We’re back at it with Daredevil and luckily, we were treated to two issues in this month of February 2020. The creative team is working overtime, and it is showing in this series. “Through Hell” is living up to its name as Matt Murdock is carrying a lot of weight and guilt on his shoulders, but it seems that things are starting to make a turn. Whether that turn is for better or worse remains to be seen.
This latest issue features Matt, but it consists largely of a lot of setup that is building to a high crescendo of action that probably won’t be good for Hell’s Kitchen. The other characters get a great spotlight and some of the situations are resolved, but sadly there will be a situation that has become rather permanent. Let’s start with Libris crime family first — Izzy is the matriarch of the gang who has recently joined forces with Hammerhead, but that has led down a disastrous path that resulted in her killing Hammerhead and absorbing his enforcers. This has gotten the attention of the Owl, who is making a major play to be the new Kingpin of the Kitchen now that Fisk is in politics. The Owl has kidnapped Izzy’s granddaughter, Belle, and is using her as a way to calm down the Libris family from making a play or getting in the way.
Belle’s mother, Mindy, has been having an affair with Matt Murdock, so when she hears of the kidnapping she puts Matt on it. This kidnapping has also put a strain on Izzy and Mindy’s relationship, but Izzy calls her son and daughter-in-law out, stating they have benefitted from the crime family many times and things like the kidnapping happen. Izzy’s son Tom, who is also Mindy’s husband, decides that he can no longer sit around waiting and needs to do something. This is all just in the first couple of pages of this issue, but the drama that the Libris family is enduring is just so much; plus, the affair makes it that much more interesting as the hero of the book is probably going to be clashing with all crime families and there he is making time with the wife.
The kidnapping forces Matt and Detective Cole to team up and it looks like they have reached an understanding about each other’s methods. Cole used to be reckless, but that led to a shooting death while working which has weighed on Cole and caused him to stick to the book in a very blinding manner, which isn’t good with Hell’s Kitchen police force. Matt is starting to learn structure again since he too had caused a death as Daredevil. I love how similar these two characters are in their cause and actions; two bold men who are trying their best in impossible situations all while trying to keep integrity.
The two characters mentioned earlier, Detective Cole and Mindy Libris, have been a big factor in Matt’s life and situation. Cole has been riding Daredevil hard because they are both in the same situation…excessive force and how much they enjoyed it. Cole has finally come around to see that Daredevil is essential in an area like Hell’s Kitchen while Matt has also learned to start remembering justice, law, and order; Cole has been a positive force for Matt as he is getting him to question and think about his actions. Mindy on the other hand has been a temptation, and Matt Murdock doesn’t do so well with temptation. She has been a great source of guilt for Matt and his religious views as he knows he is willingly committing adultery.
As the issue continues we see Detective Cole go to the Police Station and call out the other officers for not doing anything about Hell’s Kitchen and the Gang War situation. Cole even lets them know that the good cops are still just as dirty and the worst part is they aren’t even getting paid. Great scene. So now the police, Cole, and Matt team up to find little Belle. Jorge Fornes does an amazing job showing the intensity of the situation and also Matt using his powers. Fornes’ art is always amazing, consistent, and classic — as I’ve said before, this makes me feel like how I imagine Daredevil fans felt as Born Again was coming out — perfect art and story.
The issue manages to keep the story moving along, but we are dealing with a major victory and a major loss in this issue. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but my reactions to both of these events are something that I want to share as both will have major influence on Matt. I feel the victory will help Matt understand and remember his role and why he became Daredevil, which will help lead to the return of his red costume in May — a nice full circle of events and finding your way since this series began. The loss will be a rough one on Matt and I know that this could be something that will really test Matt’s actions and faith. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Chip Zdarsky is really crafting an amazing story that will make this run an all-time great.