Down on his luck boxer Battlin’ Jack Murdock wasn’t ready to be a single parent to his son Matt, but he did the best he could and tried to set an example. Matt Murdock, stars in Marvel Comics’ “Daredevil” as a lawyer by day and costumed vigilante by night. By watching his father young Matt learned two particularly valuable lessons: One, if you get knocked down always get back up. The other, always stand your ground and stand up for what your believe in, even if you’re outnumbered and facing a tougher opponent.
Those lessons still resonate with Matt today. In 2010’s “Shadowland” event Daredevil underwent a severe mental and “spiritual” ordeal which led him to perform a variety of villainous actions. When he came to his senses he fled New York City in shame. Last year writer Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin kicked of a new volume of “Daredevil,” which saw the titular Man Without Fear pick himself up, dust himself off, and try to make another go at life in New York City.
Thus far Daredevil’s new attempt at being one of New York City’s premier crime fighters has been successful, but it’s also made him some pretty powerful enemies. Recently he came into possession of a database containing the secrets of several of the Marvel U’s most dangerous criminal organizations. In April, that database puts him in the crosshairs of a number of super villains, as well as drawing the attention of the Punisher and Spider-Man. That story will be told in “The Omega Effect,” a three-part crossover by Waid and writer Greg Rucka with artist Marco Chechetto running through “Avenging Spider-Man,” “The Punisher,” and “Daredevil.” Before the event kicks off, DD must deal with the machinations of the Mole Man in a two-part story beginning in this week’s “Daredevil” #9. CBR spoke with Waid about both story lines and “Daredevil’s” future.
CBR News: Mark, let’s begin by discussing the end of “Daredevil” #8, where the Black Cat seduces Matt. Is this Matt falling victim to his usual weakness: an attraction to beautiful and dangerous women? Or is there something he genuinely likes about Felicia?
Mark Waid: “Likes” is a pretty broad term. There is chemistry. There is also a real irony to Matt, of all people, being attracted to someone whose very super-power is to bestow bad luck. Personally, I think that’s Matt’s way of spitting in fate’s eye. And he does have a weakness for women, that’s for sure.
With the reveal in issue #8 that Felicia was hired by Black Spectre to steal the Omega Drive, it seems like she will play a role in Matt’s life for a little while. So will we see her next issue or will her story move into the background as you deal with the Mole Man tale?
There’s more to her story with Daredevil, that’s for sure, but it comes to a (temporary) head in issue #10. All we can ask of readers is to accept that things are never what they seem to be, because where’s the fun in that?
Speaking of the Mole Man, let’s talk about the match up between the Mole Man and Daredevil. What made you want to pit these two characters against each other? Was it their similar abilities or something else? And have they fought each other before?
It was absolutely their similarities — the blindness, the radar sense. More than that, though, it came from feverish images (literally feverish — I was in bed with a bad cold) of Daredevil in Hell, navigating the underworld and its darkness and its creatures and its unstable terrain. Once I added Mole Man to that mix, the story demanded to be told.
Let’s talk about Daredevil and Mole Man’s temperament in this story. This tale spins out of Zeb Wells’ inaugural tale in “Avenging Spider-Man,” which saw the Mole Man get embarrassed by barbaric invaders, but ended with him cracking an an angry and cunning smile. Just how dangerous and how angry is the Mole Man in this story? At the end of “Daredevil” #8 readers also learned Battlin’ Jack Murdock’s grave has busted open and the body has disappeared, perhaps into the Mole Man’s underground realm. What kind of mood is Matt in when he discovers his father’s body is missing?
As you can imagine, Matt is inordinately distressed that his father’s body is missing. And even though Matt’s shown over the past few months that he’s gotten very good at burying or ignoring his darker emotions, we’ll see just how angry it makes him — we’ve not yet seen him this pissed off in this run.
And Mole Man ain’t happy, either. How dangerous is he? Remember how we all assumed Yoda was a pushover until he dueled Palpatine? Paolo Rivera choreographed and drew the hell out of a great Mole Man/Daredevil combat scene in issue #10.
Let’s move on then to April’s three-part crossover between “Avenging Spider-Man,” “Punisher,” and “Daredevil.” You’re working closely with “Punisher” writer Greg Rucka on this story and I know you two have discussed Daredevil and the Punisher quite a bit. In the Marvel conference call you mentioned talking with Greg has made the Punisher an interesting character for you. What is it about the character you find compelling now?
Greg’s insistence that the mission is all that matters to Frank Castle. I like characters who are focused and obsessed. They’re easier to write because they have a distinct point of view. And I love Greg’s characterization that Frank never kicks back, never relaxes, never chills (much like Greg himself). It’s much easier for me to get into the character’s head now that Greg’s described him so succinctly to me. I love that.
Daredevil and the Punisher have a long sordid history. Can you talk at all without spoiling things about their initial dynamic in “The Omega Effect?” When Frank Castle first turns up are they immediately at each others’ throats or is there a sense of, “I don’t like this guy, but I may need his help?”
The Punisher does not approach Daredevil to be pals. DD has something Frank wants — the Omega Drive — and while he won’t approach guns blazing (out of respect for Matt), he doesn’t exactly drop by for a beer. The alliance that necessity creates between the two men and Spider-Man has a great deal of complexity to it. No one likes one another much here, but there’s a common goal.
Lets’ talk a little bit about Spider-Man’s role in the story. I imagine with his “nobody dies” outlook Peter Parker will not be happy to see the Punisher at all, but does Pete really trust Matt at the beginning of “The Omega Effect?”
Pete has reasons not to trust Matt, as we’ll see when we find out (on page two) why Spider-Man’s in the story in the first place. But he sure as hell trusts Matt more than he does Frank Castle, and Greg and I are playing heavily on Spider-Man’s “nobody dies” vow and the end runs Frank has to make around that in order for a greater good.
“The Omega Effect” is only three issues, but in terms of scope and scale how big is the story you and Greg are telling? We know the three protagonists are not going to have an easy time working together or trusting each other, but can you hint at any of the other obstacles that await DD, the Punisher and Spidey in this story?
Besides the fact that no one fully trusts one another, there are a couple of great emotional through-lines — maybe the biggest being Daredevil’s introduction to the Punisher’s new accomplice, who Daredevil sees as someone he might be able to save from following the Punisher’s path. Also, we sure hope you like super-villains, because Grand Central Station is full of them. Also, go watch “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” not just because it’s a classic movie but because it has relevant bearing.
Marco Checchetto, the artist on all three parts, is the find of the decade.
“Daredevil” #9 is on sale February 15, and “The Omega Effect” begins in March with “Avenging Spider-Man” #6.