***This article contains major spoilers for Daredevil #26, released earlier this week.***
Things have looked bleak for Matt Murdock late in the ongoing Daredevil series, a familiar feeling for the oft-tortured superhero. In this week's issue #26 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, he found out who had been masterminding his recent struggles: His long-time enemy Bullseye, thought dead since the 2010 Shadowland event.
In that story, a possessed Daredevil stabbed Bullseye with the villain's own sai, in an incident that echoed Bullseye's murder of Elektra during Frank Miller's iconic run on the series. While Bullseye is back, he's not quite the same — paralyzed inside an iron lung, he's turned to using his mind against Daredevil rather than his formerly unparalleled physical skills.
Newsarama talked with Marvel senior editor Stephen Wacker about the latest Daredevil developments, what this might mean for the series as a whole, and how this story relates to the upcoming Savage Wolverine arc by Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira.
Newsarama: Steve, in the USA Today article, Mark Waid mentioned that Bullseye wasn't originally in his plans as he took on Daredevil, and obviously a big part of the book has been bringing in unexpected villains and guest stars (and it looks to continue to be, with Silver Surfer coming up in August). From an editorial perspective, with the theme and tone of the series so well established, did it essentially seem like it was the right time to bring in a classic DD villain like Bullseye — albeit in a very different form than his typical appearance?
Mark Waid: If I recall, Mark was looking for someone who had a really deep and strong hatred for Matt, enough that they’d jump through a zillion hoops to get him. To me anyway, there are only so many bad guys who fit that bill, so Mark was going to get there eventually.
As for guest stars, the ideas come from Mark but I generally like to mix the “worlds” of Marvel. I was an old Marvel Two-In-One and DC Comics Presents reader, so that’s sort of ingrained in me editorially.
Nrama: To that end, does the return of Bullseye possibly signify more classic DD villains turning up in the series, or is he (for now) a special case?
Wacker: We’re already had that with Stilt-Man back in #17… you don’t get more classic than that! But there is at least one other classic DD villain returning in the next couple months… and it’s someone who has been very visible recently in another book Ellie and I edit.
Nrama: As a former Thunderbolt and Dark Avenger, Bullseye now has ties to several different sections of Marvel. Though he doesn't seem to be able to get around much right now, how much potential storyline value is added throughout the Marvel Universe by having a villain of his caliber back on the board?
Wacker: The old saying that our heroes are defined by their bad guys, but it works the other way, also. Bullseye was kind of a goofy villain when he was introduced, but going up against Daredevil for several years has made him better and a bigger threat.
However, you’re going to have to read the conclusion in Daredevil #27 before assuming too much about Bullseye’s return. Mark, Chris, Javier [Rodriguez] and Joe [Caramagna] have a couple more tricks up their sleeve.
Nrama: In a recent interview we did with Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira about their Savage Wolverine story, it was mentioned that Bullseye's body, and the prospect of resurrecting it, was a part of their plans. Does that arc tie into this at all, however vaguely or distantly?
Wacker: Vaguely and distantly… but solidly. That story takes place “several months ago” and was originally going to come out last year. When we were putting it together, I knew what our Daredevil plans were, and Zeb and I worked to make it fit into the overall Bullseye plan.