After all the crap Matt Murdock has been through, Marvel thought it was time for a new start. After killing Bullseye, being taken oven by an evil demon and becoming one of the bad guys, Murdock left to find himself once more. After saving a small town from more bad guys and releazing that running doesn't solve anything, he has made his way back to Hell's Kitchen to make things right again.
Issue 1 starts with DD thwarting a kidnapping attempt on a member of one of the higher up crime families during a wedding between them and another crime family. Lame Spidey villain, The Spot ("Dumb name, disturbing power") is hired by one of the family member's to stop it all. Once DD figures it out, there is actually a pretty cool scene where Spot's arms come out of the man's chest (he can create teleport holes anywhere) and snap his neck to keep him from talking. We next see Murdock in court as the prosecutor tries using Murdock's identity as DD (a claim that he is back to denying and trying to hide) against him and his defense. The judge grants a continuance as he believes that having Murdock and Nelson represent him will hurt his case, setting up what feels to be a large plot to what this book will feel like. The new DA visits and hints to Murdock that if DD were around and smart, he would look into why nobody before Murdock would take the case. As he changes into costume and sets out to find answers, he is attacked and shot with "anti-radar chaff", essentially taking around his extra senses. He talks about knowing how something is coming at him but he can't tell what. This is all being said as we see on the last page, Captain America's shield flying past DD's head.
I was a bit uncertain of this new DD book. I've been buying the title since Kevin Smith relaunched it in 1998 and there have been maybe two stories since then that I didn't like. After Smith was an amazing four-year run from Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker for another three years and ending with Andy Diggle running Matt Murdock through Shadowland. I was excited to find out that Mark Waid was coming back to the title. I love his writing (he's half responsible for my favorite comic of all time in Kingdom Come) and this could be a good chance to bring DD back to a main title for Marvel. However, Waid said he was going with a more fun-paced, good-timed title which is quite different from what it has been for all these years. Turns out it's a good move.
As it is, the danger is still there. The dark side of Murdock is still there, he just wants to try and move past it. Waid doesn't do this by lightening the story, he does it by lightening Murdock. He is a bit more smartass like he was in the 90's. He actually smiles more and makes jokes about his situation. He knows he has a long road ahead of him and fighting with a smile will get him there faster and in better health. Throwing in Paolo Rivera on art just adds to that feel. He has a very "simple" style that is a bit cartoony but the brighter colors and the defined outlines mix well with the semi-dark writing that Waid is starting with.
There is still a chance that this book may not turn out as well as I am hoping, but this first issue is a good sign and I have some high hopes for where it can go.