Daredevil (2014-2015) by Mark Waid, Eric Guggenheim, and Chris Samnee
Spoiler Free Review
Comic books suffer from a lot of ongoing problems. They rely too heavily on the reader knowing a full history of comic books, they are boxed into canon conundrums, and sometimes they just lack focus. Mark Waid’s Daredevil (2014) suffers from the latter. Instead of a continuous coherent story, this run is a jumbled mess of mini stories that desperately try to relate to each other.
Matt Murdock is now in San Francisco, California to start a somewhat fresh life. Not sure how fresh it can be since he’s still using the same name and same alias but he seems to think it can work. He has a law firm with his new girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie and they’re trying to balance that with Murdock’s continued role as Daredevil.
Throughout the series we get conflicts with known villains Owl and Kingpin as well as some new players like The Shroud. Overall, the plots are too short and scattered to ever get deep enough to truly enjoy.
As a character, DD is always at odds with Murdock. He has two very conflicting personas and his comics are best when this is explored. Daredevil (2014) tries to make the reader forget that he has this inner conflict. Instead of exploring it, we’re left to just accept that it doesn’t make sense and when would he sleep?! Even his girlfriend just kind of, allows it to go on even though it seems plausible they would both lose their licenses for his behavior. Sorry, I’m thinking too real for comics again.
There are some highlights, most of which revolve around Foggy Nelson, but they don’t completely make up for the other missteps. Murdock does not fit in sunny California. His brooding and angst and Catholic guilt don’t mesh with the bright days, he belongs in night time alleyways. I understand him wanting to move out of Hell’s Kitchen to get a new start but why is everything only NY or California? Can’t anyone go anywhere else? Gets old.
I’ve read a lot of Daredevil at this point in my life and I’d say the bad outweighs the good. This run falls somewhere in the middle. It’s a little confused and honestly not that exciting but it has its moments. Considering how much I loved Mark Waid’s previous run I’m pretty disappointed with how much flatter this one felt.
3/5 devils 😈😈😈
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Daredevil (2014) Summary
This 2014 run of Marvel’s Daredevil is more mini stories that one large arc so the summary will be a bit staccato.
Matt Murdock has a law firm with Kirsten McDuffie in San Francisco. After his outing as Daredevil in NY he decided to move across the country and start fresh. He’s still both identities but everyone just knows that now, even though it’s an enormous conflict of interests for a lawyer to also be a vigilante.
Foggy is “dead” if you ask anyone in NY. Secretly Murdock is housing him in SF to keep him safe from anyone who does want him dead back home. Foggy does actually have cancer and may be dying anyway. They faked his death in a way that allowed him to be seen as a hero though, let him go out on top either way.
He kicks off the series showing off his super senses by saving a kidnapped girl who has a bomb inside of her. I mean, that’s one way to do a crime.
DD has a new nemesis here in California. Max Coleridge, aka The Shroud, has a very similar background to DD including being blind. It appears the author wanted to give Daredevil a mirror villain but, unfortunately, never gets around to making it mean anything.
The plots progress quickly with DD and Shroud teaming up against The Owl, Owl blackmails Shroud, Shroud turns on DD. DD takes down Owl and vows to help Shroud who now wants to commit suicide by super villain.
On to another plot, Murdock’s nun mother is arrested on dubious charges. Her and two other nuns are being extradited to Wakanda so Murdock goes to the embassy to inquire. He’s ambushed and shipped off to Wakanda as well.
He lawyers his way out of the situation and saves the nuns. Back in the states Murdock’s mom admits to him that the reason she abandoned him as a boy is because of postpartum depression. Honestly, kind of a huge character moment for him to just throw into this sub plot. Long time readers of The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen know all about his mommy issues. There’s even a whole season of it in the Netflix series. I think it deserves more attention that two issues in the middle of a run.
Meanwhile, we have more micro plotting. Murdock’s co-lawyer slash girlfriend McDuffie has a very wealthy father who offers Murdock 8 million dollars to publish an autobiography.
The purple children are back and they have united. They make Purple Man walk himself in front of a bus so he comes back full of revenge. DD manages to take him down by pairing with one of the powerful children.
Next up, Daredevil faces off against a stuntman who kills people to make his stunts look better. Essentially, they’re like body doubles that actually die and then he resurrects himself miraculously from the wreckage. Very odd strategy but original at least.
Now we come back to Owl and Shroud, they’re working together again to leak a bunch of client tapes from Murdock. Kingpin is called in to help.
DD makes an offer to Kingpin. He says he can fake Murdock’s death and send him into witness protection. This way Kingpin is the only one with information about Murdock and therefore is in full control.
This, apparently, isn’t good enough so Kingpin instead kidnaps McDuffie and Foggy and sends ninjas after DD. Shroud, switching sides again, kills the ninja but it doesn’t actually help very much.
DD dresses up as the dead ninja and gets his friends to safety. Then he releases all of Kingpin’s secrets that I guess he’s just had laying around.
Now, all that’s left is to finish that autobiography.
Daredevil (2014) is a rather disjointed run of the character. It has its moments but it hops around to much to make much of an impact.
3/5 devils 😈😈😈