For this installment, I’d like to talk about a quote by Mark Waid from the fifth part of his interview series with Marvel.com. In response to the question “If you had to describe the mission statement for your Daredevil in a few sentences, what would you say?,” he had the following to say (emphasis mine):
“I’d say the mission statement is to entertain with the kinds of stories that can’t be or aren’t being told in any other Marvel book at the moment — stories of love and loss that are very personal and totally character-driven — all without losing sight or dishonoring the long history of the Man Without Fear. And, with luck, to do what Frank Miller did 30 years ago: bring a fresh new voice to the series that’s respectful but not in any way imitative of what’s gone before. I’m just thrilled that Marvel’s giving me that chance. If we can make you like Matt Murdock even half as much as we do, we’ll have done our job.”
There are many things to like about this quote, from the obvious enthusiasm to the mention of terms like “personal” and “character-driven.” What made me include it here, however, was the phrase I highlighted above. It’s speaks to a great deal of ambition on Waid’s part.
Of course, no writer ever takes over a book proclaiming that he’ll deliberately rehash old stories or do something derivative. Everyone naturally wants to put their own stamp on any creative venture, and you need look no further than the promotional material for any standard comic book event to see promises of earth-shattering status quo changes. However, even with this in mind, Waid is sticking his neck out a little more than I’m used to seeing and I like that.
The vast majority of fans seem to have reacted to the relaunch with a level of optimism that is sadly quite rare among comic book fans (well, at least among those who frequent online message boards). At the same time, predictions abound regarding what previous Daredevil era this coming book will see us thrown back to, with names like Karl Kesel and even Stan Lee popping up. While it’s difficult for any of us to know what this next stage in Daredevil’s life will really look like, based on only interviews and previews, I’m more than willing to believe that there are many takes on this character we haven’t seen yet, and that this relaunch really will bring something completely new to the table.
As I’ve said before, Matt Murdock as a character sometimes reminds me of a great actor who’s been typecast into only playing a very narrow set of roles. He’s done so exceptionally well for many years, but I’m more than ready to see what else is out there. Who knows how successful Mark Waid will be in truly infusing this book with an all new vibe, but I love that he approaches it with just the kind of fearlessness Daredevil deserves!