This run on Daredevil by Mark Waid has received a lot of critical praise across the interwebs. But not here. Waid's approach to the character is a bit of a return to the Golden Age. Of course, back then, the series was on the verge of cancellation. That is, until young Frank Miller took the Kingpin from his Spider-Man pencilling stint and finally gave blind lawyer Matt Murdock a proper nemesis. He introduced Elektra and had Bullseye take her away, cementing both of their legacies. A decade plus later, the series was dead in the water.
The last time there was a number reboot, filmmaker Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada started a historically amazing run on the series followed by writer/artist David Mack. Then came Brian Michael Bendis. His noir storytelling along with the gritty art of Alex Maleev made Daredevil a top tier character again. It was that run's popularity that led to the movie (eek!) and Bendis becoming Marvel's top gun.
With Waid, the grit is diluted and things veer into silliness. The storytelling just didn't fit the archetype of classic DD. With issue #23, Marvel promised the "perfect jumping on point with an all new mystery that will take Matt Murdock to the edge like never before". The first part of that statement holds true. In between villainy story arcs, Matt spends some time with his law partner Foggy Nelson, taking across Hell's Kitchen in the red tights like Superman flying Lois Lane around.
The Daredevil origin is alluded to and weaved into the apparent scheme of someone trying to bring down The Man Without Fear. The two partners muse about who could be behind it and Foggy deadpan delivers the best line of the series so far. Everyone, Matt included, gets a good chuckle. There is some good action and well-thought out plot points. This is the kind of book that take exception to the assessments above and say that Daredevil need not be depressed and tortured. With this issue, Waid's goofiness pays off as the lightheartedness of Matt and Foggy's excellent adventure balances the major downer of the ending that feels like a punch in the gut. It may not have been a mind-blowing mystery but it may leave you gasping for air.