It’s the end for Daredevil. After 512 issues the title will cease to grace our shelves. Sure, it’ll still have a one-shot after that by Antony Johnston, and a Reborn mini by Andy Diggle, but the point is that, apparently, Daredevil is no more. So, the question must be asked, what comes next? I have a few suggestions, after the jump, so let’s see where Daredevil can go from here.
Matt Murdock, broody teenager on the streets of Hell's Kitchen.
Murdock’s been in his 30’s for years. He runs a law firm, or at least used to, and he’s constantly dealing with adult issues like scaggy ex-girlfriends and paying the bills. It’s easily about time Murdock brought back some fun, the way his good friend Peter Parker has been able to do, and got himself a little less responsibility.
Imagine a slightly younger Murdock working his way through Law school once more, maybe working the bar at a pizza place to cover the bills, and getting the opportunity to scam on some chicks like Pixie or maybe the odd Runaway who previously were completely out of his age range. It would be the beginning of a whole new era of Murdock stories and fans and critics alike would love it.
Or maybe not.
Considering Dark Avengers sold so well and Daken is now getting his own series it seems silly to put the cat back in the bag. Murdock is the villain, that’s fine, let’s run with it.
There’s no guarantee the heroes will win at the end of Shadowland so maybe Murdock can continue to dominate this evil role. We can see just how dastardly he can get, exactly what he can convince Elektra and Typhoid Mary to do together after a few Mojitos, and each week we can have a different hero come in and try to foil him with not always successful results. We could even get the odd villain come in if they need a ninja army to help them with a bank job or something.
We’ve had decades of stories with Murdock as the hero, I don’t think 5 months of him being the villain is going to be enough. Let’s give it another year or two and see what sort of fun we can have. It would at least be something different.
3 - Have a break
Can't Murdock just exit stage left for a while and take it easy for once?
Comics are an interesting medium in that they never take a break. There’s no off season, no break, no intervals or intermission to be had. It’s just set up and go and each character runs as far and as fast as they can for the reader each and every month. If they skip a shipping week people get up in arms so they rarely take a few months off to regather strength and replenish reserves and then return stronger, fitter, faster. However, a few years back Marvel did take Thor off the table and he had no title being published. Then, sometime later, when he returned it was a massive event and sales and critical response rose to the occasion.
I’d actually love to see this happen with Daredevil. Give him a break, just for a while, and see what happens. Let the stands realize how much they miss their man in red and then relaunch, later, to the thunderous applause Daredevil deserves.
4 - Step back to being just Murdock – no Daredevil
A hero, no more. It’s happened plenty but in this case it seems well warranted.
Murdock has been through some serious business of late and if a man ever needed a vacation or a step back it is Murdock at this time. I’d like to see Murdock stop being Daredevil for a period, just get back to being the man, and let his friends help him through these tough times. There’s plenty of room for intrigue as Murdock is still a lawyer (though with most people still pretty much knowing he’s Daredevil and Daredevil now being a pretty negative figure in Hell’s Kitchen this might be hard but it’s certainly not impossible) and him rolling up his sleeves and burying himself in a few cases seems like just the sort of thing he would do. Then there’s his lady troubles which have been swept under the rug lately and after all this trouble he really needs to work out just where he is with his ex-wife, Milla, and his friend and part-time lover, Dakota.
I’d read this series if it took a step back from the superheroics and just focused on good story with people. Plenty of people buy comics with just people in them, no capes, no cowls, no tight spandex. Imagine buying this title with no superheroics in it.
5 - Have the title follow another Daredevil
Matt Murdock has spent years telling people that it’s someone else in the red suit, not him. This time we give the public what they really need to believe Murdock is just some blind man.
He‘s had zany, and imaginary, twin brothers, and gotten Spidey to don the duds just to fool Joe Q Public into realizing the blind man isn’t the roof jumping vigilante. I think after Shadowland, where Daredevil has been the villain and most people know Daredevil is Matt Murdock, it might be good for Matt Murdock to just chill out and have another person, a good person, take over the mantle of the horns. Funnily enough, Brubaker already got someone into the suit to save Matt’s skin a while back and that person was the Iron Fist. Who better to take on the costume for a little while than Murdock’s good friend Danny Rand? It was an awesome concept that was not given enough rope at the time so I’d like to see it given one more pass.
Make Daredevil fun and loveable again by giving Danny Rand somewhere to hide from his problems, of which there are a few, and have Murdock take a back seat while all this Shadowland business blows over.
6 - Murdock’s Angels – Elektra, Typhoid Mary, Dakota North
The title has always been a solo show. Murdock isn’t even the sort of cat that can stand joining the Avengers so he’s always run a tight ship in his own show.
Except for the ladies; Murdock always was a sucker for a pretty face. So maybe now is the time to make Daredevil a title that isn’t just about the broody red head. Maybe a little more sex appeal and a different spin could bring in some new readers. Maybe Murdock needs to get himself hooked up with a cadre of femmes to do some good in Hell’s Kitchen, and lord knows Murdock has enough powerful women just itching to be put to use at his disposal.
Murdock can be the Bosley while Elektra, Dakota North, and Typhoid Mary get their tight leather on and fight some crime for their man. Would you buy this comic? Yeah, I thought you would.
7 - Franken-Murdock
After Shadowland, perhaps Murdock won’t win. Perhaps he’ll need to be taken down with brutal force and once that happens who knows what’ll be left of him.
Most Hand flunkies turn to red dust when they’re defeated but maybe their horned leader will have just a little bit more left. And then what’s left gets a little help from mystic forces to become Franken-Murdock, the half-laeter, half-undead protector above and below the streets of Hell's Kitchen. He can dwell in the sewers below Hell’s Kitchen and fight against Man-Bull and that lame trio of animal bad guys who no doubt got flushed down a toilet a long time ago.
I’d love to see Daredevil take a more horrific lean in its tales and having Murdock become a b-grade horror star would be just the thing to turn this title around. Make Daredevil something different because we sure know we've seen it used as a noir title.
8 - Murdock has come unstuck in time
Just as the curtain comes down on Shadowland, a time triggered billy club flies from the hand of the resurrected Bullseye and sends Matt Murdock skipping back through time.
He can land in his old yellow suit and from there it’s a strange and wacky journey through the life and times of Matt Murdock. Will he take his chances with Karen Page a lot sooner this time around? Will he kill Bullseye the first time he gets the chance? Will he learn the lessons he needs to get through all in time to fit it into a sweet little mini series and then come back to the present day to find someone else in now in his horned suit and he’ll have to find new relevancy in the world?
Hey, it seems to work for plenty of other heroes, why not Daredevil as well? A little bit of time travel, an evil old bad guy as the major foe and plenty of nods and winks back to storylines of old. This could work.
9 - Move on like nothing happened
In the core Marvel U there have been plenty of crazy and zany shenanigans go down and afterwards people never care to remember. Hell has taken over Earth, the reality we know was replaced with that of another, for only a brief period, not once but twice, and people die and come back like they went down the store for milk and eggs.
Nothing fazes anyone anymore so why should they care that Hell’s Kitchen went a little whacko for a few days? The world should just move on, Daredevil should start a new tussle with a new enemy (let’s give Kingpin a rest for an arc or two) and things can just be the usual old problems on the usual old days. There's no reason to really think that continuity means we have to constantly dredge up everything a man's ever done in his life.
There’s no reason for anyone to think that bridges have been burnt, they’re merely sealed up for a days, at worst. The show must go on, people.
10. Murdock disappears into the future
At the end of Shadowland, Murdock is charged with protecting the resurrected, and spiritually clean, body of Bullseye so he does the only thing he can think about when the Avengers want to take Bullseye out, he grabs his oldest sworn enemy and he jumps forward in time.
The title of Daredevil can follow old man Murdock as he spends decades travelling forward through time with Bullseye as they learn to love one another and finally understand that they can go back home and they can make a difference. If only they can figure out how to get there. They’re the original odd couple and each arc, interspersed with a few one-shot oddities, will show new ages that they visit and new adventures that give them the opportunity to help others, build their friendship, and eventually learn a lot about themselves.
Don't joke, this could seriously happen. Anything could seriously happen if you look at the previous 50 years of Marvel comics.
These are just a handful of ideas for the Daredevil writing and editing team to think about, I’m sure they’ve got plenty of other ones up their sleeves. But in the end they can only choose one. What do you think should happen to Daredevil after the end? Let us know in the comments below.