The two-part mini arc, “Inferno,” begins in this issue of Daredevil, and Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto are pulling no punches as Hell’s Kitchen starts to look like hell itself. Things are really starting to come together in this current run in the series, and the drama from issue #1 is starting to pay off. We know that Matt Murdock will be returning to his classic threads in issue #21 this May, but the road to why that is happening starts here and it hits hard. Matt Murdock learns what one man can mean as a symbol to the people as true evil strikes.
Lets talk about the art, since Marco Checchetto has returned in this issue. Marco has been covering a couple of arcs/issues in this run and was the artist on the first arc; hell, Marco was even on Daredevil during part of Andy Diggle and Mark Waid’s runs. I appreciate his style and the way it all comes together with a very street urban feel, giving it that gritty buzz of real life. The touches Marco has added to DD’s costume are nice too; just the way he has started drawing the pants in a cargo baggy style makes sense for a guy leaping around the rooftops. The characters are expressive in their look and posture which just makes the story even more dynamic. Also, a major shoutout to color artist Mattia Iacono, as his color palette really brings Checchetto’s art to life. We’ve been very lucky as fans with the artistic talent on this book.
Now onto the story. Wow, Chip Zdarsky either really likes or really hates Matt Murdock and Hell’s Kitchen. When a creator likes a character, they can decide the fate of their life, and Chip has just been turning the screws on Murdock, but it has been some amazing story and entertainment. Chip’s run has been quite the quest for Matt since he has crossed the line and killed someone. Of course, when it comes to Matt Murdock, he just doesn’t hit rock bottom — he asks for a shovel. After being too rash of a vigilante, he starts an extramarital affair with the wife of the son of a mafia leader (yeah, that’s a mouthful) and he has given up being Daredevil as well. While all that is happening, the new villains of the series, the Stromwyn Siblings, have managed to put Hell’s Kitchen into a disaster area and even managed to get Wilson Fisk to stand down. The Stromwyns are not super powered — they are just rich and evil.
In this issue, we see that Detective Cole and Murdock have come to terms and realize that there is more to just the law that there is justice and they need to serve it. I really enjoyed how Detective Cole rallied the police to come to the Kitchen’s aid and step up, but in this issue, we see a lot of those officers pay the price for doing the right thing. The Stromwyns have brought some big guns into play with the destruction of Hell’s Kitchen, including Crossbones, Bullet, Rhino, Stilt-man, and Bullseye. They are nothing but carnage and chaos across the town, which brings some great moments into play for the comic as the people rise up.
We get to see Hector again as DD from the neighborhood as he does what he can to help. That moment in the issue is intense as we just saw that Bullseye is singling out a mother and baby, but a local shopkeeper makes the ultimate play to help her out. It’s such a moment that sticks out and really gets you to loathe Bullseye and hope he gets what is coming to him, soon and hard. Hector manages to confront Bullseye for a big moment that will help us to understand what Matt is going through and why Daredevil needs to come back, which is up there with the major turning points in Matt Murdock’s life. Daredevil has touched many people and with Hector we see how much it means to him and the people of the Kitchen. This issue is starting the path back to Daredevil.
This is a fantastic issue, a story of the people rising up as heroes and standing against evil. Matt Murdock begins his journey back to Daredevil and the pieces that have been introduced since issue #1 are coming together. This has been a crazy ride and this issue will make the wait for April’s issue that much harder. If you have ever wanted to get a friend into Daredevil, this would be the issue to show them.