Reevaluating early Daredevil

Daredevil swings down and lands on a car in Daredevil #14, apparently guided more by its sound than its shape.

If you were thinking that I had gone back into hiding, I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you. It’s been over a month since my last post, and I’ve had my share of false starts over the past few years. However, I do have a few posts planned that I would like to get out there before too long, and I’m hoping to finish the year with a total of at least twenty for 2021.

For this post, I would like to talk about a rather surprising epiphany I’ve had over the summer, while working on my book. Or to be more specific, while rereading every single issue of Daredevil and taking detailed notes about how Matt Murdock’s senses are actually used. What I’ve discovered is that, contrary to the idea I’ve had that Daredevil’s senses have stabilized and gotten more “grounded” over time, a case could be made for a very different kind of evolution. Depending on what aspect of the character’s senses we’re talking about, Daredevil has actually been getting more powerful in at least some respects.

Considering that this is not my first time reading every issue of Daredevil (I have, in fact, read most runs many times), how could I have missed the things I’m now noticing? Where does my bias against the sensory portrayals of early, “pre-Miller” Daredevil come from? Well, I think it comes down to a few different factors:
Continue reading “Reevaluating early Daredevil”

Daredevil volumes 3 and 4: Nods to continuity

Matt recalls his past hardships, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

One thing I’ve always appreciated as a Daredevil fan is that the character’s history is fairly uncluttered. Unlike many other characters, he’s only ever had one book, save for a few mini-series, and his team involvements have been minor. While I certainly wouldn’t complain if we could somehow get even more Daredevil, he’s an easy character to get into, in part because you don’t need a spreadsheet to track his most important appearances.

Some of Matt Murdock’s adventures obviously stand out more than others, and a fair share of them are completely forgettable, which means that there are several key moments that later writers like to return to. In that sense, many of the nods to past continuity we’ve seen during volumes 3 and 4 are in no way unique to this run. Stories involving Matt’s relationship with his father are common, as are mentions of Stick, all the heinous stuff that Bullseye has put Daredevil through over the years. While I’ve appreciated the specifics of how these recurring bits of continuity have been included (see the adorable scene of Matt’s childhood below, courtesy of Javier Rodríguez), let’s take a look at some things that I felt set this most recent era apart.

Mike Murdock's hat and glasses appear in the background, as seen in Daredevil #2 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
From Daredevil #2 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera

The Mike Murdock era, when Matt pretended to be his own made-up-on-the-spot identical twin – from Daredevil #25 through #41 (volume 1) – is regarded with an amused sense of disbelief by fans today. It’s the kind of story that seems like the complete opposite of what we associate with Daredevil today, which makes it difficult to address in any other way than through the use of clever Easter eggs. We’re not likely to see a scene in which Foggy questions Matt about the details of this particular ruse, because that would make it a little too real for comfort – as opposed to some kind of Silver Age hallucination – but it’s fun to play with. Even the very serious Netflix show did it (“Mike” was the name given to Matt by Claire, when he refused to give his real name), and during the Brubaker/Lark run, Matt used the name “Mike” to check in at the airport after breaking out of prison. Then again, his full name is Matthew Michael Murdock.

In the panel above, we see a different kind of jab at Mike Murdock, in the form of his hat and glasses. The same accessories appear in later issues as well, and it definitely put a smile on my face every time it did. It’s just a small detail that doesn’t really detract from the scene, but rewards longtime fans for their loyalty. Just as a good Easter egg should.

Daredevil battles Stilt-Man, as seen in Daredevil #17 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Mike Allred
From Daredevil #17 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Mike Allred

One aspect of the Silver Age madness that this run made sure to address more directly were the villains. Above, Matt fights Stilt-Man in a story set in the past, at a time when fighting Stilt-Man was a more regular occurrence. Of course, Daredevil also fought an upgraded Stilt-Man in the present alongside the Superior Spider-Man, but in both instances Mark Waid put an appropriate amount of distance between the goofier past and the more grounded present by the way Matt himself narrates the events. If you’re going to include something a little nuttier from the past, acknowledging the nuttiness of it all, in some way, is more or less required.

A different approach to using past villains, which used to great effect during this run, has been to dust them off and make them legitimate threats for the modern age. This will never work for Stilt-Man, who is inherently ill-conceived, but plenty of others have great potential for creepiness. Old Spider-Man villain the Spot has never been quite so disturbing (not to mention the similarly powered new character Coyote), and I loved the return of Klaw, who appeared in one single episode of Daredevil, decades ago. There was the update to Purple Man’s story (though he was always pretty disturbing), and many others. I thought this was a great way to use the past stories of not only this particular character, but the greater Marvel Universe.

Flash-back to Matt's childhood, as seen in Daredevil #28 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez
From Daredevil #28 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez

Another great use of the more obscure chapters of Daredevil history was the nod to Matt’s lecture at Carter College, about the legal implications of extra-terrestrial visitors to Earth (see below). Again, Matt treats the reminder with an appropriate amount horror, even commenting that he may not have been sober. The nod to past continuity is also wonderfully reflected by the art. For more on this, see my old post dealing with the same scene.

Matt recalls his old lecture about aliens and the legal system, as seen in Daredevil #30 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
From Daredevil #30 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

These are just a few examples of the many ways past continuity was treated, ever so lovingly, by the creators of volumes 3 and 4. What are your thoughts on this topic, and do you have a favorite little nugget that I didn’t mention here? Let the rest of us know in the comment section!

Daredevil volumes 3 and 4: The big issues

Foggy learns he has cancer, as seen in Daredevil #23, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Hey gang! I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to get to this next round of posts. The good news is that I’ve been working on all of them in parallel as I read my way through the last few years of Daredevil so, they’re all lined up to go. We’ll start with a quick one. Because, yes, volumes three and four dealt with quite a bit in terms of heavy stuff, but much of it was directly related to Matt’s mood. We’ll start there.

Right from the very first issue, when it was clear that the new era would set a lighter tone for Daredevil, Mark Waid made sure to remind us that Matt’s past issues were not all in the past. In fact, there were signs early on that Matt may have been putting on a front, for his own benefit as much as for those around him, as strongly hinted at below, in Daredevil #7 (vol 3).

Foggy catches Matt brooding, and "old Matt" is mentioned, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
From Daredevil #7 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera

Of course, Matt’s balancing act didn’t go unnoticed by Foggy, who had been suspicious since the very beginning. Not only that, when he suspects that Matt has lost his mind – due to the machinations of Coyote and his teleporting powers – it isn’t his first rodeo. Matt’s mental health issues go back decades of Daredevil history, and it is easy to forgive Foggy for not giving Matt the benefit of the doubt.

Foggy confronts Matt, as seen in Daredevil #16 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
From Daredevil #16 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Fortunately, Matt and Foggy settle their differences, but just in time for Foggy to tell his friend that he may have cancer. Matt, of course, is with him when he finally gets the sad news.

Foggy learns he has cancer, as seen in Daredevil #23, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
From Daredevil #23 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

I wish that the Foggy cancer storyline could have received a better resolution, as it was put on the back burner for most of volume four, and then finished up a bit too quickly at the end. However, it did spawn some very strong issues along the way, and a very sweet back-up story in Daredevil #26 (vol 3). And, the children’s drawings are spectacularly rendered by Chris Samnee.

Foggy meets children with cancer, as seen in Daredevil #26 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
From Daredevil #26 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Another story that garnered a lot of attention – and added a great chapter to Daredevil continuity – was the one that looked at the reason why Sister Maggie left Matt as an infant. The young Maggie’s struggle with post-partum depression was deeply moving, and put the spotlight on a common, but often neglected issue.

Sister Maggie talks about her post-partum depression, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez
From Daredevil #7 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez

After finding balance again after his move to San Francisco, Matt is once again shaken to the core by the influence of the Purple children who project all of their torment onto him, and remind him of his own. This amounted to a study of depression that struck a chord with a lot of people.

Matt in despair, as seen in Daredevil #10 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
From Daredevil #10 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Personally, one of my favorite parts of this particular issue was the very end where Matt goes home and goes to bed. And this is where the reader initially thinks the issue ends. But, there’s more. A final page, following the letters’ page sees Matt finally reaching out, and we find out that Kirsten was there waiting for him all along.

Kirsten waiting outside Matt's door, as seen in Daredevil #10 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
From Daredevil #10 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Honorable mention

I thought I’d end with something that should no longer be a big issue, and give the creative team some major kudos for not treating it as such. Which kind of makes this an odd thing to put this list, but there it is. What am I talking about? Random characters who happen to be gay in roles that have nothing to do with them being gay. In Daredevil #2 (vol 3), we meet Matt’s professional acquaintance and his boyfriend, and in Daredevil #1 (vol 4), Matt saves a little girl who has two mothers, one of whom is the deputy mayor.

Daredevil seeks out a fellow lawyer and his boyfriend, in Daredevil #2 (vol 3) by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera
From Daredevil #2 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera

The female deputy mayor of San Francisco with her wife and daughter, as seen in Daredevil #1 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

That’s it for now! Did I miss anything? Let us know in the comment section!

The end of an era for Daredevil

It’s been over four years since Mark Waid came onboard as the writer of Daredevil, with the launch of volume 3. Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martín were his first partners in crime, with Martín supplying the artwork for the second arc (and one story in issue #1), while Rivera put his distinctive mark on the first and third arcs, including the stellar stand-alone Christmas issue, Daredevil #7. After the Omega Effect arc – a Daredevil/Punisher/Avenging Spider-Man crossover with art by Marco Checchetto – Chris Samnee came onboard. His first issue, Daredevil #12 (vol 3), is another one of my all time favorites, and Samnee would go on to outdo himself with almost every issue for the next three years. In addition to an already great roster, we had Javier Rodríguez, the colorist for most of volume 3 and much of volume 4, occasionally stepping in as the penciller – and doing a fantastic job of it – making sure that Daredevil kept looking consistently amazing.

Of course, I also want to mention Peter Krause’s artwork on the Road Warrior digital comic, Matt Wilson’s excellent work as the colorist of the tail end of volume 4 (he opened with a big splash of purple, my favorite color…), and the always excellent Joe Caramagna whose letters made me take note of this craft in ways I hadn’t previously. Last, but certainly not least, we have the editorial team and the guest artists I didn’t get to already, but for fear of missing anyone, I’ll just extend a big, collective “thank you” to everyone who contributed to the success of the last four years.

Foggy and Matt in their college dorm, from Daredevil #12, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

This era of Daredevil has been unique in many ways, and as much as I’m looking forward to seeing what Charles Soule and Ron Garney have in store for us in a new Daredevil #1 later this year, I suspect I will always look back on these past few years with a huge sense of nostalgia. The Other Murdock Papers has been up and running for almost eight years, and volumes 3 and 4 have covered more than half of that timespan. I don’t know if I’d been as inspired to keep blogging if there hadn’t consistently been so much great new material to talk about.

I’m also grateful that I’ve been able to meet Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Paolo Rivera in person. I have nothing but great things to say about these guys, and how generous they’ve been with their time at conventions and in conversations online. (And the fact that I actually had a cameo appearance in an issue still inspires awe among my friends who don’t even read comics. It definitely ranks among the coolest things that has ever happened to me. Is that sad? Naw, I think it’s awesome.) 😉

I make a cameo appearance in Daredevil #31 (vol 3), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

I initially figured I would write one post listing all the things that I’ve enjoyed about this run, but I quickly realized that would take much more than just one post if I wanted it to be exhaustive. So for the next couple of weeks, I’d like to return to each of the points below so I can delve into them a little deeper. Because there’s so much to say that doing it all at once would be overwhelming, and you guys would have to wait even longer for this already overdue back-from-hiatus post. What I will do is list each thing I wanted to get back to, and maybe you guys would even like to weigh in with your own examples in the comments.

  1. The artwork

    Matt's hand hesitates, then reaches for his phone, as seen in Daredevil #10 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

    I know, a discussion of the artwork alone could easily cover several posts, and if you’re itching to read something that has me gushing about the brilliance of Paolo Rivera and Chris Samnee, there are several older posts I could refer you to. I’ll put a list of recommended reading at the end of the post.

    In essence, though, what has really made the artwork stand out to me, in particularly during Samnee’s tenure, has been the complete merging of words and pictures. Of course, this is the kind of experience that comics, at its best, should always deliver, but few do it as smoothly and beautifully as we’ve seen over the last few years. Pick almost any Daredevil comic from this run, and you’d fairly easily be able to understand the story, including at least the gist of individual conversations, without even reading the words. It’s been visual story-telling at its finest, and has kept me coming back to reread every issue, just to enjoy all the little details.

  2. The tone

    expectations_featured

    This is probably be the most controversial item on this list, as I know people disagree about what constitutes the perfect tone for this character. I know many people first started reading Daredevil with volume 3, and for them, this is “their” Daredevil. Many other fans view the Bendis run, for instance, as the quintessential Daredevil. Some of those fans have enjoyed the last few years as much as I have, and some have not. That’s fine. As a Daredevil completist, I don’t consider the tone of this run as extreme in any way. It’s had its lighter moments – much needed considering the dark era that preceded it – and it’s dealt with serious topics as well. True, the events of Daredevil #14 (vol 4) were too whimsical for me personally, and aside from several great moments (which I may return to), this final story arc has not been my cup of tea. However, this in no way lessens my profound enthusiasm for the vast majority of the issues that came before, and I feel that the tone has mostly been spot on. There are many different ways to write this character and still remain true to the core of who he is, and this creative team has done a better job of exploring Matt Murdock and his friends than most.

  3. Perfect pacing and thrilling twists

    Ikari reveals his secret, as seen in Daredevil #25 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

    Over the last four years, buying an issue of Daredevil has almost guaranteed the reader good value for their hard-earned money. This is probably not the most exciting way to talk about a work of art, but with the relatively high cost of comics for the few minutes it takes to read each issue, it’s always appreciated when every single read is a satisfying read. While still mostly conforming to the modern format of stories that span several issue, each issue has stood well on its own.

    I’ve already mentioned the quality of the artwork, but here I also want to point out Mark Waid’s incredible talent for plotting a story and getting the pacing of it just right. He’s never been afraid to let a quiet moment take the time it needs, at the same time making sure that no single page is wasted. This makes the big reveals feel all the more gratifying, and the twists so much more shocking. See the panel above. ‘Nuff said.

  4. The big issues

    Three panels of Daredevil's fist planted firmly against the ground, as seen in Daredevil #10 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

    I mentioned this briefly while talking about tone, but I think it needs its own heading (and subsequent post). This creative team is not the first to bring up Matt’s fragile mental health, but perhaps the first to attempt to explore it this fully. The examination of Daredevil’s depression has moved so many readers, including yours truly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually saved lives. Add to that the story which dealt with Sister Maggie’s tragic reasons for leaving Matt as a baby, Foggy’s cancer and many other themes with real-world implications, and there’s been plenty of reason to stay invested in these stories.

  5. Nods to continuity

    Matt remembers his lecture at Carter College, from Daredevil #30 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

    It’s always great when you can tell that the creative team are true fans of the character they’re working on, and can use the treasure trove that is fifty years of comic book history to ground the characters in that history and make nods to the greater Marvel Universe. On the other hand, you always want to make sure the stories don’t put up unnecessary barriers for new readers. Daredevil has struck the perfect balance, with plenty of nods to Daredevil history for the longtime fan to enjoy that don’t exclude newcomers. This run has also seen the use of old villains which have been dusted off and made more interesting, and threatening, in the process.

  6. Matt Murdock, the blind guy

    Matt talks about how he handles money, from Daredevil #22 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

    This last item is probably not a surprise coming from me, but I know I’m far from the only one who has appreciated a serious and insightful handling of this topic. Mark Waid pretty much proves the observation I made long before 2011 that the creators who pay the most attention to properly exploring Daredevil’s senses tend to be the same ones who know how to handle the limitations of those senses. Really trying to get into Matt Murdock’s head will usually lead to insight into both of these inter-related domains, and I know Waid has spent a lot of time thinking about these issues.

    The way of visually depicting Matt’s radar sense during this run, introduced by Paolo Rivera, has also gone a long way to establish a new standard that works really well, and helps the reader better understand the difference between Matt Murdock’s “view” of the world, and the norm. I really hope that the incoming creative team will draw inspiration from these guys when it comes to this aspect of the character.

That’s it for now! As I mentioned, I will return to a deeper discussion of each of the items on the list, but please feel free to speak you mind on anything and everything related to the last four years in the comment section.

Thank you for reading and thank you to the Daredevil creative team for a spectacular four years!

List of recommended art posts:

Review of Daredevil #36

This review will contain spoilers for Daredevil #36 so proceed with caution if you haven’t read the issue!

Okay, wow! This issue was quite the thrill ride. While the destination was known to most readers who’ve kept up with the news – that Matt Murdock would be forced to relocate to the west coast by the end of the issue – the details of how it would all unfold were not. Sure, the cliffhanger at the end of Daredevil #35 gave us some indication of how things would play out, but there were still lingering questions: Was Matt’s apparent confession to being Daredevil on the witness stand actually what it seemed? Would there be some kind of fake-out at the end? Would Matt’s identity as Daredevil now be officially known rather than just strongly suspected? And what would that mean in practice?

From looking at fan reactions to Daredevil #36, it seems the end to volume three has been pretty universally praised. I agree with much of this praise, as you’ll see below. However, there were key moments in this issue that I must admit still have me scratching my head a bit. I’ll get to that too. Overall, Daredevil #36 is a great issue. It’s beautiful, well crafted, perfectly paced. It’s great for many of the same reasons nearly every other issue of volume three has been great, and it clearly shows why this run has quickly become a favorite of longtime fans and new converts alike. However, what took this issue down a notch for me was that it didn’t, in my mind, adequately address the consequences of the events that were set in motion.

The good

Let’s start with the good. The art, as always is amazing. Chris Samnee somehow manages to continuously outdo himself. He inserts plenty of drama into an issue that, for all its action, contains an unusual number of talking heads. He spices up a courtroom scene by highlighting the tension brewing under the surface, and even the words themselves become become part of the artwork in that amazing page that sees “I AM DAREDEVIL” provide a window on the reactions of other key players in the Marvel Universe. Samnee is great at conveying the emotions of all the characters in this book, and his action scenes are always well- choreographed and easy to follow. Javier Rodríguez’s colors are also top-notch, as always.

Matt and Foggy talk in the hospital, as seen in Daredevil #36 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

As for the individual scenes of this issue, the one between Matt and Foggy that starts it all off is a really strong one. It provides further insight into the relationship between the two and how Foggy views his own life, both in relation to Matt’s and in terms of how well it stands on its own merits. This conversation provides a very plausible backdrop to the decisions that Matt makes on the stand and addresses the consequences they will have for their practice and Foggy’s medical care.

A while back, Mark Waid mentioned that he hadn’t quite figured out how to handle Matt’s relationship with Kirsten McDuffie. Over the last few issues, however, he seems to have figured out the right formula, and I love their interplay here. Kirsten is someone Matt can lean on both personally and professionally, and part of the reason she is able to provide such solid support is that she is not someone who will passively surrender to his will, but challenge him on many levels. The two of them have started a romantic relationship, but Kirsten has clearly avoided getting herself emotionally and psychologically sucked into the whirlwind that is Daredevil. She is willing to play her part in Matt’s apparent downfall, but has obviously voiced her own opinions on the matter, and is even the one to offer a solution to his problems at the end of the issue.

Daredevil #36 also does a great job of tying up the loose ends of the Sons of the Serpent subplot. With Matt set to leave New York, we all know he wouldn’t want to leave the justice system he has been a part of for so long in a corrupted state. But, in order to expose the Serpents’ reign of terror, he has to pay a very steep price by making their hold over him worthless and beating them to the punch. Matt’s conflict with the Sons of the Serpent has forced him to examine his own ideals, and here it is his personal integrity that wins out, even when it comes at great risk to himself. This, more than anything, shows Mark Waid’s firm grasp of the core values of Matt Murdock.

The questionable

The magnitude of the events of Daredevil #36 cannot be understated. Matt has had his secret identity revealed before, most recently at the hands of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev during the beginning of their run on Daredevil. What made Daredevil’s most recent outing stand out from the rest, and compared to some other Marvel characters, was that it was never completely undone. Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark managed to repair the status quo enough so that it allowed for other kinds of stories to be told, but the cat never did find itself completely back in the bag. In Daredevil #36 Matt publicly admits that he is Daredevil, and he does so while under oath. The cat ran off and someone torched the bag. This is it. And this is huge. Which is what makes what happens next seem relatively inconsequential.

Matt talks about his law suit in court, as seen in Daredevil #36 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Yes, Matt does get disbarred – as does Foggy – and he does find himself in a major bind as far as his and his partner’s futures are concerned, but considering what he just confessed to, this is a slap on the wrist. To be honest, I was doubtful that Waid & Co. would actually let Matt get himself into this much trouble precisely because of what the consequences would be. I was also surprised to see Matt’s old law suit against the newspaper that outed him be brought up in this way. We see Matt apologizing for it, but we’re skirting the major issue here which is that Matt sued the Globe for millions of dollars and won. If I were legal counsel for the Globe, I’d get ready to go after Matt in five seconds flat. Matt confessing to being Daredevil also opens him up for the criminal charges which Daredevil should be facing following Shadowland, along with a long string of other legally questionable things that Daredevil has done over the years. And what about all the criminals Nelson & Murdock have put away that have had even the slightest hint of Daredevil involvement?

Instead, we see none of this (at least at this point) and even the people presiding over Matt’s ethics committee hearing seem regretful, almost apologetic. They shouldn’t be. We fans love Matt Murdock and get what Daredevil is about, but there is simply no way around the fact that being Daredevil is highly illegal and that Matt’s history of acting on both sides of the law is unethical. That Matt sees himself forced to move to California is such a minor consequence of such a major plot development that it makes this issue, for all its undeniable merits, seem a little off-kilter to me.

Daredevil in court, as seen in Daredevil #36 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Going forward

I’ve seen this issue referred to as the perfect ending to this chapter of Daredevil. I would disagree for some of the reasons mentioned. I will say this though: The last couple of pages were the perfect beginning of the next chapter. I love the idea of taking Matt to San Francisco, and I love that he’s going with Kirsten and Foggy at his side. I foresee a great future for this creative team in bringing their concepts and storytelling prowess to a new volume of Daredevil. It remains to be seen just if and how Matt will be haunted by his decision down the line, but for now, I’m perfectly content to see Matt try to build a new life for himself in his civilian guise, and as Daredevil. And, as you all know, we’ll only have to wait a few days for the first episode of the digital series Daredevil: Road Warrior which premieres on Tuesday. I will definitely check back with you then, and probably sooner!

As always, please leave your comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issues.

Daredevil’s inner demons

Matt on the roof top, not succumbing to depression, as seen in Daredevil #34 by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez.

Hey gang! I’ve had some trouble posting over the last couple of days. Sunday evening, my dear friend Mr. MacBook decided that he’d had it with me, and shut down for good. I took the little bugger into the Apple store yesterday, but considering its relatively advanced age of six (or was it seven?) years and the fact that any kind of “exploratory surgery” would start at around eighty dollars, I decided that I could no longer put off getting a new computer. When I pulled the sorry-looking thing out of my bag and put it on the counter I realized what a state it was in: screen slightly askew, three of the four no-skid cushions underneath missing, dented, scraped and stained, with cat hair stuck in the keyboard (I kid you not). Retirement suddenly seemed long overdue. So, I’m getting a new one in a few days. Meanwhile, I’ll just bring my office laptop home with me.

But enough about that and on to the topic of the day. Yesterday, The Beat posted an interview with Mark Waid that really made an impression on me, and which I immediately felt the need to write about, inspired in part by my own experiences. The interview mainly revolves around how depression and mental health issues in general are handled in Daredevil and Indestructible Hulk. I found Waid’s views on both characters very interesting, and admire his willingness to get so personal. He has touched on this topic before, of course, but not quite like this.

“Daredevil clearly is dealing with chemical depression issues in his life and, frankly, so have I my entire life. I’ve made no secret of that– and something I learned is like any chronic condition it doesn’t just go away, but what you can do is use cognitive therapy to get past the worst of it.

I think you see very clearly in Daredevil that depression is inertia. What fuels depression is that sense of helplessness, that sense of not knowing what to do next, that image of sitting on a gargoyle in the rain on the rooftop, frozen by inaction. To me, Daredevil come to grips with that and is actively pushing past. I wrote a scene where he feels that paralysis that comes with depression and he pushes through it. He makes an active decision to move forward. Any movement is better than no movement at all.”

When I first read the part about how Waid views Matt’s depression, I was a little surprised by it. Not by the idea that Matt is, or has been, depressed, that part seems pretty obvious. I guess I’ve just always seen his depression as a very natural reaction to really bad things happening in his life. From all accounts, even his early childhood was rough. He then has to go through losing his sight in a very traumatic accident, experiencing the violent death of his father and, over the years, losing even more of the people in his life that are closest to him. Each event on its own, is something people can and do mentally “recover” from. Human beings are resilient, and most people do find happiness again, even after the death of a loved one, acquiring a disability, or going through other major crises in life. With Daredevil, though, it seems like it’s just one major crisis after another.

On the one hand, the impression we have of Matt’s ongoing suffering is a consequence of the decades-long, serial nature of his life story, as his long line of creators have told it to us. Things need to keep happening to superheroes, and much of it is bound to be pretty heartbreaking, or else there would be little to read about. On the other hand, the story of Daredevil still seems more tragic than that of most other comparable characters, and as such it makes perfect sense that feelings of hopelessness, frustration and grief are a natural part of being Matt Murdock. But it seems to me that what Mark Waid is suggesting in this interview goes beyond simply seeing Matt’s fragile mental status as merely an obvious consequence of the life he’s lead. The more I think about it though, the more it makes sense to me that it may in fact be a more basic character trait.

Matt on the roof top, not succumbing to depression, as seen in Daredevil #34 by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez.

What I realized was that there are things about Matt’s approach to life that I can personally identify with. I am certainly not as fearless as I’d like to be, and I will not be bringing any vigilante justice to my home town any time soon. (Though I must admit that I did one time see a bunch of teenagers spraypaint the inside of my train car on the way home after a party, and got so incredibly pissed off I actually googled for local krav maga classes the next day.) What I can relate to is the combination of optimism and despair that is so much what Daredevil is about.

If I may get a little more personal than usual, I’ll share some of my own experiences. The way I think of my own mind, when it comes to things like mood and mental well-being, is that there are three basic layers. At the very center is my very deeply held core belief that life is meaningful and good, that there is inner peace and that storms can be weathered. While these beliefs can be challenged by things – good or bad – that happen in life the core is fairly stable and resilient. The next layer up is much more likely to change in response to things going on in life, and these changes operate on a timeframe of days to weeks to months, or even years. The top layer is simply the normal day to day mood swings, the ones that allow you to have a really bad day even while you’re generally happy with life, or a really nice evening out with friends to take your mind off the fact that you’ve been in a really bad slump for weeks.

While my “center” has always sustained me, I occasionally go through periods of mild depression, and this has certainly been true over the last couple of years (even though Daredevil’s been better than ever, imagine that!), and about ten years ago I had a really rough time. I had just moved to Seattle to take a job at the University of Washington, with the intention of permanently emigrating to the U.S., but things started going south right off the bat. I very quickly became convinced that I was underperforming at work (I wasn’t, it was pure paranoia), and everything just started feeling wrong. I was stressed all the time, my already crappy back got worse from my being so tense all the time, and I would wake up every morning in excruciating pain. I then started developing an irrational fear of chemicals (this is not a good things when you work in a biochemistry lab), where I would get it in my head that I had inhaled something or spilled something nasty on myself. Then the panic attacks started and within my first few months in Seattle, I had been in the emergency room twice because of it. Ironically, I always knew what they were, I knew I wasn’t really dying, but the feeling itself was so incredibly disturbing that I didn’t know what to do to stop it. I spent my 27th birthday on Valium. It was only for a few days, and I would have never had it any other way (you do not want to mess with anything in the benzodiazepine family), but I just had to take a break from myself, that’s how wound up I had become. I was a complete mess.

What made this time even worse was that it forced me to completely reassess my view of myself. I had always viewed myself as an unusually happy and stable person, the kind that others turned to with their problems. Until then, I had no real understanding of people who were not like me, I couldn’t understand how anyone could be depressed for no real reason. Now I know how incredibly devastating it can be. And that “darkness” is still with me, just as I’ve realized it was always there, ever so occasionally flooding that “middle layer” of mine. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t, at the same time and somewhat paradoxically, see myself as very happy person overall, with a great capacity for finding humor in most things. Fortunately, I more often overcome with joy than sadness, and I’m grateful for that.

What I recognize in a character like Matt Murdock is that ability to joke, smile and laugh – and do so genuinely, not as a front (or in Matt’s case, perhaps not only as a front) – while at the same time navigating the inevitable slumps and rough patches that you know may be waiting around the corner. It is possible to be both an incurable optimist, to have your “center” propel you forward and give you meaning even while occasionally dealing with feelings that seem threaten to stop you in your tracks. Real people are complex, and it’s a great thing to see creators of fiction let that complexity shine through their characters as well.

I’m not sure I meant for this post to be quite so personal, but on the other hand, I also believe in another thing that Mark Waid mentioned in that interview, and that is address the stigma of mental health issues. My friends know about it, and it’s not something I’m particularly embarrassed about. And, if it helps someone realize that they’re not the only one who struggles sometimes, then that’s probably a good thing!

Review of Daredevil #35

If you’ve read this issue, you were probably as shocked as I was. If you haven’t, don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending for you! I will, however invite everyone to discuss all facets of this story in the comment section, because how can we not? This issue features what may be one of the most important cliff-hangers in years!

For the purposes of this review, however, let’s back up a bit and start at the top. At the end of last issue, Matt received an ominous phone call regarding Foggy’s health. Fortunately, our worst fears are soon put to rest (okay, so that was a bit of a spoiler, but it’s right at the start of the issue). However that doesn’t mean that things are peachy. Not only does Foggy still seem to be in pretty bad shape, Matt is about to find out just how high the stakes get when you tangle with forces powerful enough to infiltrate every sector of society, with the means to dig deep into your past, and expose your worst secrets.

When you are secretly Daredevil, the things you keep from the world can be turned against you. Especially with Matt’s questionable past relationship with the truth, and the courts. But how far is he willing to go to keep his most precious secrets from getting into the wrong hands? That’s the dilemma at the center of this issue, and it’s just the kind of stuff that promises to put an explosive end to this chapter in the life of Matt Murdock.

Matt faces a couple of Serpents, as seen in Daredevil #35 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

The middle section of Daredevil #35 sees Matt, as Daredevil, weigh his options while spending time with his assassin ex-girlfriend Elektra, who is brought in as a sparring partner. Well, to be honest, I think part of the reason she was brought in to the mix (as opposed to some other character who would have also fit the bill), was to increase her visibility in the title that spawned her thirty-five years ago in time for her new solo title. This is more of an observation than a complaint, however.

In fact, I find myself liking Elektra in this issue, in part because she seems so much more like an actual human being than I’m used to. I’ve never been a huge fan of the idea of Matt and Elektra as a couple for the simple reason that Elektra, after the assassination of her father, has seemed so very cold, quiet and shut off from the world. In Daredevil #35, she seems like a different character to me, and I mean that in the best possible way. I would be interested to hear what other readers who may be more Elektra-savvy than I have to say about it though.

After running into some trouble as Daredevil, Matt finds enough of what he needs (though we are clueless as to what that might be) to walk into the courtroom as expected the next day with a plan, one that involves perhaps the most shocking revelation of the book’s entire third volume. I can’t wait to see how Mark Waid intends to resolve this situation. It is clear that he and the rest of the team are intent on going out with a bang as we head into the relaunch, and Daredevil #35 is a fantastic issue from beginning to end.

Matt and Elektra, in Daredevil #35 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Artist and co-storyteller Chris Samnee is given the task of bringing to life an issue with more talking heads than we tend to see on average. While he always does a fantastic job with action scenes, and there is plenty of that too, Samnee is just as great at conveying a vast array of emotions and the ebbs and flows of conversation and human interaction as he is at drawing Daredevil and Elektra dance across an evening sky. And there are a lot of strong emotions in this issue: anger, disgust, worry, despair, and determination.

There is also plenty of opportunity for him to showcase his knack for details. The very first page, showing Matt running through the hospital lobby is far from static. In fact, it’s full of hints of what happened in the seconds leading up to his panicked cry for his best friend. There are the sliding doors behind him, and the first pair have barely had time to start closing. Farther back, in the street, is the cab Matt took to get there, the passenger door still open. The flashback scene to Matt’s life and training following his accident, while explained to us through dialogue, presents us with another series of linked events and discoveries that really speak for themselves. The issue’s minor villains, Mamba and Constrictor both look fantastic. The final court scene has a fantastic amount of nervous energy, and both Matt and Kirsten look great. Special bonus points for the detail that went into showing Matt pouring himself a glass of water.

It would be a horrible crime for me to leave out the other member of the arts team: Javier Rodríguez. He and Samnnee are a match made in heaven. They are like cookies and milk. (I won’t say jelly and peanut butter, because when I first heard about that quirky American flavor combo, I honestly thought it sounded pretty gross.) Rodríguez has a few very different environments to deal with this issue, from the suffocatingly dark, and close quarters of a hospital room to the bright, large room of a court house. En route, we stop under the grayish medium blues and greens of a dimly lit night sky. The colors set the tone so well, and it really wasn’t until Javier Rodríguez came along that I really put some thought into how much the right colors matter, as well as how they are applied to the page.

This issue is pitch perfect. The pacing is amazing, and it feels like a substantial read, despite the fact that the script never gets weighed down by too much information. Every word is well spent, and every line is where it needs to be. I could not be happier to see these guys end Daredevil! Well, and the get him booted up again. I have only one problem with the story: Is Matt’s client’s name Donald or Robert? Because in this issue, he goes by both. But I almost suspect that Mark Waid may have done that on purpose, to keep us from taking perfection for granted. 😉

Today is the 18th anniversary of Kuljit Mithra’s ManWithoutFear.com website. I most likely would not have been into Daredevil if it were not for MWOF, and all the information it provides, which means that you would not be reading any of this if it weren’t for Kuljit. If you enjoy MWOF as much as I do, please stop by and let him know!

Memorable Daredevil moments from 2013

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

NetflixMarvel

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

Sad panel of Foggy, from Daredevil #22 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

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

Wall of news clippings, from Daredevil #24 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

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”

Ikari reveals his secret, as seen in Daredevil #25 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

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

Matt remembers his lecture at Carter College, from Daredevil #30 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

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!

Part of the cover to the new Daredevil #1, by Chris Samnee

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.)

In conclusion…

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. 😀

Review of Daredevil #34

Matt is back in New York, Kirsten is back in the picture, and they are both looking to get back at the Jester and the Sons of the Serpent. Also, Javier Rodríguez is back doing both pencils and colors (with Álvaro López on inks). I think that pretty much sums up this issue! Or not. Joking aside, what has made Daredevil so consistently amazing for almost two and a half years are all the little details, beats and character moments that make up each and every issue. This is true of Daredevil #34 as well, and I really enjoyed this month’s story.

I remember that one common complaint during the (also excellent) Brubaker/Lark run on Daredevil was that Daredevil was constantly put in a defensive position, attacked again and again, with little room to be proactive and mostly unaware of the devious plotting happening behind his back. While Mark Waid has made sure to keep Matt Murdock busy fighting off scheming villains – it really wouldn’t be much of a superhero comic book without them – this has also been nicely balanced with Matt often using the resources at his disposal to get the upper hand.

These resources have come in many forms, such as Daredevil relying on his long experience of the legal profession to talk his way out of a bind and secure the Omega drive. Most importantly, however, he has been able to use his large network of allies to his advantage. These have ranged from fellow heroes, such as regular guest-star Hank Pym, or Doctor Strange, to the “ordinary” people around him. A couple of issues back, Matt put Foggy to work in helping him look for clues to the occult past of the Sons of the Serpent, and this time around, it’s Kirsten’s turn to play superhero sidekick.

Daredevil and Kirsten meet Nate Hackett on the roof, as seen in Daredevil #34 by Mark Waid and  Javier Rodríguez

This, of course, entails Matt coming out of the proverbial closet and admitting to Kirsten that he and Daredevil are, of course, one and the same. Given that Kirsten has known this since issue one, it isn’t treated as a big deal, but it does suggest a potentially important shift in their relationship. While Matt has historically been bad about keeping his secret for very long around the women in his life, it does still signal that Matt now officially considers Kirsten someone who is a close enough friend (with benefits…) to officially share in the worst kept secret in the Marvel Universe. He comes clean to her following a very public display of his abilities (something he’s done before and which I will have reason to return to). He then asks for her help.

The second half of the issue sees the two of them put their elaborate plan into action. Things don’t go exactly as planned when Kirsten starts going off script, but the end result is an interesting look at Kirsten’s character and why Matt would be naturally drawn to her. In delivering her speech (I won’t go into more detail than that for fear of spoiling the issue), Kirsten – or Mark Waid, really – manages a very broad appeal to decency and common sense that actually succeeds in not getting too caught up in petty politics and current events. If it initially struck you as preachy, go back and read it again. 😉

Daredevil attacks the Sons of the Serpents in a helicopter, from Daredevil #34 by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez

Just like regular penciller Chris Samnee, Javier Rodríguez is credited as co-storyteller, and the result is a great-looking and visually engaging story. I very much enjoyed Rodríguez’s previous outings, but I think he really outdid himself here. The colors, also his, look fantastic as well. I will admit to being a little perplexed by the look of Doctor Strange this issue, and the scene in which Matt is running backwards in the park (at least I think that’s what he’s doing) is a little hard to follow. Those minor complaints aside, however, this artwork is wonderful, full of personality and energy. I particularly like Rodríguez’s take on Kirsten, and the amount of detail going into the scenes of people from around the city. López’s inked lines are just a tiny shade lighter than what we usually see from Samnee, but the end product perfectly matches the overall look this book has had for a long time now. Spectacular work all around!

Okay, that’s it for now! I hope you guys enjoyed this issue too. Either way, please feel free to leave your comments below!

Review of Daredevil #33

I have to admit, this was kind of a weird issue for me. I thought the art was top-notch, the issue itself was as littered with well-written pieces of dialogue as almost every other Daredevil issue I’ve read over the last two years, and there were a couple of scenes that I found very interesting. However, the issue as a whole felt like a bit of a detour, and the “monsters and magic” theme which made for an interesting splash of color last issue, starts to feel a bit forced here.

Throughout the issue, Daredevil repeatedly makes comments that are probably meant to reaffirm his status as grounded, “not much for magic,” and clearly out of his element. The problem is that I found that these moments did more to draw attention to the oddness of the story than help smooth out the seams. While still an enjoyable read (and every issue out of volume three really needs to be graded on a separate scale), I would have to rank Daredevil #33 in the bottom five, or even bottom three, of volume three thus far. Having said that, I’m one of those of glass half full kind of people, so let’s start with a list of things I enjoyed!

The good

The art in this book is always good, and it seems like every artist who gets the chance to work on Daredevil is more than able to rise to the occasion. I had absolutely no worries about Jason Copland filling in for Chris Samnee this issue, and I think he did a really good job. This doesn’t mean that Samnee himself wasn’t involved, however. He and Mark Waid are again credited as co-storytellers and Copland had this to say about the collaborative process in a recent interview with ManWithoutFear.com:

“I was lucky as I was working from layouts that Chris did for the whole issue. I tightened up the layouts and moved a few things around but the pacing was all Chris. I did adjust my inking a bit to try and fit what Chris does on the book, though. I started to feel like I was inking more like “me” once I hit page 7.”

Matt dreams about Foggy, from Daredevil #33 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Jason Copland

I found Copland’s take on Matt Murdock in the opening scene to be a bit on the frail side – though this might have been intentional for all I know, considering that the scene in question plays out in Matt’s subconscious. In later scenes, however, particularly toward the end of the book, he instead gives us a fairly brutal-looking Daredevil (see the end of this post) that I thought was a perfect match for the challenge the character is faced with this issue and the nearly maddening journey he’s forced to endure.

There is a radar splash page of Daredevil in metaphorical(?) hell that is amazingly well done, and I also felt that all each character, despite their unorthodox appearances, was given a perfect set of easy-to-read expressions that worked well for this story, particularly in the case of mostly non-verbal characters.

Daredevil plays it smart, as seen in Daredevil #33 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Jason Copland

In terms of other things I liked, the whole opening scene was an interesting take on those kinds of dreams you have where something from the outside leaks into your subconscious and starts blending with the dream. In this case, Matt notices his inability to move and experiences this as frustration at being unable to stop “Foggy” from slipping away from him. This also gives us an interesting look at his most private thoughts regarding the ongoing situation with Foggy’s cancer. I enjoyed the element of Matt having an internal visual representation of Foggy that he’d basically borrowed from someone he remembered from his sighted childhood.

The scene with the “monsters” that follows is also well paced with fun and engaging dialogue. The second half of the issue is where I start scratching my head a bit, even though it, too, features interesting moments, particularly involving Daredevil’s perceptions.

Daredevil walking through fire, from Daredevil #33 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Jason Copland

The not so good

As indicated above, the first half of the issue worked for me in ways that the second half didn’t. In part, I think it may just be a matter of taste. There’s a reason I love Daredevil, but find half the things coming out of Doctor Strange’s mouth to be complete gibberish. Okay, so most of it is supposed to be gibberish, but I find it boring to boot. So, I tend to find myself pulled out of the story when things get too esoteric. To me, the talking snake didn’t add much to the story (or my understanding of it), and felt like a bit of a distraction. I hereby declare it the Jar-Jar Binks of this issue (yeah, I went there).

There were two “revelations” in this issue that didn’t quite have the impact on me that I think they were intended to. The first was the link between the “Serpent” – as in Sons of the Serpent – and that other well-known serpent from the book of Genesis. So, I guess they’re devil-worshippers too. Or was. Or something.

The second revelation was that the Daredevil’s ordeal was designed to only be bearable to people who are sadistic enough (or blind!) to enjoy witnessing the torture of others. It was designed as a test, not torture. Yeah, I guess that’s creepy, but this would have a bigger impact if the story itself would have been more grounded, or the Serpent Wizard more fleshed out.

All in all, I’m more than happy to see Matt head back to New York next issue. Despite strong art and memorable individual scenes, and moments, I felt like we were mostly threading water this month. What did you guys think?

Just to let you know, I have a new position at work that is currently monopolizing quite a bit of my time and energy. Fortunately, I enjoy it and things should “normalize” pretty soon. However, it has meant that I haven’t been nearly as active on the blog as I had intended to be this month.
I’m still planning on doing a podcast episode devoted entirely to the news of Daredevil getting a Netflix series (as I may have mentioned on the Facebook page), so please keep leaving comments on this post, and I’ll try to incorporate your thoughts and opinions! When it comes to Daredevil; Dark Nights #6, I’ll get to it before #7 comes out.