Daredevil #7: Charles Soule running laps around Marvel peers

Daredevil Elektra 7

The seventh issue of Charles Soule’s Daredevil came out on May 25, and once again the man has churned out a solid piece of work. If writing comic books were a race, then it is safe to say that Mr. Soul would be lapping most of his Marvel peers at this point. His writing is crisp, he isn’t forcing weirdly partisan stories down readers’ throats, his pacing is consistently smooth, and he seems to inherently get what makes for a cool Daredevil story.

If there is one Marvel book worth getting each month, then it belongs to Team Soule.

Here is what you need to know for Daredevil #7:

  • The “man without fear”convinces Elektra to let him help unravel the mystery behind her daughter’s disappearance.
  • Elektra gives Daredevil a cell phone that purportedly shows him training her daughter.
  • Matt Murdoch takes the phone to Foggy Nelson despite the “rough patch” they’re going through, and Foggy says there is no video on the phone.
  • Matt, thinking the child might be his, inadvertently destroys the phone in a fit of rage when he can’t figure out what is going on.
  • Daredevil meets with Elektra and tells her there is nothing on the phone, but that he accidentally destroyed it. She is upset, but takes off to find answers on her own.
  • Elektra (with Daredevil tailing her) confronts the man who gave her the phone after killing his partner. The man says “The tangled web we weave!” and she realizes someone took control of her mind. Someone wanted her to feel the pain of losing a child.
  • Daredevil realizes that he knows the identify of the person who took control of Elektra’s mind, but does not disclose that information to her. She leaves with the intention of finding and killing the man who psychically abused her.

Daredevil 7

Complimenting Mr. Soule’s writing nicely is artist Matteo Buffagni, whose eye for awesome is incredibly keen. Besides the noir-perfect pitch, little details — like having Daredevil’s hand slightly hang out over the panel as he clings to a ledge in Hell’s Kitchen — indicate a creative team that is running on all cylinders. It is a shame that others within the company aren’t taking notes on what is clearly a winning formula.

In short, if you aren’t buying Daredevil then you should be. It’s only a matter of time before Mr. Soule steps aside and the next writer decides to come up with the “bold” **cough** twist that Matt Murdock has never been blind…

Daredevil, Elektra sizzle under Soule’s and Buffagni’s direction

DD Elektra

I never thought a modern Daredevil writer would make me bust into cheesy clichés, but here it is: It’s hot in Hell Kitchen under Charles Soules’ and Matteo Buffagni’s direction! Heck, kudos to color artist Matt Milla as well. Daredevil #6 kicks off “Elektric Connection” and the return of Elektra. The entire issue crackles with sexual tension, fisticuffs, and one very broken arm (sorry, Blindspot).

Here is what readers need to know: Soule keeps it simple and sweet:

  • Daredevil’s secret identity has been restored and no-one is the wiser — including Elektra.
  • The famous assassin shows up at a New York City bond hearing as Murdock is trying to work. She knows he has a connection to Daredevil and wants a meeting ASAP.
  • The “meeting” (or rather, beating) commences in short order.
  • Elektra wants to know what Daredevil has done with her daughter, and vows to “cut away every lie” in his body if he doesn’t give her answers.

Perhaps the best way to describe Soules’ writing is “efficient.” Words are not wasted. Each word means something. Each sentence is important. There is a plan. Both he and Buffagni know exactly what they need to do. They execute their respective jobs to the hilt. It is a welcome reprieve after digesting Marvel fare like The Amazing Spider-Man # 11.

Murdoch Elektra date

In one brief interaction between Matt Murdock and Elektra at a “lawyer bar,” one can see why Daredevil is one of the strongest titles on the market at the moment. In addition to Buffagni’s gorgeous art, it is obvious that Mr. Soule is a man who has had complex, mature relationships with the fairer sex.

Take, for instance, Murdock’s decision to meet with Elektra for a drink after she shows up at a bond hearing. His head is separated into an upper and lower half by Buffagni’s panels. Yes, he is “split” between being Daredevil and a New York City prosecutor, but he also spars between his logical  self and his bodily passions. Matt does not want to tell Elektra where Daredevil is, but he also would really like to sleep with her again.

Needless to say, our Catholic superhero will have some explaining to do in the confession booth on Sunday. Murdock sets up a meeting between Daredevil and Elektra, and things get ugly fast. At one point Blindspot shows up and within seconds his arm is broken and he is off to see Night Nurse. Murdock finally has enough pussyfooting around and channels his inner Michael Keaton as Batman (i.e., “You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts!”).

Daredevil Elektra fight

The issue ends, as mentioned earlier, with Elektra demanding to know the location of her daughter. Whatever Daredevil did to essentially mind-wipe the world of his secret identity has a great upside, but it also appears as though it will come with painful consequences.

If you’re looking for a top-notch Marvel book, then go with Daredevil. The protector of Hell’s Kitchen has not been this cool in a long time.

Bonus: Michael Keaton getting “nuts” as Bruce Wayne never gets old.

Daredevil Season 2: Hold onto your principles — at any price


The second season of Marvel’s Daredevil is finally on Netflix — and it is good. Correction: It is great. The writing is so strong, in fact, that it is hard to fathom how the creative team will be able to live up to expectations going forward. It is rare to find a show that is about friendship, family, honesty and the importance of holding fast to core principles, but Daredevil delivers on all counts.

Frank Castle

This is a spoiler-free review, so I will try to only address the overall themes going forward.

In short, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and pretty much every actor with decent screen time fires on all cylinders. What makes the series so good is that each character has a clear idea of his or her ideal self, but the fierce pursuit of those ideals put them at odds with friends, family, co-workers, fellow citizens, and even the rule of law.

Matt Murdock

What would you do for your core principles?

  • Would you be willing to quit a job?
  • Would you walk away from someone you love?
  • Would you be willing to shed blood and die?
  • Would you kill?
  • Would you be willing to be hated by society?

Over and over again the writers of Daredevil look at the cast and say, “Okay, what defines these characters and how do we put them in situations where their fidelity to core principles is tested?” 

The series explores big questions about life, death, truth, justice, loyalty, honesty, integrity, redemption and friendship in every episode — but it does so with intelligence and grace.

Finally, without a doubt, Jon Bernthal nails his performance as Frank Castle (aka: The Punisher). He was given a tough role, and he crushed it. There are not really enough good things to say about his take on the character other than to tell the man to take a bow. One can only hope he makes an appearance in Luke Cage.

If you do not have a Netflix account, then you may want to consider getting one to watch Daredevil. At this point the only question is: When will Charlie Cox’s version of Matt Murdoch make an appearance on the big screen? He certainly deserves it.