Daredevil #609 // Review
Charles Soule and Phil Noto begin their slow build to the end of their run together on Daredevil with issue #609. In a storyline teasingly titled “The Death of Daredevil,” Soule also seems to be taking a look at a superhero experiencing a mid-life crisis in Matt Murdock.
Matt Murdock is brutally injured, on the operating table in the NYU Emergency Room. However, it’s not from The Hand or the Kingpin’s minions. Matt Murdock actually dove in front of a semi truck to save a kid’s life. Rather than leaving him with further superpowers like his origin did, it left Matt near death with a broken arm and severe internal injuries.
In spite of surviving that surgery, Matt is just too stubborn to rest while Wilson Fisk is still the Mayor. Unfortunately, it looks like Fisk himself just may have taken a contract out of Daredevil’s horned head.
This issue has a spectacular fake-out at the beginning. It was genuinely believable that Soule could have played the unexpected end card and just took Matt out in a poetic and tragic end cap to his origin in Daredevil #1. Of course, Matt is too stubborn to just die like that, but Soule also goes through some great pains to show that the near-death experience has changed Matt. Reckless without being careless, confident without caring; it feels like a logical change that Matt no longer cares too much about the repercussions, so long as what he needs gets done.
No matter how good the story, a comic can also live and die on its art. Luckily for all involved, Noto has done something spectacular. The flashback and near-death experiences have this eerie glow to them, leaving their sequences as unearthly and strange as it implies. In fact, the entire flashback sequence is genuinely impactful, expressing a story without words that opens up a pit in reader’s stomach. Noto has also been doing some experimentation, too. A strange choice across the comic that works great is using color blur for motion instead of motion lines. It actually implies motion far more effectively than the old style, and feels more realistic, giving characters more impact than before.
Soule has actually gone on record that he feels it is his job to make it hard for his successor to continue. While Matt isn’t dead yet, he looks to be building up to one heck of a climax. Buckle up, readers, because the Soule crazy train is starting up for one last run.