Review of Daredevil #4

Sep 22, 2011

Review of Daredevil #4

Sep 22, 2011

Daredevil #4 is a fantastic issue. In terms of pure craftsmanship, this may be my favorite of the relaunched Daredevil so far. Since the very first issue, the title has been funny, buoyant and very well paced, but with this issue, Waid takes things even further in really building a world around Matt Murdock and infusing all of these old characters with new life. Don’t let the levity of this take on Daredevil fool you, there is real depth here and a great attention to detail.

The first few pages are devoted to setting up the new status quo surrounding the Nelson & Murdock law firm, now devoted to helping people help themselves. This is accomplished swiftly and elegantly, blending intense action with scenes from the law office. What struck me about this setup is how much it utilizes the cinematic aspects of the medium to “show” rather than “tell” us what’s happening while having Matt narrate the scenes to give us all the context necessary.

We learn that the new business model has been fully implemented and get more information on exactly how Matt manages to combine his abilities as a lawyer with his skills as Daredevil. We are also able to infer that some time has passed since last issue and that the lawyers have had enough time to assist quite a few people, hire a secretary and set up a gym. As we reach the present time, Waid offers us a delightful exchange between Matt and Foggy that just shows us two friends hanging out. It’s not something we’ve seen much of in recent years, but it’s absolutely wonderful and really helps make these characters and their world seem real.

Matt and Foggy work out, scene from Daredevil #4

At the end of the work-out scene, Foggy tells Matt about a new client Matt might be interested in and this takes us to the middle part of the issue which sees Matt take to the streets (though not before making some arrangements to have a package sent to his destination, which is an idea so cool I’ll have to return to it in a separate post). On his way to meet with the new client, he ends up having to make numerous stops to help out people in need and while he does so, Waid and Marcos Martín – the artist for this arc – manage to deliver even more insight into Matt’s world. Even though I may be slightly partial to Rivera’s execution, Martín’s art has a conceptual brilliance to it, that goes wonderfully with Daredevil’s unique perceptual perspective.

Radar image, as drawn by Marcos MartínDaredevil runs toward a wall of sound, from Daredevil #4 by Mark Waid and Marcos Martín

The final third of the issue sees Matt meet with his newest potential client who relates his story in a sequence of panels that quickly lets us get to know him and start guessing what bigger secrets might be hidden beneath the surface. We’re treated to an exciting cliffhanger at the very end and when all is said and done, one can only marvel at just how much content Waid & Co manage to squeeze into this issue.

I have no real complaints about anything in Daredevil #4. The pacing is excellent, the the script reads perfectly and the visual elements fit the story beautifully. We’ve been spoiled to have had two issues of Daredevil just one week apart, but I so wish I didn’t have to wait a full five weeks until next issue. Daredevil just keeps getting better!


  1. Robert

    Those first pages (well pretty much all the pages) were brilliant. More artists need to remember that a comic book page can have more than one or two panels and every inch doesn’t have to be full of “stuff” all the time. If I had to say which is my more preferred artist, I would go with Rivera, but Martin is knocking it out of the park. Really loved the back and forth between Matt and Foggy.
    I hope that Waid is able to have very long run and that fans don’t start begging for the gritty darkness and misery that too many fans think comics have to be full of.

  2. Alex

    What made this issue work for me is the interconnectedness between Matt Murdock the lawyer and Daredevil the vigilante. With Matt and Foggy taking on the task of coaching clients to defend themselves, I really enjoyed the panel which showed Matt “getting information” from criminals to help out his client’s cause. There is a lot of potential for some fantastic stories that have Matt and DD’s lives blend more than ever before. I love how the book is handling the issue of identity right now.

    Also, the artwork is wonderful, and the panel organization has a very action-friendly flow to it. It doesn’t just rely on the same layouts again and again, but tries something new on almost every page. I think it has a nice mix of classic and contemporary comics layouts.

  3. Eccentwrit

    Just want to say first off- I love Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil. I think it’s the best thing to happen to this comic series since it was created. But there’s always been one thing about Matt’s life that I’ve had a hard time figuring out, and this issue really kind of highlights it.

    One unique thing about Matt that’s different from lots of other superheroes(besides being blind)is that he does technically have a full-time job in being a lawyer(I’m assuming here that between panels Matt actually does work). That being said, in this issue you see Matt immediately leave the office to go patrolling. We can assume he patrols for several hours(after all, crime never sleeps). Which brings me to my question- when does he sleep?

    The way I figure full-time job+ being daredevil= very little sleep. Maybe a few hours a night. Which, all right, part of me accepts is possible, but with what’s happened in Matt’s life recently would have essentially doubled his workload, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything he does.

    Honestly, I’m waiting for an issue where Matt just falls asleep. It would make a good gag line that has basis in real life without necessarily having to put Matt out of commission for a while.

    In short, Daredevil+ full-time job+ Foggy’s workload too+ Avengers+ fallout of Omega Drive= Very tired Matt.

  4. Christine

    @Eccentwrit: Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comments! I think you may have even given me an idea for a post on Matt’s sleeping habits. Stay tuned! 😉


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