DAREDEVIL BY MARK WAID VOL. 7 (Marvel, First Printing, 2014; Softcover)
Collects Daredevil #31-36 (cover dates November, 2013- April, 2014)
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee with Jason Copland (finishes, #33) and Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez (#34)
Colorist: Javier Rodriguez
I read the first two oversized hardcovers (the equivalent of the first four trades) of this title, and while I enjoyed them I pruned it from my list of titles that I follow. There are simply too many collected editions being pumped out from all publishers on a weekly basis and some things just have to give. It was my soft spot for the macabre that sucked me into buying this book. Daredevil plus a heaping of helping of beloved Bronze Age monsters such as Simon Garth, the Zombie, Satana, the Frankenstein Monster, The Living Mummy, and Werewolf By Night...where do I sign?
Some !!!SPOILERS!!! ahead...you have been warned.
While these issues were being made in mid to late 2013 they feel contemporary in terms of events happening right this minute in the United States. Prosecuting D.A. James Priest, a hero to the black community, speaks out on the verdict in a case not unlike the Trayvon Martin shooting, when the Jester hacks into a newsfeed, essentially putting words in his mouth on live television and inciting a racial riot. It really echoed events of the past year and was as eerie a predictor of current events as Ed Brubaker's prediction of the collapse of the American economy in Captain America back in 2007-2008. Ant-Man helps diffuse the ensuing riots.
It is revealed that the Serpent Society, a white supremacist group, is behind it all. Matt Murdock (Daredevil) has his partner, Foggy Nelson, do some research on them. Foggy finds that the root of the group is supernatural in nature, tracing back to the oft-mentioned book The Darkhold. This made me smile, as many Bronze Age monster comics mentioned it. Matt then seeks help from Doctor Strange, who points him to Jack Russell, an expert on the book. Matt travels to Stone Hills, Kentucky, to meet him when the reason why he is an expert is revealed...Jack is cursed by this book and becomes a Werewolf By Night because of it.
The monsters tell Daredevil where to go to get The Darkhold, although they warn him that they have all failed in the attempt. Daredevil ends up burning the book except for a few pages, ultimately winding up in battle with the Serpent Squad as well as the Serpent Society. Elektra is involved in the battle, although I thought that she was dead. I mean, she was at one time, but these things change. The Serpents have a far reach, and they offer Matt the chance to save Foggy's life with a revolutionary cancer treatment. They give him the option of backing off and his friend gets the treatment or they are going to spill every secret about him, revealing his identity, nature of his powers, and origin to the world. Matt double crosses them and outs himself as Daredevil, resulting in both he and Foggy becoming disbarred. The series ends with Daredevil moving back to San Francisco since he can no longer practice law there, but he can do so in California because he was licensed to practice law there forty plus years ago (in our time).
Mark Waid is a good writer, and I have enjoyed his Silver Age flavored run on the title. They senselessly rebooted the numbering again on this title even though he stayed on. Marvel's endless renumbering has made comics meaningless. They may as well go to all cover dates. They are supposedly going to do “seasons” now. Give me legacy numbering or I won't give you my money! I no longer buy anything new that Marvel produces and live for collected editions of pre-90s material.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Good weight glossy coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.