I’ll admit, I was kind of bummed when I saw that Daredevil was going to cross over into King in Black, because we have two things to consider: this series is neck-deep in some wild story, and oftentimes crossover issues suck. How does this tie-in issue fare with King in Black‘s subject material?
Perfectly! I am very happy that Zdarsky and company are still keeping their story moving forward and progressing while adding two more things for Matt Murdock to deal with. Art-wise, this is a shared issue between Marco Checchetto and Mike Hawthorne, and while they have different styles this works perfectly because they are focused on two different characters. Checchetto is covering what is happening in Hell’s Kitchen with Elektra (Lady Daredevil?) and Hawthorne is showing us Matt’s life in prison. Page 15 deserves such a major shoutout to whoever orchestrated this blending of the two artists — the pages before would bounce back and forth as needed to progress the issue, but this page shows how the Symbiote situation is spilling across everyone, and hammers that home strongly.
Moving onto the story, I appreciate that we have been in this boat before with Ed Brubaker having Matt Murdock in prison (since Bendis put him there) but now there’s a twist: Daredevil is serving the time. The difference in experience is brought to our attention in how Daredevil has to spend his time outside his cell. During Brubaker’s time, Matt was able to be himself and when danger lurked for a blind man in prison luckily he could use his skills as DD to overcome. In this situation, he has to be Daredevil 24/7 and can’t do the things he may want to because he is blind. So no book reading or painting because that would tip people off to his blindness. I love how Zdarksky manages to address that by way of a prisoner telling Daredevil he is being creepy. Once that piece falls, even more comes falling on Matt; the road to hell is paved with good intentions, after all.
Zdarsky manages to keep the plates spinning as we know Matt’s life is in a downward spiral with how he is viewed in prison and the fact that he is on the Warden’s sh*t list due to interaction with the villain known as Crime-Wave, but we also get to check in on Mayor Fisk and Typhoid Mary, who happens to be the new head of security to protect the Mayor. I love that even though this is Daredevil, we have so many characters getting their own moments, and both Elektra and Mary are playing this out while advancing their own agendas. There is so much new story inserted here that I haven’t even gotten to the fact that Hell’s Kitchen is under Symbiote attack!
Yes, this is a tie in, and I’m glad Zdarsky manages to advance his plots, but wow does he take this event and slam it down on his characters. The symbiotes attack all over so we see Mayor Fisk manage to escape but Mary gets taken over (along with another character), which leads to a confrontation between her and Elektra. Elektra has her own inner struggles with how she would handle this event, but she is playing it Matt’s way and that is leading to some awesome inner dialogue.
We already knew Matt was having a hard time, but now someone tossed a Symbiote right into the fan and Matt has to deal with it. I don’t want to spoil things too much for you, but when look at those last two pages you just know it is going exciting for us and horrible for Matt. This takes me back to being worried about Matt, just like in the Shadowland event.
0This is a great tie-in issue to King in Black., yes it does change lanes with what we have been reading and wanting, but Zdarsky makes this a side trip you’ll want to go on. Get ready for some wild showdowns, plot advancement, and a broken man meeting a dark god. Hell’s Kitchen is really cooking!
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