The man without fear returns to New York for a typically excellent issue of this title that really sets the stage for a fantastic final few issues before the relaunch and move to San Francisco.
Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez, who once again moves from colourist to penciler with consummate ease, kick things off with Matt Murdock consulting with Doctor Strange about what went on down in Kentucky, and Matt revealing that he has the Darkhold, and showing it to the good Doctor. Strange tells Matt that along the bottom of these pages is the true name of the devil, and that the Sons Of The Serpent believe that knowing this name allows them to control people. He also sets up a very cool potential storyline for the future, Matt has lied to Satana, and that is a very very bad idea indeed. It should be great to see Daredevil go up against the literal daughter of the actual Devil. I must say, these last few issues have made me really want to see a Mark Waid-written Doctor Strange series, he writes the character well, and much like with Daredevil, he seems very adept at looking at Strange and his powers in cool new ways, like here, where being in a very non-spiritual area of New York weakens him. On his way out, Matt asks Strange if he can cure Foggy’s cancer with magic, but Strange says he can’t, which is a bummer.
Matt does the usual superhero thing of standing on a rooftop looking glum and inner-monologuing, but much like he’s done throughout Waid’s run, he snaps out of it, and gets on with his plan. First up is to get Kirsten McDuffie back on side, as we get a very fun scene of them flirting in the park, that ends with Matt ending the whole ‘I know that you know but we’re going to pretend’ thing, as he definitively tells her he is Daredevil, and that he needs her help to stop the Serpents.
Also helping out is Nate Hackett, who hooks up a satellite rig for Matt, that, thanks to the Avengers, is able to hack into pretty much any communications device in the city, and allow Matt to talk into it. This is needed because the Sons Of The Serpent are hidden in the general public, and he needs to be able to speak to everyone to speak to any of them. Matt tells the people of New York that they have been manipulated into race riots by the Serpents, and then directly addresses his enemies, telling them that he has their book, and that unless they hand over the Jester to him, he will burn it. To prove that he’s not bullshitting, he has Kirsten read out the secret true name of Satan, which really gets their attention.
Matt heads off to collect the Jester, but whilst he’s gone, Kirsten decides to give a speech herself, where she basically calls for calm, to not get angry, because that’s what the Serpents want. It’s pretty stirring stuff, but unfortunately, the Serpents can pick up the sound of wind behind her, and know that she’s up high somewhere. Daredevil realises this too, and, after dropping off Jester at a police station, it’s a race against time to save her. Waid and Rodriguez try and trick us into believing she is shot, but in the end, Nate saves her and Daredevil takes out the Serpent snipers.
The issue ends with a real gut-punch however, just when you think Matt and Kirsten have got a big win, she gets a call from the office from someone who’s crying, and the message… it’s about Foggy. What a fucking cliffhanger! Is Foggy dead? I have no idea! I can see Foggy’s death being the catalyst for Matt to move across the country, but equally, this could just be another trick from the Serpents. Oh man, I literally cannot wait for the next 2 issues of this title, it’s always been excellent, but now that an ending of sorts is nigh, there’s an added sense of danger, and Foggy could actually be dead. Aaargh.