After an entertaining and different run of Daredevil on the west coast, the man without fear returns home to New York. A return to form for ol’ horn head as he will be drenched in the sludge and darkness that fans have enjoyed from his most famous stories. His costume isn’t the only new feature either, DD now has a sidekick as well (as if there weren’t enough parallels between he and Batman already).
Matt Murdock is back home and back to having his identity a secret. This time he is joined by Blindspot in his crime fighting efforts. Our story begins with Daredevil diving off the Manhattan Bridge to save a Billy Li, who was tossed into the river to die. On the surface, members of the Ten Fingers jump to the conclusion that both Billy and Daredevil have met their end. Instantly, readers will find comfort and excitement in the familiar dark landscape in which they’re immersed.
We then follow Daredevil below the surface, where water makes it difficult to find the heartbeat of Billy Li. One of the best things about Daredevil comic books is the portrayal of his powers, when done right it makes the character’s art stand out among the rest. This scene is a perfect example of how to explore his radar sense and have fun with it. Ron Garney and Matt Milla compliment each other in a way that gives readers complete understanding of how and why Daredevil’s unique abilities function.
After the rescue, horn head confronts the Ten Fingers gang members, and readers get their first taste of what Blindspot brings to the table. The lead hero is a blind man that relies on his other senses to survive; his partner has the ability to become invisible to the naked eye. This glorious combination of clever comic book flair is a smart new direction for a character well established and celebrated. While Blindspot takes out the overwhelming threat, Daredevil is the only one who can see his movements, acting as another showcase of why they’re a good match.
The story pushes forward and establishes the new environment for the series. Foggy is the only person that remembers Matt Murdock’s secret identity, and does not approve of Daredevil’s new partner or recent actions – which include letting the wanted Billy Li crash on his couch. As a lawyer, Matt Murdock finds his new office to be at the bottom of an elevator shaft, which will not doubt end up playing a part in some classic Daredevil moments in the future. Murdock himself is being written with such love for the character again, and it shows in the dialogue, particularly “why waste a room with a view on the blind guy?” when Matt justifies his office to a coworker.
The rest of Daredevil #1 is the beginning of what will be Matt’s first court case in this new series, which is directly linked to the new villain revealed in the conclusion. All the new elements mesh extremely well with what makes Daredevil one of Marvel’s best characters. Things are not what they seem and the cliffhanger sets up one hell of a story to unfold. Everything about Daredevil #1 is absolutely astounding, the previous series was a fun and different take, but this feels like it belongs on the shelf among Brubaker, Bendis, and Miller’s classic takes on the character.