Beware: spoilers ahoy!
Bendis & Mack have started off a brutal new limited series with Daredevil: End of Days #1. The gorgeous cover art by Alex Maleev sets the tone and for once (in a world of sensational covers unrelated to what happens inside), is directly related to the story line. The first few pages are a blow by blow breakdown of the last savage beating Daredevil will ever take. Yup, by page 5, Hell's Kitchen's beloved blind lawyer is murdered in front of a crowd of gawkers too busy Instagraming to call for help. Janson and Sienkiewicz render his death in full gore-filled glory: somehow beautiful but agonizing. It's a finishing move that leaves little hope for some impossible, last minute reprieve that accompanies most superheroes' deaths.
With Daredevil already written out in the first few pages, the story is narrated by Ben Urich. An investigative reporter for the late Daily Bugle (another newspaper casualty of Cloud computing), he struggles with the hopelessness of probing into Daredevil's death in a neighborhood full of people unwilling to admit they witnessed it but did nothing. Despite no longer having a job or an outlet to write for, Urich begins composing the story of the man who saved the city too many times to count but had already fallen out of people's favor. A man he called a friend and did not deserve the fate he was met with.
No simple task.
The reader rides shotgun in the story, observing Urich and his process as he struggles to find the right words (literally: he edits himself several times in the narrative) and to find meaning behind such a deplorable death.
A unique, Tarantino style retelling of Daredevil's mythos, the first issue of End of Days is fresh but familiar enough to keep fans and new readers intrigued. Not going to lie though: as much as I appreciate writers taking a stand through the death of a hero, I'm still hoping there's a better end in store for Mr. Murdock.