During C2E2 Marvel announced that Daredevil would be getting relaunched with Mark Waid at the helm on scripts and Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera alternating on art. I made a few guesses about the shift in tone on the book after the pretty thorough demolition of the Daredevil title in the wake of the events of Shadowland last year.
Mr. Waid was kind enough to talk to us about his upcoming run on the title, what he has in store for everyone’s favorite blind lawyer-turned-vigilante and what makes Matt Murdock tick.
MTV GEEK: Daredevil is one of the few characters that you don’t appear to have a run on. What was the appeal for you?
Mark Waid: I love the street-level adventure of the character, always have. Next to Captain America, Daredevil was always my favorite Marvel hero growing up because Matt wasn’t much of a brooder--if he had a problem, he’d go solve it. I loved that. And I still do. Matt’s a fighter, and that’s the appeal.
Geek: Could you tell us a little about the current landscape for Matt Murdock, whose life has been pretty much wrecked over the last year?
MW: Matt Murdock, over the past ten years in particular, has had the kind of soul-sucking, tragedy filled life that would drive a lesser man into a sanitarium. He’s lost loves, he’s been driven to the point of murder, he’s been jailed, he’s had his secret identity exposed... honestly, there’s not much left to do to the poor guy unless we want to make him deaf, too. He’s been driven to the breaking point so many times that when he resurfaces in our new series, after a brief sabbatical, Matt Murdock is determined to put the past behind him and act like nothing’s wrong—but his friends aren’t as forgiving of him as he himself seems to be, and that Matt wants to glibly hand-wave away his past troubles and doesn’t seem interested in owning some of the questionable things he’s done—that’s going to cause him real problems.
Geek: It feels like—at least since Miller’s run on the book—the two defining character traits of Matt Murdock are pronounced Catholic guilt and a self-destructive personality. Who do you think the character is beyond those traits?
MW: I think he’s, at core, a man who desperately needs to believe that there’s always justice in the world if you’re willing to work to find it, that there’s some meaning and balance to all of life’s events—because if there really is no justice, if there really is no grander design, then Matt can’t function. Deep down—DEEP down—Matt genuinely needs to believe that there’s some reason a young boy would be scarred, hospitalized, traumatized, and permanently robbed of his sight simply because he did the right thing in saving an old man from traffic.
Geek: You mentioned at C2E2 that there would be a conscious attempt to get Matt out of the grimness that has marked the last decade or so of stories. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
MW: As I said, Matt’s coping with the horrors of his recent past by... well, it depends on who you ask. He’d tell you he’s coping by simply deciding to change his attitude and stop feeling defeated and morbid, that he’s been pushed to the point where his only two choices are to put a gun in his mouth or to embrace life and celebrate it. His friends might characterize Matt’s behavior less as a coping mechanism and more as irresponsible denial. The jury’s out. But in the meantime, Matt’s had his fill of ninjas and Bullseyes and the Kingpin and has moved uptown and is facing a new brand of villainy—street level supervillainy with a darker edge to it than you’d see in, say, Amazing Spider-Man... but, yes, bring on the bad guys!
Geek: How do you feel artists Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera will help in this change in tone?
MW: Both of these insanely talented men have a gift for bringing a swashbuckling bounce back to the character without losing the noir feel that has served the series well all these years. Man, their take on Daredevil completely rewrites the visual language of the book. They’re doing phenomenal work.
Geek: How is work coming along on your other Marvel project, Ruse?
MW: Great! Finishing up the last issue tonight, in fact, and I’d forgotten how much fun this is to write. Let’s hope sales lead to demand for more!
Geek: Three words or less: tease a few of your favorite moments from the upcoming run.
MW: Klaw. Matt’s new profession. A violin. Redesigned billy club. Angry Captain America.
Geek: What else do you have coming up in the near future?
MW: Still working on my own books, Irredeemable and Incorruptible for BOOM! Studios, as well as The Traveler with Stan Lee. That’s a lot. I need a nap.
Daredevil will be returning to shelves with a new #1 starting in July.