I was going to review Daredevil #32 today, but I don’t really have the peace of mind for it just yet. And no, I don’t think that the end of “the current era” that will come with February’s Daredevil #36 means the end of this creative team’s relationship with our favorite blind lawyer. Judging from online reactions, I may be one of the few people out there going, “Oh please!” at this whole thing. Having said that, I find it a little annoying. And I don’t feel like reviewing Daredevil #32 just yet.
So, what makes me so sure that Daredevil ending isn’t exactly what it looks like – or at least the way it looks like when the news is presented out of context? First of all, I’m only about 98% sure. There’s always a little bit of doubt that stems from the fact that, occasionally, things happen that force people to abandon their current plans for new ones. I suspect that both Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martín had expected to stay on Daredevil longer than they did. But, things happen. Mark Waid’s plate is so full that it would make perfect sense for him to drop a title from his workload. Chris Samnee may have been offered a dream gig. It happens. On the other hand, this announcement absolutely reeks of Marvel trying to stir things up for shock value. Let’s examine the evidence. Again.
The things they aren’t saying
Let’s start with the quote from editor Stephen Wacker that sent a wave of panic through Daredevil fandom:
“Javier will be back to draw issue #34 in a couple of months to give Chris time to focus on our big two-part finale to this era of Daredevil. Sad, I know, but all things must end, right?”
I will have you note the use of the words “this era of Daredevil” (i.e. there’s another one soon too follow?). In response to another letter further down, Wacker writes: “No plans, what with the book ending and all.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound like he’s being a big tease or anything. Not at all… 😉
Later in the afternoon yesterday, Chris Samnee posted the following tweet:
For those wondering about the fate of Daredevil, here's the cover of #36– the final issue. pic.twitter.com/pLIYuxaxEl
— Chris Samnee (@ChrisSamnee) October 23, 2013
Again, what is he not saying? For one, he’s saying “the” final issue rather than “our” final issue. There’s no hint of what else he might be doing, no expression of regret or sadness, no hint of “moving on to other things.” One might also wonder why the famously prolific artist would need two months off to finish two issues, that do not appear to be double-sized (Daredevil #35, at least, has been solicited already and has the usual page count). Unless he’s heavily involved in whatever comes next. Which seems highly likely to me.
The things they are saying
Just last month, Wacker had this to say (as I’ve mentioned previously):
“If our plans for the next few months work out, you’ll be continuing to get your DD fix each and every month… but in a much bigger way. Stay tuned!”
Then there was Mark Waid and this. Which he said, oh, a few days ago:
“But we do know this one thing for sure: the Waid/Samnee/Rodriguez/Caramagna team isn’t going anywhere, and we’re striving for new heights!”
And, in case you need more evidence for the things-are-not-what-they-seem pile, there’s this updated Newsarama article posted yesterday that is hinting at the same thing. Among other things, there’s a link to – and quote from – a previous Newsarama interview with Mark Waid and Chris Samnee from late August. I quote:
Nrama: Last question, guys — I know it’s a ways down the road but you’re less than a year away from the 50th anniversary of Daredevil’s debut back in 1964. Any plans you can talk about?
Samnee: That’d sure be a smart move, wouldn’t it?
Waid: Nothing we can talk about, but concrete plans afoot. Big things. We’re not about to let that landmark come and go without acknowledgement!
Samnee: Guess you’ll have to wait and see [winks].
So what is going on?
My bet is that we will see a relaunch, or a completely new series (still starring Daredevil), by the same creative team. Maybe they’ll finally scratch the “Man Without Fear” tagline? February marks Daredevil 50th anniversary, and as much as we may groan about books being renumbered, it actually makes sense for Marvel to do so, particularly at a time when Daredevil will be getting a lot of press anyway.
The fact that Mark Waid has had such a long run is not only an advantage in terms of sales. There are plenty of people who hesitate to jump onboard a title after dozens of issues, even when it’s beginner-friendly or comes highly recommended. Marvel will likely also take this opportunity to raise the price to $3.99.
At the end of the day, I have no other source of information than anyone else, but because I always make sure to read everything written about Daredevil, I was immediately suspicious of the the new info coming out. So, while 2% of me is terrified, 98% of me is saying: This should be fun. Whatever “this” is. Bring it!
Before I forget, here’s an unlettered preview of Daredevil #33. The interior art is by Jason Copland, and it looks amazing! I can’t wait-