Daredevil is back from temporary exile and Captain America wants him to answer for the Shadowland incident, in which DD set himself up as a ninja overlord. Daredevil was possessed by a rare devil at the time, and would rather forget the whole thing. After a fight, Cap agrees to give his old mucker DD the benefit of the doubt, but the Avenger will be back to check that DD’s not trying to devour the planet, or anything.
Picking up on the legal case from last issue, Daredevil finds one of the lawyers who have refused to take on shopkeeper Ahmed Jobrani’s brutality suit against the NYPD. It turns out that usually fearless litigator Gene Loren has received threats against his boyfriend. And they’re not garden variety threats, but whispers inside his head …
Investigating further, DD ventures into the junkyard behind Jobrami’s premises which he’s said he’ll buy if he wins damages. And who should be in there but a clutch of avatars of Klaw, Murderous Master of Sound, preparing for a last-page cliffhanger.
And in the issue’s most unexpected event, DD’s law partner Foggy Nelson and new Assistant DA Kirstin McDuffie are revealed to be more than mere associates. Good on Foggy, he’s had terrible luck with women. And good on Kirstin for recognising a nice guy when she sees one – let’s just hope randy old Matt Murdock doesn’t try to bring down his own gavel.
I like that while Matt has no trouble recognising Cap by the rhythm of his heart (‘It beats like a Sousa march’), later he doesn’t realise that he’s come across a Klaw plot. He does twig that he’s facing creatures of sound, though … not that difficult for a man with enhanced senses. And yet, very difficult for a man with enhanced senses, as the noise causes Daredevil to pass out.
The scene with Gene Loren is smart; Daredevil doesn’t let colleague Loren and his unnamed chap (who surely goes by Rey Puma) see him, now that most of New York City believes that DD and Matt Murdock are one and the same. And I appreciate that Waid doesn’t have DD pass comment on Loren’s sexuality, so he’s gay, no big deal.
Waid’s narration and dialogue are as good as any in comics, and better than most. He’s worked out his characters’ voices and can convey them to the reader with ease.
Paulo Rivera’s pencils are a joy to look at, elegant and energetic. Inked by Joe Rivera, his people are alive. You can see the swashbuckler in Daredevil, the determination in Cap, the humour in Kirstin, the tension in Gene. The detail Rivera puts into Cap’s costume is commendable, while his New York has a rare realism and depth. And I love that in one panel Rivera’s DD seems to be homaging Miller, the next Gene Colan, and there’s no inconsistency (click to enlarge).
The colours of Javier Rodriguez are cheery, unlike those of most Marvel books, and well suited to Waid’s Man Without Angst. And Joe Caramagner’s letters are flawless, so far as I can see.
Paulo Rivera’s cover, while coloured too darkly, is a winner, reflecting the interior gimmick of DD and Cap swapping weapons mid-battle. A typically engaging idea for this engaging book.