Matt Murdock is in prison, and Elektra has taken over the mantle of Daredevil. But Murdock is still Daredevil, allowed to wear his mask even while behind bars. What's going on? With a new issue, Daredevil #26 (opens in new tab), on-sale now, there's a lot going on - so we asked series writer Chip Zdarsky all about it.
Daredevil #26 has two intertwined stories - one following Matt/Daredevil in prison, and the other with Elektra/Daredevil fighting off Knull's alien army taking over New York City. Series artist Marco Checchetto and guest artist Mike Hawthorne spoke about drawing those dual stories earlier this week, and with the issue now on stands Chip has weighed in about the issue and the bigger picture for Marvel's Daredevil title moving forward.(opens in new tab)
Newsarama: Chip, bringing in Elektra as the new Daredevil and protector of Hell's Kitchen is another wrinkle in the themes your run has explored about Matt Murdock's identity, and what it means to be Daredevil. How does Elektra's time in the role play into that idea?
Chip Zdarsky: The two character's journeys go hand in hand, for sure. Matt is trying to be a better person through his actions as Daredevil, while Elektra is trying to be Daredevil, and may end up becoming a better person as a result.
The question at the heart of the book is "who do you want to be?" And what do you have to sacrifice to get to that point?
Nrama: What led to the decision to make Elektra the new Daredevil? Is this a long-term change?(opens in new tab)
Zdarsky: Like most things, this has been planned out for a long time. When I started writing Elektra into the book it was with an ultimate story goal for a future arc and the DD mantle lined up really well with it and her development as a character.
I don't want to say how long it's going to last! But I have definite outcomes for all our characters.
Marco and I are pretty over the moon with the response to her so far!
Nrama: How will Matt Murdock react when he discovers what Elektra is up to?
Zdarsky: Oh I'm sure it'll be fine.
Nrama: Elektra's first big outing as Daredevil is in this week's Daredevil #26, putting her against Knull's forces as they take over New York City. Since the issue's still fresh on stands, we don't want to spoil it just yet - but how's she handling that?(opens in new tab)
Zdarsky: She's up against the end of the world, right out of the gate. She thought being Daredevil would just be her fighting standard criminals and mob bosses, but a sky raining symbiote dragons shows her that sometimes Daredevil has to deal with the weird #@$% too. People need saving and it's her time to shine.
Nrama: For these issues, Mike Hawthorne has come in to draw portions of the run alongside Marco. What's it been like bringing him into the creative team?
Zdarsky: Oh man, Mike is amazing. His book Happiness Will Follow is a stunning, gorgeous achievement, and having him use those talents with us has been a treat. His Wilson Fisk is extremely menacing! And yet still sexy?
Nrama: On that note, what's going on with Matt in prison during 'King in Black' while Elektra is protecting Hell's Kitchen?(opens in new tab)
Zdarsky: Well, he's getting used to his new incarcerated life. Serving a sentence was, ultimately, his choice, but the reality of it is going to hit him pretty hard. Among other things.
Nrama: Not quite like the Prison Funnies book from early in your career.
Elektra's time as Daredevil kicked off with an ominous prophecy that to eventually destroy the Hand, either she or Daredevil will have to kill the other. What's coming as Elektra's tenure as Daredevil continues?
Zdarsky: Elektra has goals, and becoming Daredevil is a path toward those goals. But this is her operating in the open, and that tends to draw out enemies. She's going to learn some hard truths really soon.
Daredevil #26 is on-sale now, both in print and on digital platforms. Check out Newsarama's list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.