They call Daredevil the Man Without Fear, but fans of the Daredevil series by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee were full of fear when Marvel announced last month the series would be coming to a close. But we’ve recently learned that it’s not an end of era, but simply an end of a chapter and the start of a new one. In other words, Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Daredevil are back!
In March Marvel will relaunch Waid and Samnee’s Daredevil with a new #1 as part of the “All-New Marvel NOW!” wave of titles, following Murdock’s relocation to San Francisco. The upcoming Infinite comic Daredevil: Road Warrior covers the hero’s transition to the West Coast, leaving March’s Daredevil #1 to show Murdock in the thick of it at the City by the Bay.
Newsarama caught up with both Waid and Samnee about the relaunch of Daredevil, and discovered some familiar and not-so-familiar faces that Murdoch will find in San Francisco.
Newsarama: The team is back together! Can you tell us what the plans were and what made it ideal to relaunch the series with a new #1?
Mark Waid: We'd been talking about a relaunch for a while--Marvel actually offered us the chance to relaunch Daredevil during the initial “Marvel Now!” rollout--but until now, we were never at place where it made sense in the context of the series. Following the events of Daredevil #36, however, a whole new fresh start for Daredevil and his surviving cast members is perfectly apropos.
Nrama: Chris, does this feel like just like the next issue after Daredevil #36 or has the new #1 taken hold on the story for you?
Chris Samnee: A little bit of each, maybe? It doesn't really feel like just the next issue after #36 because Matt Murdock is in a new place, both physically and in his life. But it's still the same Daredevil that fans know and love. There's definitely a bit more pressure with it being a new #1 though.
Nrama: New #1s seems like a chance to do new things, be it new creators, new costumes or dramatic changes. Mark's telling us about the story, but are you using #1 to bring about any artistic changes?
Samnee: I'm making a few tweaks to Daredevil's costume, but they're so small that I may be the only one that notices! I won't be doing any big artistic changes as I think what we've been doing works really well. I will have the challenge of drawing a new city with new characters and that in and of itself will be enough change for me!
Nrama: That’s a good point! This will pick up after the Daredevil: Road Warrior Infinity comic which will see Matt relocating to San Francisco. From the sounds of this it looks like he's staying, but where in SF? He's specific in New York City to Hell's Kitchen, so what's his neighborhood in San Francisco?
Waid: He's still shopping, to tell you the truth. Hey, Samnee – road trip!
Nrama: Excellent! And what's the draw in the first place for him to want to leave NYC and put down roots in San Francisco?
Waid: Without spoiling too much of Daredevil #36, let's just say that as of the climax of the “Sons of the Serpent” storyline, Matt's options in New York are substantially narrowed.
Nrama: Chris, in the past Matt has seemed to live and breathe NYC and Hell's Kitchen, so how are you going about adapting his surroundings and drawing a different skyline, building time and just feel for a city?
Samnee: Well, the firstDaredevil stories I ever read were when Matt was in San Francisco, so it feels like a natural environment for Daredevil to me. San Francisco seems like a brighter, lighter city to me, especially compared with the Hell's Kitchen in the comics, which is very dark and moody, so I'm excited to see what kind of environments Matt ends up in. It's always nice to change things around from time to time. And having fresh environments to draw keeps me on my toes!
Nrama: What would you like to tell people in San Francisco about the city you'll be drawing each month in Daredevil?
Samnee: Well, I think they know the city better than I do so I'm not sure what I could tell them! But really this is going to be our version of San Francisco, just like it was our version of New York, so I hope they give me a bit of leeway when it comes to the look of the city. I'll do my best to stay true to the feel of the city though, and I hope they enjoy having Daredevil amidst them!
Nrama: Is Matt bringing both his superhero career and his law work here to San Francisco with him?
Waid: As much as I'd love to write the ongoing adventures of Matt Murdock, Two-Fisted Guy In A Business Suit, Daredevil is part and parcel of what makes him a great Marvel character. Daredevil's no stranger to San Francisco, but it's time they renewed their acquaintance.
Nrama: NYC is pretty well-known for its superheroes, but I couldn't tell you who else operates in San Francisco. Can you give me the lay of the land in terms of Superheroes in California and SF specifically?
Waid:The only hero I know who also works in San Francisco is the Shroud. Whoops. I just spilled a big secret...
Nrama: How does the recent announcement of a Daredevil TV series on Netflix color what you're doing (or thinking) working on the Daredevil comic?
Samnee: It really doesn't have much effect on what we're doing since it's two separate things so we're just going to keep making the best comics we can make. I am excited to watch it though. I think Matt Murdock being a lawyer lends itself to the television format really well. I'm hoping its part courtroom drama and part superhero antics. I'm excited to see who they cast and how they handle some of the challenges we've had in the comic - like the radar vision. And I think anything that raises Daredevil's profile with the general public and comic fans alike is a great thing for our book.
Nrama: Last question – you've been all about big in quantity and quantity of threats Matt has faced in your run on Daredevil, so who can we look forward to in this new series?
Waid:Well, I suppose there's the Shroud. And the Stunt-Master. And the return of Ikari. And a couple of all-new villains that Chris is designing even now...!