Waid, Samnee, Rodriguez
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
While last issue the team of up of Shroud and Daredevil did appear to be heading south in a big way, the beginning of Daredevil #4 lets us know that it isn’t quite as bad as all of that. While Matt is falling into the fire trap that Owlsley dropped him into (classic, right!?) Shroud gives him both cover and his staff of many gadgets. Matt fights his way out of the mansion, but has lost Shroud and Owlsley. With the powerful personal information that Owlsley has to offer Shroud, there is no telling what he might do.
Over dinner, Matt discusses his escape and possible locations he might be able to find Shroud and his hostage. His partner fills him in on some of the things that have been happening recently in the villain’s world. It turns out that the Owl has been interested in Silicon Valley stocks, or computer technology stocks. There is only one company that has said no and Daredevil places his bet that this is where they will be found.
It is important to mention that the celebrity of Daredevil’s move to San Francisco is a little oppressive. I am not sure what the narrative payoff will be of the odd panels and scenes that involve fan girls and paparazzi taking photos, but they are too conspicuous to not have something important coming down the pipe.
Matt chose right, and Shroud is making a run at getting Owlsley into the company that wouldn’t do business with him. The new kingpin of crime in San Francisco looks worse for wear, and a bit of dialogue illuminates Shroud’s attempt to torture the information out of him. Using his shadow powers, Shroud finally gets the Owl into the lab he wants and the two of them see information floating around on the photons in the air. What makes this different than normal wifi is that the information can be downloaded directly into the brain. Since we know that the Owl is focused on being an information broker, this is obviously his endgame. In his words, this is omniscience.
Daredevil shows up to stop them and while Shroud and the Man Without Fear tussle, the Owl touches the beams of information. The battle draws to a close and the police show up to find the Owl, with eyes the same color as the data beams, hanging from a set of wires.
Daredevil has a discussion with Shroud at the end of the comic. Daredevil accuses his darker associate of having a death wish, and trying to commit suicide by super villain. Daredevil draws on the truly horrible tragedies in his life to build a speech that seems to finally get through to Shroud. Matt promises to help him find his Julia and in a very Batman-like bit of theatrics, Shroud vanishes.
There are four things that need to be talked about in this comic. First, the art has been really good from the get go, but something about this climactic fight between Shroud and Daredevil was gorgeous. The characters are drawn so dynamically that they seem to move across the page. If you get the chance, pick up the issue based on just this alone.
The story has three things going for it that I hope are just small threads in some grand narrative tapestry. First off, the Owl is now an even more frightening nemesis to Daredevil. I mean, you have the hero who sees nothing going up against the villain that sees, literally, everything. How this might affect the fact that Daredevil’s old partner is alive and in hiding, I am waiting to see. The next thing is the paparazzi, which will make it difficult for Matt to hide from the Owl from this point forward, especially with all of the wireless technology that is being used these days. Finally, the way that Julia has become a kind of Damocles hanging over Matt’s head with the completely unstable Shroud feeling entitled to his help and resources. In the future, things will get pretty complex. If done right Mr. Waid may have the foundation for a truly epic tale. I can’t wait.
Not to mention, I wonder how or if this new Owl situation will effect the Daredevil situation in Waid’s Hulk series?
My rating: 4 / 5