Back then, it was not uncommon for heroes to make guest appearances. Sometimes, it was to boost sales of a flagging title, but a lot of the time, it was because the writer wanted to write a certain character (unlike today, where such appearances are invariably part of overblown, multi-title, “events”). Since these guest shots usually required page-consuming setups, they invariably did little to advance the story arc significantly.
And that’s true of the Silver Surfer’s appearance in Daredevil #30. The issue is a side step, but as noted, it’s also a lot of fun — Daredevil riding the Surfer’s board is a highlight.
The mystery person from last issue is revealed, and to Waid’s credit, it’s not some senses-shattering shocker. It would’ve been easy to go the major surprise route, and in this instance, Waid is being smarter than the typical comic writers of yesteryear. It is precisely because of his sense of throwback fun that many readers likely speculated incorrectly (this one included) as who the mystery person was. Of course, the revelation immediately made sense — any other character, especially a super-powered one, would’ve felt gratuitous, though still welcome. Rather, the character Waid brought back makes more sense, and feels more real.
Unfortunately, and after the major revelation in issue #28, and after last issue’s set-up, there’s a minor sense of let-down here. The needle didn’t move forward in any appreciable manner, and the sense of urgency introduced two issues back is entirely absent. One has to wonder if Waid intends to commit to the resolution of the dire threat he introduced in #28. There was a villain introduced in this issue, however, he clearly served as a MacGuffin for DD to learn something about a possible love interest.
Overall, however, Daredevil #30 still delivered great bang for your buck, and it’s still better than most titles on the stands, but given the incredibly high standards that Waid has set, issue after issue, this one felt a bit lacking.