I had high praises for last issue of Daredevil, and frankly this issue is similarly good. A lot of my problem with Soule’s run thus far is its attempt to make its storylines seem far more sweeping and long lasting than they actually are. The self-important aspect of the Mayor Murdock arc and the “last stand for NYC against the Hand” came off as more silly than grand, and that can be said for a lot of arcs in Soule’s run on Daredevil. This arc, on the other hand, realizes how silly it is without posturing that its purely comedic. There is a certain level of self-awareness that this arc has gained, and it really does echo the same sentiments that the original Mike Murdock storyline had.
#607 picks up almost immediately after where the last issue ended. Matt confronts his fictional twin brother, now turned flesh, before being interrupted by a gang of Z-List villains because well, they are at a villains’ bar. The following fight is zippy and quick-witted with some stellar fight paneling by Noto. The rest of the issue revolves around Matt and Frank carrying around an unconscious Mike and trying to figure out how he became real. Reader reveals that he may have used his powers accidentally to turn Mike Murdock real.
I like this explanation, even though it really wouldn’t have mattered how Mike became real, but it made sense and didn’t detract from the main attraction of Matt having to confront this terribly embarrassing aspect of his past. I also loved Mike’s reaction to being told he isn’t a fully realized person but instead was brought into existence half-heartedly and is disposable. This adds a lot of depth to the storyline, as I’ve always really loved storylines where less-than-human characters (fictional come-to-life, androids etc.) have to deal with their status as second class humans. I can see this storyline going to a very interesting place and giving Mike a heartbreaking plotline.
Noto continues to dazzle on this run. He has a great grasp on action and the feeling of Matt’s world. Everything is so well done and elevates the already interesting and well written story to new heights. After the less than stellar art of the last few arcs, I’m really happy that Noto has arrived to draw the most handsome Matt to ever live. There’s a really gorgeous double-page spread at the beginning chronicling the tale of Mike that sets the scene for the issue. It is just really well laid out and rendered. Some of the backgrounds are plain and basic, but with a book that’s shipping twice a month, I can forgive stuff like that.
It’s actually pretty amazing that 40 something issues into what I have considered an unremarkable run, a creative team can work in perfect harmony like Noto and Soule. Everything falls into place in this issue to make it not only enjoyable and exciting to read, but also possessing a certain understanding of its place in Daredevil’s continuity and the Marvel universe at large that earlier arcs have lacked. Soule and Noto are absolutely on fire with these last two issues, and I only hope they can keep this momentum through the rest of their run because this is the most excited I’ve been about Daredevil in years.