With how event heavy Marvel has been Daredevil by Charles Soule and Ron Garney has been one of those comics that has been flying under the radar. I actually fell behind on the series as Daredevil isn’t a comic I have been reading for the entire year. It was not because I did not like what Soule and Garney have been doing but more so that it got lost in the shuffle of other comics. Recently I was able to catch up on Daredevil and back on the train that is this series. And it looks like I picked a good time as Daredevil will be traveling abroad in order to save his sidekick, Blindspot. All the while it looks like Daredevil will be going up against his old friends in The Hand. Let’s see how things go with Daredevil #26.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ron Garney
Colorist: Matt Milla
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Daredevil swings through Manhattan until he arrives in Chinatown and finds a special request at a memorial made out to Blindspot.
Daredevil takes the letter to Hannah Chung, Blindspot’s sister. Hannah does not react nicely to Daredevil continuing to do this as it reminds her of how crazy her brother with his adventures lead to Muse ripping out his eyes and their mom taking Sam somewhere she doesn’t know. Hannah questions Daredevil on why Sam didn’t try to help her since their mom left them a long time ago.
When Daredevil mentions that he will fulfill the request in the letter for Blindspot, Hannah asks if he is going to help Chinatown forever since it was Blindspot’s neighborhood. Hannah suddenly finds a red envelope and says it is actually for Daredevil.
At the New York District Attorney’s office Matt Murdock puts his leave of absence which his boss is happy to give him after the success of their recent case.
As he is walking out Ellen King questions Matt on why he is leaving now. Matt says he got sent a letter from Sam asking for help in China. Ellen says that it sounds like Matt to help someone out in person.
At his apartment Matt thanks Foggy for helping him get his Daredevil equipment shipped to China. Matt then shows Foggy the letter that is forcing him to make this trip, which includes specific wording only Blindspot would know. Foggy thinks this is most likely a trap but Matt says he has to do this.
Sometime later Matt flies into Zhangjiajie, Southeast China and goes through customs as himself as he sees going up against the foreign legal system as a fun challenge.
Not long after settling in Matt gets his Daredevil equipment and heads out to the mountains to search for Blindspot with the few details of his location that he received.
Daredevil eventually comes across a temple that Blindspot mentioned in his letter. Inside he senses some evil presences.
Inside the temple a creature has some Hand ninja bring it a traitor, which it proceeds to consume.
Outside the temple, Daredevil gets closer to the the entrance but is quickly attacked from the shadows. Daredevil is able to dodge the initial attacks. He then finds himself surrounded by the Hand.
Daredevil is able to fend of all the Hand ninjas. Daredevil is then suddenly attacked by a mysterious figure in a black costume. The person is able to knock Daredevil out.
The person takes off his mask to reveal himself to be Blindspot, with his eyes back like they are new. Blindspot tells the Hand to take Daredevil with them. End of issue.
The Good: From top to bottom Daredevil #26 is an excellent example of how to begin a story arc that uses what happened in previous stories in a series. The execution of this set-up issue properly makes every action that Daredevil takes come off as logical as he journeys to China. This in turn makes some of the more supernatural aspects come across as intriguing rather than just the typical comic book storytelling.
Blindspot is character that when first introduced had some rough patches. Over time Charles Soule was able to iron out the rough parts of the character that by the time he did have his eyes ripped out by Muse you cared about him. That connection to the character is what Soule does a wonderful job in bringing out from the beginning of the issue. With the character out of action for several issues Soule reminded us about what made the character tick by further developing the character’s backstory.
In developing who Blindspot is Soule was able to make us care even more about his sister, Hannah Cheung. Soule does an excellent job in making you feel sympathy for Hannah, as she is the one most hurt by what happened to her brother just because he wanted to protect people as Blindspot. Everything Hannah said to Daredevil showed how much Hannah cared for her brother. It also help further develop her and Blindspot’s background as we learn what she thinks of their mother.
Hannah’s talk with Daredevil also worked to emphasize the theme that Marvel superheroes based in New York work in specific areas. That is something we saw Daredevil speak on earlier and Hannah mentioning that Blindspot protected Chinatown drove that point home. Hannah calling Daredevil out on not having enough time to protect Hell’s Kitchen and Chinatown at the same time is a reminder of the size of the city. And for however much skill he has there is not enough time in the day for Daredevil to protect all of New York City.
This opening helped to make the rest of Daredevil #26 have a sense of importance. Soule was able to show us how whatever is happening to Blindspot is something Daredevil feels responsible for. That sense of responsibility speaks to how Daredevil is someone that allows himself to be burden by the darkness around others.
But while that sense of responsibility to Blindspot could’ve easily made for a good reason for Daredevil to pick up and leave right away Soule does not do that. Instead Soule spends a quality amount of time on establishing how Matt Murdock can go to China without raising questions at work and in his personal life. Matt using the clout he built up thanks to his recent victory at a court case to take a leave of absence explain how he is able to go to China without being fired from his job.
At the same time it was good to see how Soule used this as a chance to further develop the nice supporting cast that has been built up at the District Attorney’s office. It shows us how Matt has been able to grow into his role at the DA’s office. The rapport that has been built up between Matt and Ellen was especially well done, as the latter has come around to seeing what kind of person Matt is.
This proper use of the supporting cast is furthered by how Foggy Nelson was brought in to play a small, but crucial role into the story. Having Foggy be the one to ship Matt his Daredevil gear is one of those small details that could’ve been easily been overlooked but wasn’t. Soule took the time to show how this was something Matt saw as a way to challenge himself in taking on another country’s legal system. At the same time it served to give Foggy a voice in his concern for what Matt was about to do as a friend.
All of this made the conclusion with Blindspot being revealed as part of the Hand provide a bigger punch than it should’ve. Because the reality is this is one of those cliffhanger endings that was completely predictable. But what makes things interesting is what Hannah implied earlier in the issue with her mom being the one that brought Blindspot back to China. That facts makes you wonder what Blindspot’s mom has to do with the Hand and what is her endgame.
As has been the case with the majority of his work on this series Ron Garney once again delivered a great looking issue with Daredevil #26. Garney has done such a great job adapting his style to match the ground tone of Daredevil. He brings life to each panel with how he details character expressions. And his art style looks even better whenever we see Daredevil in motion. The fight sequence of Daredevil vs. The Hand looked great even for how short it was.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Daredevil #26 is an excellent start to the “Land of the Blind” arc. Charles Soule does a fantastic job with all the little details from how Daredevil’s supporting cast reacts to his search for Blindspot to giving support for certain actions the character takes. It all culminates in a cliffhanger ending that makes you want to find out what happens next.