Matt Murdock

It is fitting that Daredevil #8 takes place inside a Macau casino because readers must be wondering how long Charles Soule’s creative hot streak is going to last. “Blind Man’s Bluff” kicks off a new tale for Matt Murdock, and as far as stage-setters go the writer churns out another solid performance.

Is Mr. Soule just a lucky guy, or is his good fortune on the book positively correlated with his preparation and work ethic? This reviewer is inclined to go with the latter option.

Here is what you need to know about Daredevil #8 before we move on:

  • Matt Murdock has traveled to Macau for a winner-take-all poker tournament. He plays Texas Hold ‘Em because its rules are best suited for … a blind man with enhanced senses.
  • Daredevil is looking for an item that Black Cat sent to China.
  • A mysterious woman named Adhira latches onto Matt after he dominates his competitors.
  • The final round of the tournament features a telepath named Apex who is employed by the casino to make sure it never loses money. Matt’s telepathic defenses are pushed to the limits, but he ultimately holds out and wins a check for $10 million — made out to the alias Laurent Levasseur. (Note: He can’t cash the check.)
  • The casino gives Matt a complimentary stay in its best suite to keep him in town. Adhira also appears and asks to talk about his poker skills. He reminds her that he has a “friend” to meet, and the last page ends with Spider-Man telling Daredevil, “Took you long enough.”

One of the best things about Mr. Soule’s work on The Man Without Fear is that everything he does feels natural. Whether Matt Murdock is in a courtroom, battling ninjas, on a date with a beautiful woman, or in a high-stakes gambling tournament … everything feels right.

Ask yourself the following questions:

The answer (for many readers) is “No.”

With Daredevil, however, fans get stories that respect the character’s past while clearly charting a path forward. It says something about the quality of the title that Daredevil #8’s worst element is Goran Sudžuka’s artwork, which even isn’t bad; he just didn’t perform at Matteo Buffagni’s level with this particular issue.

“Why do I do this? Why do I always have to roll the dice?” Matt Murdock says at one point. “I’m always chasing. Trying to make up my losses. Betting everything I have to get back in the game. My identity, Kirsten, Foggy, my happiness…my life. On some level, I now it’s foolish. A compulsion. But if I don’t play…”

Readers take note: Charles Soule put more introspection into a single page of Daredevil than The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott has done in years with Peter Parker — a hero who was resurrected from the dead after a megalomaniac took over his body.

The point is this: If you have been unhappy with ASM for years but are still buying it out of sheer love for the character, then you owe it to yourself to purchase a book that consistently performs. There is no reason to give Marvel Comics money for dreck like Hydra-Cap (and an author who says all Republicans are “evil”), when someone like Mr. Soule is firing on all cylinders with Daredevil.

With that said, I will end this review with two points:

  1. I am not in Mr. Soule’s payroll, even if it seems like it at the moment.
  2. I look forward to seeing what the writer does with Spider-Man. That will be a true test of his creative prowess. If he hits a home run with the wall crawler, then I may have to announce a Charles Soule prize for one of the many Douglas Ernst C.R.O.N.I.E.S. (Comics Reconnaissance Operator, Negotiator, Intelligence Expert, and Soldier) around the globe.

Daredevil Spider-Man

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

4 comments

  1. no comments? well, I do have a marvel unlimited sub, so I can read the old stuff, so maybe I can catch up on Soule’s daredevil in a year or so. Think I’ll check out his Inhumans…considering the inhumans are Marvel’s cheap, unnatural attempt to replace mutants. (do they ever think that maybe…they should try just making a decent comic book?) I hope I find a hidden gem there.

    I never did get to comment on your ‘fan’ with no award, though I am impressed that he engaged you…I get this feeling he spends a lot of time lingering over your political posts as opposed to your comic book work, as in it bothers/intrigues him a great deal…to the point that he doubles down on the criticisms. I think a lot of lefties are like that nowadays, the world is blasting their ideology apart, and they are getting more shrill as it seems things are not going their way, honestly I think the Hugo/sad puppies thing is part of that, now sci-fi is a ‘liberal’ thing, that ‘belongs’ to them.

    your a Trojan…I’ve been a Trojan fan for years, though I basically just stopped watching sports in general. Many years ago, I wrote a piece about the Auburn-USC game in 2003 that was posted in an old USC fansite (tributetotroy? fighton? it was a thundering herd site, I spent sometime in the forums there)…too bad it’s gone, it was a pretty funny article. Auburn Guard Morenko Crittenden made a statement about USC having nothing on their defense…so USC shut them out 23-0. video’s of the game still around. Fight On!

    1. “I never did get to comment on your ‘fan’ with no award, though I am impressed that he engaged you…I get this feeling he spends a lot of time lingering over your political posts as opposed to your comic book work, as in it bothers/intrigues him a great deal…to the point that he doubles down on the criticisms. I think a lot of lefties are like that nowadays, the world is blasting their ideology apart, and they are getting more shrill as it seems things are not going their way, honestly I think the Hugo/sad puppies thing is part of that, now sci-fi is a ‘liberal’ thing, that ‘belongs’ to them.”

      That particular blogger actually directed another writer (I’m assuming Hugo voter as well) to my post on the “Shariah police” debacle in Germany. I think you’ll get a kick out of our exchanges. It is fascinating to watch a man so wedded to the idea that he cannot criticize Islam that he will frame a terrorist-supporting preacher as just a young “ex-fireman” acting like a fool.

      “You’re a Trojan…I’ve been a Trojan fan for years, though I basically just stopped watching sports in general. Many years ago, I wrote a piece about the Auburn-USC game in 2003 that was posted in an old USC fansite (tributetotroy? fighton? it was a thundering herd site, I spent sometime in the forums there)…too bad it’s gone, it was a pretty funny article. Auburn Guard Morenko Crittenden made a statement about USC having nothing on their defense…so USC shut them out 23-0. video’s of the game still around. Fight On!”

      My favorite player was Marcus Allen as a kid, so it was quite surreal to find myself attending USC when I got out of the Army. I have issues with USC…but I did meet my wife there. I will always have that. I think part of my problem was that I went there after having spent three years overseas plus another two working overnight shifts at Target before I could transfer. By the time I got out to California I was in a totally different psychological place than the 18-year-old kids who surrounded me.

  2. Jeeezus…My favorite player as a kid too. He attended my high school’s rival, Lincoln High, just a few miles from where I grew up. I wrestled against Terrell Davis (indirectly, we were different weight classes) while he was there.

    Yeah, I’ll be honest about being a Trojan fan, when the NCAA thing happened I didn’t see things the way the other fans did. I grew pretty disgusted with the dishonorable attitude in all sides and I decided I shouldn’t put my money into those things anymore. That’s pretty much why I don’t watch sports anymore, I can’t stand it’s blatant corruption or the way they shake their cities and fans down.

    1. “Jeeezus…My favorite player as a kid too. He attended my high school’s rival, Lincoln High, just a few miles from where I grew up. I wrestled against Terrell Davis (indirectly, we were different weight classes) while he was there.”

      Very cool! Yes, it was weird growing up in Chicago while basically hating the Bears. I loved the Raiders until Al Davis tried to ruin Marcus’ career. I was a Chiefs fan when Marcus went there and then when he retired I just drifted away from football. I suppose the NFL becoming a pseudo-religion also turned me off to the game. I’ll watch Notre Dame games once-in-awhile because that’s what Irish Catholic boys from the midwest do…but that’s about it. How’s this for USC-blasphemy — when they play The Fighting Irish I root for the Irish. Haha.

      “Yeah, I’ll be honest about being a Trojan fan, when the NCAA thing happened I didn’t see things the way the other fans did. I grew pretty disgusted with the dishonorable attitude in all sides and I decided I shouldn’t put my money into those things anymore. That’s pretty much why I don’t watch sports anymore, I can’t stand it’s blatant corruption or the way they shake their cities and fans down.”

      I was at USC for the tail end of Carson Palmer’s time there and then a portion of Matt Leinart’s tenure. It was a good time to be a Trojan… I agree with you about the corruption in sports. I’ll still catch highlights on ESPN a couple times a week, but I can’t watch entire games. I’d rather be writing blog posts, getting back to guys like you, reading, or outside getting some sort of physical exercise.

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