It took nineteen issues for me to lose complete and total interest in Mark Waid’s reboot of Daredevil. When this whole thing launched, I was its biggest supporter, I lauded over how amazing it was. Now I just don’t care. Waid’s Daredevil has gone so far of the rails that I’m lost on how he’ll save it. I don’t care how many awards this series has gotten, as of right now it’s a mess. It started when Daredevil got kidnapped to Latveria, and then got exponentially worse at a sickening pace. Daredevil #19 is my last with the Man Without Fear, at least until somebody else takes over.
Let’s dissect what’s wrong with Daredevil #19. First, the entire story about Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock falling out is ridiculous. After all they’ve been through and all that’s happened, Foggy’s sudden and vicious turn against Murdock feels completely false. This is a simple plot device used to get from point A to Point B, nothing more. In Daredevil #19, our hero is trying to figure out who killed a dying criminal inside his panic room. A young nurse, who was the only one locked up with him, is currently under suspicion for the murder. Foggy’s asked Murdock to leap into Daredevil action to help clear her name.
In return, Foggy will try to find out why Murdock’s clinically insane wife suddenly visited Murdock in their home acting like nothing happened. When Foggy gets to the asylum she’s still locked up, furthering his venomous, and completely unnatural, hatred of Murdock. Issue #19 has Daredevil leaping around and trying to figure out why his wife was there, now she’s gone, why his nightstick vanished and then came back. Finally, in a rushed and completely unbelievable bit of circumstance, Daredevil figures out it was the teleporting criminal Spot, who now calls himself Coyote. I’d set the end cliffhanger up for you, but it’s so stupid I’ll spare you.
The most egregious sin in Daredevil #19 has nothing to do with DD at all. Foggy, who is now drinking heavily, invites the Assistant District Attorney, the one Murdock is involved with, to the bar he’s in and proceeds to tell her that Matt Murdock is Daredevil and that Daredevil is crazy. WHAT? Foggy, the Foggy we’ve known for so long, would never do that. Perhaps if Waid had allowed this issue between Foggy and Murdock to grow over several issues I could buy this betrayal, but the way it’s gone down? I call bullshit. So, we have bad plot devices, a crappy villain and a series of at least 5 issues that were lackluster. Ending, of course, with issue #19, the worst of the batch.
Waid’s game plan might include something affecting how Foggy’s brain works, but this whole set up has been so poorly written that it doesn’t matter. Hopefully, Waid won’t use some cheap backdoor to get out of this convoluted mess but, whatever he does, I suggest you leave Daredevil alone until a new writer comes on board.
Chris Samnee’s art is the only saving grace to this entire mess. I love the way he pencils, I love his old school comic style mixed with a modern eye for sequential storytelling. Bold lines, lots of shadow, tremendous motion, Samnee has a real gift and bringing a story, even one as bad as this one, to life with great gusto.
I know Waid is a legend, and I’ve always been a big fan of his. That aside, Daredevil is failing on an epic level.
(5 Art, 1 Story)