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Friday, September 27, 2013 

Mark Waid hasn't been a good fit for Daredevil since the turn of the century

The Washington Post interviewed Mark Waid about his run on Daredevil, beginning with:
THIRTY-ONE ISSUES into his run on Daredevil, Mark Waid is clearly on his way to adding his name to the list of writers who have told incredible tales featuring “the man without fear.”
Yeah, and that includes "incredible" ones with political overtones more noticeable than anything he did 2 decades ago. He's only on his way to adding his name to the list of hack writers who've brought down the quality of Hornhead's book since 2000, along with the rest of Marvel.
With no end in sight, Waid's Daredevil continues to be a hit — going strong without the grim, darker tone that highlighted the critically acclaimed runs of Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker. The pulse of Waid's Daredevil has been brighter, filled with humor, adventure and — dare we say — fun.
This is disputable. Can stories plagued with the kind of leftism Waid's paraded along be brighter and less grim? Can they even be considered fun, amusing and adventurous? In fact, can the cover drawing for issue 31, which shows Daredevil and Foggy Nelson being chained in front of guillotines, be considered suitable for a book advertised as bright?
These aren't descriptions one would normally associate with Marvel's blind lawyer/vigilante Matt Murdock, and no one is more aware of that than Waid, who initially was convinced that his writing style was not right for Daredevil.
Once, his writing style might have been great for Hornhead. But that time is long gone. His political bias has moved to the forefront, and he can't seem to keep himself from injecting it.

Ironically, his writing style isn't suited for Daredevil, because he's flooded it with something that soaks the impact.
“I'd always loved Daredevil — he was the first Marvel character whose comics I collected as a kid — but, honestly, I never wanted to write him because I never thought I'd be a good fit,” Waid tells Comic Riffs via e-mail. “I love what Frank Miller did and I love the approach that all subsequent writers took with the character, but that approach — making it a crime book — was not something I thought I'd be good at.”

“I'm better at swashbuckling ad­ven­ture,” Waid continues. “When I was asked to take that tack, I was in. It was a risk, changing the tone of the series, but it seems to have worked, in no small part to the amazing artists I've been lucky to team with, from Paolo Rivera to Marcos Martin to Chris Samnee and everyone in between.”
If he's better at swashbuckling adventures, then why didn't he just stick to it? He's coughed out at least 2 stories with disgusting politics, and anybody that cynical with their approach isn't a good fit. This is just why it hasn't worked. Why, I can't say the artwork (by Samnee) is my cup of tea either, because it doesn't have the natural feelings the older comics used to sport.
While he has enjoyed applying his writing style to Daredevil, there is one major aspect of the character that Waid inherited from previous writers: Daredevil's secret identity being known to the general public. Waid says he enjoys writing a title where everyone knows the secret identity, even though the hero insists that he isn't the hero.

“It is awesome. It's the most fun running gag we have,” Waid says. “And it doesn't really work for anyone but Daredevil, because no one else in the Marvel Universe is quite as brash or cocky or — forgive me — devil-may-care as Matt Murdock. All other things being equal, he'd rather it were still a secret, but Matt's philosophy is, ‘Play it as it lays.’"
I'm not against all superheroes shedding their secrecy on real IDs, but Daredevil's unmasking - brewed up by Brian Bendis a decade ago - is one I decidedly am against. I'm not sure if it's because the darker angle the series was long known for makes it more plausible he keep it like Batman, but I do believe Bendis's step was ultimately pointless, and given how blatant he is, that's why I think it was just as bad a step as Kevin Smith's wiping out Karen Page during his run when the series started off the Marvel Knights line that ran for 8 years.

And does Waid really think Peter Parker isn't as brash and cocky as Matt Murdock? Strange, because there were a couple times they teamed up and worked well together, even if the storytelling angles weren't the same in their respective series.

And just how is the series under Waid a hit, critically or even sales-wise? Last time I looked, it was selling pretty low at 35,240 copies sent out to the stores. I don't see what makes that so big.

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I agree. I don't see how a series that features sob stories about "oppressed" Muslims and a pathetic Trayvon Martin allegory can be "fun."

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