‘Daredevil’ to make San Francisco his new home with relaunch

(CBR) Matt Murdock’s battle to protect the citizens of New York as an attorney by day and the costumed crime fighter known as Daredevil by night has become increasingly difficult in recent years thanks to his secret identity being leaked to the public. The fact that no one has been able to provide incontrovertible evidence that Murdock and Daredevil are one and the same means he can continue his double life, but now all his enemies know where to find him.

That constant threat along with an increasing number of traumatic experiences will cause the Man Without Fear to leave his home town in 2014 and embark upon a road trip across America. This March, that road trip concludes when the acclaimed “Daredevil” creative team of writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee continue their run on the Marvel Comics series with a brand new volume. Waid spoke about his plans for the relaunched book, which finds Daredevil patrolling the streets of his new home, the city of San Francisco.

CBR News: Mark, before readers get to this new volume of “Daredevil,” you have a finale planned for the current volume and then you and artist Peter Krause will take him on a cross country road trip to San Francisco in the “Daredevil: Road Warrior” Marvel Infinite Comic. What do you want readers to know about those stories and how do they set the stage for this new volume of the series?

Mark Waid: They serve to fully establish why San Francisco is the natural place for Matt to be next. More than that, however, they introduce newer readers to the full range of Daredevil’s powers when he’s a total fish out of water. He doesn’t do well in, say, an open wheat field, where there’s nothing for his radar sense to “bounce off” of. Especially when he’s being pursued by — well, that would be telling.

How much story time passes between the end of “Daredevil: Road Warrior” and the launch of this new volume? Can you talk at all about Matt’s physical and mental shape when the series begins without tipping your hand?

Not a whole lot, I can’t. We can tell you that, physically, he’s in top shape. Mentally, though — boy, what a lousy ride he’s just been through… 

When this series begins Matt will be in San Francisco, a city he has some history with having lived there for a time with the Black Widow. Can you talk at all about what San Francisco means to Matt when this new volume begins?

Sure! It’s not nostalgia that drives Matt there, oddly enough — it’s that (without giving away the why of it) it’s the only place he can go and preserve one important aspect of his life. A good lawyer might be able to guess why that is.

What are your thoughts on San Francisco as a backdrop for Daredevil’s adventures? Why did you move him out of New York? What elements of this new city do you find especially interesting?

The architecture, first and foremost. Then the culture — not just SF culture, but California culture in general. Daredevil’s a celebrity in a way, and Californians react to them much differently than New Yorkers do.

Daredevil hasn’t been in San Francisco for several years of Marvel time, but in recent years the city was home to the X-Men and we got to see what life was like there and meet some of the city’s residents. Can you talk about the state of San Francisco in the Marvel U when your run begins? What’s the shape of the criminal and super criminal underworld? Do you have plans for any previous Marvel characters associated with San Francisco like, say, Mayor Sadie Sinclair?

In fact, we have plans for a previous Marvel character not associated with San Francisco — but one, we’ll discover, who’s been operating there for quite some time in the shadows and is not happy about Daredevil’s arrival.

What else can you tell us about Daredevil’s supporting cast in this new volume? Will we primarily see new allies and enemies? Or will some old friends and antagonists be part of your initial stories as well?

A mix of both! I want to use the Purple Man and Ramrod. Chris has a soft spot for Stunt-Master. And we’d both like to see what Ikari is up to…

Will this new setting impact the types of stories we’ll see in Daredevil? Will we still get the same diverse collection of genres and tones that we saw in the previous volume? Or are there some specific story types you want to focus in on?

I think we do well with the diversity of it all, no need to hem ourselves in. I love that we can move back and forth between horror, noir, crime, mystery, and a little science-fiction from time to time.

You’re continuing your collaboration with artist Chris Samnee on this new volume, and readers know what he brings to the character of Matt Murdock and the situations he finds himself in New York. What can we expect from his work this time around? Which aspects of this new setting does he seem to really enjoy depicting?

Again, the architecture. The chance to make San Francisco as much a “character” in the book as New York has always been. I’m still proud to be surrounded by the best creative and editorial partners in all of comics!

Finally, what can you tell us about the story that opens this new volume of “Daredevil?” In terms of plot and themes what is it about?

As we said, San Francisco is already someone else’s “turf,” to Matt’s surprise. That creates a very surprising conflict. And then, when Matt learns a secret about his father — well, again, I’ve said too much already.

The new “Daredevil” #1 launches in March from Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Marvel Comics.