Daredevil: Latverian Odyssey

Mark Waid takes The Man Without Fear on a dangerous trip to the homeland of Doctor Doom!

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By Ben Morse

Daredevil could use a vacation.

Daredevil #14 cover by Paolo Rivera

Discounting the longer term issues Matt Murdock has been dealing with, just in recent months he’s had to cope with the stress of keeping the Omega Drive—a device containing the mother lode of secrets on organized crime in the Marvel Universe—safe from the Megacrime syndicate while also surviving a team-up with The Punisher and Spider-Man. The Man Without Fear needs a break.

However, a trip to Doctor Doom’s sovereign kingdom of Latveria likely didn’t top his list of getaway spots.

Beginning with DAREDEVIL #14 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee—available at comics retailers as well as on the Marvel Comics app and Marvel Digital Comics Shop on June 20—DD finds himself abducted to the isolated nation where he must answer for his perceived crimes.

“Sharp readers will remember that the Omega Drive was something that was engineered to allow the Megacrime families to launder all their money through Latveria, presumably for a fee or cut,” explains Waid. “Now that this plan has fallen through thanks to Daredevil, the Latverian government is very displeased with the loss in projected revenue. Very displeased.

“Now one of Doom’s most powerful right-hand men, the Latverian Minister of Finance, Chancelor Exchequer Beltane, has decided that Daredevil must be held responsible. He’s brought Daredevil in so as to arrange for payment of debts due, and the fine assessed is very steep.”

Daredevil #14 preview art by Chris Samnee

Making his first appearance in these pages, Beltane presents a palpable challenge for our hero, as one would expect anybody who aced a job interview with Doctor Doom would.

“He’s serious and imposing threat,” Waid says of the new villain. “By the end of issue #14, he’s put Daredevil in a hell he’s never had to face before—an impossible bind from which to escape. Impossible for the Daredevil that we know; for the Daredevil that Matt Murdock knows. And take from that cryptic hint what you will.”

In addition to Beltane, the New York-based swashbuckler must also content with an unfamiliar landscape devoid of the landmarks and architecture he’s come to rely on.

“No rooftops to swing from, no one willing to help him out or, really even speak English to him, surveillance everywhere,” describes Waid in regards to Daredevil’s dilemma. “Our blind her has to escape from a land where there are eyes everywhere—but how? He can’t just walk to the border, he can’t drive, he can’t fly. And yet, the entire Latverian military has him under a ‘shoot to kill’ order—in broad daylight. Which is just the beginning of Matt’s troubles.”

Meanwhile back on the home front, Matt Murdock’s best friend and legal partner Foggy Nelson came across information that set him on what seemed an inevitable confrontation with his buddy in issue #13. If he can escape Latveria, what will be awaiting Daredevil upon his return?

“Foggy’s long suspected that Matt’s post-Shadowland happy-go-lucky demeanor is an unhealthy way for [him] to answer for his sins and face the music,” Waid says. “He’s been worried from issue #1 that Matt’s hiding something from him—and now something’s happened to convince Foggy he’s right and Matt’s in far more danger than anyone ever suspected.

Daredevil #14 preview art by Chris Samnee

“He doesn’t take it well because he’s put in a horrible position: Does he take care of Matt, or does he take care of the law practice they’ve built? What’s the price for being Matt Murdock’s friend and has Foggy overpaid?”

Assisting Waid at home and abroad will be artist Samnee, who fully integrates himself into the title with this arc, switching off with other talented draftsmen like Paolo Rivera.

“He’s brilliant,” Waid states simply of his collaborator. “Like Paolo, he’s a masterful storyteller, and he really gets what’s at stake for Matt. [DAREDEVIL #14 and #15] call for a whole new set of visual tricks to use in the series—for reasons you’ll see promptly—and Chris has pulled them off with aplomb and added his own touches. Man, what a talent, this guy.”

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