We’ve been waiting for this issue for several months. It was teased as both an end and a beginning by Marvel, and that’s quite a true description. After last issue’s big cliffhanger we were perhaps left expecting a big, explosive conclusion. What we got instead was a partial conclusion that felt like the end of a story arc rather than a volume. The reason seems to be that for the creators of Daredevil this is just a chapter’s end, as they’re staying on to relaunch with a new #1 issue without missing a month. While it’s understandable, the fact that a grand finale was somewhat expected makes “Daredevil #36” feel a bit strange.
That said, this was a solid issue of Daredevil. Waid and Samnee have a very solid grasp on Matt and Foggy’s relationship at this point, and we see just how much they care for each other with an emotional flashback scene. Matt’s reveal from issue #35’s end also gets the proper weight, as we see many fellow heroes react to it (I especially liked the nod to Matt Fraction’s bandaged Clint Barton). The execution of Matt’s plan for defeating the Sons Of The Serpent, while perhaps slightly quick, did bring a few callbacks to the previous issues in this volume. The main weight of these actions, though, is in the consequences. And with Daredevil the consequences are often severe. However, Waid’s and Samnee’s run with Daredevil has been marked by their twist on the character: juggling seriousness with humor and giving off a feeling of optimism even in dark times. This issue does a great job of representing that ability by showing us the somber moments before and after Daredevil’s confrontation with the SOTS and ending with a note of hope for a better future.
While “Daredevil #36” isn’t an explosive end, it gives conclusions to a number of storylines while making room for others, as well as shaking up the status quo. The correct way to view this issue is as a transition, and as such it performs very well.
Asaph Bitner is a staff writer for Capeless Crusader. His other activities include studying for a college degree and dreaming of visiting the Song Of Ice And Fire universe as a future-tech wielding Jedi secret agent. You can follow him on twitter at @AsaphBitner.