Daredevil’s quest to take down the Serpent Society felt sidetracked by these two issues featuring Marvel’s classic monsters, even as the release around Halloween made it seem long-planned, and not some ploy to string the arc along for some crass reason. This series has proven to be among Marvel’s best, if not the best, but with these two issues in particular, the energy and urgency has waned.
And this leads to the issue at hand, and one that overwhelms a critique of these individual issues. The letters page of #32 revealed that this series will be coming to and end soon. Again. And like in too many previous instances, Daredevil will re-emerge with a new #1 issue. Why? To grab new readers? Are there really that many new readers anymore? A goodly number (a majority?) of monthly comics readers are guys like me — they started buying comics decades ago, and have grown old with their heroes.
You don’t really get that many new readers with flashy #1 issues. You get new readers (read, younger) with greater accessibility and lower cover costs. I’ve said this time and again, but you don’t need glossy paper to sell comics. You need lower price points. $3 and $4 per issue is just too much, and way too much for a kid’s allowance (or the parent buying the comic). Newsprint quality paper would lower the price, and get them back into drugstores and convenience stores, places where I used to buy them. You’d also get your current comic store customers buying more titles, taking more chances on new titles.
I didn’t begin reading Daredevil with issue #1. The first issue I picked up was #150, and it featured pencils by Carmine Infantino. I liked it, and kept buying them, including back issues. Not getting on board with the very first issue didn’t stop me from picking it up, in fact, it added a veneer of importance — a comic with over a hundred issues to its name obviously must be good, to have lasted so long.
So, here we are. A great comic starting over. Again. I suspect my fears came true — that Marvel editorial would divert their attention from the neverending Avengers/X-Men events, to realize they have a gem ripe for exploitation. And a higher cover price.
So, with that decree, Daredevil writer Mark Waid, likely had to rejig his story arc, in order to build to an end in a few issues. I suspect this unexpected development may account for the minor misfires of these two Marvel monster issues.
Fingers crossed, for Waid and Samnee to continue firing on all cylinders. But things were just fine the way they were.