After wrapping up the big epic Bullseye storyline, Mark Waid delivers a smaller-stakes story for Daredevil, but one that’s every bit as personal.
The opening scene was really touching, Matt Murdock visits Foggy in Hospital, where he’s started Chemotherapy, and, tragically, because of his powers, Matt can smell all of the various drugs that are swimming around in his best friends body. This understandably makes him puke his guts out. Just being around Foggy is torture for Matt. But he can’t run away, he goes right back in there. Sometimes being without fear is about more than fighting crime, it’s about sacrificing your own well-being to be there for someone else.
The real-story kicks in when Matt is visited by a familiar face, Nate Hackett, one of the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood kids who bullied him as a child, and heck, he’s the guy who coined the nickname ‘Daredevil’! I love the idea of bringing back someone from so far in Matt’s past, and I’m actually amazed that this is unexplored territory. Nate’s back story was very interesting, especially how it showed Matt’s childhood in a new light, how he may have been just as much of a dick as Nate and the kids who bullied him were. We find out that Nate fell into a life of crime, and was even a member of the Sons Of The Serpent Neo-Nazi group, but crucially, before they became Neo-Nazis. Nate was arrested for being a member of The Serpents, but wants to sue for false arrest as he never participated in any race war!
I loved how Waid wrote the courtroom scene in this issue, and how he placed something as comic-booky as the Sons Of The Serpent into a real-world context. The issue ends with a great twist, as the Judge in Nate’s case is revealed to be a member of The Sons Of The Serpent and shoots him! This was such a cool moment and I’m very excited for the conclusion. Even on a smaller story, this series kicks ass.
Artwork for this issue comes from Javier Rodriguez, who is the book’s regular colourist. Man, not only is he a great colourist, but he’s a damn good penciler too. His work is very much in the same vein as the likes of Samnee, Martin and Rivera, and I was really very pleasantly surprised. I think it helps that he’s worked on the book in a different capacity for a long time, he really knows what works here.