Daredevil’s new direction

Mar 22, 2011

Daredevil’s new direction

Mar 22, 2011

Alright then, C2E2 is over and while the news of the new creative team was leaked before the big event (well at least two thirds of it), the weekend has brought plenty of information to dissect with Mark Waid doing interviews with Marvel, CBR, Newsarama, and IGN.

To me, the most amazing thing of all has been the overwhelmingly positive response from fans to the announcement of the new creative team. As much as I enjoy meeting (whether in person or online) other comic book fans – and Daredevil fans in particular – there’s no denying that there are a lot of people of the rabid fanboy variety out there on the Internet who don’t really take to change very well. Oftentimes, this seems to be the case even if they don’t actually dig whatever the current status quo happens to be, and I suppose the whole thing boils down to a general sense of “this is going to suck” months in advance of actually laying eyes on the final product. Given this overall tendency toward the negative, and given that the new direction, as it’s been described by Waid and others, is a bit of a shake-up, it’s interesting to see the vast majority enthusiastically embrace this upcoming change.

My own opinion? I’m generally very positive about the whole team and taking Daredevil in a slightly lighter direction. As anyone who’s been a longtime reader of this blog will know, I’ve long argued against viewing Matt Murdock as a one-trick pony who can only be successful in his particular typecast role as anguished and miserable. I’ve also argued for highlighting his sense of humor. We’re not talking about Spider-Man’s neurotic jabbering here, but Matt’s own brand of dry, self-depricating wit. I actually really liked the Kesel run on Daredevil (see here, here and here) though I honestly don’t think that’s what Mark Waid is aiming for, at least not to that extreme. They key to success for this venture likely lies in striking a balance between street-level serious and something a little less depressing. Matt has now fallen so far, that the only way to go is up.

While playing up the superhero angle might not be something that, by itself, is that appealing to me (I prefer to think of Matt as a phenomenal fighter and athlete rather than someone swinging high across the roof-tops and joining the Avengers in battle), I also expect to see more legal action and more of Matt being a somewhat regular person. This really isn’t something we’ve seen much of in a long time (no, Matt wearing a business suit doesn’t equal his actually working as a lawyer).

It’s also been interesting to see Mark Waid comment on dealing with Matt’s status as a semi-out superhero (he’ll deny it, but the suspicions are there), and think that it’s an interesting angle to try to work with. In general, I get the sense that we won’t see previous events being swept under the rug, but dealt with properly, which is something I know many of you guys have called for.

In all, I’m really looking forward to what this team can bring to the table. I also find myself getting more and more excited by the art team. When Rivera and Martin were first announced, I was pleased with the decision, but not exactly bursting with excitement. These gentlemen have put in some really amazing work on other books (most notably ASM) and Rivera’s covers for Daredevil #505-507 were stunning and interesting, but I have to admit that I resisted the change in tone that their respective style might bring to Daredevil. But you know what? I’m over it. After spending much of the last couple of days examining their art with fresh eyes, I think this is a really cool way to go, and a wise decision on Marvel’s part.

For those interested, Paolo Rivera posted a time-lapse video of his work on the Daredevil #1 cover on his site. If you’re interested in seeing Marcos Martin take on Daredevil, look no further than the featured image for this post (also posted below). The panel in question is from the 2008 Amazing Spider-Man Extra one-shot, though it wouldn’t surprise me if this look gets a bit of an upgrade now that Martin will be working on Daredevil’s own title.

Matt Murdock defends Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man Extra (2008), art by Marcos Martin

Okay then, I’ll get back to you later in the week with a review of Daredevil: Reborn #3!

UPDATED: You may have already seen this, but Newsarama did a longish (8 min) video interview with Mark Waid at C2E2. Interesting to see!


  1. Andrew

    I’ve never been the kind of fan like the one you describe, but I totally agree there are many of them. I’m usually pretty excited about Daredevil news in general, and if something happens with the series I don’t much care for I usually just take a break from it (so I guess you won’t even hear from me when I’m feeling negative lol). I just don’t like being around negativity.

    Anyway, I take back some of my early reservations regarding the art. I think Rivera will do a good job with the interiors, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear of Marcos Martin joining the team as I’m a big fan of his Spider-Man work. The best part for me is still having Mark Waid write who he recently called his “favourite character”. How cool is this? Waid’s work in general (Incorruptible & Irredeemable in particular) is great.

    If I had any concerns it would be what he may have planned for the villains. I’m all for DD going up against unexpected foes, but I was hoping for a look at some not-seen-for-a-while characters from Daredevil’s own rogues gallery (as opposed to more Spidey villains), and the introduction of new ones.

    All in all though I’m stoked. July can’t come soon enough.

  2. Robert

    Best thing Waid has said about his run is “No Kingpin or ninjas”. I love Fisk and I love ninjas, but they are so far past played out. It seems impossible for any DD writer to use them without recycling Frank Miller. As brilliantly as Bendis and Brubaker both used Fisk, I’d be ecstatic if Greg Rucka just up and had Punisher blow Fisk’s head off (like he logically should have a long time ago) and we never see him again. Waid can bring in all the other villains he wants. Hell, have Matt fight Galactus alongside the FF. Totally agree about wanting to see Matt being a lawyer again in whatever capacity. I wonder if there will be any female presence in the book. Not necessarily a love interest, but it’d be nice to see Becky or Dakota show back up eventually, or a new female character that actually doesn’t sleep with Matt.

  3. Bill

    I’m embarrassed to say that I have, at times, been that rabid fanboy. I have had an affinity for the character and the book for a long time and become a bit overprotective when he is, shale we say, mishandled. What little I have seen from the new creative team implies that they have a lot of creativity and talent. So long at they treat this like the best damn gig they’ve ever had, I’m on board … until they go all Shadowdiculous on me.

  4. Christine

    @Bill: Well, I think there’s also a difference between being disappointed in a certain book or the handling of a favorite character and being constantly negative without even having all the facts.

    I can be skeptical or weary of things before they come out too, but I think it’s wise to always try to keep in mind that the finished product might prove to be a very positive surprise. Generally speaking though, when something new comes along I tend to approach it with the assumption that it’s going to be good. I might be disappointed in the end, but there’s something really depressing and ultimately pointless in constantly expecting to be disappointed.

    With some fans I’ve seen, it’s like they base their whole online identity around being jaded. They see one still from an upcoming superhero movie, and immediately they go straight into “it’s gonna suck” mode. Amazingly, with this announcement, I’ve seen very little of this which is surprising given that the new creators have made it clear that they are about to shift gears a bit.

    @All: One of the most promising things about this whole venture, to me, is that Mark Waid seems to really be into it. With Brubaker I felt that, as much as he probably quite enjoyed writing Daredevil, it was just one of his many gigs and likely not his favorite. Diggle, on the other hand, was placed in the rather awkward position of inheriting a storyline that may not have played to his strenghts as a writer and may not have been one he’d pursued otherwise.

    Not only does Waid get to start over fresh, more or less, he’s come out and said that Daredevil is one of his favorite two characters and that he loves writing him. When the writer is that invested in his work and making it his own (and no, I don’t think he’s just saying that for the sake of promoting the book), chances are he’s going to find ways to make it work.

  5. Bee Clayton

    I’m interested in seeing the new lawyer angle. Waid hasn’t mentioned Foggy yet, so will he be involved in Matt’s new venture? Mostly though, it’s the idea of playing with Matt’s secret ID. How does being a suspected super-hero/vigilante play out in the court room? What type of clients would specifically hunt down such a lawyer to represent them? I think Waid is onto something fresh and different here.

    Oh, no, I’m not a rabid fanboy. I’ve always liked Waid, his work and his attitude. If he’s as excited as he appears in these interviews, DD is about to become fun again.

  6. Namae no nai

    [Temporarily removed by admin as requested by the poster.]

  7. Namae no nai

    Hi,everyone. My apoogies for the horrible ranting above. Christine, if you can, please deleted these woefully acerbic and unwarranted comments of mine. Looking over them, they’re unnecessarily harsh and somewhat nonsensical. Again, sorry!

  8. Christine

    @Namae no nai: As per your request I’ve removed your comment (and emailed it to you in case you want to edit and repost). For the record, I didn’t think your comment was all that harsh, however I think you completely misunderstood my point.

    First of all, I wasn’t comparing Bru and Diggle in any sort of way where Bru somehow doesn’t come off as the much better (Daredevil) writer, nor was I in fact trying to say that Daredevil was “just a gig” for him or that it wasn’t “just a gig” for Diggle. In a sense, all of these creators are assigned to various “gigs” for which they are paid, and the point I was making was that 1) Brubaker was writing a bunch of books at the same time and 2) while clearly enjoying Daredevil made the choice to prioritize his creator-owned work (which is natural), as well as Captain America.

    I’m a huge Brubaker fan personally, and think he’s one of the best writers in comics today. I absolutely loved his run on Daredevil, at least until Lady Bullseye showed up, but I do think he lost his spark a little bit toward the end. As far as Diggle goes, I think he did a good job up until the start of Shadowland (and including a couple of the Daredevil issues at the very beginning of it), but that his run may have been weighed down from the start by the story limitations put in place by having Matt take charge of the Hand. I know lots of people saw a great deal of potential in this development, but the challenge of doing anything with it that actually worked must have been huge.

    As for Mark Waid, I do think he’s genuinely enthusiastic about writing Daredevil in a way that really is great to see, and his video interview (linked above) with Newsarama only strengthens that impression.

    Anyway, welcome to the site and feel free to comment again!

  9. Philip Marinello

    I met Mark Waid this weekend in Orlando and had the chance to talk with him on a few times and I am very excited to hear his thoughts and plans on the “new direction” of Matt/Daredevil. He’s a top notch writer and it seems like he really has a grasp of the importance of balance that needs to exist in comics.

  10. Gary Clute

    I also met Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera this past weekend here in Orlando at Megacon and it was fun to chat about their upcoming work on Daredevil. Paolo said he will be drawing the first issue but has not yet started (but promised he will be done in time for July!).
    It was also cool that I had them bith sign the Big Shots promotional poster featured on this site along with some of their other work.
    Also got to talk to Roy Thomas about his work on the early years of Daredevil and the creation of one of my favorite titles “What If?”.
    Biggest highlight though was Stan Lee Q&A – still as witty and sharp as ever.


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