If you ask me, Daredevil should be as popular as Batman. They both have tragic origin stories, but Daredevil has cool powers and an even cooler day job. He’s infinitely more relatable and he even tops Batman in how he sees via sonar! Charles Soule has been writing an excellent Daredevil for some time now in part because the courtroom drama is so interesting and realistic. This week, Daredevil: Back in Black Vol. 5: Supreme opens with Matt Murdock’s biggest court case yet.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Matt Murdock takes his fight to the grandest stage of all: the Supreme Court! Can Matt Murdock defend his new law, while Daredevil defends his life?
Why does this matter?
Collecting Daredevil #21-28, the first segment deals with Daredevil attempting to get a groundbreaking superhero law passed and the second about Daredevil attempting to save his one time sidekick Blindspot. This book offers up ninja action and top notch courtroom drama, which is all you’d ever want from a Daredevil book, right?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first half of this book focuses on Daredevil attempting to get a law passed to allow costumed vigilantes the ability to offer testimony in court without revealing their identities. It’s a fascinating concept made especially so when arguments are made opposing the idea. Couldn’t anybody put on a Spider-Man costume and act like they saw or heard something? It’s a debate that rages through half of this volume going from a New York court all the way to the Supreme Court. This kind of thing may sound boring, but Soule writes excellent dialogue that keeps you interested every step of the way. This volume also opens on some action with a clever reason for why Daredevil must avoid punching criminals and that ties into the court case.
A surprise guest in a Daredevil comic, to be sure.
The second story involves Daredevil running off to China to help his one time protege who ended up going blind in the heat of battle. Blindspot is one of the most interesting characters created in the last few years at Marvel and his complicated life gets a lot more complicated in this volume. We not only get a full backstory of how he got to America, but also a strong statement about being an immigrant in these troubled times. This second story also allows Soule to explore the supernatural side of Daredevil’s exploits, which is always fun.
The art is split between Goran Sudzuka, Alec Morgan, and Ron Garney in that order. Overall I was pleased with the art and although all three artists have differing styles they suit the types of stories they deliver. Morgan draws in a fluid sort of style that’s appealing to the eye, Sudzuka draws some wicked layouts with a ton of panels on some pages, and Garney is a maestro of the strange and scary. The art team delivers on the varying qualities that make Daredevil so cool.
A case of the century!
It can’t be perfect can it?
The trade paperback definitely drops you at a midpoint as far as Daredevil’s goals with the court case to allow superheroes to testify. It wasn’t a deal breaker by any means, but I was scratching my head and trying to play catch up.
Later on in this book I was also somewhat bored. It was the start of the Blindspot story. There’s a full issue that seemed to be spinning its wheels rather than getting things going. The detective work didn’t grab me and while it did end with a ninja battle it also led to a perplexing supernatural story. He faces what appears to be a literal demon and there’s little context to understand this character. I’m all for rolling with a big bad that’s super-powered, but it did have me questioning the overall experience seeing as the first half was all about the very literal Supreme Court.
Is It Good?
I haven’t dug Daredevil this much since Brian Michael Bendis’ excellent run. Soule has his finger on the pulse of what makes this character great from kicking supernatural and/or ninja ass to whipping his words down on criminals in the courtroom.