Charles Soule has worked wonders with Daredevil, adding his own wrinkles like new supporting characters and tons of legalese thanks to his previous profession as a lawyer. In this second to the last arc before he wraps up the character, Soule explores Daredevil’s chance at being mayor. Problem is, New York is being attacked by the Hand. Nothing is ever easy for Matt.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Daredevil’s plan to enlist the heroes of New York City to take down Mayor Fisk has crumbled. But with Horn-Head captured and Fisk high on victory, neither of them can see the bigger picture: a looming threat that will change the entire landscape of the city! When the former Kingpin falls victim to a deadly ambush by the Hand, Daredevil finds himself back in the fight. Now, he must gather allies – both as Daredevil and Matt Murdock – in the face of an overwhelming enemy. Enter: The Order of the Dragon! Will these new players help DD stem the chaos – or unleash fresh horror? Meanwhile, Wilson Fisk rarely stays down for long. But when he finds his feet once more, who will he discover sitting at his desk?
Why does this matter?
This is a story about Matt taking charge and doing the heroic thing even when responsibility, and Foggy, are nagging him to do the non-punchy-kicky thing. Daredevil has always felt responsible for the safety of his fellow New Yorkers, but the responsibility rises when mayor Kingpin is down for the count and chaos reigns supreme.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a great volume for a variety of reasons. Soule and artist Mike Henderson capitalize on Daredevil’s powers, showing them in vivid detail and utilizing them in creative ways. He’s one of the more unique characters thanks to his sonar-like powers and he uses them in full force. This volume also hammers home how heroic the character is, doing whatever it takes when everything seems bleak. That includes making a deal with Elektra, his worst enemies like Hammerhead, and even gaining a little help from God. It’s an exciting volume for many reasons and it never lets up.
The religious inclinations of Daredevil have always been an interesting aspect of the character. It makes him unique in the superhero world, and it comes up in a creative, militaristic way in this volume. I don’t want to spoil it since it brings relief in the climactic finish, but it involves an ancient group that adds a bit of color in a biblical way to the marvel universe. It’ll be interesting to see if this group is used when Blade becomes more prominent in the Avengers next year.
Henderson may be the most underrated artist working today. Whether he’s working on Wolverine, Deadpool, or here with Daredevil, his style is unique in an edgy detailed sort of way. The radar sense looks superb in this volume and Henderson capitalizes on the overabundance of ninjas when they pop up in droves. The character acting is also spot on.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The climactic battle to end the volume probably could have been an entire six issue arc on its own. As it stands it ends way too quickly based on how much buildup there is, which isn’t serviced well with the Kingpin cliffhanger in the penultimate issue. This cliffhanger is a total red herring and it ends up taking away from the big war to end the series. You can’t blame the creators though; they only have so many issues. But the end of this volume could have been an event in itself in the grand scheme of things.
Is it good?
I read the first issue of this arc but I’m kicking myself for dropping it after that. This story arc is excellent with high stakes, interesting twists, and a climactic battle that’s deserving of an arc of its own. It’s a shame Soule isn’t writing Daredevil forever.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!