With the Marvel universe as we know it coming to a close, almost all of Marvel’s titles are coming to an end. And even with the recent, popular, and nearly flawless Netflix series, this includes The Man Without Fear. But the difference between Daredevil and the many other series in their final issues is how different they have made our favorite blind lawyer.
Matt Murdock and company have really gone through some changes these past couple years. Everything is public for ol’ horn head these days – from his identity, to his abilities, to his affiliations. He even did away with the classic costume, now donning an all red suit with no mask. While not every reader is on board with all the new changes, we can all agree that this book has been bold as it comes to an end.
Our story this week picks up on the cliffhanger from #15, with Daredevil approaching Kingpin about a business proposition. It’s great to see these two in the same panel again, with Matt basically giving up his life in order to have protection for Foggy and current love interest, Kirsten. Stakes are high and Murdock is desperate to keep anything from happening to his only two companions. Of course, Fisk has a different plan and we see it already set in motion, raising the stakes even higher.
Secret Wars is providing writers with a loophole in which they can take characters to strange places without having to dig themselves out of a creative hole later. Waid is taking full advantage of that, setting up what looks to be a strange yet fitting end for the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. For an issue that mostly takes place inside an art gallery and focused on Daredevil’s proposal to Kingpin, Daredevil #16 definitely isn’t a bore.
We still aren’t entirely used to this new Matt but things are certainly interesting for him and his associates. The pace throughout this book is at a medium speed, slowly building tension for the finale and effectively so. At this point anything can happen and there is a sense of fear for these characters in the end.
Apart from one strangely drawn hand grabbing someone at the airport, the work of Samnee and Wilson is great. Consistent with the rest of the series, each panel plays with darkness and shadows without coming off as too dark or dull. At certain points Murdock looks a bit sinister while talking with Mr. Fisk, almost looking like Norman Osborn. There’s a touch of old school, and the art is simple but without leaving anything more to be desired.
Waid isn’t wasting an opportunity to be creative and shake things up. Some of the new things that have happened to Daredevil still take some getting used to, but there is nothing wrong with unorthodox progression. Heading into this series’ finale, this is all new territory for our beloved blind lawyer and all we can do now is hope the ending is as ambitious as the ride so far has been.