The past year and a half has not been kind to Daredevil. He was possessed by a demon and manipulated by the Hand during Shadowland, alienating his friends in the process.
Leaving Hell's Kitchen in the hands of the Black Panther, he embarked on a mission to find himself again — as a man and as a hero — as told in the recently wrapped miniseries Daredevil Reborn. Back in March, it was announced that series would be followed up by a new Daredevil ongoing starting this July with a new #1. Little has been announced with what direction the title will take, other than Matt Murdock getting back to his roots.
Joining writer and contemporary legend Mark Waid on the book is artist Paolo Rivera, who's built quite the name for himself in the past few years. He's worked on numerous Marvel projects in the recent past, including interior art on the Mythos series of one-shots and Amazing Spider-Man, plus covers for The Twelve. Newsarama sat down with Rivera to talk about what lies ahead for Matt Murdock, and what it's like working on such a classic character.
Newsarama: You've worked on Spider-Man, produced some Daredevil covers and illustrated Mythos, so who made the call to put you on Daredevil?
Paolo Rivera: That would be Steve Wacker. He was my editor since about 2007. We started working together on Mythos, and Amazing Spider-Man, and he mentioned Daredevil to me last year, but we weren't sure when everything was going to fall into place with everyone's schedules. As soon as he told, I said I was in. Just say when and where, and I'll be there.
Nrama: On Andy Diggle's recent run on Daredevil, you did most of the covers. In this new volume, will you deviate from what you've done before?
Rivera: Well at least for the first three issues, the covers will be fully painted as I usually do. As for the interiors, I will just be penciling while my dad will be inking, and I believe Javier Rodriguez on colors. As for the actual art work, I don't have a particular goal, except do what I normally do and try to make the best comic book I can. I've done some character sketches of Daredevil that I'm going to redesign, like his billy club, I also have a extra surprises in store that I was talking to Mark Waid about the other day and he seemed to like them… so I'll leave it at that.
Nrama: The other half of the art team is Marcos Martin. What is it like collaborating with him?
Rivera: I've been a fan of his work since the first time I came across his stuff for Doctor Strange: The Oath. The second time I came across his stuff was on Amazing Spider-Man just before I started working on it myself. His issue with Paperdoll, I saw that on the stands, thought that was a beautiful cover and he quickly became one of my favorite artists. So when Steve came to us and said it's going to be you two doing three issues on, three issues off it was perfect. I mean I couldn't ask for anything better. I love his work and it's a bit of some friendly competition. [Laughs.]Nrama: Were you always a big Daredevil fan growing up?
Rivera: I wasn't a huge Daredevil fan, but I slowly came around to him. I was a big fan of Joe Quesada and when I came across his "Guardian Devil" story with Kevin Smith, that is when I think that was the first book I ever read with Daredevil in the starring role. Other than that I haven't read that much, but I have read the big ones, so to speak. Man Without Fear and "Born Again," with "Born Again" being the main thing when I think of Daredevil.
Nrama: Mark Waid has mentioned that Daredevil has gotten a little too dark and he wants to try and bring Matt out of the darkness a bit to have some old-fashioned Daredevil adventures. Do you think this direction will affect how you present your story artistically?
Rivera: I think automatically between me and Marcos we already sort of have a, I don't want to say "cartoony" feel –
Nrama:: [Laughs.] I think "cartoony" is completely okay to say.
Rivera: [Laughs.] Good! We love cartoons and our styles are more conducive to the type of story we're going for. Steve knew that and knew what Mark's take on Daredevil was going to be. I mean, it's still going to have crime with a noir edge with him fighting the mob and drug dealers, in addition to that, we're going to have him fight supervillians, and major ones at that. You know what? Superheroes, too. In issue 2, he'll fight a major superhero as well. A famous one.
One of Mark's things is with Matt coming back to New York is that he needs to get past [Shadowland] and so he's just going through his life he needs to and whatever is necessary. However, not all of his friends and colleagues in New York are ready to let him do that. He did some pretty bad stuff and not everybody is ready to forgive him.
Nrama: Shadowland took Matt to a dark place, some say as far as he has ever been, which was reflected in Billy Tan's style with the heavy inks and lots of shadows. How will your story differ from that?
Rivera: We're not going to do full left rudder here, just slightly in a different direction from where he is now, but still having the classic stuff in there as well. We're bringing Matt back to basics. You know, when talking to Mark and we want to make it our own book and at the same time, we don't want to completely change Daredevil. We just want make a solid book month after month. It's going to be the Daredevil you know and love, but it's also going to be our book.More from Newsarama on Daredevil: <li> Mark Waid on a DAREDEVIL That 'Won't Drive You to Drink' <li> More on WAID's Big C2E2 DAREDEVIL Announcement <li> After SHADOWLAND, Andy Diggle Debuts a DAREDEVIL: REBORN Visit Newsarama on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and tell us what you think!