Just like last month, I knew while writing my review of Daredevil #23 that there were a couple of things I wouldn’t be able cover since they don’t really fall within the scope of a review. That, and I don’t want my reviews to contain unnecessary spoilers. This post, however, will assume that you have already read Daredevil #23. You have been warned.
Recreating the accident that created Daredevil
Let’s start with the whole deal concerning the “new Daredevils” in the orange jumpsuits. And I’ll start by quoting what Bee Clayton said in his comment to my original review:
“The new insights into his origin are interesting, but I’m not sure I like the idea behind the orange jumpsuit guys. It implies that Matt’s accident was not a singular unique one. Of course, it appears that it took much effort for this mystery villain to replicate the results, but still I think it makes Matt less unique in a way.”
As you might imagine, I too was scratching my head a little about this one. However, I suspect that we probably won’t have to worry about the part about Matt being “unique” since it feels like Mark Waid has planted seeds about Matt’s uniqueness going back to the Latveria arc. Even in that opening sequence, he has Matt mentioning a person’s body chemistry as being a factor that may have affected the particular outcome. I think there is much more going on that meets the eye here, and I also think that the over-the-top insanity of these test subjects might be meaningful somehow.
Personally though, I’m struggling a little bit with the fact that it’s anywhere near possible to repeat a freak accident like that and see a similar outcome. It makes the statistical impossibility (or let’s call it “near-impossibility” in Marvel Universe terms) that was the creation of Daredevil something that’s actually an expected outcome from being blinded by mystery radioactive chemicals. The only way this could be an expected outcome is if the chemical is something considerably more sophisticated than some random radioactive compound. Genetic damage through radiation happens completely at random. Except in the Marvel U where every lab accident translates into some bizarre super villain’s origin story. Although, even in the Marvel U, the specific effects do seem random.
So, even when allowing for Marvel Universe super-advanced “science” there still needs to be some kind of property of this toxin that’s targeted for a specific effect. Going back to the origin of the Fantastic Four, for instance, the characters developed very different powers in response to the same exposure, and this is how other kinds of Marvel Universe radiation should work as well, if there is any logic to it. I realize that’s a big “if,” but I’m hoping that Mark Waid is at least expanding on the origin by making the toxin (and I think it’s noteworthy that it’s referred to as such in this issue) something above and beyond just “radiation.” Chemical toxins can have very specific effects on the body, often the nervous system, so that would at least make more sense. Which, of course, makes you wonder whether Matt’s own accident was staged. And I think that’s what we’re supposed to be wondering at this point.
Before letting this topic go, I also have to give some props to Chris Samnee and Javier Rodríguez for their beautiful (hm, no that’s not quite the right word…) rendition of Daredevil sticking his thumbs into some guy’s eye sockets. First it’s decapitated heads, now it’s missing eyes. Mark Waid will surely be driving his art team insane before too long. On a more serious note though, I think this does tell us something potentially interesting about the dose and amount these guys are being exposed to when the nasty stuff actually burns through the entire eye ball (Matt obviously still has his eyes). Maybe that’s why they seem to be in some kind of over-drive. While Matt mentions in his internal monologue that he was driven mad “that first day” he also talks about how his abilities came gradually:
“The radioactivity gradually rewired my remaining senses… amplified them. In time, I’d be able to hear ultrafrequencies and heartbeats. Read newsprint by touch. Taste the exact number of salt grain on a pretzel. And more.”
The prisoners seem to be “fully operational” right away. On the other hand, we don’t know how much time has passed between that opening scene and their being let loose at the party. Daredevil seems to think they must have just been exposed, but how would he know? Hmm… As you can tell, I’m just speculating here. Please help me speculate some more in the comments! This must make sense!
So, as many of you pointed out (here, and on Twitter), Matt finally got a haircut! As charming as that shaggy look was, this definitely looks more professional. I don’t know when he got the time to go to the hair-dresser’s, but I suppose some time before taking Foggy out for a night on the town is as good a guess as any!
And I think I’ll end there. There is much that could and should be said about Foggy’s illness as well (and man, were those last couple of pages pitch perfect, or what?), but I think I’ve engaged in enough speculation for one day!