“Daredevil” #14 is a comic with an interesting concept that’s not necessarily put forward with any kind of intriguing angle. Matt Murdock has been whisked away to Latveria and while what happens is going to affect him greatly in the future, for now we’re given some chase scenes between Daredevil and some Latverian guards with not much in between. This issue isn’t exactly filler but it’s a short step in the grander scheme of things.
The opening sequence of Murdock trapped in a glass cage in darkness might seem like a limited landscape for a tale and yet Mark Waid and Chris Samnee put a lot of meat in it. Smells, inferred meaning, “seeing” in the dark, sounds and a sense of claustrophobia all haunt these pages. This is a dynamic start to an issue and very much keeps with the great things Waid’s run has done exceedingly well so far.
Chris Samnee’s art is so simply effective that he doesn’t need massive spaces to pull off his brilliance. This gives the book a chance to stack the pages with panels and the outcome is a comic that feels like there’s plenty to grab hold. Sadly, this actually isn’t the case. Once Daredevil becomes an international problem, he gets his feet flapping in the streets of Latveria and this becomes a stock standard chase issue. Waid hints at a fantastic idea that will be no doubt capitalized upon later but for now all we get is a bit of running and riding away.
It wasn’t long ago that Mark Waid asked a question about Daredevil’s history on Twitter. If you saw this question then you will have some idea as to what the gas, and its hidden extras, might be doing to Daredevil’s system. Lack of knowing isn’t an issue and Waid can certainly make this storyline run — but it looks like a new direction could be coming to the title, even if only for a short period. It’s just a shame the set up does only that and doesn’t work on its own merits well enough.
“Daredevil” #14 has a few choice hints at moments and the art is stellar, so this is thin fun. This is an example of a comic feeling like just one little slice of the overall story. If you have faith in Waid, your patience will no doubt pay off. If you like Samnee’s work, then it’s in usual fine form here. If you’re looking for a reason to need to read this issue, it’s not going to be evident but you’ll have some fun nonetheless. The final page is certainly a great beat to end things — in fact, it’s the highlight of the issue.