Although the credits shifted a few issues back, it is worth noting here that Mark Waid and Chris Samnee now share credit as “storytellers,” an apt description for their collective role in “Daredevil” #5, which details the demise of Foggy Nelson. A brief interlude from the San Francisco-based adventures of Daredevil, the issue takes a look back before Matt Murdock’s move out west and trims up some of the hanging threads that occurred prior to “Daredevil: Road Warrior.”
With action aplenty (including an explosion over Manhattan), tender character moments (like Matt Murdock prodding a flustered Foggy Nelson on, for his own good, realizing his friend’s weariness) and a significant upgrade to a low-rent supervillain (Leapfrog!) Mark Waid and Chris Samnee provide a one-issue synopsis of the series’ mission statement since the inception of their collaboration. Another successful product of the two creators’ cooperation, they are able to add Leapfrog to their resume as yet another hokey villain they have made valid, in the same nature as they have done for the Spot, the Sons of the Serpent and the Owl. Leapfrog is not only a legitimate threat in “Daredevil” #5, he’s the wild card that comes into play in the death of Foggy Nelson.
Waid’s script hits every note it needs, including Daredevil asking Foggy to be his eyes to Foggy’s final words. Along the way, Waid provides a one-panel summary of Hank Pym and why his Pym Particles simply can’t cure cancer. The scene also gives Samnee plenty of space to draw as imaginative an issue as possible. Although sparse due to the script, Caramagna’s contributions are more noteworthy than his absence. As Samnee and colorist Javier Rodriguez have devised a visual representation of Daredevil’s radar sense, Caramagna provides the sounds of the world around Daredevil with exquisite detail, from the “LUB DUB” of Foggy’s heartbeat right down to Leapfrog’s panicked yell of, “YOU’VE KILLED US BOTH!”
Chris Samnee continues to submit the work of his magnificent career. The artist is equally comfortable drawing Murdock in a suit as he mourns his departed friend as he is drawing Daredevil flapping in the breeze so far behind Leapfrog’s new rig that DD almost becomes a stick figure. Acknowledging the rite of passage required of all Daredevil artists, Samnee even includes a panel filled with Daredevil in motion, as the Man Without Fear tumbles and leaps after his adversary. So much of the visuals rely on Samnee’s confidence in Rodriguez and the colorist definitely responds, including a fantastic burst of bright green Kirby crackle around the muzzle of Ant-Man’s gun.
There has been no shortage of praise for Waid and Samnee’s “Daredevil.” If you’ve turned a deaf ear or blind eye to the critical acclaim, “Daredevil” #5 presents the perfect spot to join in and absorb four modern masters at the peak of their craft in a story fit for all ages and all levels of comfort. In “Daredevil” #5, Waid, Samnee, Rodriguez and Caramagna provide aspiring comic creators with a “How To” book filled with action and character.