Did This Book Miss the Memo That Shadowland Wasn't Very Good?
Here's the funny thing about the Daredevil title's tie-in issues for Shadowland. If you were to only read them and nothing else, you would probably come away thinking that there was a very compelling and character-driven event going on over in Shadowland. This whole time there has been a weird disconnect between the Daredevil title and Shadowland. It is like the Daredevil title believes that Shadowland has actually delivered on the really dramatic story it kind of promised it would instead of truly being just a big dumb action story.
This issue is all epilogue and setup, and it is actually well written despite being epilogue and setup for some less than stellar things.
It is in a scene between Foggy, Becky and Dakota where the disconnect between this and Shadowland becomes most evident. This is a scene where they are all trying to figure out what to do next and what they now think of Matt. It flies off the deep end when Becky seriously asks if they can be sure Matt was actually possessed. ...Yes. Holy crap, yes. There was nothing even remotely subtle or complex in the depiction of Daredevil in Shadowland. Matt Murdock had so left the building. This is a question not even worth answering, and it is almost insulting that it was even brought up as if to pretend Shadowland was a better story than it was.
In another strange moment, I believe this issue actually points out how much more sense it makes for Iron Fist to carry on Daredevil's torch rather than Black Panther. We are actually reminded that he has done it before, recently, and is totally considering doing it again. I am not psychic, so I don't know whether this hundredth or so attempt to make a Black Panther series work is going to be any good or not. But it is clear right now that this story direction makes no sense, and this issue is actually pointing out why. Iron Fist has been a central figure in the Shadowland event and has a series with the new Power Man spinning out of it. Yet, the Man Without Fear torch is being picked up by Black Panterh, who has had no role in Shadowland and only pops his head in randomly this issue. Hell's Kitchen is Black Panther's territory now. Because... huh?
The only part of this issue that completely works focuses Detective Kurtz and how Daredevil has understandably made an enemy of the NYPD. This reads like a pretty natural progression of the story, because it isn't like Daredevil getting possessed by a demon is something publicly known. Also, the loss of all his police support would make things very interesting for Daredevil and defense attorney Matt Murdock.
Honestly, I have no problem with Matt Murdock walking off in shame over everything that has happened. It fits the character. Matt is a good Catholic boy who is going kick the hell out of himself with guilt over things that aren't really his fault. But Matt is the ONLY character allowed to put it all on him. All of the other characters present to see what happened... saw what happened. There was really no room for interpretation in Shadowland when it came to Matt not being in control of his actions.
Basically, this issue is a better epilogue than Shadowland has earned. It is a well written and nicely illustrated issue that suffers from having to handle subject matters that are beneath it. How could there be such a difference between the Daredevil title and the Shadowland one when Andy Diggle is a writer for both? I have decided the answer is Antony Johnston. Looking back at the event, the best tie-in title was Blood on the Streets which was also written by Johnston. He has been the saving grace of this event and has shown he had a much better handle on what Shadowland should be about than Diggle.