Daredevil #13 was easily one of the most enjoyable issues of Daredevil I’ve read in a long time. Considering the overall quality of the title in Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s capable hands, that’s saying something. The story itself packs a punch and offers many great character moments. On top of that, the level of craftmanship evident in the delivery is truly amazing.

For a perfect example of what I’m talking about, how’s this for a first page (see below)? Not only is it visually astounding, it also highlights the power of the comic book medium. Without any dialogue, and just one short caption, it shows the passage of time, and in doing so, lets us know that Matt and Kirsten cannot get enough of each other.

We see them having dinner, and then we see them being the only ones left in the restaurant. Next, they go dancing, and Chris Samnee makes sure to give us a glimpse of Kirsten’s shoe. Give the couple some time, and Kirsten’s feet have grown tired, and the shoes have come off. Even then, the date isn’t over, and things get downright steamy by the end of the page, as Matt and Kirsten have made it to the beach and into the water.

A perfect opening page: Matt and Kirsten, as seen in Daredevil #13 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

This level of pure elegance, and magnificent attention to detail, is evident throughout the entire issue. The pacing is perfect, as are the transitions between scenes. A well-known villain is back, and there are recurring reminders of his eerie presence blended into an otherwise self-contained story. I’m really impressed with this approach. On the one hand, this intriguing set-up whets your appetite for more, and on the other, you get a full story that stands well on its own.

More than anything, Daredevil #13 is a great character study. Waid and Samnee dig into Matt’s past to paint a credible picture of his mental state at the realization that his relationship with Kirsten is getting more serious. At the same time, they make sure to reinforce Kirsten’s status as her own person, high-profile enough in her own career to have her own enemies. Matt, on the other hand, is so stuck in his own thinking patterns and preconceived notions that he won’t even consider that not everything is about him.

Daredevil and Kirsten embrace after fighting off a villain, in Daredevil #13 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Colorist Matt Wilson continues to knock it out of the park in this highly emotional issue, where the icy blue shades associated with our silent watcher contrast beautifully with the warmer shades that dominate the rest of the issue. The interesting use of light sources is another thing that stands out this issue, with people coming up and down stairs that lead from lighter to darker areas – and vice versa – and examples of spotlights to illuminate characters from above. The way this is handled gives a great deal of added depth to the overall artwork. Kudos also to Joe Caramagna. This issue is rich in dialogue, and Caramagna’s competent lettering makes sure that it’s easy to follow and mixes perfectly with the underlying artwork.

With that, all that remains is for me to say: “More, please!” With this team’s fantastic run coming to a close, they seem determined to go out on a high note. It is bitter-sweet, but I intend to enjoy every moment of it!

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

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

10 comments

  1. I liked this issue. I realized reading this issue that the reason I haven’t been enjoying this book lately is because I would rather read about Matt Murdock then read about Daredevil. When its Matt and Kirsten I’m enjoying the book. When Daredevil comes into play I find myself losing interest. After this run I’m really wondering if I will continue reading Daredevil.

  2. I am now convinced Mark Waid is just on auto-pilot and has been through all of volume 4. This book is being carried on Chris Samnee’s shoulders. His art continues to be amazing. The full page shot of Daredevil swinging through the city needs to be made into a poster yesterday. He is a master of sequential storytelling that is rare in a medium based on sequential storytelling. That first page showing Matt and Kirsten’s date was beautiful.

    Aaaaannd then they had to start talking. Now this issues was nowhere near Waid’s worst, I mostly enjoyed it, but it was far from his best also. I’ve used some very critical and maybe even harsh words to describe Kirsten in the past and I stand by all of them. I’m not going to repeat myself as I know I’m in the minority here in thinking she comes across as an immature twit half the time and too often makes Matt and Foggy look the same. I hope beyond hope that whenever the next writer takes over that he drops Kirsten from the book and forgets about her faster than you can say Dakota North.

  3. I agree with Tate: the book seems to be carried on Samnee’s shoulders alone. It’s not just the style, it’s his ability for sequential storytelling. If Waid scripts were being pencilled by Maleev it would be a lifeless bore.
    On the other hand, if Samnee were drawing Bendis’ talking heads, he wouldn’t have any opportunity to show his mastery, so I think the book depends on both Waid and Samnee. I’ll be sad to see them go, and wouldn’t be upset if it were the end of the series. What is left to be told about Daredevil? I’m afraid the next writer will be tempted to make Daredevil fall into depression / fake his death / go upstate for the nth time…

  4. Welp, I liked it! I liked the art on the first page. (And throughout the issue, but that page stood out.) And I liked how they addressed this particular issue of Matt’s (and that they addressed it at all.)

    And I don’t care, I love Kirsten. “I have my own arch-foe!”

    I do prefer vol. 3 over 4 even though I have been enjoying this one.

  5. Waid should have moved on after the end of issue 36. I don’t like his Daredevil anymore. His Matt Murdock is great to read but Daredevil, give me a writer who will make him a bad ass again.

  6. I actually really like Kirsten. Sure, her reaction to being threatened by a serial killer is clearly unrealistic, but I find her relatable and hope that future writers will keep her around in some capacity, regardless of where her relationship with Matt goes.

  7. Oh, I agree that it was unrealistic. It was almost like she thought making fun of Matt was more important than that her almost dying. o_O

  8. You know what? I loved it. I thought it was a fantastic issue. If this volume has been a bit weaker than what has come before, it still remains better than 90% of the other hero books out there. As for Kirsten, I love her. More than that, she’s become my favorite of Matt’s various girlfriends. A real charmer who can dish it out as well as she can take it, she really is more than just a girlfriend – she’s a partner. I love what she brings out in him (I’m not the first to notice that Matt can be a little stuffy sometimes) and it’s nice to see Matt have a fairly healthy romantic relationship for a change.

  9. I too enjoyed it. In my case, I’ll just say that this book and Kirsten have a very… special place in my heart. For the last year or so, I’ve been working on a novel. It’s YA and far far FAR further removed from Marvel and DD than a certain ‘mature’ film is from sparkly vampires. The seeds for it were sown back in DD Vol 3 #22 when Kirsten breaks up with Matt. Let’s just say that my working title is “The Hero In My Life.” The novel is about what it’s like when you’re fourteen, your best friend is a costumed hero, and your life keeps getting turned upside-down by it. (So… inspired by Kirsten’s break-up speech, but more influenced by the Matt-Foggy dynamic, focus on the non-cape.)[/self-plug]

    And every time I see DD’s supporting cast do good without needing to don masks and spandex, and not having to wait passively to be rescued, but take matters into their own hands, my brain goes ‘ooh! shiny!’

    Was Kirsten’s “Yay! I got people trying to kill me for who I am!’ over the top and silly? Sure. But it made me smile. The truth is, if she hadn’t said it out loud… if she’d merely thought it, I don’t think we’d be condemning it nearly as much. I think we all get stray thoughts like that. Kirsten’s a bit out-spoken, she’s been trying to deal graciously with everyone from Matt to her own father thinking of her as a victim caught up in her boyfriend’s ‘big adventurous life’ and the realization that something bad (almost!) happened to her for something she did instead someone she’s seeing made her a bit giddier in the heat of the moment. Yeah, it was a stupid thing to say. But I don’t think it was so far out of left field.

    The issue kept me guessing and left me with a big smile on my face. I’m not sure it was my best read of the week: I think my haul this week was about a dozen comics, of which eight left me excited for more. If I tried to rank them, it’d be like the Olympics where world records are won by hundredths of points. Suffice to say that Daredevil is in that eight for me.

  10. To me its the reverse of what castlebanner said. “His Matt Murdock is great to read but Daredevil, give me a writer who will make him a bad ass again.”

    I think Waid writes Daredevil amazingly. Or this may just be reinforcing my opinion that Samnee is carrying the book. When Daredevil is in action, going after bad guys, interacting with villains, showing off his skills and powers, these are moments when Waid shines.

    Its the smaller character interaction between Matt/Kirsten/Foggy where it falls apart on occasion. The moments when he goes for cheap laughs making Foggy look slobbish and pathetic, making Matt look buffoonish, and Kirsten acting like an immature ditz. Kamala Kahn come across more mature and she’s a teenager.

    And I will repeat myself again on this plot point. This book deal is the dumbest and most out of character thing anyone has had Matt and Foggy do in the modern age. Its starting to make Shadowland look good in retrospect.

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