Daredevil, Volume 4: The Autobiography of Matt Murdockby Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Marc Guggenheim, Peter Krause Published 17 Nov 2015
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In order to preserve the new life he's built, Daredevil is faced with a critical decision which may mean the death of Matt Murdock! Plus, with a new rival in town, is DD's time in San Francisco coming to an end?
Collecting: Daredevil 15.1, 16-18
"Daredevil, Volume 4: The Autobiography of Matt Murdock" Reviews
This marks the end of this particular era of Daredevil with the departure of the creative team and the title getting the All-New, All-Different Marvel makeover, and that depresses me a little. On the other hand it was well timed because the second season of the Netflix TV series just released. So as a Daredevil fan this is a real best-of-times/worst-of-times scenario for me.
Matt thought that coming out publicly as Daredevil would prevent enemies from striking at him through his private life, but a complex hacking scheme involving the Shroud using the Owl has put every scrap of electronic data he has on the web including his client’s confidential information and that he faked Foggy’s death. The city has turned on him, there’s an arrest warrant out on him, and he may have inadvertently destroyed his friends’ careers. So who can Matt turn to for help? The Kingpin, of course. What could possibly go wrong?
Waid waited a good long while to use the Kingpin, and he doesn’t waste DD’s archnemesis. The hatred of the two men is at a low boil even when they’re trying to negotiate, and there’s a particularly great and chilling panel that capitalizes on Matt’s blindness to show just how much Wilson Fisk would like to see him dead. This end run only takes three issues so it’s fairly short, and it does seem a bit late in the game to introduce Kingpin as a major player to resolve what’s been going as far as the overall story arc. However, the long history of two rivals is used as a good shortcut do it doesn’t feel like a cheat.
In the end what Mark Waid and this creative team managed to do for Daredevil is nothing short of remarkable. Matt Murdock was a character who had been so beaten down and abused that he seemed to occupy his own patch of noirish hell that existed as its own little bubble of misery in Marvel comics. Not only did they break Daredevil out of a seemingly endless cycle of having his life destroyed over and over again and dwelling in depressive angst, they did it without rebooting or retconning the character’s history. Instead, they told us a story about how Matt resolved to make his life better and then made it happen with a lot of work and determination. They managed to make this title fun again, and they did it without sacrificing emotional stakes and drama.
It was a fantastic run that made Daredevil a superhero again, and I hope that future writers and artists use it as the template for the character going forward.
15.1 - While working on his autobiography with Foggy and Kirsten, Matt tells the story of two early cases, one of a man he was sure was guilty, and another battling Diablo.
The two under-experienced Daredevil tales show how far Matt has come as both a super hero and a lawyer. It did kill the momentum from the last story, though.
16 - To protect his loved ones, Daredevil tries to make a deal with the Kingpin! And he's found the Shroud's missing girlfriend.
Things are quickly boiling over. The pieces are all on the board. Kingpin! Ikari! The Shroud! The Owl! I don't see how Daredevil's life won't be in ruins again after this run.
17 - Ikari vs. Daredevil, one last time. If Matt winds, either Foggy or Kirsten dies!
Waid and Samnee have upped the tension to an unbearable level in this one. The Kingpin shows his true colors and The Shroud shows up just in time to shit on everyone's parade. I won't blame Daredevil for going back to his darker ways after this.
18 - The End is upon us!
In their swan song, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee give us one of the most brutal fights I've ever seen as Daredevil and the Kingpin duke it out. Most of the loose ends are tied up and Matt's autobiography is due to be published.
Closing Thoughts: Over the course of his run, Mark Waid has taken a character many of us dismiss as a poor man's Batman or Spider-Man and made him one of my favorite Marvel characters, giving him an identity of his own and playing up his uniqueness. His run on Daredevil is up there with Hawkeye as one of the best super hero comics of the past ten years. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
After four years, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee step away from Daredevil with one final storyline that ties everything in this second incarnation of their title together with the return of the Kingpin and Ikari, two of Matt Murdock's greatest foes, as well as the culmination of the Shroud subplot which has been going on since issue #1 or so.
It's as close to a happy ending as Daredevil ever gets; it's the first time I think in about a decade that DD hasn't changed creative teams with a cliffhanger ending, but instead everything Waid has done comes home to roost and it's immensely satisfying to see all their hard work paying off. Some stuff is left up in the air, like the Owl and his daughter, but these are minor problems on a storyline which is as quintessential Daredevil as you can get.
Now that it's over, this is a prime time to go back to volume 1 of the previous series and read all of Mark Waid's Daredevilly goodness.
One of my favorite runs of DD.
World: The art has been amazing throughout the series. I love the thick black lines, the facial expressions and the sense of motion. It's amazing. The world building comes full circle for Waid's run. All the pieces he's been playing with and created since his run are all used and it's great. This is a very different world compared past DD runs and this feels all his own.
Story: The Shroud stuff is still very meh for me but with the inclusion of Fisk this arc it's a perfect end for Waid's run. The pacing is good, the tone fantastic and also the character work amazing. I don't want to say anything else but as much as I don't like the Shroud and how the end was a bit janky I do love this story and this run. It's so bright and positive that I want this to be the DD norm now...but I guess that's not going to be the case as we are going back to the DD of old I hear (which I also enjoy but Waid was just so good).
Characters: Matt is good, he's complex and he's flawed and I love him that way. McDuffie is the best thing to come from Waid and I wish we see more of her and have more stories for her in the future. I dread what will happen to her with a new creative team. Foggy is such an anchor, awesome. Fisk was used well, best when in small doses and menacing, Shroud is zzz and Owlsey storyline with daughter and all is still janky and tacked on.
I love this run, one of the best, a good, but not perfect ending.
Onward to the next book!
And so comes the end of Waid's run. I really enjoyed volume 1-3, and 4 is also great (at parts) and a very solid send off to the character.
I think the negatives here would be the big fight, or the huge event, wasn't as amazing as I hoped. With Kingpin showing up on the final pages of the last volume I expected some crazy shit to go down. I was also disappointed with the final fight, just didn't leave a impact. No "OMG" moment. The fight from before in Volume 5 of Waid's run was far better.
However let's talk the good. There were plenty of great "moments". I loved seeing a whole wall dedicated to Matt's death. I also love that moment at the dinner table. Nerve wracking to say the least. Also the ending with Foggy giving his big speech to Matt, perfect. Overall some wonderful moments and the art is still great.
So thanks Waid for a very solid second half. Yes, it was bumpy, and not as good as Ed or Bendis but still very strong. I give the whole run around a 3 or even a 3.5, so for Daredevil fans, go check this one out. On to Soule next!
Mark Waid's run on Daredevil was phenomenal and near perfect. I wasn't sure how he'd manage to wrap up the cliffhanger from the last book, but he did it beautifully, and I was even a little choked up as I finished. (So much love for Foggy in this!)
I feel like I need to go re-read from beginning to end on this.