Daredevil in Superior Iron Man – Should we worry?

A couple of weeks ago, when Bleeding Cool reported a rumor about the consequences of Daredevil’s involvement in the first arc of Superior Iron Man, my initial reaction was to throw a minor temper tantrum on Twitter, along the lines of “What the #%!? Marvel!” (Though I probably don’t have to delete the expletive since I’m usually pretty polite even when pissed, and don’t remember using any actual swear words.)

Then it quickly dawned on me that what Bleeding Cool was reporting, at least the part of it that wasn’t conjecture more than anything solid (because Bleeding Cool), was something I had already kind of assumed anyway, just from reading the solicitations for Superior Iron Man #1 and #2. And, my guess is that anyone who had done the same would have likely drawn the same conclusion.

The news also didn’t blow up the Internet and as far as I can tell (though Bleeding Cool seemed to think it would at the time), and no other news outlet has paid much attention it. Maybe because pairing the publicly available information in a solicitation of an upcoming issue with someone from Marvel confirming this information and then suggesting a big “forever” change that honestly makes no sense doesn’t quite count as news.

Don’t read further if you’re avoiding all spoilers for Superior Iron Man.

What Bleeding Cool was talking about, now that we’re safely on this side of the spoiler warning, was the possibility that Daredevil would regain his sight, “possible forever!”, as a consequence of his involvement in Superior Iron Man. While I never for a moment suspected this would somehow last forever (because removing a character’s number one gimmick just in time for his big Netflix series sounds completely insane), my reaction to Marvel toying with this aspect of the character at all was not exactly one of excitement.

The reason for this is that while I’m not against these kind of stories in principle (Daredevil has had his sight back temporarily a number of times), I do worry about the execution. Also, as time goes by – we’re not in the 1960s anymore – finding ways to reverse these things in ways that can get past my own personal bullshit radar, becomes something of a challenge. That doesn’t mean this story might not be a great one though.

Before I go on, let’s look at what all available solicitations for the Superior Iron Man series actually have to say on the topic. Since, Superior Iron Man #3 comes out on Wednesday, there’s also a preview available.

Cover to Superior Iron Man #4

SUPERIOR IRON MAN #1
TOM TAYLOR (W) • YILDIRAY ÇINAR (A)
Cover by MIKE CHOI
VARIANT Cover by YILDIRAY ÇINAR
VARIANT COVER BY SARA PICHELLI
VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
75th ANNIVERSARY VARIANT BY ALEX ROSS
75th ANNIVERSARY SKETCH VARIANT BY ALEX ROSS
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANT BY TBA
Blank VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE

Be Superior! How much would you pay for perfection? Beauty? Immortality? Tony Stark knows, and he’s ready to give it to you in SUPERIOR IRON MAN #1! But at a terrible price. Spinning out of Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, the old Tony Stark is back, only this time he’s SUPERIOR! More stylish, more confident, and more cunning than ever before. And he’s ready to lead you into the future! San Francisco is about to become the prototype for his new world concept. The first step? Release Extremis upon the entire city! Only Daredevil isn’t down with Stark’s new vision of the future. Does the Man Without Fear have a place in the city of tomorrow? A bold new direction for the Armored Avenger begins this November from the all-new creative team of Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us, Earth 2) and Yildray Cinar (Supergirl)!
BE SUPERIOR!

NEW CREATIVE TEAM TOM (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US/EARTH 2) Taylor AND YILDIRAY (SUPERGIRL) ÇINAR START AN ALL-NEW SERIES SPINNING OUT OF AXIS!

  • How much would you pay for perfection, beauty…immortality? TONY STARK is going to find out.
  • The AXIS EFFECT has changed IRON MAN
  • Now HE’S going to change the WORLD…at a terrible cost.

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Cover to Superior Iron Man #2

SUPERIOR IRON MAN #2
TOM TAYLOR (W) • YILDIRAY ÇINAR (A)
Cover by MIKE CHOI
VARIANT COVER BY PHIL NOTO

THE SUPERIORITY COMPLEX!

  • TONY STARK has transformed SAN FRANCISCO…into the prototype for his NEW WORLD concept
  • But MATT MURDOCK isn’t down with Tony’s new vision
  • Can DAREDEVIL lead the rebellion against THE SUPERIOR IRON MAN?

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Cover to Superior Iron Man #3

SUPERIOR IRON MAN #3
TOM TAYLOR (W) • YILDIRAY ÇINAR (A/C)
Cover by MIKE CHOI
Variant Cover by YILDIRAY ÇINAR

THE LAST TEMPTATION OF MATT MURDOCK

  • After the life-changing events of issue #2, MATT MURDOCK is faced with an impossible choice.
  • Will DAREDEVIL rebel or will he buy into TONY STARK’S vision?
  • Can nothing stop the SUPERIOR IRON MAN’S non-stop party? You’ll be surprised at who wants to crash it!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Cover to Superior Iron Man #4

SUPERIOR IRON MAN #4
TOM TAYLOR (W) • YILDIRAY ÇINAR (A)
Cover by MIKE CHOI
WELCOME HOME VARIANT COVER BY TBA

DAREDEVIL ON THE ROCKS!

  • DAREDEVIL discovers the secret to TONY’S success!
  • How far will Tony go to stop MATT MURDOCK from revealing this shocking secret to the world?
  • As Tony’s actions become even more questionable, who will conspire to take him down, leading up to the battle you thought you’d never see?

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

So, just by reading the solicits, you get a pretty good sense of the gist of the story, as far as it’s being revealed to us in advance. And it’s not at all strange that Marvel would choose for Daredevil to be part of it. Tony Stark comes along with a grand, if questionable, vision that includes being able to cure physical deficits. Daredevil is by far the best-known hero who, along with his superpowers, has a physical disability that could presumably be cured by Extremis. Obviously, Matt will be subjected to some kind of “cure” against his will.

The timing of this story also makes it more than just science fiction. Sensory “prostheses” are becoming a real thing these days. Cochlear implants (which partially restore hearing) have been around for more than two decades now, and their vision counterparts are on the cusp of leaving the experimental stage. Extremis obviously belongs in the Marvel Universe, but some of the ethical considerations and psychological ramifications that Matt might face during this story aren’t that far-fetched.

But that depends on where this story is going, and how Matt is written in it. What will his concerns be, aside from the grand scale experiment of it all? Will his feelings about what this means for him personally be nuanced and conflicted?

One thing that concerns me is that we’ll se a repeat of the many times in the past that Daredevil has had his sight back. There’s been a tendency to gloss over the notion that Matt might occasionally miss his sight or that his being Daredevil (which always paradoxically appears to require his remaining blind) is important enough to him to make him dismiss any short-lived joy he may experience. The one notable exception from this rule is The Price, a wonderful story. It has its own shortcomings though, in the irrational way Matt declines his “gift.” He has to, of course, or he wouldn’t be Daredevil, but that highlights the difficulty that a reversal of the sighted state usually brings. It’s a challenge for any creative team to handle, and I hope this one is up to that challenge.

As for whether this is permanent as Bleeding Cool suggests, I think that’s a very solid no. The suggestion is outlandish. From the looks of it, Matt Murdock will be walking around as his usual blind self in his own book while all this is happening, even though there are no guarantees that we’re not dealing with separate timelines that don’t perfectly line up. Then there’s the Netflix series coming up. And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that permanently “unblinding” Daredevil would make no sense.

In closing, I will definitely be reading Superior Iron Man, albeit it with some trepidation. How do you guys feel about this?

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.

6 comments

  1. It looks like an interesting idea. It’s a little odd, though, for a Tony Stark story where Matt Murdock is the hero and Stark is the villain. What’s happening to Daredevil stories during this time? I have no problem with a story like this (as long as it’s well-executed), but it seems like a big impact for Murdock to not happen in his own comic.

  2. I’m thinking of two things. 1) Bleeding Cool saw the phrase “new vision” and Daredevil on the cover and… well, they are a rumor site. They’ve been off-base before. (I have a 4-part fanfic epic in a different comics fandom that started when Rich’s previous rumor mill, LITG, spun a doozy that never came true regarding DC’s “One Year Later” event). So basically, Tony wants to change the world, Matt doesn’t think it’s necessarily a good idea. The solicit uses the phrase “new vision” and BC goes “Great googla-moogla! DD is getting his eyesight back!”

    From what we saw in AXIS #4, Tony didn’t just release an Extemis mIst over the West Coast, curing everyone of their ills. He made it a smartphone app. Participation is voluntary. And Matt is shown in the crowd, being extremely suspicious. As shown here and here.

    2) I’m getting a Start Trek:TNG “Hide and Q” vibe here. (Refresher: Q gives Riker the powers of the continuum. Riker starts giving everyone their heart’s desire. And virtually everyone he helps either asks for things to go back to the way they were or refuses the gift outright.)

    Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708728/quotes?item=qt1014735

    So, yeah. Either Matt is not getting his sight back; he’ll be given the opportunity but not being “down with the new vision,” he’ll opt out, or he’ll get it back temporarily and lose it like he always does.

  3. I imagine if this was a permanent change then the iron man book would be crossing over with DDs. And then there would be two oversized bookend issues and five to ten tie ins and in the end Matt would be able to see. Sounds like an interesting story and take on iron man. I will go along for the ride for the first arc atleast. Good article!

  4. One can always hope this will be a good story, or that at least wont affect what is happening on DD s book. However from time to time this things dont work well and damage the title. Remember shadowland?, that is the kind of event/ writing I dont want Daredevil to be associated with.

  5. Wasn’t Shadowland a Daredevil lead event? In other words, Daredevil was the lead title in the crossovers.

  6. Well, I’ve read Superior Iron Man #1 now. And while DD does put in an appearance, there is no change to his status quo, yet!

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