With the year coming to a close within a few short hours, I thought I’d just look back briefly at 2013 and talk about the things on the Daredevil front that, to me, stood out the most. I will include both things that happened to the character(s) in the comic, the title itself and beyond. So, here are some random categories that I hope will make for a good summary of 2013!
Most surprising news: The Daredevil Netflix series
After the Daredevil movie rights went back to Marvel last year (i.e. in the fall of 2012), things were pretty quiet for a while. It wasn’t until April of this year, that Marvel publicly confirmed what most had correctly assumed. And, even then, the confirmation left no clues to what Marvel intended to do with their “new” property. While many of us had been hoping for a television show, that seemed like a pipe dream, and if there was going to be a new movie, it would certainly have to wait for years.
So, when it was announced that Marvel had struck at deal with online streaming service Netflix for a full package of four new Marvel series – and that Daredevil was one of them – I will admit to being floored by the news. We now also know that Drew Goddard has been confirmed as the series showrunner, as well as the director of the pilot episode. I have yet to give any sort of full treatment of my own thoughts on the upcoming television series, which will premiere in 2015, but I still intend to devote a full podcast to that. I hope to be able to squeeze that in before too long!
Most devastating story devlopment: Foggy’s cancer diagnosis
While Foggy’s diagnosis still seems recent to me, perhaps because the mild shock of it hasn’t completely worn off yet, Foggy actually broke the news in the very first issue of the year, January’s Daredevil #22.
We have since learned that Foggy has a form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma, which is a cancer of the bones that rarely affects adults. Even though this storyline has been ongoing since, we still don’t know the severity of the situation, although last month’s cliffhanger was sure to send chills down the spines of most fans.
Most shocking villain return: Bullseye in a jar
Okay, so Mark Waid made sure to drop plenty of clues for this one, but I’ll admit it, I was still shocked when the mastermind behind many of Matt’s woes up until that point were revealed to have been plotted by his arch villain (and for the record, I still think Death-Stalker was a very good guess!).
Not only did I not see Bullseye as much of a schemer – though I do, in retrospect, buy the premise that extreme circumstances might steer him in that direction – but he was also dead. True, in comics, death is something you occasionally recover from, especially in the presence of ninjas. But still. Either way, this team did good. The string of issues that came out in the spring were amazing, and left me a very happy camper. It also brings me to…
Twistiest twist: “Try the red one”
Not only did Daredevil #25 prove to me that an issue consisting almost entirely by a single fight scene could be as mind-blowingly good as it was (thanks in great part to Chris Samnee’s amazing choreography, starting with this very issue he and Waid have been credited as co-storytellers), it also contained one of those shocking reveals that I, for one, did not see coming. Neither did Daredevil, who demonstrates a look of stunned horror at the realization that his new foe Ikari is everything he is and more – he can see!
Best use of old continuity: Matt at Carter College
This one really cracked my up. As you may recall, I discussed the old issue that these panels were taken from in a previous post, when the preview for Daredevil #30 came out. The issue itself focuses more heavily on the meeting between Daredevil and the Silver Surface (which I hereby nominate for the “Most unlikely team-up category,” in a tie with the Legion of Monsters), and their beautiful and breathless chase through New York, but I absolutely loved the way Waid & Co. payed homage to an old tale by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. The old issue, Daredevil #28, is full of crazy, but this creative team managed to update it for a new era, while poking gentle fun at the original story.
Biggest sigh of relief: New run, same great creative team!
Over the last few months, Daredevil fans were sent on an emotional roller-coaster. After hints of exciting things to come for Daredevil’s 50th anniversary in 2014, it was suddenly announced that the current ongoing series would end with Daredevil #36, which is due out in February. After that, there was no news at all for a while and it was all pretty nerve-wracking. We first learned of an upcoming digital series, Daredevil: Road Warrior, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause, before a new volume of the title was announced, with the same beloved creative team attached.
While I had a strong hunch this was coming, I was very relieved to see it confirmed. The launch of the new series will coincide with some major changes in Matt Murdock’s life, including a move to San Francisco. Personally, I’m really excited about this and happy to see the whole team still so committed to the character. (It has since been revealed that we will lose one key team member though, in the form of editor Steve Wacker who will move to the Marvel Animation side of the business on the west coast.)
This list could easily have been much longer, but alas, I have a New Year’s Eve party to get to, so I’ll have to round it off here! On a more personal note, a real highlight for me this year was my trip to Baltimore for the Baltimore Comic Con, which was easily the best con I’ve been to, and not only because I got to meet Mark Waid and Chris Samnee! I was also truly honored to be given a cameo appearance in Daredevil #31 as one of the jurors. All my friends were very impressed! 😉
What did you guys think of all the things that happened this year? Let the rest of us know in the comments! And Happy New Year! I will see you in 2014, I just know it’s going to be exciting. 😀