Yes, it’s time to, once again, revisit the most recent issue of Daredevil. Before we go on, I do want to point you to a couple of interesting links. The first is an unlettered preview of Daredevil #25, and the second is an interview with Mark Waid about the current goings-on in Daredevil, and what the future might hold. The interview features the same pages as in the unlettered preview, so you may want to cut straight to that. The interview will also have some input into the mystery villain discussion I’m saving for the end of this post!
First off though, let’s talk about the art. I love Chris Samnee’s expressive and straight-forward approach. Well in line with the lighter touch of this title, going back to the relaunch, Samnee never backs away from injecting humor into his storytelling. Here are some of my favorite scenes from Daredevil #24.
When I talked about wanting to hug Foggy in the proper review of this issue, this is the panel I had in mind. It’s amazing that Samnee is able to capture both Foggy’s resilience and vulnerability in this panel. He also looks appropriately groggy. And very human.
Aside from the obvious fact that Matt doesn’t seem to care one bit about his secret identity anymore, the way Samnee captures Matt mischievous side in this panel on the right is priceless. I have to wonder about one thing though: How do his glasses stay on? Glue?
Jumping with style
Have you guys heard of The Hawkeye Initiative? If you go to the website, you will see that the administrators describe it as “a blog with Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton being placed in the same provocative, female poses that are featured in superhero comics.” I’ve seen people comment that you really couldn’t do the same thing with Daredevil standing in for Hawkeye. Why? Because Daredevil is already commonly pictured in the same kind of graceful, elongated poses that you tend to see with female character. This phenomenon is not new for this incarnation of Daredevil, but it’s great to see Samnee really making the most of Matt’s abilities as a gymnast and acrobat. Matt Murdock does everything with style.
Seeing Hank Pym speak into a tiny cell phone is just too cute. Well, technically, the phone is the size it should be, it’s Hank who’s huge, but you know what I mean. The only thing that could match this for cuteness is seeing him shrink himself down to the size of a mouse a few panels later.
And kudos to Mark Waid for having Matt say “you sound like a cartoon mouse.” Because Hank really would sound like a cartoon mouse. (He would also suffer extremely blurred vision at that size, but that’s a topic for another post.)
Okay, seriously. How cute is this? Hank shrinks the wild dogs down to the size of mice and scoops them up. Maybe I’m being silly, but this puts a goofy grin on my face.
The art wasn’t the only thing that put a smile on my face this time around. Daredevil #24 is full of amazingly funny quotes. Here are my absolute favorites:
“I’m blind! No worries!”
(Matt in response to the climbing center staff calling him out for not wearing a harness.)
“Look! It’s red Batman!”
(Uttered from a school bus at the sight of Daredevil swinging by.)
“At Foggy’s insistence, I stop by the office to make sure the trains are running on time. We both know that’s like asking a six-year-old to balance the checkbook, but desperate times, etc.”
It’s always been implied that Foggy is the one who actually runs the law firm and I’ve always imagined Matt to not really have the patience to learn what he needs to in order to accomplish these tasks without Foggy. This is a funny way of highlighting Matt’s ineptitude.
So, who’s the mystery villain?
As pointed out by lots of people, a great many things point to the big bad mastermind being Bullseye. There’s the image of a target on the cover of Daredevil #27, and the way the photos and news clippings in the first scene of Daredevil #24 form the shape of a target. Mark Waid has also gone on record stating that he considers Bullseye to be Daredevil’s greatest foe. However, I personally suspect that we are not dealing with Bullseye and that the signs pointing to him are red herrings. I may be 100% wrong, but here’s my reasoning:
- Bullseye is dead. Granted, this is only a minor obstacle in comics, but bringing someone back from the dead can still be tricky business. It would also require that the events of Shadowland be addressed, and I’m not sure that’s something Mark Waid would want to poke around in.
- Bullseye is, despite his dead and buried status, a much too obvious choice. Mark Waid has made it something of a mission to bring back lesser-used characters. He mentions in his most recent interview with CBR that this isn’t a brand new character but someone who’s is “part of the cast of Daredevil characters.” So, we’re definitely looking at someone (man/woman?) who is known (but maybe not as a villain?) and has some serious fish to fry when it comes to Daredevil. Bullseye fits that bill, but…
- … is this really Bullseye’s style? In order to do this, he would have had to not only cheat death, but amass a great deal of money AND grow better people skills. The mystery villain is seen depending heavily on other players. While Bullseye is clearly intelligent, this all seems a little too big for him.
So, what do you guys think? I’m leaning toward someone in the vein of Mister Fear or the Purple Man (even though the villain doesn’t appear to have purple skin). It would also be kind of cool if this was someone who wasn’t a traditional villain at the time he had his first run in with Daredevil. I’m definitely expecting the unexpected!