Daredevil volumes 3 and 4: The big issues

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!

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.

9 comments

  1. One question: What elements of this era do you think future writers will take into consideration? , I woluld say given Waid s personal and unique approach not many. Be well Christine.

  2. The story of Foggy’s cancer is probably the most tragic failure of Volume 4. Probably the best stories Waid told in Vol 3 that provided some of the best character moments in years between Matt and Foggy. Then its just swept under the rug for most of the next volume, except referencing the expense to “justify” Matt’s stupid autobiography, and then just “oh yeah, now his cancer’s gone” in the last issue.

    Out of all the stories Waid told, the one I truly want to forget is the Sister Maggie revelation. Terrible, out of character retcon, that cheesily answered a question no one was asking for the sake of a tie-in gimmick. The Battlin Jack Murdock miniseries is immensely better and the only origin of Maggie, whose name has always been Maggie, that anyone needed.

    Totally agree with your “Honorable Mention”. Too many people on both sides of what is sadly still an “issue” in 2015 treat gay people or characters as “different”. Instead of just being a person, the focus is directly put onto the fact that someone is a gay person.

  3. Tate, stop. No one wants to hear anymore about how you don’t like volume 4. We all know.

  4. Well Steve, since this is Christine’s site I’ll stop as soon as she asks me to stop.
    I’m sorry that I don’t see Mark Waid as the flawless lord and savior of all things comic book that many others do. I’ve championed what I thought was good in his run and criticized what I thought was bad.

    I personally can’t wait until December when we can all start discussing the next run, whether it turns out good or bad, instead of Waid’s, but I like talking about DD and will continue to chime in.

  5. Well, Tate. We’ll see if things actually improve once you think you have something interesting to say in December. Also glad to see you’re making a lot of assumptions about what I think. Lord and Savior? Please. When you post a comment on this site that isn’t an insult perhaps you’ll deserve another comment from me. Until then I don’t have anything else to say to you, considering I’m sure everyone else who comes here is tired of your interjections in every article about how much Mark Waid sucks. Goodbye.

  6. Alright, guys. I don’t like to have to police the comment section, but here goes. As far as I’m concerned, negative comments are fine (though it’s always appreciated if you want to check your own comments for tone and/or needless repetition). However, I would appreciate if general snark at the expense of other fans is kept to a minimum. Be respectful, that’s all.

    And, @Patricio: Great question! That sounds like something that deserves its own post.

  7. Well, I’ve never said Mark Waid personally sucks, in fact I think he pretty awesome. My initial post praised his work several times. I actually forgot to mention the Purple Children story when I wrote it, as that story was overall amazing and a bright spot.

    I’ve never personally attacked anyone here. I have responded to attacks with “snark” after they have attacked me. I’ve offered my, yes probably repetitive, opinion on topics at hand, but usually go out of my way not make it personal.

    This is the second time lately I’ve been made part of a sweeping generalization by others. First in a previous thread when it was declared by another that all Miller fans are obsessive because thats the only DD they’ve ever read. Apparently now you Steve have taken it upon yourself to speak for every other visitor here in saying you are all tired of my posts. Maybe you are correct. You don’t have anything else to say to me? Alright, there you go. If you don’t like what I’m saying its very easy to ignore me, which is what you should have done in the first place instead of personally calling me out.

  8. Kudos to Waid for his handling/portrayal of real-world diseases such as cancer and post-partum depression. The revelation about Maggie’s condition wasn’t a gimmick nor was it ‘cheesy’ (seriously?). Like every good writer should, Waid used his forced tie-in event to Original Sin to explore his characters instead of just producing a quick, shoddy, done-in-one forgettable story.

    I too wish that Foggy’s cancer story held more prominence in Vol. 4 instead of being pushed onto the back-burner but Waid’s handling of the disease in Vol. 3 was full of grace and aplomb, highlighting his friendship with Matt in certain ways that we haven’t seen in quite some time.

    So thank you Mark Waid.

  9. After all the critical success Daredevil Season 2 enjoyed when it released in March 2016, Marvel decided to bring it back for a third season, and we are certain that it will be released on Netflix soon just like the previous 2 seasons. Also, fans might witness the comeback of Elektra in Daredevil Season 3
    To know about Daredevil Season 3 Trailer/Teaser just take a look and you get all the information you need.

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