DAREDEVIL #326-337 (1994-1995): Tree of Knowledge

“Tree of Knowledge” is the first Daredevil epic explicitly labeled as such (Frank Miller’s run was mostly one long story but it had multiple arcs). He just faked his own death, after his secret identity was revealed, and now he’s running around in a suit of armor.  And an evil doppleganger version of Matt is also running around loose in the world. 

All that’s got to be handled, but first, his funeral.

Kingpin pays his “respects.”

Issue #326 is very much a new entry point. With Murdock dead, Daredevil is figuratively resurrected (and literally in the eyes of his closest allies who knew his secret identity) as a new–and more violent–version of himself. He’s still in the armor.

And he uses a gun.

The main threat across these issues is “System Crash,” a gang of hackers with names like “Knowbot” and “Killobyte.” They’re part of a Hydra cell led by Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, which means Captain America is in this tale.

And some Avengers, too.

Daredevil 2.0 doesn’t play nice with other supers, apparently.

That about sums up where this story is going, doesn’t it?  As far as extended arcs go, there are worse than this one—but computer crime is far away from Daredevil’s element. In addition to Avengers, there are many other guest stars. Iron Fist, for example.

Oh, and Gambit.  Nobody’s favorite character.  And Siege, too, since there’s the cyber-element.  And Galactus makes a one-panel cameo. 

It’s a very crammed storyline.  It’s got “1990s!” written all over it. And the art by Scott McDaniel looks (to me) like poor imitation of Frank Miller. 

Throughout, though, this is at its core a story about Captain America and Daredevil teaming up to stop Hydra from using Cyberterrorism to stoke national fear and outrage, causing Cap to question some of the ideals he has fought to preserve and emphasizing the need for outside-the-law heroes like DD. 

In the background, Elektra is pulling The Chaste back together.

Heh. She said, “Taint.” This extends the story of SHIELD cyborg John Garrett, which began in the Elektra Assassin miniseries–thus putting that strange comic within Earth-616 continuity.

Also, Daredevil takes on a new secret identity as Jack Batlin, there’s a Silver Sable tie-in, and Karen Page’s porno past catches up to her.

In the end, though, none of this will matter as it will be essentially “unwritten” out of his past.

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