Right off the bat, I’d like to call attention to Daredevil #21’s cover, which is a great reason alone to buy this issue — Marco Checchetto and Erick Arciniega brought their A game to this one. This cover is straight-up poster worthy. It’s incredible all the information this cover conveys, in addition to being beautifully drawn: one, Matt is in costume again, which is huge because he let that go. Two, he is in front of a church, so that shows he is going back to his Catholic roots and hopefully trying to be a better man/hero. Three, his pose shows a man who is prepared.
Fans of Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil run are no stranger to high-octane adventure, but true to comics form, after the conclusion last issue we get a breather issue here, but don’t worry, as this isn’t too relaxed.
So this issue is labeled as “Truth/Dare part one”, which is a new arc, but in the vast scope of things this is year two of the current volume. Marvel put out a recap of issues #1 to #19 and I’ve included that above just in case you are new to this series. Year one of the volume definitely showed Matt being reckless, too impulsive, straying from his moral code (or even having a moral code), and abandoning Daredevil.
With last issue’s big reveal of Matt putting the Daredevil cowl back on and choosing to turn himself in, this issue opens with a great internal monologue of what is going through Matt’s mind. I find it interesting that it ties being Daredevil as a part of God’s plan; Daredevil has been associated with Catholicism, yet we mostly see bits of him practicing the guilt or questioning, so this will be very interesting to see how this angle plays out in the upcoming issues.
Not only did Matt rise to the occasion, but so did Wilson Fisk. I love the way his actions here perfectly capitalize on the situation of being able to arrest Daredevil along with the art showing a bit of giddiness of the Kingpin, while also portraying him as reserved enough to reflect his political title. Another nice forward move on the Izzy Libris vs. Owlsley fight is that Izzy calls out Owlsley on the murder of her son. It was great to see her get to twist the screws on Owlsley for once, and that S.O.B. is going to jail.
Fisk orders the police to arrest Daredevil, and it was wild to watch Detective Cole North stand up for DD. The two have come eye to eye on what is justice and what is law, which has been a great debate between the two. So Cold has to do the deed of arresting DD, which leads to a crazy confrontation and idea from Foggy Nelson.
Speaking of confrontations, the Stromwyn Siblings call Fisk and congratulate him on joining the fight in the war they created, to the point of mocking him about his re-election. But this time, Fisk hangs up — looks like he might be getting his bite back. We then find ourselves in Matt’s apartment, where Spider-Man shows up to make good on his promise about being in costume.
Matt doesn’t back down, lets Spidey know he has turned himself in, he doesn’t need Spidey’s moral authority, calls out Spidey’s sins, and reminds Spidey he is trespassing in the apartment. Even Doctor Octopus isn’t this mean to Spidey, but it really flipped the tables on their last meeting back in issue #5 since Matt is prepared. The sequence drawn by Marco is just incredible as Matt is getting in the red Daredevil suit and when he wraps his fist staring right at you…wow.
The hammers down stop falling there. Now that DD is feeling a little more confident and ready, he heads to the Courthouse, which also features a two page spread with amazing Marco art and beautiful words by Chip. Daredevil gets to the courthouse and has to face protesters and even a cop who doesn’t respect masks, but we are finally seeing a “Man without Fear” again.
District Attorney Hochberg from Charles Soule’s run is back, and has a one-on-one with Daredevil that results in an unmasking, and this is just the perfect human reaction to what DA Hochberg is going to have to face.
Seriously, this issue, like much of the series, gets top marks in regards to story, art, and character. This is the perfect jumping on point because what is going to come next may blow your mind. Other comics have the “aftermath” issue and this was one of them, but the drama doesn’t stop. Great forward movement of plot points and strong growth for Matt Murdock.