.I.E.L.D. is about to raid a freighter operated by the intrnational arms cartel Agencé Byzantine. Daredevil joins the mission, but one terroritst escapes. While S.H.I.E.L.D. is securing the freighter, Hulk and Daredevil pursue the criminal. they eventually track him to a warehouse where he reports to the man who ordered the arms shipment, Baron Zemo.



    Zemo is working with Hydra but, working together, Hulk and Daredevil are able to shut the operation down. It's a good story, but the tone and art art not a good fit with the concurrent Daredevil stories. The completist in me is glad the story is included in the omnibus, but it's really an interruption of the Daredevil stories I want to be reading right now.

  • ISSUE #30:

    When they finally subdue Ru'ach, he whispers something in Daredevil's ear: "She will never love you." Oh, no!

    The Surfer said that Ru-ach’s lies are indistinguishable from the truth, so this could mean anything.


    I guess they included these because it is Mark Waid writing Daredevil. When I first saw Bruce Banner I didn’t recognize him visually or by dialogue.

    Jeff of Earth-J
    Captain Comics is Andrew Smith, formerly a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide.
    • The Surfer said that Ru-ach’s lies are indistinguishable from the truth, so this could mean anything.

      But Ru'ach's power is that of persuasion, so what he said is likely to cause trouble whether it is true or not.

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