Daredevil has been born and bred in the inner city streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, but in the upcoming final arc of Daredevil: Dark Nights a familiar creator and fellow New Yorker is taking him to Miami Beach. Beginning with November’s Daredevil: Dark Nights #6, Marvel Knights co-founder Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Thony Silas are sending Matt Murdock to South Florida and beyond in pursuit of a client fleeing prosecution. But in this “fish out of water” setting, Murdock’s got some help in the name of the determined detective (and part bionic) Misty Knight.
Palmiotti has a long history with Daredevil, acting as editor and inker during the character’s revitalization of the character in the Marvel Knights line and even co-writing an early issue with his long-time partner Joe Quesada. And now thirteen years after that and a variety of Marvel, DC and creator-owned titles under his belt, he’s back to the Man Without Fear to give him a long overdue Florida vacation.
Newsarama: Jimmy, what can you tell us about this three-issue finale to Daredevil: Dark Nights?
Jimmy Palmiotti: I can tell you that I take Daredevil out of New York and have him escorting a witness to a trial taking place in Miami where Matt runs into Misty Knight, also there for another reason that has to do with the same trial. They hang out, get into trouble and their adventure takes them to Cuba for the next two issues. I loved all the issues before this one for the Daredevil: Dark Nights series and because the last two adventures were so intense and dark, I felt it would be cool to turn up the heat a bit and try to do something completely different. Time will tell if that worked out.
Nrama: From Hell’s Kitchen down to Miami and Cuba. What brought on this change of scenery?
Palmiotti: I felt that we have seen Matt in the same city for just about every issue of his book and thought this would give us a chance to see him work in different surroundings. I wanted a less intense Matt to have some fun for a change…but even that doesn’t last very long because of what happens while there. Even with this set up, we still manage to get some classic action and adventure that features people being thrown out of skyscraper windows, shootouts in the streets, helicopters blowing up, the assault of a drug lords sanctuary, a torture basement of horror, some missile launching, Daredevil on a horse, and so much more!
Nrama: And Daredevil's not alone in this – you mentioned Misty Knight is coming on board. How's she involved with this?
Palmiotti: Misty is connected to the case, same as Matt… and they both get caught up tracking down the same kidnapped witness. I love the Misty Knight character and when they offered me the book it was the first idea I pitched. I look at both of these characters as being in their sexual prime and approached the idea that they are both doing business in a place where others vacation and how would their attitude to each other be different. I was thinking they would both be a little bit more playful and open than usual, especially when they are in a city that has so many problems on a daily basis…to take them somewhere more relaxed. The joke of it all is they cannot relax for long.
Nrama: Every superhero story has to has its villain - who's in Daredevil's way here?
Palmiotti: A drug lord named King who operated out of Cuba, but has ties and a history with Misty in her past. He is the catalyst for all that is going down but unlike most fight books, this is an adventure where the trip is the best part of the story…how the characters get to him and how they deal with each other. It’s an adventure story in a classic sense with a lot of fun moments where we get to see Matt let his hair down and be a regular guy. King is an arrogant rich kid that did his time on the streets and decided to move himself and his business out of the states so he can do whatever he pleases.
Nrama: Seeing you on this is like a grand reunion, not only for your writing and inking work on Daredevil before with Marvel Knights but also in your previous work with Misty in Sisters of the Dragon and Heroes For Hire. What's it like coming back to these two familiar characters?
Palmiotti:I have only written Daredevil once and getting to write this was intimidating at first because I grew up with Frank Miller’s Daredevil, then worked on the series with Kevin Smith and Jo Quesada. I would have loved to do something intense and life changing with the character, but having 3 issues to work in, I went with a story that plays with my own strengths and it happens to be action and humor with some intense action in-between. When you take on a job like this you want to do the best you can each and every time and what was funny about this was that I felt the characters were writing the action for me. I think at this point I feel I know them both so well it was like writing a story about two life long friends. I know it sounds weird, but it’s something a lot of writers have when they get to write their favorites. This past month I was writing this series and the new Painkiller Jane series for Icon and I was having flashbacks… the nice warm and fuzzy kind,
Nrama: Seeing Daredevil in the sunny heat of South Florida and the Caribbean is a real "fish out of water" story. What's it like contrasting him with this sunny scenario?
Palmiotti: Ever notice when people are away from home they act a bit different? Well, in this series we made sure to give Matt a red bathing suit, and sunglasses to go with the summer weather and attitude. What was fun about writing this was that a lot of the book Matt had to wear regular clothes otherwise he would stand out too much. You can get away with the superhero suit in New York much easier than you could in a small town in Cuba. Misty doesn’t have that problem because she wears whatever the hell she wants and the idea of her having one superhero suit is totally ridiculous if you know anything about the character. Putting them both in bathing suits in issue one was a blast and the dialogue between them was so flirty, I think a lot of people are going enjoy them together.
Nrama: Joining you on this a vibrant newcomer named Thony Silas, who seems right up your alley compared to previous collaborators. What's in his work that you're excited to write for?
Palmiotti: My editor Thomas Brennan at Marvel sent me a few different artists work and I was trying to find someone that had not only the right style but was able to pace action and emotion in their drawings. Thony’s work really stood out to me on all of these levels and he did some amazing character studies that sold me on him. I do love working with new talent all the time but also having a seasoned professional like Nelson DeCastro inking Thony, well, the final product was beautiful. The extra cherry on top was getting Amanda Conner to do the covers for the three issues. I think together these are pretty beautiful comics and I think it’s a proper launch to what I see is a very long career ahead in comics for Thony Silas.