Since season 2 of Daredevil hits Netflix tomorrow, this seemed like as good a time as any to catch up with Daredevil in the comics. And my feelings are… decidedly mixed. Spoilers follow.
First off, there was the last issue of Volume 4. Which I really enjoyed, because happy ending. Everyone survives the hostage situation, Foggy’s cancer is in remission, the bad guys are arrested and the good guys get on with their lives. Hooray!
And then… oh, right. Secret Wars.
I’m fully aware that Secret Wars happened across the entire slate of Marvel titles, but the thought occurred to me that maybe Matt Murdock getting a happy ending went so much against the natural order that it broke the universe.
So here we are in Volume 5. I’ve already written about some of my reservations about the new direction, but that was pure speculation based on an interview with the creators; now I’ve actually read the new comics, and my opinions remain pretty much unchanged. The mood is definitely darker than Waid’s run, and it’s accompanied by a much drabber palette; I’m going to miss the bright colors almost as much as the more metaphorical lightness. And my fears about the old supporting cast seem well-founded. Foggy is still around, but his manner towards Matt is decidedly cool, and Kirsten is out of the picture for unspecified reasons, though it clearly has something to do with The Secret Identity Thing.
We don’t yet know the details of how Matt got his secret identity back, but the evidence points to option Obliviate. Everyone has forgotten Daredevil’s civilian identity–not just the general public, but also Matt’s personal friends and superhero colleagues, such as Steve Rogers. The one exception is Foggy, and Matt deliberately chose him as a secret keeper, so it’s pretty clear that whatever happened, Matt did it on purpose.
On the one hand, I now desperately want to know how and why Matt did it, so Soule must be doing something right. On the other hand, this is blatantly contrived and creates so many potential plot holes. For example: Matt’s new boss, the DA, mentions more than once that Matt has recently been reinstated to the bar. But Matt was disbarred because he confessed in court to being Daredevil. How on earth do you hold a reinstatement hearing when no one can remember why the lawyer was disbarred in the first place?
I’ll have to reserve further judgement until more issues come out. I don’t want to make it sound like I completely hate the new run, because there are good things about it too–I like the new partnership with Blindspot, for instance. But much will depend on how The Secret Identity Thing is handled. Also, I want Matt and Foggy to be friends again, because I can take dark and depressing but there are limits.