Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s time on “Daredevil” is sadly coming to a close, but — in order to mark the occasion — they’re cranking up the proverbial volume. After the previous issue had Daredevil present the seemingly perfect plan to save Kirsten and Foggy with the help of the Kingpin, “Daredevil” #17 shows what happens when everything completely and utterly falls apart.
Daredevil is placed in a series of no-win situations in this issue, both in his attempt to save Julia Carpenter from the Shroud and the Kingpin as well as the destruction of his proposed plan with the Kingpin. After getting a somewhat cocky Daredevil in earlier issues, “Daredevil” #17 destroys that attitude as a proverbial gun is placed against Daredevil’s head. What’s great about Waid’s script is that this scenario genuinely feels like this an impossible situation from start to finish. While there’s no doubt he finds a way out next month since “Daredevil” will be re-launched post-“Secret Wars,” the suspense and tension grow because every time there’s a way for things to get better, it’s cruelly snatched away.
A lot of that tension also comes from the way that Waid’s script is brought to life by Samnee. Samnee is one of the best artists working on superhero comics right now, and I’m already eager to see what his next project will look like. The way that characters leap and jump across the page is breathtaking, and he’s just as capable for the quieter moments, like the captive Kirsten and Foggy showing despair through their postures and facial expressions or the anguish Daredevil experiences when his one final plan suddenly collapses with no warning. Something as simple as the Shroud’s shadow powers is dark and dangerous, and Ikari’s never-ending assault on Daredevil feels quite deadly as he continues to assail our hero. Add in some amazing colors from Matthew Wilson, who understands completely how to work with artists like Samnee and Jamie McKelvie, and you end up with a vibrant series of pages that are hard to tear your eyes away from.
“Daredevil” #17 is another winner from Waid and Samnee, and it’s frustrating to know that it’s coming to a close. His time in San Francisco has been inventive and different and — while the book will probably reflect the “Daredevil” Netflix show when it returns — I’ll certainly remember this era with great fondness. Waid and Samnee are the creative team to try and beat.