This week marked the end of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee's critically acclaimed and award winning run on Daredevil. Joined by artists Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin, and Khoi Pham among others during the first year, this most recent Daredevil series (well, technically two series, the book was renumbered about halfway through) was notable for bringing the "fun" back into Daredevil and reintroducing a human element to the series not seen since Marvel decided to make Daredevil a walking bag of tragedy, self-loathing and misery. Every single issue of Daredevil had memorable moments, ranging from happy to disturbing to sad. With the introduction of new villains like the Coyote and the inclusion of much of Daredevil's classic rogue's gallery in new and interesting ways (who could forget Bullseye's unexpected arrival?), Waid, Samnee and company created an instant classic of a Daredevil series that didn't tread on familiar tragic ground.
To celebrate the recently wrapped run, here's five of the top moments from Daredevil:
One of several new foes introduced during Waid and Samnee's Daredevil run, Ikari was one foe superior to Daredevil in every way. A trained assassin under the employ of Bullseye, Ikari was more than a match for Daredevil, with superior martial art skills and the same radar sense and extrasensory abilities as the superhero. Dressed in a ninja like costume that resembled Daredevil's original red and yellow costume, Ikari pushed Daredevil to the limit during their first encounter and forced the hero to get creative just to survive. Daredevil used a sprinkler system to overwhelm both of their heightened senses, thinking it would blind Ikari just as much as him. As Daredevil prepared to surprise his foe, Ikari revealed that he had one additional ability: he could see. The moment was one of the most chilling and shocking moments in recent Daredevil history and proved how deadly and powerful this new foe was.prevnext
Foggy Has Cancer
One of the most poignant and heartbreaking storylines from this most recent run of Daredevil was Foggy Nelson's brutal fight with cancer. Matt's law partner and best friend, Foggy Nelson was the one constant in Daredevil's life, acting as a voice of reason and guiding conscience for years. While Matt had relied on Foggy's support for years, his best friend's illness put Matt in an unfamiliar position, that of moral support. As a dark conspiracy unfolded to ruin Daredevil's life, Matt juggled supporting Foggy through chemo while trying to protect him and his other loved ones from several supervillain schemes. Foggy's cancer was the catalyst for much of the second half of the story, which included several radical changes in both Foggy and Matt's life.prevnext
Daredevil Gives Up His Secret Identity
While Brian Bendis's acclaimed Daredevil series dealt with the Kingpin exposing Daredevil's identity, Matt Murdock did enough damage control to at least keep some semblance of his secret identity intact. This most recent run of Daredevil took that concept one step further, when Daredevil revealed his identity under oath to beat a blackmail attempt by the Sons of the Serpent, a secret hate group with agents stationed throughout New York City's criminal justice system. Matt called the Sons of the Serpents' bluff to expose the organization, even though it meant that destroying his and Foggy's law practice. While Matt's plan worked and led to the arrest of many of the Sons of the Serpent hiding in NYC, the state of New York disbarred both Matt and Foggy, which forced the pair (along with Matt's new girlfriend and fellow attorney Kristen McDuffie) to move to San Francisco to continue Foggy's treatment and continue to make a living.prevnext
Daredevil Outsmarts Every Evil Organization in the Marvel Universe
It's not every day that a superhero can brag about fighting half of Marvel's secret evil organizations at once and live to talk about it. An early arc of Daredevil featured the superhero coming into the possession of the Omega Drive, a torn shred of a Fantastic Four costume turned into a storage system (thanks to the wacky science of Reed Richards) programmed with a digital ton of files related to the activities of several of Marvel's evil secret organizations. As the Omega Drive had the ability to ruin all five groups, the Secret Empire, AIM, Hydra, the Black Spectre and Agence Byzantine all went after Daredevil, making him one of the world's most wanted men. Daredevil outsmarted all of them by using the information on the Omega Drive to secretly shut down the Black Spectre and then having the New Avengers pose as the group and "take" possession of the Omega Drive, thus drawing the other groups' attention away from him.
[Note: The Omega Drive arc was drawn principally by Paolo Rivera.]prevnext
Matt and Kristen
A major new cast addition to Daredevil was Kristen McDuffie, an assistant DA who quickly struck up a friendship with both Matt and Foggy. For months, Kristen playfully attempted to prove that Matt was Daredevil, resulting in several hilarious encounters that left Matt sweating. Eventually, the pair started dating and Kristen quit her practice to help Matt when Foggy went through chemo. Kristen joined Foggy and Matt in their move out to California and helped Foggy fake his death so that he could focus on his cancer treatments without the threat of a supervillain targeting him to get back at Daredevil.
Kristen's relationship with Matt was the perfect example why this run on Daredevil was such a breath of fresh air. While Matt's previous relationships were largely self-destructive and marred with tragedy, his relationship with Kristen was fun, romantic and mutually beneficial. And unlike Daredevil's past romantic partners, Kristen stayed alive, healthy and still in love with Matt at the end of this Daredevil series.prev