Daredevil #14

by Kalem Lalonde on March 28, 2015

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee

Within the last 3 years, Mark Waid has taken the man without fear and reinvented him. He brought on a light and fun tone to a character who was known for his grittiness. It rejuvenated the character and that’s what made his run work so well. I’ve enjoyed close to every issue of this series thus far. Which makes it all the harder to say that I did not love Daredevil’s latest outing. I’m still positive that Waid will be able to conclude his run with a bang but this issue is a small misstep on the road to that ending

The issue begins with a rather under the radar change to Matt Murdock’s look. When superheroes change costumes, usually Marvel show off their new look but I didn’t know Matt was getting a new suit. Hopefully this change in behaviour from Marvel is an indicator that this suit is a short term costume. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of Matt Murdock’s new look.

Matt’s new costume is a result of his new status as a public figure. It makes entire sense that he would want to revamp himself with his new status-quo but the costume is way too goofy. It’s extremely over the top and just doesn’t fit my view of Daredevil. I think that Waid will explain it through Matt’s troubled psyche after having revisited his entire life in his auto-biography but I think he could have found a better way to explore that. It just made this comic feel too silly to be a Daredevil comic, even though Waid pokes fun at his idea and acknowledges its ridiculousness.

Aside from that, this is a very standard issue of Daredevil. The tone is fantastic and Mark Waid knows how to compose a comic. Waid uses Daredevil #14 to explore Matt’s new standing in society as a public figure. He compares it to the Bendis era where Matt was an ambiguous figure that was always accused of wrongdoings. Now, the people love Matt and support him in every way possible. I like that Waid is taking time to show what Matt means to the city of San Francisco because that was such an important aspect of his character when he resided in Hell’s Kitchen.

In terms of plot, this issue felt like a bit of a transitional one. Waid spends a lot of time setting up the plot of his final story arc and while this is necessary, he could have paced this comic a tad better. It slowed down a little too much at times and some scenes felt slightly redundant. It’s still a good read with a solid flow but it doesn’t hold up to the high standards this series has set for itself.

Even if Mark Waid’s writing isn’t up to par with previous issues, Chris Samnee retains the masterful visual quality of this book. His art works so well with Waid’s writing and brings the charm of this series to life perfectly. There is no one else who should be drawing this book as it nears its conclusion.

It’s unfortunate that 2 weeks before Daredevil’s Netflix series debuts, we get one of the weakest issues of this series to date. However, this is still a good read. Mark Waid has set the bar so high that even when he’s not at the top of his game, he’s still good. I’m hoping that his swan song to this book will jump back up to the regular quality and I’m sure it will. This is just a small stumble on the way there. 

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