Amazingly enough, I’m going to review a single issue instead of a whole run. I finished reading Daredevil: End of Days just as the first issue of this new mini-series came out and, excited by the end of the previous series, I leapt straight into this one. Now granted, it’ll probably be a bit until I post this review so the second issue may well be out by then, but this is probably a rare event, I actually am somewhat timely!
Let’s begin at the beginning. This first three books in the series are written and drawn by Lee Weeks, with coloring duties by Lee Loughridge. They make up a short story called “Angels Unaware”. It has the look and feel of a story that would fit into the Daredevil of decades past. It’s a bit darker than the regular Daredevil series (which I will get around to reviewing), but not nearly as dark as the previous End of Days mini. This really is a great time to be a Daredevil fan, a great ongoing and a seemingly endless array of minis by different writers and artists, all telling their favorite kind of story, I don’t think I’ve been this happy to love Daredevil in a long time.
We start off with a prologue, Daredevil lying unconscious and bloody in the snow as we get a quick recap of his background story, then we’re into the worst snow storm to hit New York City in years. Matt, in his civilian guise, is found lying in the snow and rushed into the hospital, a seeming mugging victim. He doesn’t remember who he is and his super-accute senses seem to have stopped working temporarily as a result of his injuries. When they come back full force, he has to be sedated to keep from destroying the room. He senses things happening throughout the hospital, including the plight of a young boy who was involved in an accident that ultimately takes his life. We flash back to Matt, walking in the snow, heading to see a client when he is set upon by muggers. As strong and skilled as he is, they manage to overcome his defenses, knock him unconscious and steal his money, rushing away into the snow. People on the street just pass him by until a homeless man finds him and carries him to safety. There is a ton of religious symbolism and imagery in this book. You have the scene with Matt sleeping on his Bible, clutching his rosary, there’s the scene of the distraught parents committing their son’s life to God, the passages out of the Bible as Matt lies ignored in the snow, this is really a return, in some ways, to the Catholic guilt established long ago by Frank Miller and similar writers.
When Matt comes to, the doctors have found his case and within it, the Daredevil costume. Surely nobody is all that surprised anymore, Daredevil has been outted more times than I can remember and then, people mysteriously forget all about it. Matt has heard, a bit unrealistically, about a girl on the 6th floor who is awaiting a donor heart, the same heart which came from the poor young boy, which was coming via helicopter, yet the chopper has crashed. Matt volunteers to go in search of the heart and make it back in time for her operation. Even though he’s still injured and disorientated from his ordeal, he dons his costume, heads to the roof and leaps off, heading in the direction that the helicopter was last seen in.
Now I might question the wisdom of the first page and the quick intro, after all, who has never heard of Daredevil, but it gives a brief summary that lets new readers know what they’re in for. Immediately thereafter, you’re thrown into the story and it’s an excellent story so far. Weeks’ art is amazing, it tells the majority of the story of a man without fear who will never stop pushing himself to succeed in the face of overwhelming adversity. This is really the driving force behind Daredevil, the man who will fight for what he believes in no matter the odds and will not fail unless he does so with his dying breath. I suppose that’s what makes Daredevil such an admirable character. He had no personal reason to go into the storm in a valiant, but almost certainly fruitless effort to retrieve the transplant heart for a young girl he’s never met, yet he’s a hero and that’s what heroes do.
We really need more men like Matt Murdock. I can’t wait to see where Weeks leads us next.