Surprise, surprise, another awesome issue of Daredevil, even without Chris Samnee (although he is still credited here, not sure what for, I guess he’s contributing story ideas at this point) this book is still one of the best things on the stands today and fill-in artist Jason Copland is pretty similar to Samnee anyway. That’s one of the best things about this title, all of the artists have had compatible styles, Copland is a little rougher than usual, a bit more Michael Lark-y, but still great.
This issue begins with a weird dream sequence, with a young Matt Murdock at the beach, having a conversation with Foggy. I loved the little touch of how Foggy didn’t look like Foggy, because Matt Murdock doesn’t actually know what his best friend looks like, so in his dream, Foggy just looks like some random Grocer from when Matt was a kid. Recent issues have really been doing some interesting, new stuff with Matt’s blindness, and this is another cool example of that, Waid is really using the character’s disability well. Foggy starts to walk out to sea to drown, but Matt can’t move to save him. This is all very symbolic I’m sure, but really, I just wanted to get back to Daredevil teaming up with the Legion Of Monsters.
But before the action can begin, there’s the small matter of saving Daredevil from certain death, thanks to a bullet wound. He’s tied up in bandages from the Living Mummy, but it’s going to take magic to save him. Satana and Jack Russell perform a weird spell on him, and hey, it works. I did like how Waid addressed Daredevil’s scepticism about magic, and how it didn’t matter that he didn’t believe, another cool touch was that, during the spell, Matt heard sounds he’d never heard before, very creepy and evocative. So, Daredevil is back, even his costume has been fixed, but he soon puts his foot in it by mentioning the reason he’s gone all the way out to Kentucky… the Darkhold book. This immediately puts the monsters on edge, and they start to attack, Daredevil fires his cane-rope-thing (what do you call that? Rapel?) in and out of the Mummy’s chest and into a lamp, so if they attack him, the fire will get them all. He explains why he’s after the Darkhold, that he needs to know about it to stop the Sons Of The Serpent, and in turn, Jack Russell explains what the Darkhold is. It’s ‘the first book’, and it contains the magic that created vampires, werewolves, mummies etc. It’s basically a unified theory for monsters, which is such a cool idea.
The Legion Of Monsters have the book, but some pages are in the hands of Lucien Sinclair, a sorcerer and Serpent. It turns out that the ‘Serpent’ in the name ‘Sons Of The Serpent’, refers to the original serpent, the Devil, which is very cool, not only because this story features Satana, but because it provides Daredevil with enemies who literally worship the Devil. Not only is Waid using the blindness in new ways, but he’s using the character’s name in new ways too! Genius. Lucien Sinclair is in what appears to be a simple shack, but it’s guarded by powerful magic, nobody can get through because what they see would drive them mad. Luckily, our hero can’t see.
Daredevil makes his way to the shack, and whilst we can see the manipulations being caused, like a cave in the shape of a snake, luckily, he can’t. Matt even wanders into the Garden Of Eden, where the Serpent talks to him, and shows him how he unleashed man’s true nature, of powerful people hating those they consider beneath them. Presumably, there are visions of racism and lynching going on around Matt, but he can’t see them, but he can hear them, and it is a dark, dark scene. Waid is doing a really good job here at tying in what we thought was just a race-hate group into the occult. Matt reaches the final doorway, and realises that, he’s only there because he couldn’t see it, and that the only people who could get through this without going mad are people who belief in the racism demonstrated. It was a test, so only people who are true to the Serpent’s cause could gain access. Matt is furious, bursts in, and burns down Sinclair’s books. The Legion are pissed, because they could have used this knowledge, but Matt has achieved what he came for, as he’s snuck away with some mysterious pages, I can’t wait to see what he does with them.
This was of course, another fantastic issue, It’s hard to believe there are only 3 issues left of this run as we know it. Waid has consistently put Matt Murdock into situations outside of his usual milieu, and this was the best example yet. The occult and Daredevil really do mix!