You guys remember the Shroud? Maybe? Lethal vigilante? Darkness powers? Blind? Mark Waid remembers and dredges him up out of obscurity and, like every other character he’s given this treatment to, completely reinvents him immediately. And for the best. But before Shroud drifts into the picture, we get to see Matty adjusting nicely to life in the City and even working with the mayor’s office in his capacity as Daredevil. The scene of them, along with Murdock’s partner Kirsten, having dinner and being interrupted by Matt describing Shroud to a tee based on him skulking around the roof is merely one piece among many of the witty dialog that permeates this issue. In addition we get some good backstory on the Shroud that’s written with an amazing economy. In just a single page we learn everything we need to know about the mad, brutal vigilante and the story gets to continue without missing a beat. It was definitely important to let the reader know who this guy is as, much like in She-Hulk, there’s a certain winking humor applied to characters who are obscure to readers also being obscure to the characters IN the book. None it feels forced.
Chris Samnee handles the linework, and shares “storyteller” credit with Waid, and the visuals in this book continue to be some of the best in all of comics. From the character design and amazing definition to the incredible sense of motion and fluidity that never once falters, the art is at once amazingly complex and incredibly simple, and that’s partially due to Javier Rodriguez's colors. The colors are dark, but never dreary and set the mood perfectly. This book also does a great job of downplaying dialog during action scenes (though there is SOME internal) and also knowing when to have none at all. Near the end of the issue, Kirsten makes a startling revelation and the entire scene is completely silent, ratcheting up the drama to another level entirely.
I’m having a difficult time coming up with anything to dislike about this issue. Top-to-bottom amazing.
It looks like, despite renumbering and a completely different location, we’re still getting the same high-quality Daredevil we’ve come to expect from this creative team. The change to San Francisco has not only given the setting a different flavor, but changed the character lineup significantly, making it far, far more than merely a palette swap. The last time Waid and Samnee revived an old character from total obscurity, we got the absolutely terrifying Spot Centipede and I can’t wait to see what happens with this newest revived villain. This book is nothing but potential, and it’s going to be an incredible ride seeing it fulfilled.