I’ve been a fan of Daredevil since Kevin Smith kicked off Daredevil with “Guardian Devil.” “Guardian Devil” is an amazing story that opens the door to, probably, the best consecutive run of Daredevil in since the character’s inception. After Kevin Smith, David Mack, Brian Michael Bendis, and Ed Brubacker took the reins; with Bendis writing an amazing four year run that developed Matt Murdock, Daredevil, and even his enemies in ways that hadn’t been done previously. Many were nervous when Andy Diggle stepped in after Brubaker’s great story telling and were not let down. Diggle took the character where he had never been before; he made him a leader and a man to be feared by everyone.
The Hand is known throughout the Marvel Universe as the mystical red ninjas that turn to green smoke upon death. For a long time The Hand was headed by Daredevil’s ex-lover Electra; however, after revealing that she was a Skrull (Secret Invasion) several people vied for the position to lead the hand and gain all of the power that leading the hand brings, namely a metric fuck-ton of ninjas. The Hand offered the position to Matt Murdock (Daredevil) who at first turned it down, but in order to keep the King Pin from being their leader he accepted the offer; this leads into Shadowland.
Shadowland is a Daredevil mini-series that is based around a corrupt Daredevil running the Hell’s Kitchen as the leader of the Hand. I didn’t think the whole of Shadowland was that great, but there were some really great things about it. There was a change in costume to a sweet Black costume and you got to see Bullseye get what was coming to him. The series felt like it ran long, but maybe that was in part due to the tie-ins that felt like they said the same thing over and over again. I’m not going to spoil Shadowland for you, but just know that it ends with Matt Murdock leaving New York to find some kind of redemption.
Daredevil: Reborn is a four part mini-series written by Andy Diggle (Shadowland, The Losers, Hellblazer) and illustrated by Davide Gianfelice (Weapon X, Northlanders, Greek Street) that takes place immediately following Shadowland and is essentially how he finds his redemption. The story takes place in a small nowhere town in New Mexico, where Matt Murdock (who now looks like Abe Lincoln with red hair) finds trouble. Truthfully this story sounds like a made for TV movie. He wanders into town that has a secret and they don’t want him there. He meets a young boy he can relate with and is ultimately forced to become the hero he no longer wanted to be. This story couldn’t be any more trite. The writing wasn’t bad and the art looked fine, but I didn’t feel the story had the depth required to heal Murdock’s mind after the trauma he suffered in Shadowland.
You can give it a shot if you’re a Daredevil fan and you want to see happens before Daredevil #1 in July. Otherwise don’t bother with it.