Charles Soule’s Daredevil run and I have a love/hate relationship. In my opinion, some of the storylines are well-threaded and really make Soule’s talent for superhero-law-centric stories shine (the supreme court arc being my favorite of the current run). Others…I think are just terrible. I had been letting the issues build up since the change to legacy numbering, and I recently binge read them all. The Mayor Fisk storyline was generally pretty good, but the following storyline with Matt becoming mayor was overrun with a lot of stupid dialogue and even stupider plot stuff. Anyway, I’ve been excited for Phil Noto to come on as series artist for Daredevil, also Mike Murdock returning…I couldn’t pass that up.
This issue was probably the most enjoyable Daredevil issue I’ve read in a long time. I like Frank McGee, I like Doug Ramsey, and I like the Inhuman Reader, so the group they put together to get dirt on Fisk was a great team — made greater by the fact that it’s letting Matt interact with characters he usually wouldn’t get any exposure to AND it feels organic. It’s not some pointless team up; the reasons all of them are there are well thought out and executed. I could take our leave the plot with Hammerhead and his nail gun thugs, but I have an inkling it will all tie together as the arc goes on.
Mike Murdock! Oh Mike…One of the original silly Daredevil plotlines that could literally only be gotten away with during the silver age. The way it came to be is so outrageous: for a year, Matt pretended he had a twin brother named Mike while trying to convince Foggy and Karen that he’s not Daredevil. He made up a smooth talking and arrogant identical twin brother that he dresses as and pretends to be. It’s widely considered a low point for early Daredevil, but I’ve always enjoyed the storyline for its full-throttled embrace of the bizarre and juvenile plot. This issue introduces a real Mike Murdock, hanging out at a bar and hitting on married women. I really can’t see how this came to be, but that excites me because when you’ve been reading comics as long as I have, that’s hard.
Phil Noto’s art was pitch perfect in this issue, so much so that it’s hard to believe he’s never done any work on Daredevil before. Matt flying through New York was graceful and almost breathtaking, as were the backgrounds and paneling. His rendering of the NYC environments and characters’ postures and expressions was natural and impressive. I loved Noto’s art on this, and I hope he stays on the series for the foreseeable future.
Overall, I super loved this issue, more than maybe any Daredevil issue in recent memory. All the components come together to make a tight and enjoyable read with lots of things to love. Add the gorgeous art, maybe some of Noto’s better work recently, and this issue is a winner. Digging up Mike Murdock might be the best thing Soule has done for Daredevil and the Marvel Universe at large.