Issue(s): Daredevil #353
"Fun" is a difficult challenge for Daredevil. The Frank Miller era and some other post-Miller highlights have been "fun" in the sense that they were cool stories, but, especially since Miller, Daredevil's book has stayed away from the"scarlet swashbuckler" Silver Age tone and instead kept trying to top itself delving into the depths of misery it could put the character through. The immediate aspect of the "fun" challenge is that we're shaking off the elements of the Chichester run - Daredevil's faking of his death and the Venetian Blind costume and all of that - as well as a follow-up in the short DeMatteis run that followed, wherein Foggy learned that Matt Murdock has been deceiving him about his identity all this time. It's easy to see how that could have resulted in yet another misery marathon, with Foggy angry at Matt, causing all sorts of strife and angst. Instead, Kesel works through the anger between them in a rational way that forces Matt into a fun new set-up. (Not to overshadow this run with comparisons to Waid/Samnee's, but it's interesting how that series also sort-of plows through some potentially destructive baggage, namely how Daredevil's identity had been publicly revealed at that point.)
This issue starts with Daredevil stopping a couple from committing suicide, which i think is a good metaphor for the change in the series' tone.
He then crashes a court case that Foggy Nelson is handling.
Note that the judge's eyerolling "clone" theory is actually correct, but that Matt is blaming his faked death on Nick Fury (who is currently thought to be dead, so no one can say otherwise).
After winning the case (with the implication that Matt's sudden reappearance swayed the jury), Matt explains to Foggy that even though he is Daredevil, he really is blind. And then they hear a message on the answering machine from an infamous lawyer named Rosalind "Razor" Sharpe. Foggy has a particularly strong reaction to her call, but he doesn't explain.
Sharpe's message, reacting to the sudden reappearance of Matt, invites Matt and Foggy over for drinks.
Later, Daredevil is patrolling, and he senses what he thinks is the Hulk having gone savage again, but it turns out to really be Mr. Hyde. The title page says that Hyde's redesign is by John Romita Jr.; i will always prefer the classic version (especially as depicted by John Buscema). Don't know why he needs the red eyes.
During the fight, Daredevil discovers a dead sixteen year old girl.
After the nerve punch, the police show up and take Hyde away. But Hyde taunts DD, saying that he'll never prove that Hyde murdered the girl.
Then it's time to meet Sharpe. There's a cameo by Misty Knight on the way.
As for Sharpe, she offers Matt and Foggy a partnership.
Foggy surprisingly accepts right away. Matt hedges, and when Foggy is out of earshot, Sharpe tells Matt that the deal is only valid if both of them accept. She also says that Matt has known Foggy since college, but she's known him longer, and that failing to accept the agreement will devastate Foggy more than Matt realizes.
A lot of set-up in this first issue, so i'll forgive you if you think my gushing doesn't quite match what we've seen so far. But it's interesting setup, and even here the scripting is great, the layouting is great (by 1990s standards, A LOT happens here), and it's a good read!
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showDaredevil, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Misty Knight, Mr. Hyde, Rosalind Sharpe
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