Microwave Review: “Daredevil #4” – Suicide By Super-Villain | FanboysInc

Microwave Review: “Daredevil #4” – Suicide By Super-Villain

By Asaph Bitner

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Cover Artist: Chris Samnee
Marvel Comics
$3.99

Note: SPOILERS for the issue follow

Daredevil last issue ended with a double-cross cliffhanger, as The Shroud seemed to be cooperating with The Owl, who knew how to find the shadowy vigilante’s lost girlfriend. Well, it turns out that things are thankfully less cut-and-dry than that, and Shroud’s actions in this issue show us he’s not a simpleton who is either totally with you or totally against you. Last issue’s cliffhanger wasn’t really tension-filled, as we pretty much knew Matt Murdock wasn’t going to die in that fire pit, but I appreciated that the scene of his survival was well done. Specifically, Waid had a pretty good way of making sure the many gun-wielding henchmen under Owlsley’s employ couldn’t use their weapons (or really fight at all). Good job avoiding the “when you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk” cliche (RIP, Eli Wallach).

It also turns out that Max Coleridge has a death wish, and so he’s going for broke with crazy super-hero risks. This is an interesting way to go with his character, but it feels untimely to have Matt realise this during a fight in which Shroud is quite motivated to live by the promise of reuniting with his lost love. I liked the fact that the shot of Owlsley post-change was given to us before the issue’s end, instead of being a weak “shock” end visual, and I suppose Daredevil didn’t quite know that The Owl’s attempt at gaining super-powers actually worked.

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Finally, Daredevil’s rooftop scene with The Shroud was a little annoying, with Matt scolding Max over his suicidal tendencies. You would think Matt Murdock, of all people, should be a little more understanding of, and empathic with, people going through a traumatic depression. And no, the “I never sank so low” idea expressed here doesn’t apply, as every person is different, and personal trauma can affect people in many different ways. Daredevil should know that it was luck (and perhaps some of his loved ones) that prevented him from resorting to Shroud-like behavior.

Any way, the angry rant (plus the motivational promise that if the two blind badasses team up they could find Shroud’s girlfriend without capitulating to crime bosses) seems to have worked, with Shroud gaining some will to go on, and making a pretty cool escape. How Shroud could suddenly obscure Daredevil’s senses to such a degree I don’t know, but my guess would be a combination of psychological motivation to use his powers to their potential (whereas before he was holding back, hoping to be killed), and the time it takes to adjust to Daredevil’s unusual abilities.

“Daredevil #4” brings a few hints for the future, and shows that The Shroud could be a very cool reborn character. It also has a few notable missteps, with timing and emotional responses that don’t feel very appropriate.

Verdict: 8.0/10

Daredevil#4cover

Asaph Bitner

Asaph Bitner is a staff writer for Capeless Crusader. His other activities include studying for a college degree and dreaming of visiting the Song Of Ice And Fire universe as a future-tech wielding jedi secret agent. You can follow him on twitter at @AsaphBitner.

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