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Comic Book / Daredevil (Charles Soule)

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The Devil and his apprentice

"Let me be clear. You might know me as Matt Murdock, defense attorney, here to help. That guy's gone. I've changed sides. I'm now a prosecutor for the great city of New York. I put the bad guys away."
Matt Murdock

Daredevil (initially collected in trade as Daredevil: Back in Black) is a 2015 comic from Marvel Comics, written by Charles Soule, with art primarily by Ron Garney and Phil Noto. Relaunched as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative, it is the fifth overall Daredevil series.

After finally coming out on top of things in Mark Waid's run, Matt Murdock is back in the thick of things. Having somehow erased the world's memories of his identity, Matt has returned to Hell's Kitchen, and is once again waging war against its criminals. At the same time, Matt Murdock has now become an assistant district attorney. Matt begins to battle against the villain Tenfingers and his gang on both fronts.

At the same time, Daredevil has taken on new hero Blindspot (Samuel Chung) as his apprentice. Sam is an illegal Chinese immigrant who has created an invisibility suit. He eventually decides to use the suit to fight crime, specifically in Chinatown, where he lives.

The run began in December of 2015, but had a short story introducing Blindspot in All-New, All-Different Marvel Point One #1 in November. In May of 2016, a Daredevil/The Punisher miniseries —coinciding with the second season of Daredevil— began, also written by Soule. After three years on the title, Soule's run wraps up in late 2018, with the "Death of Daredevil" arc.

In addition to the usual Daredevil tropes, Charles Soule's run provides examples of:

  • Above Good and Evil: Wilson Fisk considers it all to be about territorialism, not ethics.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Matt's hair color is now noticeably closer to Charlie Cox's, in that he's brunette and the red shows in certain light. Before this run, Matt was a straight-up redhead. In flashbacks to when he lived in San Francisco, his hair is also red. As of the "Supreme" arc, he is back to redhead.
    • Foggy's appearance now more closely resembles Elden Henson.
  • All Just a Dream: Almost the entirety of "The Death of Daredevil" is Matt's dream as he almost dies on the operating table following the car accident.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The last panel of issue #612 shows Matt flatlining, but the heart monitor shows one single beat.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Another one connected to the Hand — Elektra and Stick found a book which describes something called "the Fist" which can destroy the Hand, but it requires a King and Queen. One of which won't survive.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Sam's sister Hannah goes out clubbing late at night and eats food he saves for work in order to support the two.
  • Arc Words: "I cannot see the light. So I will be the light."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Seventh Day," a priest concedes that God made the evils in the world: dead puppies, natural disasters, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway...
  • Badass Normal:
    • Daredevil himself, as always.
    • Blindspot is a normal guy who can kick ass, the implications being that he was decently well versed in doing so even before he began gaining Daredevil's tutelage, which is confirmed in issue #27.
    • Tenfingers' gang. Matt comments that they fight like they've been training with Iron Fist. We later learn that's because they've been infused with eldritch magical energies from Tenfingers.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Issue #606 shows what appears to be Matt at a bar claiming to be his twin brother Mike, thus indicating he's reviving the old identity. But the issue ends with Matt as Daredevil walking in to find "Mike" smiling and saying "you must know my brother."
  • Book Ends: Matt's life as a blind superpowered hero begins and ends with car accidents.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Daredevil trains Blindspot in martial arts, teaching him that he shouldn't be too reliant on his invisibility suit.
  • Breather Episode: During the Supreme arc, Matt takes an entire issue out to just sit in a bar with Jennifer Walters.
  • Children Are Innocent: Played straight with the Purple Children.
  • Covers Always Lie: Averted with several covers in this series. They mostly depict a scene from the issue or give some hints as to what the issue is about. At times it gets rather abstract, though.
  • Cult: Tenfingers runs the Church of the Sheltering Hands. It mainly appeals to illegal immigrants, and promises to make life better for them. Of course, it needs their money to do so.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Compared to the Mark Waid run. The series itself is fairly standard with a regular Daredevil comic.
    • Matt's costume was black with red highlights until he won his Supreme Court case.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Wilson Fisk got himself elected as a political leader by telling people what he meant to do. They were so into the honesty they fell for it.
  • Dragon Lady: Sam's mom to Tenfingers.
  • Ear Worm: Dazzler's "Light of the Moon", which is so catchy it makes it from a lady several blocks away into Mike Murdock who isn't even created yet.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Averted with the Purple Man, who seems proud to never draw the line anywhere.
  • Eye Scream: Muse does this to Blindspot. Muse also seems to have had this done to himself.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Blindspot in "Land of the Blind."
  • Feel No Pain: When cornered by Daredevil and the police, Matt approaches to deliver a beatdown to Muse. Muse responds by casually breaking the fingers on one of his hands using his other hand, showing zero reaction to doing so.
  • Fingore:
    • Tenfingers does this to his henchmen as a reward.
    • Muse does this to himself, knowing that it's what Daredevil wanted to do anyway and as such stealing his revenge.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Sam is responsible, Hannah is not. Not until she has to be, anyway.
  • Foreshadowing: In what turns out to be Matt's nightmare, Tenfingers and Gladiator are alive again.
  • Gorn: It's not everywhere, but this run does indulge this trope when it feels the need.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • Steve Rogers in issue #4.
    • Spider-Man in issue #9.
    • Luke Cage and Echo in issue #21.
    • Jennifer Walters in issue #23.
    • Electra during the Mayor Murdock arc.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Blindspot soon after the Face–Heel Turn.
  • Heroic Build:
    • Matt/Daredevil has his, of course. As usual, his civilian clothes downplay it as part of keeping his identity secret. Sam/Blindspot also has a more understated one. Thanks to its art style, the Daredevil/Punisher mini-series makes it less of an understated one and more obvious.
    • Samuel/Blindspot cuts quite an impressive figure when out of costume in ANADM Point One.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Even though neither remember each other's real identities anymore, Spider-Man and Daredevil still remain best buddies.
  • Horseback Heroism: Daredevil and the Order of the Dragon ride police horses in their battle with the Hand.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: In the "Supreme" arc, Matt reveals that he threw the case in the Court of Appeals to get a chance to have it tried in Supreme Court.
  • The Illegal: Samuel and Lei Wu are illegal Chinese immigrants.
  • Inhuman Eye Concealers: Blindspot loses his eyes - until a Deal with the Devil gives him glowing Creepy Blue Eyes with black sclera. He hides them under opaque black sunglasses.
  • Insistent Terminology: Sam refuses to be Daredevil's "sidekick," and prefers "apprentice."
  • Invisibility: Blindspot's suit can do this, and uses normal batteries to do it.
  • Karmic Death: Tenfingers spends the first arc callously using the downtrodden Chinese immigrants for his own selfish purpose of a life of luxury, so it's really only fair that he suffered death from Muse who callously uses his victims for his own selfish purpose of "art." It is later shown to go beyond that.
  • Kicked Upstairs: When Fisk becomes mayor of New York, he hires Matt to be his deputy mayor, which is basically a powerless ceremonial position that doesn't even get to take over if the mayor is incapacitated. Fisk keeps Matt occupied by making him study huge regulatory manuals that aren't even in Braille, forcing him to listen to an assistant read them line-by-line. He only puts up with it because being near Fisk allows him to eavesdrop with his super-hearing.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • Matt somehow erased the knowledge of his secret identity from everyone's minds, with the exception of Foggy. He believes it was the children of the Purple Man who made everyone forget he was Daredevil. This has complications as Elektra no longer remembers so she thinks she was "cheating" on Matt with Daredevil and nearly gets them killed with her not knowing they're the same.
    • This does work to Matt's advantage when Wilson Fisk becomes Mayor of New York. When Fisk offers to make Matt deputy mayor, Matt realizes Fisk no longer remembers he's Daredevil and this is the best way to get in close.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Tenfingers is eventually shown to suffer from this. When Muse kidnaps Blindspot and takes him to his lair/art room, we and Blindspot see that Tenfingers was one of Muse's first victims.
    • Serial Escalation: Tenfingers meeting his end not by The Hand but by the Arc Villain Muse is to show just how evil and unhinged Muse is.
    • Later, it turns out that he gets brought back by a demon on a daily basis to suffer another horrible death.
  • Man of Kryptonite:
    • Muse is an Inhuman with the ability to cancel out all sensory information around him, making him nearly invisible to Daredevil.
    • Daredevil to Blindspot. Blindspot can turn invisible, but Daredevil's blindness and enhanced senses basically cancel that out.
  • The Mentor: Matt takes on new vigilante Blindspot as his sidekick, or rather "apprentice," as he'd prefer to be known.
  • Missing Dad: Hannah and Sam are half-siblings with the same mother, but neither one knows who their father is.
  • My Greatest Failure: After Muse abducts Blindspot, Matt gets into a tizzy over the guilt he feels for it. This goes into overdrive once Muse puts out Sam's eyes right in from of him. The next arc kicks off when Matt creates a scheme to get enough money to pay for Sam's hospital bills, rehabilitation therapy, and possibly even cybernetic but experimental eye implants, namely because Sam, as an illegal immigrant with no insurance of his own, has no hope for paying for any of it. At this point, Matt's more than willing to secretly take a hit out on his Daredevil persona just to raise the needed funds.
  • Oh, Crap!: Basically said verbatim by Matt when he finds out Wilson Fisk has been elected mayor of New York.
  • Out of Focus: Done in a non-standard way. While Blindspot was still "there" after getting injured by Elektra in issue #7, and we saw him talking to Daredevil over the phone in issue #8. While he recovers from his injury, he went absent from the main comic for a few months. However, Daredevil/Punisher prominently featured him, so he was still appearing when not appearing in the main ongoing. He returned in full in the "Dark Art" arc, before going right back to being Out of Focus following the injury he suffered at the Arc Villain Muse's hands.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Concerned Matt may win the Supreme Court case that would allow costumed crimefighters to testify on what they hear as evidence, the Kingpin hires Tombstone and supplies him with a rocket launcher to fire before a decision is reached. When the Court finds in favor of Matt, the Kingpin calls Tombstone in a rage. Showing surprising calm, Tombstone points out that blowing up the Supreme Court is not only completely insane but would make him the most wanted man in the country and there's no way he's going to risk his life and freedom just for Fisk to get his own way. Also, this means Fisk is going to be too busy trying to keep himself from being implicated by Daredevil or others to bother with Tombstone which frees him up to reestablish his own criminal operation.
  • Put on a Bus: Blindspot joins a Catholic order of Knights at the end of the Mayor Murdock arc and only shows up again once more, in the Death of Daredevil miniseries.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Played with, and in Sam's case, ultimately justified. Blindspot tried to sell his invisibility tech... but didn't realize how expensive it was to file a patent, and being an illegal immigrant, didn't want to draw attention to himself, noting that inventions from illegal immigrants tend to be stolen by others as another reason.
  • Secret Identity: Matt has one again.
  • Seen It All: What ultimately saves Kirsten from the Purple Man. Essentially, a mind-controlled Matt has been instructed to tell Zebediah Killgrave what his greatest fear is, and after thinking about it, he decides it's not the death of his girlfriend, admitting that while it would be awful, it has happened to him several times already, so it is not his greatest fear anymore.
  • See the Invisible: Blindspot is drawn to be completely invisible. We can only see him when he is invisible through the artist's depiction of Matt's radar sense, or the mask he sometimes puts on while invisible.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Matt tells Father Jordan that Sam feels guilty about killing a supervillain in self-defence, Jordan comments that the boy is half Catholic already.
  • Shout-Out: When White Rabbit runs away from a fight, Daredevil quips that "maybe she is late for a very important date".
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Daredevil starts off in a new black-and-red costume, but ends up changing back to the classic red costume. Generally, "going back to the classic costume" is seem as Matt returning to become more optimistic and hopeful.
  • Status Quo Is God: Matt's identity is secret once again and the happy, upbeat tone gets replaced with the old film noir atomosphere and bleakness.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Matt struggles to explain how he knows that serial killer Vincent van Gore and street artist Muse are the same person. When Fisk asks if he heard it from Daredevil, he goes with that.
  • Take That!: When Matt tries to get every form of psychic and reality warper to help him regain his secret identity, Daimon Hellstrom suggests Mephisto, stating he's done this sort of thing before. Matt refuses, claiming he's not that desperate.
  • The Unfavorite: Hannah Chung, who is left behind when her mother Lei Wu takes her brother Samuel to China, where Lei sells her own soul to buy back Sam's eyesight, which is going above and beyond.
  • The Stinger: Issue #605 sets up the next arc this way, with a scene after the editor's page for talking about unrelated things.
  • Time Skip: A small-to-decent but indeterminable amount of time passes between the Point One issue where Blindspot seeks out and meets Daredevil and the first issue. It's noted early on that the former's been training under the latter for a little while by that point.
  • Title Drop: "Back in black," when Daredevil has changed back to the black costume to blend in with the background in New York.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Matt admits when he relates how The Purple Children recovered his secret identity that he is just filling in the blanks and doesn't know exactly what they said.
  • Together in Death: Karen is waiting for Matt when he dies.
  • Vague Age:
    • Before it was stated in the midst of an interview, well past the book's debut, it was rather tough to put a specific age on Sam/Blindspot. His actions tended to paint him as older (vigilante-ing, though not exclusive to an older age frame, holding down a job, plus his engineering genius, though also not exclusive to an older age range, especially not in fiction, and his overall mature mindset), while his design made his age vague due to the art style. Said interview states Sam to be 18.
    • Hannah gets it too. Sam says she is "a few years younger" than him, and the art makes her look anywhere from 12 to 16.
  • Verbal Tic: The Purple Man (at least as portrayed in Matt's flashbacks) has a tendency to refer to people as their name plus the thing he sees them as. Even when he talks to them.
    Killgrave: Be patient, Kirsten the girlfriend! You don't want to spoil the surprise!
  • Villain Has a Point: Murdock reminded mayor Fisk that he knows well that Punisher would never kill cops. "Do I know that? Do I? I think Frank Castle will kill anyone he wants, if he thinks it's warranted. That's the problem, with him and all the vigilantes. They believe they are a law unto themselves."
  • Wham Line:
    • Issue #1 ends with Tenfingers deciding that both Daredevil and Matt Murdock need to die... and he assigns this job to Samuel Chung.
    • This can possibly be averted because nowhere in issue #1 is Blindspot's civilian name given (it was revealed in ANADM Point One). However, it's still notable because Sam calls Ten Fingers "bossman", something he also called Daredevil. He's also wearing the same t-shirt with a distinctive pattern on it that we saw he was wearing earlier under his Blindspot costume.
    • Issue #6 has Elektra asking Daredevil what he did with her daughter. The next issue shows us that her mind was tampered with, making Elektra think she had a daughter that was in danger. It's all but stated to be a message from those who helped erase the connection of his civilian and heroic identities from the minds of the masses. Or their father.
    • Issue #26.
      Blindspot: [to The Hand] Take him.
    • Issue #27.
      Blindspot: I didn't sell the demon my soul, Mr. Murdock. I sold him yours.
    • Issue #28.
      Foggy: Wilson Fisk is the mayor of New York City.
  • Wham Shot: The ending of issue #606 as Matt as Daredevil meets Mike Murdock.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Foggy calls Matt out for letting him remember that Matt is Daredevil, and for doing whatever he did in the first place that caused people to forget, and for not telling Kirsten.
  • Wild Card: Blindspot. His divided loyalties between Daredevil and the Church of Sheltering Hands is played up. On one hand, he appreciates that Daredevil fights for the downtrodden and mentors him. On the other, he feels that Tenfingers is the only one doing anything for illegal immigrants like him.
    • This was brought up again in the "Dark Art" arc via an internal struggle that Blindspot has in issue #14. It gets to the point where he questions why he's really doing all of this, noting that he only became Blindspot in the first place to protect his hometown and save his mother, and only sought out Daredevil to help him better learn how to do so.
    • In "Land of the Blind," new doubts are raised.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • Subverted. When Matt puts a price on his own head, you might wonder, how's that going to turn a profit? Turns out, his goal wasn't to make money.
    • Played straight when Blindspot shares his backstory. Despite the fact that previously he and Hannah have been eighteen and sixteen or so, considering that she spends her nights clubbing, it is now established that Sam was at least old enough to train acrobatics before he moved to the States, and that Hannah was born "a few years" after that, making you wonder just how many child labor laws her employers have to break to have her work fifteen hours a day. That said, she could have been exaggerating for effect.
  • You Keep Using That Word: In-universe. Jennifer claims another lawyer "literally" drowned her in paperwork, then corrects herself, saying that she hates when people misuse the word "literally."

Alternative Title(s): Charles Soules Daredevil