So, the big honkin’ deal with Daredevil #36, ending the first volume of the Eisner-Award-Winning Mark Waid/Chris Samnee run with The Man Without Fear, is that he had to publicly admit he was Daredevil and get himself disbarred in New York. The new Daredevil #1 will start up with Matt Murdock having moved to San Francisco, where he lived for a while ages ago when he was with the Black Widow, and where he happens to still have a license to practice law. Therefore, it falls to the digital-only Infinite Comic called Daredevil: Road Warrior to fill in the inevitable messed-up adventure that will happen when a superhero attempts to travel across the country.
The first issue hit devices everywhere today, and Waid is once again in top storytelling form, which makes sense, because he’s long been a champion of the Infinite Comic format (for good reason – it’s really cool). This time he’s got artwork from Peter Krause (not the Sports Night guy) instead of Samnee, but the man is on point here, taking cues from the tone and elements Samnee’s established without aping him directly. It opens with Daredevil in a sewer fighting Man-Bull and a great depiction of how Matt perceives the world, which has been one of the best things about Waid’s run. It’s easy to forget that Daredevil is blind when he does so many amazing things, but Waid always takes time to remind us of the differences in perception – sometimes it’s a hindrance, as it was when trying to deal with racially-charged situations recently with the hate-group Sons of the Serpent, but other times, it’s a boon, as illustrated in this sewer fight. Yes, he’s nearly retching from the stench and finding it hard to hear with the echoes, but he claims he wouldn’t be the Man Without Fear if he could actually see the scary things he fights.
Worse for a guy with intense sensitivity to his surroundings is commercial air travel, which he’s enduring with his colleague and paramour Kirsten McDuffie, Think of how cumbersome it is for normal folks – uncomfortable seats, recycled air, crying babies, random smells – and imagine how it must be for Matt Murdock. Well, you don’t have to imagine, because this issue illustrates it quite clearly before the plane is forced to land in Milwaukee due to weather. Yes, thankfully, no supervillain attacks the plane and forces a crash. The weather is much more believable in this, the Year of the Polar Vortex.
However, in the ensuing tension of 300 heartbeats racing from turbulence, something throws Matt off about it. He comes across a guy with no heartbeat and realizes that was what’s off (although it doesn’t make all that much sense that a sound he DIDN’T hear is one that sounded off to him), and upon pursuit, the guy panics like he’s been followed by creeps forever, slaps back with super strength and breaks through a wall to run away in a panic, leaving Matt to deal with the legal repercussions.
Great little story here, with the potential to turn into a great big story – which seems to be the case with Infinite Comics these days, considering that Deadpool: The Gauntlet (another series you should be reading) is introducing someone Wade Wilson is going to marry. Daredevil: Road Warrior is surely be setting up some things that will come to fruition in the West Coast Daredevil adventures, and you’ll want to get on board now – because Infinite Comics are cool, Mark Waid is a good writer, and Daredevil is always a great read.