So the big thing that happened was that Matt Murdoch, Daredevil, accepted leadership of ninja assassin crew The Hand. Which is, quite, you know, game changing. One of those change-from-within things. Stop Kingpin controlling them. Making a deal with the devil. Changing their name to Wolfram And Hand as well probably.
Which feels monumental for the book, considering Daredevil has spent a good chunk of his career fighting the Hand. And there’s the whole death of Elektra thing in there as well. For the character, for the direction of the Marvel Universe as a whole, this book if full of the feeling that This. Will. Matter. We also get an incident comparable to the Stamford massacre in Civil War. We get a mysterious character seemingly fighting on both sides and actually part of a wider manipulation. For Daredevil readers, this is very much a culmination as well as a continuation of Ed Brubaker’s run on the book and there should be very little disapopointment. Oh and Bullseye is back in the suit, with a soon-to-be-classic use of his catchphrase.
But the book also seems to wear some kind of editorial dictat on its sleeve. It may have, it may not, I don’t know obviously, but it feels like an editor said “Andy, Daredevil is in position A,. he needs to be in position B, write the story” like one of those X-Ecutioner Song issues of fifteen years ago. It feels really bitty, a part of a larger whole rather than a story in and of its own right. More process than story, as Daredevil learns a lesson and changes his attitude after an event that kills over a hundred people, but it feels like its a lesson he didn’t need to learn. Matt Murdoch takes stupid prideful decisions that he then realises are stupid. Lesson here? Don’t be stupid.
This is however a very intense book and thankfully, while it’s basically a set up for Daredeil to come, we also get a first glimpse at the next issue of Daredevil, a little repetitious, but giving us a glimpse of real progression, something that really seems necessary here, and a cliffhanger that dares you not to pick up Daredevil #501. Double dares you.
Oh and the little change to The Hand costumes is fabulous. Worth the $3.99 in and of itself.