Daredevil’s future

Andy Diggle just confirmed on twitter what had been rumored since Joe Quesada accidentally slipped last week — Diggle will take over Daredevil with the renumbered issue #501.

I have mixed feelings on this. The only Diggle work I’ve ever read was Green Arrow: Year One, and while it started strong, I ended up hating it. Throughout the course of my reviews, “GAYO” became the refrain for Diggle’s campy writing and comedically common use of ridiculous coincidences to drive the plot. But the guy is clearly doing something right, as Marvel has signed him to an exclusive deal and his work on Thunderbolts seems pretty highly regarded. So I’m willing to give it a chance.

In his latest Cup O’ Joe column today, Joe Quesada got a little nostalgic about the book:

JM: Does the publication history of Daredevil ever mind-boggle you? It was bimonthly and damn near canceled before Frank Miller rejuvenated it in the 1980s, and later, it was almost scrapheaped again before it became one of the Marvel Knights launch books. Now it’s consistently a top-seller.

JQ: Well…when I think about it, I think Daredevil has had one of the greatest long-term literary histories of any comic. You can easily point to a Watchmen, a Dark Knight Returns or whatever and argue that’s better that those are the hallmark stories in comics, and I wouldn’t dispute you. But I think pound for pound, over the long haul, there have probably been more great stories written in Daredevil than any other Marvel comic. Maybe in anyone’s comic. I mean…there’s a long series of classic stories about this one character! It seems to attract great writers. It seems to attract great artists—ahem, ahem!, as I compliment myself! But there’s just something about the character. I think maybe he’s ourt most Shakespearean character.

I didn’t start reading Daredevil until 2002, roughly midway through the Bendis run, after some friends recommended it. I always thought Daredevil was a fairly lame character, but I got hooked then and haven’t let up since. That interest led me to buy a good number of Daredevil graphic novels and begin an attempt at back-issue collection that I’d never undertaken before (which stalled once I bought out my local store’s supply of cheap bundled ’80s and ’90s comics). And by this point, if I had to pick a top 10 of my favorite story arcs of all time, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least half of them came from Daredevil.

So I completely agree with Quesada on this, and I have to think it’s just because of how imperfect, but well-defined, the character of Matt Murdock is. If Diggle succeeds in that front, I’ll probably change my tune on him. Also, it will be very difficult to come up with a derisive acronym.