Chip Zdarsky continues his run on Daredevil by doing an examination of Matt Murdock, his responsibilities as Daredevil, and what his life looks like without DD. Let’s get into the issue and get some SPOILERS!
The issue opens with us seeing Detective Cole North in the hospital after the beating he took from last issue at the hands of fellow officers. He is identifying both cops and criminals from the incident. Even the other officers are asking him if he wants to continue with a report and he just tells them to do the job. Now the scene shifts to a bank vault with quite a few mafia heads and the Owl is coming to join; once he asks about where the Kingpin is, we see his giant hand on Owl’s shoulder telling Owl to sit. One of the men calls out Kingpin saying it’s low to have them break into a bank and then call the cops — Kingpin lets him know that won’t be the case here as he is friends with the CEO. And what better place to keep information safe than a vault?
Judging by the conversation that takes place, it looks like a golden era for the Mafia heads since Kingpin is Mayor and Daredevil is missing/hiding. Now if you look at the newspaper article you can see there is some doubt that it is actually Daredevil — it might be someone resembling ol’ Hornhead. In the last issue and the last story arc “To Know Fear,” we saw Matt walk away from that life because of the tolls on his body and faith. Plus, someone died from a fight with DD. The only person messing things up is the Owl, which could be fun given the history of the Owl and Kingpin…hopefully we see some business between the two. It was always fun to see Kingpin and Owl at war for New York, so seeing Owl beneath Kingpin could lead to drama later.
Now the scene shifts again and we catch Foggy reading the same newspaper and questioning Matt about him being DD again. I like how Matt retorts to Foggy by saying since he’s retired he doesn’t need to announce to everyone his former identity. It is very nice to see Matt and Foggy interact at a local coffee shop in public. I’m glad their friendship is fixed, mostly. Matt even surprises Foggy by giving him a birthday present that we saw Matt shopping for last issue, and it’s nice to see Matt’s memory of the saleswoman, Mindy, as well. She is depicted in radar form since that is how Matt “sees” her, which is a nice touch by Lalit Kumar Sharma’s pencils. From Matt’s thoughts it appears that she is on his mind a lot since he doesn’t have as many distractions with “night work.” Matt has to run off to work and we are again reminded he isn’t a lawyer, instead he is a parole officer as revealed last issue.
Now we’re at Matt’s work and he has an exchange with his boss in which she tells him they shouldn’t have problems with printing the files in braille and she reminds him he can’t quit either. During her questioning she asks why he doesn’t use the computer to just read the file out loud, so Matt lets her in on why he does that. He tells her that a report read in voice sounds a lot different than in braille, so he doesn’t want his client to lose their dignity. Matt meets his new client, Joey, and hears that he is in deep. He had two job interviews go south and we get a reason as to why he got in trouble — he was trying to earn quick cash by dealing in order to take care of his mom. Matt tries to tell him to not share so much as he has to report it, when we find out Joey’s brother was killed during a small robbery. The person who killed him was Daredevil, so that’s going to be awkward for Matt. Matt has to leave the room as he seems to be having a panic attack.
Now we’re back at the Vault meeting and Kingpin addresses them about how things are running very nicely. One of the heads asks about Daredevil and points out that he really messes things up. Kingpin doesn’t worry, however, as he feels DD is dead; plus he calls out the newspaper for reporting a fake Daredevil as Kingpin would feel him and right now he feels nothing. Kingpin also tells the others that he is stepping down, so of course they tell him that being Mayor has been great and to their advantage, but Kingpin lets them know he is stepping down from crime by dissolving his empire. He lets them know his empire will be evenly split amongst them and he wants crime at a manageable level in order to keep things nice. The page does have a panel that focuses on Owl, so maybe some trouble will brew between them and the other heads.
Matt heads to church to talk with Sister Elizabeth about his confrontation. He talks about how it used to not worry him as he was in some constant situation with his life as a lawyer and DD. Now he is haunted by Joey’s brother and that murder. Sister Elizabeth asks Matt if he has asked for forgiveness, to which he says he can’t. He doesn’t feel worthy of God’s love right now and he knows that he used him to justify the violence. Now, the big question here, at least for me: is he talking about Daredevil or God? I’m thinking he is talking about DD since that would allow for his sight to be used in the fight for good and allow the violence.
Sister Elizabeth reminds Matt that he isn’t special. She lets him know that his self-loathing doesn’t hidden him from God’s love and she reminds him of Paul the Apostle. She lets him know that no matter how far Matt feels he has fallen, he can still feel God’s love. Matt recants that Paul was blinded by the vision of God and with Matt’s blindness he won’t be able to see the vision. We’re taken to Kingpin and Wesley talking, to which Wesley gives Kingpin a rundown of what happened after leaving and even they both recognize that Owl could be trouble in the future. Kingpin comments that he is content and relates being content to being dead. Kingpin goes on about being untouchable and we see that Detective North is discharged from the hospital.
For the final scene we have two women walking down a street and are confronted by another man and woman. The man and woman begin to mug the two women and “Daredevil” jumps in to help; this DD is an African-American in street clothes with a DD mask. He holds his own and eventually takes down the male mugger with some help. The panels go on with the crime being reported by Matt Murdock and we see that he is using his radar vision to help report crimes happening around Hell’s Kitchen.
I am enjoying this current volume by Chip Zdarsky. He is using a lot of Matt’s other characteristics to show Matt’s life. This isn’t the adventures of Daredevil with interruptions of Matt Murdock, this is Matt’s life post-DD. We saw from Charles Soule’s Death of Daredevil and Jed MacKay’s Man Without Fear that Matt is going through a lot both mentally and physically, but Chip brings in Matt’s faith and is really challenging it. I like that we are seeing Matt deal with a death caused by him and how he and the hero community are dealing with it. There are a lot of talking heads in this issue but they do give us some clues.
This issue does carry the story along and drops some clues about potential situations with the new Daredevil and Kingpin/Owl conflicts. The art is different that the last arc, but overall it is good for this pace and street life issue. There aren’t many costumes and cowls, just more drama and thoughts. The issue is slower, but it did keep pace with last issue. So hopefully as this arc gets closer to ending, we will be seeing some major action happen. The biggest and best moment of the issue was seeing Matt meet Joey and being confronted with the repercussions of the death, and then Matt talking with Sister Elizabeth. I think Chip is doing a great job with the fallout from Daredevil’s actions and Matt’s life.