By Marc Strom
Daredevil has started implementing his own personal style of justice on a much larger scale, using his Hand soldiers to enforce peace in New York's Hell's Kitchen. But Hornhead's reign won't go unchallenged when writer Andy Diggle and artist Billy Tan unleash SHADOWLAND #1 on July 8.
Before all the action starts, Marvel.com and editor Steve Wacker break down just who will pose the biggest threats to Matt Murdock in the event that will shake Marvel's urban heroes to their core.
Daredevil's longtime arch-nemesis made his return to New York's crime scene just as our hero began his ascent to head of the Hand. Now, with DD's actions becoming increasingly questionable, The Kingpin may have gained the perfect opportunity to end their rivalry once and for all.
"Usually the first sign of trouble, Fisk has become the last thing on Daredevil's mind," remarks Wacker. "Things with Daredevil are looking so grim that to a lot of Marvel heroes Kingpin is looking like the only reliable option to bring Matt down."
The Hand trained Elektra Natchios, Matt Murdock's former girlfriend, to become one of the world's deadliest assassins. Given her long history with both the secretive organization and its current leader, she undoubtedly has an opinion or two on just how things have turned out-opinions that she'll have an opportunity to express in the upcoming series.
"With the short sharp shock of Daredevil's justice, a lot of the heroes of the Marvel Universe are going to try and step in and bring him to his senses," warns Wacker. "Because of her history with Daredevil, it's really going to be Elektra who knows how to get through to Matt. Whether she can is another question, though."
Another of Daredevil's oldest opponents, Bullseye recently got a taste of the limelight impersonating Hawkeye as part of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. Now back in his familiar black and white duds, Bullseye will discover that his archenemy has gone through some changes of his own since they last met.
"Bullseye is the foe that everyone thinks of when they think of Daredevil, so when the two cross paths, obviously Daredevil's going to be aware of just how great a threat Bullseye can be," reasons Wacker. "His actions in DARK REIGN: THE LIST - DAREDEVIL really started the ball rolling on what has become Shadowland."
Iron Fist/Luke Cage
Luke Cage & Iron Fist
The former Heroes for Hire have always stayed closer to the streets of New York than your average Marvel hero, so naturally the one-time partners will feel the effects of Daredevil's actions as they reunite to make sure Matt doesn't do more harm than good.
"Iron Fist and Luke Cage are a duo again with Shadowland, which is something a lot of people are going to love to see," notes Wacker. "As Shadowland progresses and Matt Murdock goes down a darker path, they're going to be the first ones who approach him to try and talk some sense into him. When these guys interact with Daredevil, we really get our first glimpse at just how paranoid Murdock's becoming."
Marc Spector knows a thing or two about fighting inner demons, but while the streetwise vigilante might have some empathy for Matt Murdock's own dilemmas, he'll also have to deal with the very real effects of the Man Without Fear's new regime.
"Moon Knight's a big fan-favorite, and he's one of Marvel's biggest street-level characters," comments Wacker. "Because Daredevil is so paranoid, and he sees everyone as a potential threat, Moon Knight had to go about getting his attention in a different way, using less explosive methods than you'd expect [from him]."
The Punisher has always had a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to criminals, but given his always-contentious relationship with Daredevil through the years nobody knows which side he'll land on. However, his role in Shadowland as a whole promises to be somewhat unambiguous according to Wacker:
"He's here to blow stuff up."
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