Though he’s made his home in a brighter, more open locale, Matt Murdock’s adventures have remained just as dark, a challenge to the lightness of outlook that he struggles to maintain under Mark Waid’s keyboard. That struggle is the heart of this issue, an expansion of the threat created by Killgrave’s offspring at the conclusion of last issue. It’s a well paced story that gives the reader some good character moments with the Matt and company and balances it with some dangerous action with the children before ending on a note that threatens to pull apart everything Matt has built for himself.
Killgrave lies under a white sheet while his children wander the streets of The City By The Bay, spraying their unchecked emotions and commanding crowds to do their bidding as they revel in their newfound power. Meanwhile, Matt, Kristen and Foggy discuss the possibilities of Matt writing an autobiography and whether or not he could handle revisiting the tragedy of his past and the emotions that would come with those memories. The conversation is put to the the test when Matt confronts the children and finds that he’s overcome by the feelings he thought he could control.
Waid and Chris Samnee use the action of a comic book to reflect on the development the characters are going through in their downtime. Matt, in his infinite arrogance, believes that he can keep from falling back on bad habits and self loathing if he had to revisit some of the hardest moments of his past. He’s forced to confront this by Killgrave’s children and cannot do it. Waid is a master storyteller who understands that character is what drives story. The plot compliments these characters and their current mental states and Samnee develops the story with beautiful, sophisticated artwork and lively panel layouts. The chase sequence is beautiful and flows with the action. Panels contract to convey the emotional state of the characters framed within and warp and twist to show the speed of the situation. Matthew Wilson continues his rise as one of the best colorists working today. He knows his way around a palette and having the Purple Man in the story lets him cut loose with dark moody shadows and purples. It’s gorgeous work.
This is masterful storytelling. Killgrave is a great choice for this team to bring back in to Matt’s life as it forces him to confront the things that he’s been avoiding since the new direction this book has taken in the last few years. Dropping this man into the story, then dropping him, is a masterstroke and shows the threat of his power in the hands of raw emotion.
“Daredevil” continues to be one of the best examples of how to do a superhero comic. Waid, Samnee and Wilson are making magic in these pages and like every other issue of their run this one is a thrill ride.