This week Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil reaches the finish line, and Midnighter teams up with Dick Grayson!
Daredevil #18 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll be completely honest: I haven’t been the biggest fan of recent issues of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil. For some reason, ever since the character moved back to San Francisco the whole series has felt “off” to me. Despite this, I stayed on the book to see it to this point, the final issue of Waid and Samnee’s tenure on the Man Without Fear. And I’m glad I did, because it ends up being one of the best issues of their entire run.
This issue brings every conflict to the forefront in Matt Murdock’s life. After The Shroud kills Ikari, Matt puts on Ikari’s outfit and returns to Kingpin’s lair in an attempt to trick him into releasing Foggy and his girlfriend, who have been kidnapped and will be killed if Ikari doesn’t defeat Murdock. After giving up his ruse, DD and Kingpin engage in another brutal fight that pushes both men to their limits. But just when all seems lost for Matt, he pulls an ace out of his pocket, and uses Kingpin’s secret surveillance technology against him and broadcasts Fisk’s criminal dealings for the world to see.
Mark Waid certainly had a full plate with this issue, but he puts a cap on his run on Matt Murdock pretty well. There are crowd-pleasing moments aplenty, and I was most happy to see Daredevil back in his classic suit, as I absolutely despised the red three-piece suit that he started wearing. Waid even uses Matt to address the naysayers like me who had started to criticize some of the storytelling choices he made in his run. His final few pages with Matt talking to Foggy and finishing his autobiography are great, and serve has a nice end point to this stage of the character’s career.
Chris Samnee’s art is phenomenal this issue. Waid sets Samnee up to crush it on this book, and Samnee doesn’t waste a single panel. The fight between Daredevil and Kingpin is brutal, and Samnee really makes you feel every punch as it connects. But Samnee also does a beautiful job in the quieter moments of this issue where Foggy and Matt have another heart to heart. Samnee’s facial work in these scenes is incredible, and more proof that he’s one of the best artists in the business.
While this issue of Daredevil was certainly one of the best, I’m looking forward to Daredevil’s comic series being a little more in tone with the Netflix series again. Waid and Samnee’s take on the character has certainly been refreshing, but I’m ready for Matt Murdock to get back to the shadows of New York City. From the looks of it, Charles Soule’s upcoming All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch for the Man Without Fear looks to scratch that itch. I have high hopes for it, because after this run, he’s definitely got some big shoes to fill.
Midnighter #4 (DC Comics)
DC’s Midnighter series has been a pretty fun ride so far. Yes, the character’s not nearly as violent and over the top as he was in The Authority, but there’s just enough edge to him to remind you that he’s a series badass, and Steve Orlando’s plot has had a lot of fun with the espionage side of the DC universe. Speaking of espionage, fellow secret agent Dick Grayson makes an appearance this issue, as he’s been kidnapped by Midnighter to help him find the person who released the God Garden, a dangerous piece of technology that, in this instance, is turning innocent people into vampires in Russia so rich yuppies can kill them for fun.
The real meat of the issue here is in Steve Orlando’s script. Orlando does a great job setting up the banter between Dick Grayson and Midnighter, and has a lot of fun bouncing the two off of each other. There are a lot of great exchanges between the two characters, especially when Midnighter keeps tossing out double entendre’s to try and get under Grayson’s skin.
Stephen Mooney handles the art duties here, and while his style is a little looser than previous issues of Midnighter, it fits this issue perfectly. Mooney’s vampires are both grotesque and sympathetic, something that definitely helps you understand why Midnighter is so adamant that the people with the God Garden be stopped. Mooney also offers up plenty of awesome action sequences, with the two spies fighting off a horde of vampires being the highlight (and the way Midnighter takes out the head vamp).
Midnighter has been a surprisingly good time so far, and the inclusion of Dick Grayson only helped this issue. I haven’t been a fan at all of the “Dick Grayson: Secret Agent” current status quo, but this issue may have convinced me to give it another shot. Midnighter’s been a sleeper hit for DC so far, but I have the feeling that if Orlando can pump out more issues like this, then pretty soon it’ll be huge. Jump on board now so you can tell everyone you liked Midnighter before it was cool.