Daredevil: End Of Days Concludes Matt Murdock’s Story In Style
Guess what, everyone — it’s Friday and that means I get to talk about comics! Yay!
Before we begin, let’s get a few things clean out of the way. Just so we’re all on the same page. No pun intended.
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First, this isn’t technically a review of a comic series because my only real qualifications for doing comic reviews are a keyboard, an internet connection and an opinion. However, I have read a fair amount of comics, which compares to my ability to do game reviews insofar as, I’ve played a lot of games — seriously, a lot — and it helps that I happen to know what I’m talking about. Still, since I’m not exactly the most experienced at this, given that I’ve barely ever even read comic reviews myself, I’m just going to keep this to the regular opinion-based article format that I apply for most of the exclusive stuff that I do. Cool?
Second, I’m not the biggest fan of Daredevil. Mind you, as I’ve stated before, I do believe that as a character Daredevil is much, much better than Batman, his closest DC counterpart. The duo have been compared pretty much since similarities were first drawn between them and my personal opinion of Batman aside — he’s overrated, he’s popular for stupid reasons, I really don’t see how he’s any more believable than an alien powered by the sun — I do believe that Daredevil suffers from being severely underrated purely because Batman exists. Except, of course, if you’re a Marvel die-hard.
Third, I don’t expect a lot of people to read this, even comic book fans, owing mostly to said underrated quality of the character in question, which is a crying shame. Still, if you are, then I’m grateful for that. Hugs.
Okay so with all of that said and done, you really need to try and get a hold of this limited edition series and read it, if you’ve ever enjoyed a good mystery slash detective story, with some blood and gore and a few cameos thrown in for effect. It comes highly recommended. But I suppose you guys will be wanting some of the minutia, so let’s get down to it.
Daredevil: End of Days is a limited edition series of comics comprising eight (8) issues, written by the duo of Brian Michael Bendis and David W. Mack with drawings by Klaus Janson and inking by Bill Sienkiewicz. It is classified under ‘The End’ series of off-spins from Marvel which take place in a hypothetical future situation. However, unlike the rest of the comics in The End, which are basically concluding stories for various characters including The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Hulk and Iron Man, Daredevil: End of Days is regarded as canon and therefore, results in a permanent change in the Marvel line-up, with regards to the Daredevil character.
Now we’re all, I assume, familiar with comic book continuity. Nobody ever really dies, to quote the acronym for a Pharrel Williams inspired music act from many years ago, and so it’s possible that one day, through the magic of rebooting — Peter Parker, anyone? More on this at a future date — he’ll be back, but right now, Matt Murdock is dead. And that’s not even a spoiler. That happens, in shockingly gory detail, right at the beginning of the first issue. And he’s not the only one. Various other characters across the limited edition series also meet their ends, which once again remember is considered canon now, resulting in a dramatic shift-up for the Daredevil universe, already so intertwined with those of Spider-Man, Taskmaster, The Punisher and the New Avengers.
The story kicks off with the death of blind lawyer Matt Murdock, now publicly known as Daredevil, at the hand of his arch enemy Bullseye. (We all have one, right?) But in this near-future situation, Daredevil is a mere shadow of his former self, and that’s not even referring to his ninja training. He is a failed superhero who allowed himself to kill The Kingpin in a moment of weakness, and was never forgiven for it. His secret identity revealed, he had gone into hiding for years before surfacing in time for his untimely demise. (I love writing.) In his final moment, Daredevil utters a single word: “Mapone.” Tasked with finding out what happened to him and writing a fitting send-off to the hero of Hell’s Kitchen, Daily Bugle journalist and personal friend of Daredevil, Ben Urich, sets out to uncover the dual mystery of just where on Earth Daredevil was all these years, and exactly what that final word of his means.
The resulting story that transpires from these events almost entirely follows Urich’s point of view, with his thoughts, his narrations and his interactions with a whole slew of former Daredevil cast members including Elektra, Typhoid Mary, Echo as well as noted villains of the series such as The Owl and The Purple Man. There are also a few cameos from other Marvel characters operating out of New York who have had interactions with Daredevil, the likes of The Punisher, Spider-Man and even Nick Fury — the old, greying white man version, not Samuel L Jackson.
One of the biggest things about Daredevil: End of Days, and ultimately the reason I decided to write about it, was that it’s a truly well-written series of comics in that it’s gripping, it’s immersive and it really makes you want to know what happens next. I read through all eight issues in a single night, after thinking to myself, “Eh, let’s give this a go.” Boy was I in for a ride. It’s dark and gritty and there are some very real deaths that occur — and some other revelations as well — but at the same time it can elicit a chuckle or two, and it’s got some really intricate detailing hidden away in every panel, for those of you who enjoy paying attention.
In Daredevil: End of Days, the basic concept here is that Matt Murdock is dead but he left something of a legacy, and it is because of that legacy that the Daredevil character will live on. It might not be the same cast, it might not be the same person, but that’s okay because it’s still Daredevil. The same way it’s okay that Batman Beyond exists — because I just have to compare the two.
Daredevil: End of Days is an excellent limited edition series of comics, and since it’s canon, if you’re a fan of Daredevil then you’d probably be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check it out. If you enjoy Marvel comics — like I do, seriously fuck New 52 — then you should also be checking it out. If not for the character, then for one of the best investigate comics since the original Detective Comics, but with far better visual designs and some truly harrowing images. Also, this. Well played, Marvel.