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It is difficult at this point in Marvel history for writers and artists to keep track of the various interactions between characters over the course of the decades worth of stories. That’s why the small nods to continuity that writer Charles Soule includes in Daredevil #12 are effective and refreshing. The issue mainly covers a meeting between Daredevil and the Inhuman royal court. It’s a middle chapter in the current “Dark Arts” story. So while it doesn’t have many stunning moments, the issue still works well. Additionally, the novelty of Daredevil with the Inhumans is intriguing.
At the end of the previous issue, Daredevil came face to face with the new character that was creating “artworks” with people. In Daredevil #12, the character seems very concerned about whether Daredevil liked his art. He calls himself “Muse” and quickly leaves in an explosion. Since Muse’s latest victims are Inhumans, Daredevil goes to the Inhumans for support. Inhuman queen Medusa quickly shuts down DD’s request of cooperation. Karnak even goes so far as to physically confront Daredevil when he doesn’t immediately leave following Medusa’s decision. Horn-head beats Karnak, but he only gets cooperation when an Inhuman security officer (and former NYPD cop) agrees to help him undercover.
One of the nice things about the Marvel Universe is that it is so vast at this point that you can have characters that rarely interact with one another. So then when they are brought together, the newness of it is interesting. Daredevil in the world of the Inhumans is not something comic readers see frequently. However, it is also not – as some writers seem to portray – totally unprecedented. Both Daredevil and the Inhumans have been around since then 1960s. They have crossed paths. Soule not only brings the unexpected combo together, he alludes to the fact that they know each other, though not well. At the same time, Soule doesn’t let Daredevil #12 get lost down the rabbit hole of Marvel continuity. The info we get is sparse but enough.
As I mentioned in my review of Daredevil #11, the combination of Daredevil and the Inhumans isn’t totally unexpected. Soule has also been writing Inhumans for some time. The danger here is that the strange intersection feels forced due to its author rather than story driven. Soule avoids those problems in Daredevil #12. The Inhumans are linked to this arc for clear story reasons. Muse (or “Vincent Van Gore” as papers call him) is going after them. I suspect that he may also be an Inhuman. Medusa protects the newly expanded Inhuman group vehemently, so having Muse be an Inhuman could be a compelling plot twist.
The art by Ron Garney is one of the highlights of the issue. For one, he gets to expand out of the normal Daredevil tableau of alleys and rooftops. Garney delivers a great look at Medusa and Karnak. His art also neatly portrays Karnak’s power of spotting weaknesses, which is a rather hard power to visually represent. The visual portrayal of Muse isn’t entirely working for me (nor the name). He has a pretty early 2000s look to him. However, I will grant that he appears unique, especially the lack of facial features.
Soule seems to be finding his footing lately on Daredevil. I still don’t think his issues are quite as good as some of the excellent writers who have handled the character before. At the same time, the last few comics have been enjoyable overall. I think it’s laudable that he is trying to add his own contribution to the character’s lore through new villains like Tenfingers and Muse. While the latter was a miss, so far Muse has a clever modus operandi and enough mystery. Daredevil #12 does a good job of connecting the dots in the story arc while also giving this particular comic something worth reading. I don’t think the Inhumans should become a fixture of Daredevil, but they’re working so far in small doses.