Daredevil throws caution to the wind and goes after the Sons of the Serpent with a little help from his one-time (and potentially once again future) girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie in “Daredevil” #34 with words from Mark Waid and pictures from Javier Rodriguez (with an inking assist from Alvaro Lopez). In a quick recap, Waid brings readers up to speed without breaking stride or diffusing the adventure.
“Daredevil” #34 celebrates everything that makes Daredevil a fun character, especially as written by Waid. After securing some pages from the Darkhold, Matt Murdock consults with Doctor Stephen Strange to learn the true nature of the original serpent worshipped by the Sons of the Serpent. As he did with Daredevil at Strange’s abode, Waid subtly crafts nuances of Strange’s behavior as cut through the spectrum of the financial district Murdock’s office is in. Discomforted by spreadsheets and a clamoring for profit, Strange is weak and shaky, just one more sliver of evidence that Mark Waid puts more thought into the personalities and capabilities of every character he writes than any other writer in comics. After receiving Strange’s advice, Daredevil finds himself at a crossroads, crushed by the weight on his shoulders. Waid seizes this opportunity to showcase the depth of character and development he has nurtured in Daredevil.
It helps, of course, that Waid has been graced with such agreeable artistic talent on this book. Filling in for regular series artist, Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez does a phenomenal job of retaining the spirit of Samnee’s artwork. The characters in “Daredevil” #34 are detailed without being burdened and animated without being cartoony. Inker Alvaro Lopez adds solid linework to Rodriguez’s drawings, allowing the multi-talented artist to color his own drawings in a most satisfactorily bold manner. While I’m sure it has been present throughout Rodriguez’s coloring assignment on this title, in “Daredevil” #34 I noticed that red doesn’t really exist beyond Daredevil’s costume and the lenses of Matt Murdock’s glasses. There is a great deal of pink/magenta, but those tones are much brighter than the scarlet of Daredevil’s uniform.
There is only a pair of issues remaining in this run of “Daredevil” and to this point; every single issue of this comic is enjoyable. Although there is plenty of reason for Daredevil to worry and despair, Waid always empowers the character to pull himself out of his own doldrums, giving readers a fun adventure along the way.