As you may have sensed from my review of Daredevil #6, I felt pretty much done with this two-part Original Sin tie-in after last issue, and was already mentally moving on to next month’s Daredevil #8. I hadn’t expected Daredevil #7 to pull me back in the way it did, and I definitely hadn’t expected anything so clever, moving and well-crafted. Yes, even while knowing the pitch perfect storytelling this creative team is capable of.
At the risk of introducing mild spoilers, I should start by mentioning that portraying Jack Murdock as apparently abusive last issue wasn’t what I objected to. There were definitely some hints that things were not quite as cut and dry as they seemed, and we know Mark Waid knows his way arounds twists and turns. What I hadn’t counted on was just how well he managed to turn it around.
The early teasers for this tie-in suggested that we would examine Maggie’s “sins” (more so than Jack’s), but what Waid does here is pull this particular sin out of it’s usual context of good versus evil – complete with the requisite religious overtones – and instead uses it to say something important about mental health, shame, and stigma. He attempts something daring with one of the most puzzling aspects of Daredevil’s origin and manages to make everyone involved more interesting in the process. Daredevil #7 packs an emotional punch that has important things to say about important issues, without coming across as a public service announcement.
Aside from the big pay-off at the end, I also appreciated the overall pacing of this issue, Daredevil’s interactions with the various other characters, and the fact that Daredevil gets to use his brains this time. I love a clever Matt Murdock, and creators recognising the fact that a character like Matt needs to be clever to compensate for not only his lack of sight, but – just as importantly – his lack of a healing factor, impenetrable armour, ability to fly or wield force fields. In this regard, even as Matt spent the entire issue in costume, he most definitely brought along his inner lawyer to Wakanda.
Javier Rodríguez provided the pencils and colors on this, his last issue of Daredevil, and he certainly goes out in style. This issue covers a wide range of more or less exotic backdrops, and the emotional content of the story places high demands on any artist’s ability to convey these emotions through the facial expressions, postures and interactions of the characters on the page. Rodríguez does a fantastic job getting all these different nuances to come across on the page.
Finally, I was so grateful to get to read this wonderful issue. I was moved by it, and it added so much richness to Daredevil’s already impressive mythos. Thank you Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez for this issue, and a special thank you to Javier for your tremendous work on Daredevil over the last three years. Good luck with everything you do going forward!
PS. Did you guys notice the cat in this panel? I love little touches like that. Coincidentally, I also love cats. 😉