cover.The current Daredevil series launched this past July and was one of Marvel's most successful launches of 2011, with veteran writer Mark Waid returning to ongoing, monthly work at the publisher and joined by acclaimed artists Paolo Rivera and Marcso Martin. The book landed on countless year-end "best of" lists, and it's clear that Waid has more in store for 2012.
In Daredevil, the title character has adopted a much more positive attitude than in recent years, following the demonic possession and general upheaval of the 2010 Shadowland event. Matt Murdock is back in the legal world and engaging in straight superheroics, after more than a decade of one tragic event after another.
With the first hardcover collection of the new series now in stores, Newsarama caught up with Waid over email about the series, the reception it’s gotten so far, what lies ahead, and a tantalizing tease about what might be next for the writer. Plus, courtesy of Marvel, we have exclusive interior pages from this month's Daredevil #9 by Rivera, featuring DD against the forces of old-school Fantastic Four villain The Mole Man.
Newsarama: Mark, to say the reaction to your run on Daredevil thus far has been positive would be an understatement. Aside from the obvious strengths in the writing and art, what do you think it is about the series that's really struck a cord with people? Do you think part of it was that readers were simply ready to see Matt Murdock in a brighter place?Mark Waid: I think that's a huge part of it. That doesn't mean that there are no consequences for Daredevil, no repercussions to his actions, no hurt in his future — but he wins. That's what people seem to be responding to as far as the storylines go.
Nrama: The first hardcover collection of the series came out last week, containing issues #1-#6. Do you have any favorite moments or sequences that stick out in those issues, things you see as coming off especially well?
Waid: My favorite moments are the Matt and Foggy ones — the way both Paolo and Marcos are able to convey, subtly, a wide range of dramatic emotion. Also, I really, really dig what both artists have done with turning onomatopoeia into solid objects — using "sound" as an effective way to give form to what Daredevil "sees" with his enhanced senses.
Other highlights to me were how Marcos took the busking scene I wrote in issue one from a park to a subway and how he integrated the rhythm of a subway train to make that scene work — and how Paolo elected to start the whole series off with Daredevil's back to us to emphasize that he doesn't need to look in the direction he's "seeing."Nrama: Of course, a huge part of the book's success has been the amazing artists you've worked with — Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin and, in the latest issue, Kano. What has the experience been like working with such top talent? What qualities do all these artists share that have made them right for the book?
Waid: Storytelling, first and foremost. A fearlessness (appropriate, no?) about being able to draw anything, anywhere, with authenticity and emotion. I fear for the day that these artists realize I'm just holding them back and they don't need me.
Nrama: Speaking of issue #8, the two-part DD/Spidey crossover "Devil and the Details" just wrapped up. Given your recent experience as part of the Amazing Spider-Man writing team and the history between Matt and Peter, how much of a priority was it for you to pair the two characters in the first year of your run?
Waid: Honestly, it wasn't in the original game plan — but once editor Steve Wacker pitched it out and offered to loan us Black Cat for an extended period (also thanks to the grace of writer Dan Slott), the crossover made perfect sense and opened up a ton of new plot possibilities.Also… I mean, geez, how much fun is it to write those two characters teamed up? The way they play off one another, their dialogue just sort of appears full-blown in my head, like I can "hear" them.
Nrama: On the horizon, in the Klaw tradition of villains you wouldn't expect Daredevil to face, Mole Man is on the docket to appear in issue #9 and #10. What inspired you to use him?
Waid: One, they're both blind. Two, they both have a form of radar-sense. Three, I wanted to see the Devil on a Dante-esque journey through the dark and monstrous underworld, and boy, did Paolo deliver on the visuals. Those covers alone are so evocative of Doré's classic depictions of Hades that I find them stunning.
Nrama: April brings a Point One issue for Daredevil, with art from Khoi Pham. Seeing as how the series is still relatively early in its run, and, I think, pretty accessible on its own, how did you approach writing the issue to make it specifically new reader friendly?Daredevil #10.1
cover.Waid: Honestly? Seriously? I made a list for myself of "everything you would need to know about Daredevil if you've never read the series before" — everything from his name to his profession to Foggy's name to the reasons why he does what he does to his every superpower and so on and so forth — and then I very carefully and very deliberately laced all that information into a story that shows DD in action and sets the stage for the next story arc.
It's a surprisingly difficult thing to do, actually — not to hit those informational beats, but to avoid boring longtime readers by revealing those details in new and different ways. I think we pulled it off. If not, I look forward to your emails.
Nrama: Also in April is the "Omega Effect" story that you're co-writing with Greg Rucka. You guys have worked together before, notably on 52 a few years back over at DC — what's it been like collaborating with him again?Waid: Easy as can be. Greg's a charming and gracious collaborator and enjoys the back-and-forth, as do I. We definitely play to one another's strengths — I'm better at the straight superhero stuff, while Greg's a much smarter plotter and much wiser about the street-level action. It's really a joy, seriously. Also, he's very patient with the way I'll phone him up drunk at 3:00 a.m., weeping that I've forgotten how to write and that I'm going to chuck it all and open up a tire store.
Nrama: Finally, I know there's surely nothing specific you can say, but with Daredevil going strong, you're more of a part of the Marvel Universe than you have been in years, and were in attendance at the Marvel retreat last month. So is there a chance we might see even more from you at Marvel in the near-ish future?
Waid: There's always a chance. A good chance, in fact. I'd say more, but I'm already dangerously close to triggering the shock collar.More from Newsarama on Daredevil:
- Rucka & Waid Team Up For Spidey/Daredevil/Punisher Crossover
- Marvel 'Next Big Thing' - Mark Waid Talks DAREDEVIL - LIVE
- DAREDEVIL Artist Paolo Rivera Talks Going 'Back to Basics'
- More on WAID's Big C2E2 DAREDEVIL Announcement
- Mark Waid on a DAREDEVIL That 'Won't Drive You to Drink'