The teaser on the right hit the Internet about three hours ago, which means I’ve had about two hours to digest it. I’ve decided, and this goes for all teasers released so far, that I’m going to mentally put them aside, read each issue as it comes out, rate it on its own merits and not pass any judgment on any story until I see it in print. I think both Diggle and Johnston deserve to have their stories read with as few preconceived notions as possible, especially with the Marvel hype machine wreaking havoc in Daredevil’s corner of the Marvel U, not unlike an elephant in a china store.
Having said that, what exactly are we looking at here? It could mean the end of the Daredevil identity, the end of Matt Murdock, or simply the end of Shadowland. It could also mean that Bendis’s Daredevil: End of Days is finally coming out. We simply don’t know.
What I’m sure it doesn’t mean is a permanent end to either Matt Murdock or Daredevil. Marvel seems reluctant to even let the D-listers stay dead for very long, and what kind of business move would it be to give one of their most resilient characters, with a fiercely loyal albeit modest fan base, his own event and a more central role in the Marvel Universe only to remove him from the scene? There is also talk of a new Daredevil movie being made within the next few years.
However, I am worried that messing around too much with Daredevil will eventually cause his sales figures to plummet, no matter how good the stories turn out to be. The number of people you run across online who say that Daredevil is the only Marvel title they read – or one of very few – precisely because he’s been spared the hype is pretty big. I really do hope that the people at Marvel realize this.
I’m actually one of those readers who is happy to disregard certain chapters of a character’s past. Matt going into space way back in Daredevil #2? Didn’t happen as far as I’m concerned. Matt going to hell during Nocenti’s run? Well, the story does have its merits, but let’s pretend that didn’t happen either. Guardian Devil? Well, Karen is obviously dead, the rest I choose not to think about (no offense to those of you who did enjoy it).
If Shadowland and everything that comes after turn out to be great stories that fans can enjoy and Marvel make a nice buck out of, then that’s wonderful. That’s what I’m hoping for. Not knowing even allows me to assume that will be the case, because I’m an optimist. If not, there are certainly bigger issues to care about in life, and I can look back on this story as just one of those stories that didn’t quite sit right with me and not hold it against the character.
I just wish, for the sake of this story, and speaking as a someone who’s made quite a hobby of spreading the gospel of Murdock, that everyone involved with this knows what exactly what they’re doing. I choose to trust Diggle and Marvel on this one, but not without some trepidation.