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So, I’m admittedly still in a bit of a Daredevil funk (see my previous post). Which is fine. I’ll get over it, and I’m just going to ride it out. With Daredevil #7 coming out tomorrow, I still wanted to put together my thoughts on this month’s issue. I’m not going to call this a review. Reviews should ideally be well thought out, and address all aspects of a comic. They shouldn’t be whatever this is.

First, let’s just get the bits you actually would find in a review out of the way. The art is beautiful, Matteo Buffagni (whom I totally had pegged as Ron Garney) draws a great Elektra, and the unusual color palette by Matt Milla is growing on me. There is also plenty to suggest that Charles Soule has a good grasp of Matt’s character. All in all, I’m pretty sure there’s actually a good story in there somewhere. Which is why it’s such a shame to see this run buckle under the weight of its own illogical continuity.

Matt spots Elektra in the court room, as seen in Daredevil #6 (vol 5), by Charles Soule and Matteo Buffagni

In many ways, I find the beginning of this story to be more compelling than the one we saw in the opening arc. However, the elephant in the room has grown to such proportions that it’s effectively blocking my view of anything but the elephant.

Whatever is allowing Matt to have his identity back and get back to practicing law is apparently so major that it’s made a cheater out of everyone Matt has ever dated. Let’s not even get into the nitty gritty of how the version of Matt that Elektra knew revealed his abilities to her almost as soon as they met. This Matt predates Daredevil. There is no version of this that doesn’t leave Elektra with a massive headache of messed-up memories that make no sense. Personally, I can’t think of any way to do a memory wipe this major that is actually worth the cost of what it’s doing to this book right now.

Matt is thinking about how Elektra remembers him, as seen in Daredevil #6 (vol 5), by Charles Soule and Matteo Buffagni

I’ll keep reading this title, and hopefully things will either start to make sense or find a new balance that will pay off in ways that let us look beyond whatever has happened in Matt’s world. For the moment, I would have much rather seen a complete reboot of this book. The desire to protect and preserve some kind of continuity at all cost is exactly what creates the kind of situation where all we have left is something that looks like a Daredevil book on the surface, but has lost its heart. Matt is now a man without a history, and without any meaningful and real relationships. I’m finding it really hard to care about what happens next.

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

10 comments

  1. I appreciated that it apparently isn’t a magic reset button with no consequences. It easily could have been. However, this is something that has real costs, even serious costs, and I appreciate that Soule thought through exactly what would happen if you suddenly magically forgot someone’s secret identity and it’s not sunshine and roses (hence why Foggy would be so pissed off over it).

    On the other hand, I feel the book is weighed down too much by introducing the new status quo. We haven’t really even seen much of Matt the lawyer and we’ve seen absolutely nothing of Matt’s personal life. I still appreciate it, but it needs to get going.

  2. I still havent read issues from this new Daredevil volume. I just havent had time( I have up until issue 5) . If things are as you say, then it is messy and difficult to handle. Maybe they are taking the route of Thor, where Odinson was replaced by Jane Foster, and after two years, we stil dont know how The original Thor became unworthy. Be well.

  3. I think I might be enjoying this run a bit more than you’ve been, though the first three issues were more of a slow burn. One thing that worries me a bit is that it’s not inspiring any fanfic from me. No cliffhangers I want to see if I can resolve before canon gets there, no missing scenes, no spinoffs or divergence AUs. Just reading and staying interested, but staying out of the sandbox. Which is fine, of course. But I wish I was more inspired by what’s happening now than by previous (awesome!) storylines.

  4. I’m still not fully into the story: it reads and looks like something from the nineties. Like I’ve already read it before.
    It’s funny, though, how the phrase “But it’s still better than the crap Waid gave us for four years” has become a mantra for some fans who obviously still don’t buy it, but were so vocal against Waid that will never admit that maybe Waid was not that bad…

  5. I agree. The book just has no … heart, for lack of a better word, because Matt’s effectively isolated.Nothing he did before matters to anyone because they can’t remember it, and nothing he does at present really matters because almost nobody we care about is there or in a position to appreciate it.As #7 concludes, Matt and Elektra just go their separate ways, and she brushes off the whole thing. No emotional resonance at all. Just going through the DD motions.

    Hopefully Marvel and the DD writers will take a look at what DC just did with Rebirth and realize, “Hey, history and heart matters in building a world and good characters! Alternative color palettes alone won’t save the day!”

  6. “The book just has no … heart, for lack of a better word, because Matt’s effectively isolated. Nothing he did before matters to anyone because they can’t remember it, and nothing he does at present really matters because almost nobody we care about is there or in a position to appreciate it.”

    That’s spot on.

  7. I’m giving Soule the benefit of the doubt that Matt’s isolation and the lack of “heart” in the book is intentional and is leading somewhere. To me this seems to parallel the Netflix series somewhat in how Matt has seemingly abandoned his personal life and spends all his time either at the DA office or as Daredevil. I think its all gonna come crashing as usual and he’ll have to piece together an actual life again. We’ll see, but it’s still better than the crap Waid gave us years ago 🙂

    This Matt Murdock acts and speaks like an adult. This Matt Murdock acts like a seasoned warrior. Is the book reinventing the wheel? No, but its a solid read. I do have an issue with the continuity Soule is playing with, but I’ll wait to discuss that with issue 7, as it really comes to the forefront in that issue.

  8. I have enjoyed the first arc thus far but I agree it had no heart and ended more abruptly than I thought it would.

    The story and tone of the book “feels” cold to me, which coincides with the chosen color palate. However I think this may have been done intentionally. I believe this is how Matt is feeling on the inside. He made a choice, and with all of his choices, there are consequences, some good, some dark and moody. I know Soule will reveal all in due time and I enjoyed his writing on other books to wait. I’m in no hurry. He is a solid writer. Matts going through some stuff, dark stuff, his decision is putting his guilt to the test. Foggy is vocal about it, Matt feels the same, but he made his decision already and is living with it.

    I really enjoy the art on the second arc here. I love the way the artist renders Daredevils cowl. Similar to the Netflix show. Hope this continues.

    Issue 7 was very good. Check it out!

  9. I find it slightly annoying that the direction of this book is being dictated at least to a certain extent by the Netflix series. The show had Elektra so now the comic has to shove her back in. The show had Punisher so now we need a Punisher/DD mini series. It just feels like a money grab and not a creative comic that is following its own course. Also, when did Elektra ever date Matt when he was DD?

    I like that the mind wipe thing at least has some consequences, its more then they ever did with Spider-man, but that doesn’t make it any less messy and convoluted and very un-Daredevil. And it has pushed this title in a very odd no mans land area. No supporting cast, no connections, and no history. All just to hit a reset button and make the comic more in line with the Netflix series. If they were going to do that they might very well been better off with a whole sale reboot.

    This volume does have positive marks for style, action and voice for the main character but these pieces still have not come together to make a whole yet, and the missing pieces are beginning to outweigh the positives.

    But hey, the Elektra/DD fight looked really good.

  10. Sadly Daredevil has always had its highs and lows. I find myself hanging in there until the next upswing, even if they are few and far between.

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