It's no secret that I love Mark Waid's Daredevil. It's a great series. But one of the main complaints I've heard about it is that it just doesn't have the same noir tone earlier volumes had, ever since Frank Miller stepped in and revamped the character in the 80's. This issue starts to address these complaints, showing us how troubled Matt Murdoch really is, but rather than a completely break down, Waid focuses on tension and subtlety.
The story itself is well written and emotionally charged, with plenty of great dialogue and powerful moments that sell DD's emotions as he fights the Mole Man over the treatment of his fathers corpse. What makes this story great is how Daredevil reveals a huge part of his character that hasn't been brought up yet: that he's firmly seeking Justice, not to make things better. This was a strong part of Frank Miller's interpretation oh him with stories like "Man without Fear", and the context this aspect of him is brought up help makes the story more impactful than it would have been without it. The fact that DD's brand of justice doesn't often leave either side happy also helps explain why he's always been seen as an incredibly emo character these past 30 years. Mole Man's motivations are sympathetic enough, and I especially love how Waid took the high ground and didn't make him a necrophiliac or anything sick like that. Instead, it's just a weak man seeking a bit of comfort, and as a result the story is better off than if he did something truly horrifying with it. The parts involving the Black cat were also well done, and helped establish next issues cross-over with Avenging Spider-man and the Punisher. The one flaw I did find with the issue story wise was the last page, where Froggy looks at him strangely when Matt notices someone he didn't see. Doesn't Matt have heightened senses and would "see" things normal people couldn't? Unless I misinterpreted that moment, it still felt odd to me. The art was fantastic, as usual. The issue focuses heavily on atmosphere, changing quite nicely from darker cave scenes to the brighter moments in mole man's chambers.
Besides that one nitpick, This new issue of Daredevil was pretty close to perfect. Equal parts set up, story, and character piece, this was a fine installment, and I hope the impending cross-over keeps up the momentum.