This review and summary of Daredevil: Back in Black by Charles Soule and Matteo Buffagni was adapted from several previous posts. First is the spoiler free reviews, broken into two volumes each, followed by the spoiler full reviews and summary for the entire 46 issue run. This is a long one!
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Spoiler Free Reviews
The following spoiler free reviews are divided into two volumes each
Dardevil: Back in Black Vol 1 and 2
This run has a very different feel to it from past Daredevil issues. Not only is Daredevil in a new black uniform but he has somehow wiped everyone’s (and I mean everyone’s) memories of him being Matt Murdock. The readers will not know how this happened for quite some time but it will keep coming up.
Additionally, Murdock is no longer a defense attorney, he is working for the DA as a prosecutor. I hate this. He is no longer able to make his own schedule and he gets paid far less. These are two very big issues for someone who wants to be a successful vigilante. It doesn’t make sense and it was a mistake.
A lot of the book is Daredevil facing conflicts that come up because of this job that he chose to switch to. It’s very frustrating to read because without seeing a grander plan I just feel like yelling at him the whole time, “just quit then!”
Another big change is that DD now has a sidekick, Blindspot aka Samuel Chung. Chung invented an invisibility suit and DD is training him on how to fight and actually perform as a superhero. Makes sense, just being invisible doesn’t help anything if you can’t actually perform the actions.
I also don’t like DD having a sidekick, especially when him trying to keep his identity a secret is such a big part of the plot of this run. It’s ridiculous that he would keep someone so close by and have to hide that he’s blind from them so they don’t put the pieces together.
The story gets kind of complicated through this one and everything is in really long form. Things are mentioned in these first two volumes that I expect to come back at some point in the run but 20 issues later I still haven’t seen them.
I don’t think this author wanted to write Daredevil. He doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of the character and he’s lost quite a bit of his charm. Parts of these two volumes are better than others and I don’t think it’s an overall bad book it’s just pretty underwhelming.
The author does the best job with the side characters. Elektra (because I’m biased) has the best two issues of these volumes and is full of emotion and turmoil. Spiderman shows up for the final issues and has a delightful levity and humor to him. Even The Hand has more personality than Daredevil in this one and they’re a faceless organization of zombie ninjas.
I think they wanted to take DD in a different direction but don’t appreciate how to do that in a way that maintains the integrity of the character. He’s lost a lot with these changes and I haven’t seen it pay off yet. Hopefully by the end of the run I change my mind.
Volumes 3 and 4
Volumes 3 and 4 of Soule’s run of Daredevil: Back in Black start to get a little more interesting than the first 2. However, he’s still laying a lot of groundwork for things to come. This run is a slow slow burn.
We do get two very fun bad guys in these runs though, they really are the stars and where we’re going to focus in the spoiler free review because I can talk about them a little without revealing the twists and turns of the plot.
Volume 3 stars a new villain who goes by the name Muse.
Muse is terrifying. He looks terrifying and he certainly acts terrifying. He fancies himself an artist but his chosen mediums throughout volume 3 cause quite a bit of carnage. Both Daredevil and Matt Murdock are on the case in some capacity trying to put a stop to his insane art shows.
This story line is very Dexter. If you are somehow unfamiliar Dexter is a serial killer/forensic blood spatter analyst who somehow gets involved with multiple other serial killers who make very elaborate tableaus with their victims.
Just instead of being an additional serial killer Daredevil is a vigilante. He’s trying to find Muse by night as DD and by day as prosecuting attorney Murdock. Muse’s tableaus are very reminiscent of the show and if you liked Dexter you’re sure to like this arc.
I really like Muse’s character design and would like to see some more of him. He’s really creepy and seems a good villain for street level NY heroes.
Then volume 4 brings us one of my favorite villains of all time. Killgrave. The Purple Man. And.. his Purple Children.
Killgrave has the strongest of all mind control powers. He can make anyone do anything. He’s the worst kind of psychopath because he also has no real ambition. He doesn’t want to conquer the world, it would be too easy. He gets bored.
His main goal is to push boundaries. Problem is he’s already pushed them all so many times. But he’s here to play with Daredevil and his friends and hopefully find some entertainment. His children are here to attempt to get away from him.
Any time Killgrave shows up I get excited. He’s soooo evil. But in such a casual way. He’s like a Bond villain who already conquered Earth and only does his monologue at the end because his own voice is the only one that no longer bores him.
These arcs are definitely an improvement over the first volumes. The end of Daredevil: Back in Black volume 4 finally gives us a big reveal that we’ve been waiting for. We finally get answer to a question that was set up in issue 1.
The problem is that it took twenty whole issues to get there!
Most readers quit by now. Casual comic book readers or those who don’t feel a compulsion to read every issue of Daredevil stopped when there wasn’t a single payoff in the first two volumes.
It’s a shame because I can say now that it gets even better from here but most people won’t get that far. A weak opening really is hard to bounce back from.
But if you are still with me, please start at the very beginning because all those puzzle pieces really do matter 20, 30, 40 issues in! Surprisingly, because I really did not have faith, this author really had a plan and it does all come together.
Have more faith in me than I had in Soule, keep reading this one. It keeps getting better.
Daredevil: Back in Black Vol 5 and 6
In my review of the first two volumes of Daredevil: Back in Black I expressed my concerns that Soule wasn’t having fun writing Daredevil and didn’t understand the character. I was wrong and I take it back. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions, just because it was slightly out of my familiarity I didn’t trust it. Never again.
These two volumes really show the payoff for all the previous ones. All of the little pieces, all of the weird little changes and plot points that I was hesitant about have come back around to become a great story and one that’s actually original for Daredevil! I still am a little weary that it took so dang long to get to where it was going but now I’m wondering if it could have worked in a shorter format.
Soule did make some dramatic changes when he took up the helm but it’s finally been proven that he knew what he was doing all along. I’m seriously impressed. I still am a little weary that it took so dang long to get to where it was going but now I’m wondering if it could have worked in a shorter format.
Volume 5 brings Murdock to the Supreme Court in a case that would change everything for masked heroes everywhere. This triggers our old friend King Pin into needing to take dramatic measures against this so Volume 6 brings us Mayor Fisk. King Pin is an elected official! (It’s not a spoiler if it’s on a cover)
We finally get a good balance between Daredevil the vigilante and Murdock the lawyer. Daredevil books are best when they manage to find a use for both and an antagonist who can also play both sides. A crime boss turned politician is absolutely perfect for that.
We also get treated to some fun little cameos and the return of Muse! Blindspot also gets put to use and every complaint I had at the beginning of the run has completely vanished.
This is one of those books that the more I think about it the better it gets and I’m certain that it would be even better upon a re-read. I rarely re-read books but I’m adding this one to my short list!
Volumes 7 and 8
This is it. We made it to the epic conclusion of this substantial run. And holy hell was it a ride!
I was so skeptical at the beginning of this one. It just felt off. It felt wrong. But I am so glad I kept reading! It gets so good and it just stayed at this high level through the end!
Volumes 7 and 8 of Daredevil: Back in Black take us through Murdock as Mayor and then into the Death of Daredevil. Both plots are unpredictable and satisfying. Which is atypical for a conclusion of anything, let alone a nearly 50 issue run.
All of the groundwork that is laid in the 6 previous volumes pays off in a way that is far better than I could have anticipated. This run is what happens when an author has a full vision and is given the freedom to act on it completely.
Both old fans of Daredevil as well as new readers will be able to appreciate this fantastically well thought out story.
Daredevil books are best when we get to see the dichotomy of vigilante DD and lawyer Matt Murdock work together despite their conflicting views. Seeing Murdock put into a political office and watching his mind at work is a delight. While seeing Daredevil face off against his greatest villains keeps you on the edge of your seat.
There are many returning characters that are fun to see in action, like Spiderman and Luke Cage, but we also get some new faces like mysterious bad guy Vigil who is honestly a perfect villain for pious Murdock.
I also typically have issues with twist endings but this one worked so well that I wouldn’t change a thing. I didn’t even know to expect a twist! It was written so well!
Soule truly does understand Daredevil and Murdock as a character. He was made for this book and I’m excited to seek out some of his other works to see if he maintains this level of quality throughout his career.
Please give this whole run a chance. Stick with it past the iffy start, there’s a reason for everything that’s put on these pages. It’s worth the commitment.
5/5 devils 😈😈😈😈😈
Daredevil: Back in Black Summary
The following sections are the summary and spoiler full reviews. There is a lot of ground to cover in this long run!
Volumes 1 and 2
Daredevil is back! This time wearing a dark and brooding black uniform. Black uniforms are how you know they mean business! No more red pajamas, this time we’re serious. It’s also just a way for a run to feel individual and stand out.
Not just the uniform has changed for DD this time around. He has a new sidekick, Blindspot, and he’s now a prosecutor instead of a defense attorney for his day job. His old partner and old best friend Foggy now hates him. The whole world no longer knows that Murdock and DD are one in the same and the reader has no clue how that happened (and wont for quite some time). Foggy is the only one Murdock has revealed his dual identities to and he resents him greatly for it.
Blindspot is a young man named Samuel Chung who invented himself an invisibility suit. He can become completely invisible but DD is teaching him how to actually fight and perform as a superhero. It is unclear how this partnership came to be.
It is also unclear as to why Murdock wanted to switch career paths to become a prosecutor for the DA’s office instead of his far more lucrative position as well renowned defense attorney.
This job choice issue is one of my biggest problems with this run. He spends a lot of time complaining about how he makes less money and now can no longer make his own schedule. Two HUGE issues for someone who wants to play vigilante by night and I’ve yet to be convinced it’s necessary. As of writing this I’m on issue 21 and him being a prosecutor has yet to become part of a grander scheme. It just gets in the way and I think it was a very bad choice on behalf of the writer.
As a prosecutor he’s working with an informant who is getting him information for a new band of criminals/cultists who are threatening the city. Their leader, Tenfingers, puts out a hit on the informant and Murdock.
Tenfingers has ten fingers on each hand. He runs the Church of the Sheltering Hands and is seeking protected status as a religious institute. Blindspot is undercover in the church and his young naivete is causing him to be impatient with the slow gears of proper channels of justice, i.e. Murdock and the DA’s office.
Blindspot knows Daredevil. Daredevil knows that Blindspot is Samuel Chung. Samuel Chung does not know that Daredevil is Matt Murdock. Chung does know that DD knows Murdock. DD gets Chung a job for Murdock. So Blindspot works with DD and Chung works for Murdock. Keeping up?
Then The Hand shows up.
They attack Tenfingers saying that he got his power from them and then betrayed them. DD fights off The Hand to save Tenfingers because he may be in a black uniform now but he still believes in not killing even his enemy.
Because Murdock was running around fighting ninjas all night he messes up at work pretty badly and gets demoted to night court. Now how is someone who is supposed work the night shift also going to keep up with his vigilante work? I guess that’s the silly ass conflict we’re supposed to buy into with this one. This job makes no sense for him!
We then discover that Blindspot has another motive in wanting to take down Tenfingers. His mother is a high ranking member of his cult and he wants to save her. He shows her his secret identity but she is still invested in the power of being an 8 finger in The Church of the Sheltering Hands.
More fingers means more power. Duh.
The Hand then sends in The Fist to kill Tenfingers and I’m pretty tired of hand related names for people. DD manages to fight off The Fist but only after The Fist kills Tenfingers and dismantles the cult.
Blindspot is dismayed that he wasn’t able to save his mother and feels like he betrayed DD by keeping his motives secret. DD doesn’t guilt him about it and gifts him jurisdiction over Chinatown.
You see, one superhero can give a new superhero vigilante territory. I’m fine with it.
Elektra shows up at court to talk to Murdock. Just like everyone else now she doesn’t know that he’s also Daredevil. But she does somehow know that he would know how to get in touch with DD.
Later that night Elektra beats the hell out of DD and asks him where her daughter is.
Elektra gives DD a phone with a video of her daughter for him to watch. She doesn’t know he’s blind and can’t see the video so he plays it cool and says basically, “um… yeah… lemme get back to you on that… k byeee!”
He takes the phone to Foggy (who still hates him and resents this task the whole time) and he says the phone is empty. There is no video.
DD tells this to Elektra so she confronts the man who gave her the phone, DD saves him from being killed by Elektra and on his way out he says a trigger phrase that releases Elektra from some kind of brainwashing. She realizes she never had a daughter and it was all a messed up trick to make her feel emotional pain.
For the most part I actually liked this part of the story. I was generally intrigued by Elektra’s conflict and was surprised and disappointed when it ended abruptly in two issues.
From there we hop all the way over to Hong Kong where Murdock is doing his best James Bond impression.
So blind Murdcok is playing poker. He cannot see or even feel what cards he has. He’s only playing based on how the other people at the table react to seeing their own cards. He wins against a telepath because the telepath can’t read his mind to read what cards he has cause he doesn’t bloody well know!
Then DD meets up with Spiderman for whatever it is their mission is but Spiderman also doesn’t know he’s Murdock and this is going to be a plot point that is dragged out for a very long time.
Spiderman helps DD retrieve a mysterious briefcase. Spidey wants to know what’s inside. DD just tells him that it has to do with how he erased everyone’s memory of his secret identity and Black Cat put something in this briefcase that he has to take possession of.
Reading my notes of this now I totally forgot about any mention to Black Cat because that has yet to come back in the story. Hmm..
So that’s it for volumes 1 and 2.
Overall, they’re okay. I’ve been poking fun at them because they are definitely kind of silly but for the most part it’s been readable and has some interesting moments. There are also some better parts to come and it’s all connected so you have to start here to get the background.
The problems with these issues is that the writer doesn’t seem to understand Daredevil’s character and I don’t think he’s enjoying writing him. Daredevil is kind of an empty shell for the other players to interact with. He doesn’t have any of the charisma he’s typically known for and he’s even drawn less handsome, just kind of dull.
I’d recommend this one for Daredevil completists like me. And it’s far from the worst run of Daredevil I’ve read so it’s definitely an easy read for when you’re looking for something less serious. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
Daredevil: Back in Black Vol 3 and 4
Issue 10 picks up with Murdock still working night court. The other lawyers don’t like him, oh no!
This is my least favorite little side plot of the run so far. I do not care about Murdock’s working relationship with some lawyers who know they’re beneath him! And him being a prosecutor has not paid off for the story yet so this is still a sticking point in these volumes.
Also an issue is that DD is still struggling to keep that he’s blind away from his sidekick Blindspot. Who also works with Murdock as Samuel Chung.
Blindspot gets a mysterious invitation to an old warehouse. He arrives to find that there’s a disgusting mural on the wall made from human blood. He calls DD in for help and he calls the police and then shows up as Murdock to help investigate.
Somehow, against all conceivable common sense, the mural is not taken down or restricted in any long term way as an active crime scene and the person who owns the warehouse opens it up as an art installation and charges an entry fee to see it.
Obviously, people show up in hoards.
(for another book that has murder as an art exhibition check out Broken Monsters)
But a councilwoman discovers her missing niece is one of the many blood donors to the piece and enlists Murdock to help shut it down. The police show up to opening night to discover the mural has been altered.
Additionally, there is another tableau with many dead Inhumans posed into strange settings. Murdock is there with Chung and he hears something up on the roof. He quickly turns into DD and runs up there to find the artist.
He calls himself muse and he’s terrifying. I mean, just look at him.
Muse gets away because he has to or that would be a very short story.
An Inhuman detective arrives to take over the case. They want to handle this one internally. DD wants to be involved so he goes to the Inhuman leader, Medusa, to ask for help. She says no.
Now I am not all that familiar with the Inhumans, this was a crossover that might work much better for a different reader. I just don’t know the characters all that well and I honestly barely even know who they are as part of the greater MCU. I can’t keep up with everything people.
From there Muse shows up at the court house and takes a Judge hostage. He steals him away to the sewer and fights with Blindspot.
Blindspot makes a much better captive so Muse takes him to his warehouse studio. DD shows up to rescue Blindspot but he’s just a little too late. Muse gouges out his eyes.
DD is not, however, too late to save all the people Muse bled for the original mural and he does that and then catches up with Muse to unmask him.
And he’s even scarier!
I really enjoy Muse as a villain. He’s different, he’s scary, he’s unpredictable. He has a new and original character design that I’m a big fan of. He also just seems very New York, the whole artist serial killer thing fits quite well in this setting.
There were still those few issues for me here in volume 3 but I can tell you with confidence that it does pay off later. This whole run is just a very slow burn that can get frustrating at times.
Issue 15 of Daredevil: Back in Black opens with Blindspot in the hospital and Murdock desperately wanting to help. He needs money for the extensive hospital bills so he does what any desperate New Yorker would do. Puts out a hit on Daredevil.
He puts a hit out on himself and seems disappointed when only C list villains show up to try and kill him. At this point I was very confused about how any of this would help Blindspot at all.
An equally desperate Inhuman shows up to try and kill DD because he really needs the money. Unfortunately, Bullseye also shows up and kills the Inhuman.
But wait! That’s what DD wanted all along!
Apparently, Bullseye has access to a serum that can mimic DD’s sensory powers and if he can give it to Blindspot he can be far more functioning as a hero. So at least that question got cleared up within an issue.
DD beats up Bullseye and finds out that Blindspot’s mom has taken him away from the hospital.
A worried DD then finds his way to church where he begins a long confession to an inordinate priest.
DD tells the priest the story of how he was previously living in San Francisco with his wife and living openly as both Murdock and DD but not enjoying either identity any more. He moved back to NY but he needed help finding a way to wipe the slate clean and that’s when the Purple Children showed up.
These are, of course, Killgrave’s children. Killgrave, aka The Purple Man, is one of my all time favorite villains. He’s got the highest level of mind control powers and can make anybody do anything at all. With this level of power he is frequently bored and just looking for any form of entertainment usually in the form of supreme depravity.
He’s the evilest of evils because he doesn’t even disguise his evil behind wanting a better world for anyone. He’s just bored.
So a mob of people manipulated by Killgrave attacks DD to get his kids back. DD follows the kids right to Killgrave and Killgrave takes over his mind because that’s what he does.
Killgrave wants to make DD do the worst thing that DD can imagine. Issue 19 is spent inside DD’s brain, seeing all of his different personas wrestling with each other over what is the worst thing that he could possibly do. He decides that would be to do nothing in the face of evil.
Because deep down, Matt Murdock is really just a big nerd. He’s so danged lawful good sometimes it’s annoying. But that’s also why we love him I guess.
So he breaks free of Killgrave’s spell, puts on his classic red uniform, and smashes his head in.
Killgrave had built a giant projector to broadcast his power to a much farther radius. This could basically mind control anyone everywhere instead of just those who are near Killgrave.
The Purple Children want to thank DD for their help in freeing them from their evil father so they use the projector to tell everyone in the world how great Daredevil is and how he’s totally not Matt Murdock.
20 issues in and we finally find out how Murdock made everyone forget who he was! That took forever! But I’m at least satisfied with the answer. It could have been much stupider.
And it was at this point that I finally realized this run may have been much more thought out than I initially thought. Also, it keeps getting better from here.
Overall, I do have some issues with the pacing of this run. It’s really my biggest complaint. If everything moved about 30% faster I think it would feel more satisfying and less frustrating. So far, in where I’m currently at in reading it, everything that was laid down in the first 20 or so issues has paid off in one way or another but it took just way too long for it to happen.
A casual reader would stop well before any of the good stuff happened. They’re just not gonna stick it out without someone like me saying, “no, really, it gets soooo good, just 12 more issues.”
But it does. Turns out this one actually is worth sticking out through the slow beginning. I didn’t have faith, I was wrong and I’ll admit it. But you do have to start at the slow beginning because you need that groundwork for the good ones to make sense.
Volumes 5 and 6
This is when this run really starts to get good! All of the pieces start falling into place and we really get to see how Murdock ticks.
Issue 21 starts with finally bringing back this idea of Black Cat and a mysterious briefcase from the first volume. It apparently contains some earth shattering files that Murdock needs for a case he’s building.
DD teams up with Luke Cage and my girl Echo to take down some gang of thugs but all but one of them are able to get away. Murdock is going to build a case around the remaining witness and decides that he should take the stand. As Daredevil.
Murdock wants to be able to set a precedent for masked heroes to be able to take the stand in court without revealing their identities. This would be a game changer. Not just a game changer, THE game changer.
Daredevil, Spiderman, Iron Fist, everyone who keeps their identity a secret would no longer have to leave the bad guys tied up for the cops and hope that everything just magically works from there. They could work with the case and see it through. So many more villains would actually be put away!
DD is tasked with proving that he’s the real DD without revealing he’s also the real Murdock. The gang attacks the courthouse and the judge is impressed enough with DD’s crime fighting abilities in saving everyone that he allows the testimony.
King Pin, aka Wilson Fisk, finds out about this stunt and is understandably unhappy. He needs to put a stop to heroes being able to testify against his crime syndicate so he hires Tony Stark‘s, aka Iron Man’s, old lawyer to take Murdock down in court.
Murdock consults with She Hulk, aka Jennifer Walters, at the lawyer bar. They get attacked by Tombstone, also sent by Fisk, and she Hulks him right out of the place but is having trouble controlling her powers anymore.
Then through a quicker than it should be series of events Murdock is about to face big time lawyer man in the Supreme Court.
Murdock goes to his old friend Foggy for help and Tombstone attacks them too. After he’s been dealt with Murdock finally apologizes to Foggy for being such a shite friend and Foggy agrees to help him.
So Murdock heads off to face Legal, the big time lawyer man, at the Supreme Court and he wins because this is DD and he’s a boss. So now heroes can testify in court! This is huge!
And something this huge cannot go without consequences. King Pin is building his plan C.
But in the meantime Blindspot has since been deported back to China and he sends a letter to DD explaining how his mom sold her soul to The Beast of The Hand in order to restore his sight and needs DD to help him retrieve his mother.
DD quickly heads on over to China to help where he discovers that Blindspot is actually leading The Hand and has now sold DD’s soul to The Beast in order to get his mom’s soul back. Double Cross!
DD is being held and tortured by demons. Blindspot has a change of heart and goes back to save him. Mom goes back to save her son, saves both of them, and is then promptly murdered.
DD and Blindspot return to New York to discover that since they’ve been gone Wilson Fisk has been elected Mayor of New York City.
Okay, okay, this is so much better! This run really got there! It took way too long but it got there and I really think it’s paying off!
Daredevil books are their best when we get a plot that allows the Murdock/Daredevil dichotomy to work from both sides. And he needs a bad guy who does the same. This violence from one angle and politics and law from another is peak Daredevil! Thank goodness!
Volume 6 reverts to the original comic issue numbering system for the big 600 double issue milestone.
Now that Fisk is Mayor he has big plans to take care of all the masked vigilantes for good. He goes to the DA’s office and tasks Murdock with building a criminal case against Daredevil and the others.
DD goes out on the town to clear his head and catch some baddies but is nabbed by an undercover cop and taken straight to Fisk. He escapes before he can be unmasked but now the entire New York Police Department is after him.
With all the news stations covering DD as public enemy number 1, Muse catches wind of it and is inspired for his next art piece.
With this, Fisk shows Murdock’s not the only one who can think two steps ahead and offers him the position of Deputy Mayor. Murdock accepts in order to be close to the enemy.
Fisk then takes advantage of Murdock being blind and buries him in paperwork with an assistant who has been tasked with reading it all out loud to him. This is an absolutely hilarious way to distract your enemy if you ask me, I love it!
But there are bigger fish to fry! Muse is free and making murals all over the city!
Muse ends up murdering a bunch of police officers right in front of his mural of The Punisher and Fisk knows just how to play this scene for manipulative fear tactics.
DD also discovers that Fisk is offering positions in his cabinet to every crime boss in the city. There are a lot of moving pieces happening all of a sudden, this run suddenly gets much more fast paced and it’s much needed and appreciated.
Blindspot wants revenge against Muse so he sets a trap. Muse shows up and pushes him right off a building like nothing.
So DD kicks it into high gear and calls in all his connections.
All of the bad guys who were promised positions are at a meeting spot and all the heroes show up to take them down. Of course it’s a trap and the cops get all of them.
Except DD, he runs off to get Fisk personally and gets his ass handed to him. He’s arrested and whilst in the back of the cop car overhears that somehow something happened and through some loophole Murdock is now the acting Mayor of New York City.
What happened was The Hand attacked Fisk and he’s in the hospital with many arrows in his body. Since he’s incapacitated the position would normally go to the regular successor but the previous Mayor had it set up to be the Deputy Mayor instead and no one changed it back. Welcome Mayor Murdock!
Oh and somewhere in there Blindspot kills Muse.
While I was reading this run I was thinking it was a 4 star arc but as I’m writing this I felt myself getting excited about how well this run has been executed so far. How much fun it is seeing all the pieces fall into place and I’m changing my mind. Let’s give it 5 stars just to push more people into reading it!
Seriously, this one gets so good! I’m so glad I stuck it out and am excited to finish it. I’m even going to have to go find other books written by Soule and see if he always manages this weird kind of slow burn into well thought out arcs. Lots of juggling being done and it’s all paying off. Color me impressed.
Daredevil: Back in Black Vol 7 and 8
Volume 7 of Daredevil: Back in Black opens with Mayor Murdock ordering the release of all of the heroes who had been jailed from the trap led by Fisk in the previous volume.
Fisk is in the hospital in extremely critical condition.
Fisk had been shot so many times by The Hand. Turns out The Hand is here because Blindspot made a deal with them (he’s gotta stop doing that) to kill Muse but then backed out of his side of the deal. They’re here to collect.
Elektra shows up to help some more but Murdock decides that’s still not enough and makes the very foolish decision to release all of the bad guys from that sting operation as well.
The Hand releases a toxic gas across NY.
Murdock’s heightened senses cause the gas to hit him even harder and faster and he goes down.
Then that weird militant priest from a few issues back shows up to help as well.
The priest explains that he’s part of something called the Order of the Dragon that has fought mythical creatures for centuries and he’s here to destroy The Hand’s Beast now.
Kingpin shows up straight from the hospital to throw a wrench in everyone’s plans only to pass out immediately because he really should have stayed at the hospital.
DD and the team take down the Beast and then Murdock makes a deal with Kingpin that he’ll leave office if Fisk ends his anti-vigilante tirade. They agree.
On his way out of the Mayor’s office Murdock overhears that Fisk had the vote fixed, he now has a new mission and new plan to take him out of his seat of power.
As with all of the volumes in this run there are a lot of moving pieces here. And you have to have read everything that came before in order to fully appreciate it. No part of this run is a stand alone by any means. But it’s all so worth it by the end.
Volume 7 really seems like more of a bridge than some of the others. But you need it in order to get to the incomparable volume 8.
I Volume 8: The Death of Daredevil, DD is teaming up with previous character Frank, the inhuman security guard, Cypher, and Reader. They have a complicated plan to prove that Fisk fixed the election.
DD goes into a bar to break up a fight and finds someone there calling himself Mike Murdock, looks just like Matt and says he’s his brother.
Turns out Reader brought Matt’s imaginary twin to life because his powers are weird and don’t make a lot of sense and fit a plot however you need them to.
Mike Murdock doesn’t know this though, he believes himself to be real and really Matt’s brother. But as anyone who’s told they don’t exist enough times would, he snaps and goes to Foggy’s office to hold him at gunpoint.
He demands to meet with Matt because he wants to make brotherly amends. He doesn’t know that Matt is DD and he sells DD out to Kingpin. When given the opportunity Matt doesn’t banish Mike to a life of non-existence.
And then Matt’s hit by a truck.
But as he’s known to do he hops up out of the hospital and goes out daredeviling anyway. Healing time be damned!
He reveals his identity to his new task force and on his way out a mysterious new enemy cuts his swinging line and he goes down. Still reeling from all the injuries of the day he limps on home to find Elektra is in his bed.
The art has changed a bit through this issue and that should be your first clue that something is different. We wont know what until the last issue.
Elektra and Murdock get it on as they are known to do. He enlists her to help kidnap Fisk’s assistant so that they can prove he rigged the election.
The mysterious enemy, who we now know to be named Vigil, attacks again and DD and Elektra take him down. She leaves him though because DD stops her from killing him and they’re reminded yet again of why they are incompatible as a couple.
Then stuff gets really crazy. DD is herded through the city by Stilt Men into an arena full of various bad guys all there to kill him. DD pits them against one another and comes out on top only to be shot by Bullseye who is then pushed off the roof by Mike Murdock.
From there we go to court where all of the heroes who have ever set foot in NYC are present to testify against Fisk.
Fisk is promptly removed from office and it looks like everything is wrapping up until DD goes outside to see that dang Vigil again.
DD goes to fight him screaming about how he should relent, Fisk isn’t even in charge anymore. He unmasks Vigil to see… himself.
It is only then that Murdock realizes that he’s still in the hospital on the surgery table after getting hit by that truck. It was all a dream. Fisk is still in charge, nothing has changed, and DD has failed. He sees his deceased former assistant and love interest Karen, welcoming him into death.
Whoa. I normally really hate it when stories end with and it was all a dream. But this actually got me! Even though the title was Death of Daredevil I didn’t think he’d actually die. Everything looked like it was working out and then, BAM! gut punch of emotion!
This whole run really took me for a ride. It was so well thought out and 3 steps ahead of me the whole damn time. I’m extremely impressed with how it turned out. Soule really had a vision and was given the freedom to realize it fully.
I highly recommend this one to any Daredevil fans or anyone looking to get into him. This run may require you to start at the beginning but you don’t necessarily have to have read any previous Daredevil books to enjoy it.
5/5 devils 😈😈😈😈😈
There you have it, the complete run of Daredevil: Back in Black. If you’re still dying for more DD check out Redemption.