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Daredevil #4 review: Punishing moralism

Unfortunately, this issue isn’t quite as successful as previous ones.

Chip Zdarsky’s recent turn as a writer has been refreshing. I’ve written before about how admirable Zdarksy’s incorporating of characterization and themes is. That being said, this issue isn’t quite as successful as other issues of Daredevil.

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Rescued by The Punisher, Matt Murdock is stuck in a very familiar position: arguing with Frank Castle about the morality of murder. On one hand, it’s welcome to read Zdarksy continuing to delve into Matt’s guilt and justifications. Yet…we’ve heard these points many times before. You’d be hard pressed to find a Punisher crossover that didn’t mostly consist of people calling Frank a “monster” for shooting a grunt.

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This creative team has been cribbing much of the tone of the Netflix series, often improving, but going over this theme again is tiresome. However, it’d be unfair to say Punisher and Matt Murdock’s banter isn’t well thought-out. Instead of merely talking in the abstract, there’s a tied up goon the two “heroes” argue over.

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Marco Chechetto makes the best of the limited locations. Even Castle’s little weapons cabinet holds personality and detail. Sadly, Murdock and Castle’s hardened expressions lack convincing expressions. Yet, when action breaks out, it’s genuinely exciting with fluid composition and flow. Best of all, Chechetto plays into the shadowy menace of Daredevil’s aesthetic.

By the end, Matt comes to a seeming conclusion to his moral quandary, which comes too soon, as if the Punisher is a moralistic deus ex machina–a tangential tool that cheaply sweeps in then out.

Is it good?
It’s admirable that Zdarksy continues to explore themes, but this issue resolves the conflict in a cliché and quick way.
Fluid art.
Unsuccessful themes are better than none.
Treads cliché moralistic ground.
Characters expressions are stiff.

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