As everything is set to be relaunched in the wake of the events of Secret Wars Marvel has given Mark Waid room to finish off his run on Daredevil. As with most final arcs with Daredevil we are seeing the return of Kingpin to Matt Murdock’s world. These two characters cannot escape each others sights, figuratively. With everything that has happened to Matt since arriving in San Francisco it should be very interesting to see how Kingpin puts himself into the mix.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: The dynamic between Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk is something that no matter how many times we see it will never get old. There is a very Joker-esque presence to whenever Kingpin reappears in the pages of Daredevil. Kingpin carries the same aura Joker does when he appears in Batman as everything going on in Daredevil’s story feels much bigger. That was no different with Kingpin appearance in Daredevil #16.
Opening up Daredevil #16 with Matt confronting Kingpin instantly showed us that things are only going to get more intense. In having this opening scene start with both characters being silent Mark Waid was able to allow the tension between the characters come to the forefront. Even as I was reading through Matt’s inner monologue I kept paying attention to what was going on in each panel. This help set the tone for the rest of the scene between Matt and Kingpin as now I was paying attention to the art just as much as I was to the writing, if not more.
This opening silence made the following page even more impactful as we saw Matt taking digs at Kingpin’s recent history. This is something that before Waid’s run would seem out-of-character for Matt to do but with how we’ve seen him developed over the last few years this still felt like Matt Murdock. It helps that Matt was decked out in his new Daredevil suit that he has been wearing for the last few issues. Just seeing Matt in the red and black suit made his dialogue more effective as we got to see how smug he was early on.
At the same time, Waid was able to slowly ease us into a much more serious discussion between the lifelong rivals. Kingpin pitching the idea of killing Matt Murdock so that only Daredevil was left standing felt shocking. Matt being accepting of faking his death and putting himself in a witness protection type program that Kingpin controls was even more shocking. It just shows us how far out of hand everyone knowing Matt Murdock is Daredevil has become. The fact that Waid even threw out this possibility through Kingpin makes you question where Matt will end up when all is said and done.
Julia Carpenter’s involvement in this issue was a good way to bring back Shroud back into the fold for this major story. Julia’s presence in this issue in particular presents an interesting wild card. She is a new player in Daredevil’s world and that makes her an even more unpredictable element for how things may go down. I’ll be very interested to how Julia is treated after everything that happened to her during Spider-Verse.
While Karen Page wasn’t a big presence in this issue I enjoyed how Waid was still able to keep her in the fold of what was going on between Matt and Kingpin. Seeing how Kingpin is planning to use Karen against Matt makes the shaky relationship that was established early even more intriguing. The fact that Ibaki is involved in Kingpin’s plot makes you wonder how much influence Kingpin has had from the shadows during Waid’s run.
As I touched on earlier, what sold this latest Daredevil vs Kingpin story was the artwork. Chris Samnee was at the top of his game with his artwork in this issue. There were many times where Waid held back on the dialogue and gave the show floor to Samnee’s brilliant artwork. It was never more evident than when Matt and Kingpin were standing silently after Kingpins offer and we saw various “Death of Daredevil” paintings as the backdrop for that particular page. It was stunning and just elevated everything that happened in this issue to another level.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Daredevil #16 was another big win for the team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. This issue was a pure joy to read as the writing and artwork worked together perfectly in order to conveyed the tension between Daredevil and Kingpin. Everything else that happened around this confrontation helped to elevate the decision that Matt Murdock is making. With so many variables in play I am completely on the edge of my seat as to how Waid and Samnee will end their fabulous run on this series.