Seeing Red Despite A Lack Of Vision

by Vince Brusio

Unstoppable force meets immovable object in an upcoming story arc that kicks off in Daredevil #595 (SEP170831). Matt Murdock is about to learn that his alter ego will not be enough to move a man mountain, and he’s going to have to be open to the idea of accepting reinforcements. It will not be an easy decision. And he will not like it. At all. In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview with writer Charles Soule and artist Stefano Landini, both creators weigh in on how Matt Murdock’s problem is two-fold, because even though he’s seething at the injustice of Wilson Fisk being mayor of his city, the lack of public perception that a Kingpin runs the table makes Daredevil’s fight an uphill battle.

Daredevil #595 (SEP170831) is in comic shops November 8.

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Vince Brusio: It's being intimated in this story arc that all is quite grim for ol’ Hornhead. How does one fight the system when the system is rigged, right? So meditation is only going to go so far in trying to get a grip on tactics. A support group would be helpful as well. But does the idea of bringing in outside help fit into Matt’s wheelhouse? Does being independent work against him in this regard?

Charles Soule: This is an interesting question – I’ve been working with a bunch of different themes in my Daredevil run, but one of them has been that Matt has been pretty isolated, purposely. When we started all the way back in 2015, he’d left his girlfriend Kirsten MacDuffie behind, as well as his best friend, Foggy Nelson. He had a big plan he was trying to put together, which culminated in Issue 25 – that just hit shelves, and was the final chapter of the “Supreme” arc. But now, Matt’s facing a scenario in the Legacy arc that he really can’t handle alone – and the title of the first story, “Mayor Fisk,” should suggest how bad it’s going to get. Matt’s lost his city.

Vince Brusio: From the perspective of the man behind the mask, where does he find hope in his city that makes pushing forward the only option?

Charles Soule: In the Legacy story, Matt’s realizing the city he thought he knew, the city he’s been fighting for so long, maybe doesn’t exist. It’s a real eye-opener for him, thinking that perhaps the way he sees things, the essential truths about what’s good and what’s bad… they aren’t universally held. A city, especially a city like New York, literally has millions of different opinions, and they aren’t all on the same page as Daredevil. It’s something Matt will have to try to understand.

Vince Brusio: Give us some insight as to how Charles Soule and Stefano Landini work together on Daredevil. Are there a lot of emails from each other in the inbox, or do you prefer to work in separate rooms because one listens to classical music and the other one’s a punker?

Charles Soule: I’ve worked with Stefano before, back at the beginning of my career working in Big 2 superhero comics – so, I know that he’s fantastic and will get all the beats across really well. We kick questions back and forth when they come up, but I’m mostly just breathlessly waiting for art to come in. Beautiful stuff.

Stefano Landini: Charles' script is absolutely ideal for me. I have a lot of space to interpret the pages from my point-of-view, and until now he didn't step in to ask me to do big changes, so there has been no need of long email exchanges, if not for confirmation. For me it's a great honor to work with a pro like Charles!

Vince Brusio: What’s the balance in camera time for both the Kingpin and Daredevil? Both see themselves as right in their own minds. Justified in their convictions. How do you play with that tug-of-war, both in the narrative and in the artwork?

Charles Soule: That’s exactly it – two sides of a coin. I think it’s important to give both Fisk and Murdock equal time, and present their positions clearly, so readers can see why some people in NYC might actually support the idea of Wilson being in charge. After all, we know that Kingpin is a monster, a terrible crime lord, but does the public at large see that? I’d say probably not, any more than they know the ins and outs of everything Daredevil does. A lot of these titanic struggles we see in the comics happen out of the public eye.

Stefano Landini: Both Kingpin and Daredevil have a great space in the story, and in my drawings I am trying to let the character of both stand out, by working in detail on their gestures and presence in the scene.

Vince Brusio: Let's go freestyle on this last question. You've got the mike in your hand, you're on stage, and you've got a couple of minutes to woo the crowd into checking out the first story arc. What do you say to your prospective readers that makes them run to the comic shop?

Charles Soule: We’re building the “Mayor Fisk” story, and everything begins in Legacy as a true jumping-on point for people who maybe haven’t been reading Daredevil in a while (or ever), or perhaps just know the character from the Netflix show. Of course, it also works as a natural progression for my run – we’ve been planning this story from the start. Mostly, though, it’s a huge, epic story of Daredevil vs. the Kingpin, with all of New York City as the battleground. How can you beat that?

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Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.

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