“Daredevil” #21 concludes this portion of the Coyote shenanigans that have plagued Daredevil for past few issues. The conclusion is fun, but very strange. Daredevil manages to extricate himself from the matter and this also resolves a segment of the rift between himself and Foggy Nelson. A great conversation between the two showcases each characters point of view and why the next segment of their lives is sure to be a bumpy road.
The conclusion to Daredevil’s fight with Coyote is definitely interesting in parts. Little moments like when Daredevil realizes a teleporting villain doesn’t actually have any means of leaving his lair are fantastically thought out sequences as part of the greater story. Some of the set pieces feel a little too easily earned, but once the Spot makes his grotesque grand entrance — he’s somewhere between “The Exorcist” and “The Human Centipede” — things heat up. There is definite tension as Daredevil races to get what he needs.
The second half of the issue is concerned more with Matt Murdock as he argues with his long-time best friend Foggy Nelson. Foggy bailed on and betrayed Matt, and the tension between these two talking is just as high as when Matt wore the spandex and dodged teleportation holes with protruding hands. Mark Waid writes these two gentlemen extremely well, but their current reactions also ring true to what it must feel like to be in this situation — from both sides — and try to do your best moving forward.
The issue feels like two scenes: the battle with the Coyote and the discussion with Foggy — and that’s because there are a pair of two-page micro-scenes at the end, which only leaves 16 pages for the rest of the book. Waid and Samnee give Matt two pages to deal with the fallout from Milla’s inclusion and the scene is incredibly sweet. Matt is a man with heart and it beats right out of his chest here.
The very last pages are a tease for the future featuring Kirsten McDuffie and they’re perfectly broken in tone. She is a lawyer, a seeker of truth, and she’s definitely on the case now. She’s involved with Matt Murdock and she wants to help. She meets on a dark rooftop with a strange costumed figure and the conversation doesn’t go as planned. It’s hilarious, horribly worrying and a great way to end the issue.
Chris Samnee always showed range, but it seemed to culturally disappear for fans once he did “Thor: The Mighty Avenger.” While it’s true he can draw sweet, he also knows how to do dark and messed up with the best of them. Waid’s script has him switch gears a lot in this book, from the Spot’s terrible performance to Matt’s internal struggle with his heart, and Samnee nails it all. “Daredevil” continues to be one of the prettiest books on the stands because of Samnee’s incredible range. Javier Rodriguez isn’t afraid to follow it up with vibrant colors that make it all work for tone and story.
“Daredevil” #21 is a great execution of a storyline that knocks a few things off the list while leaving some to tease for later. It sets up a little to come and it leaves our lead hero with a need to change — or face more problems. This issue feels thin but the perfect execution of the final two sequences more than make up for it. Mark Waid uses the monthly schedule on this book to hit effective end of issue beats and continue to propel the series forward.