This week, Marvel began their all-new and all-different comic book universe—and as ever with comics, especially in the wake of a new reboot, characters that were once long gone are free to reappear, as good as new or back from the dead. Such is the way for a former Daredevil character who’s just made their way back to the mortal coil.
Spoilers ahead for this week’s Contest of Champions #1.
Contest of Champions is a weird comic. It’s partly based on the classic comic book crossover event of the same name, and partly based on the current Marvel mobile game that uses a similar conceit. And it revolves around plucking people from the recently blown-up Marvel Multiverse and having them do battle for the entertainment of Maestro, the villainous alt-universe version of the Hulk from Marvel’s Future Imperfect storyline—that also happened to be revived as part of Secret Wars, COMIC BOOKS!—and the Collector.
It’s a fun conceit for a bit of a dust-up of a comic, and while we knew it wouldn’t be entirely gone, it’s also a tacit acknowledgement that, reboot or otherwise, Marvel’s vast multiverse is (mostly) still intact. That confirmation isn’t exactly the most interesting thing about Contest though: It’s the fact that Maestro apparently has the ability to pick out anyone from the Marvel multiverse to do battle... even if they’re not currently living.
The first issue sees the Gamora and Iron Man of the main Marvel Universe facing off against alternative versions of the Hulk, Venom, Punisher, and other Marvel heroes and villains. But during the fight, Maestro brings them a surprising ally...
Yup, that’s Stick, Daredevil’s former mentor, who in the comics, has been dead for quite some time (until now, that is). He also, rather conveniently, just so happens to look a hell of a lot like Scott Glenn’s take on the character from the Daredevil Netflix show. I wonder why that is?
Either way, it’s not necessarily Stick’s resurrection that’s the most bizarre thing about Contest of Champions—no offense to him, but his return is hardly the most shocking plot point you could think of. But the idea that Marvel now has a very simple and very easy way of suddenly re-poofing a dead character back into existence with this new comic—and you just know that somehow a few people will make it back to the main comic universe through this—with little to no consequence? That’s a very weird thing indeed.