Lockdown is the seventh volume collecting Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil, and the action continues. This trade collects issues #31 to #36, which end the current volume of the series before plunging us into Devil’s Reign. Lockdown is an appropriate title, as that’s exactly what Hell’s Kitchen is under: a psychopath is killing people in the streets, Daredevil (Matt Murdock) is in prison, and Daredevil (Elektra) is walking the line as a hero. That sense of getting shelter or being trapped is felt ideally in these stories as the people are stuck inside while these larger-than-life characters fight in the streets.
Let’s take a look at each issue:
Daredevil #31 – There is no major reveal or revelation in this issue — instead, this is all setup for the arc. I have a strong hunch that if you examine this cover and think about who the character on it could be, you can probably piece together what Zdarsky is setting up for character confrontation. I think fans of Frank Miller will probably wonder if Zdarsky and company will challenge his historic run — both are phenomenal, and we’re so lucky to see Matt’s life and adventures in such disarray. It was great to see how Hawthorne handled Elektra’s adventures as Daredevil and watched as he crafts new movements for a different character to highlight their fighting styles. There is an excellent set of panels with screaming characters that Hawthorne uses to change the scene. Enjoy Hawthorne’s character emotions as he plays off of Zdarsky’s situations.
Daredevil #32 – It was great to see Alice return and witness the fence-mending between herself and Elektra. I appreciate that they both have an end goal for dealing with loss, but look to get there with different philosophies. Butch gets the big moment in this issue as he takes on and takes down Hammerhead. In my eyes, this move lifts Butch to a higher class of fighter as Butch does it with no weapons and leaves a very lasting mark on Hammerhead. I wonder how much more punishment Zdarsky has for Hammerhead, as he has been the punching bag for quite a while. That last page twist will excite and scare you with its potential.
Daredevil #33 – It’s great to see Marco Checchetto back on the interior, and he opens the issue hard and fast with the Bullseye flashback and the fight scene with Elektra. I also like how Chip Zdarsky handles Elektra in this fight because she is outclassed, but her “not going to die today” attitude and fast thinking are distinguished. She gets some help from a Marvel Universe guest star, which turns into a fascinating conversation for the two. The reveal to Bullseye, finding this new skeleton in Fisk’s closet, and seeing the path Elektra is on keep me entertained. I look forward to seeing the wrap-up to these new developments, and this issue helps to carry the arc forward.
Daredevil #34 – In this issue, we have Stefano Landini on art, with Marcio Menyz providing color. While I was reading it, I didn’t even notice an artist change, and I have to credit that to Marcio’s palette as he is consistent with the visuals on the book. Stefano does a great job of keeping the action available while allowing the drama to set the scene. When characters interact, there is just as much emotion as there would be from a regular fight, which we get in Matt Murdock and Detective Cole, round 2! Marcio’s colors enhance those moments — nighttime in the city has a scary vibe, and the prison locations are hell with the aura he gives.
Daredevil #35 – This issue opens on a tense standoff with Elektra and Typhoid Mary facing at least three Bullseyes. We’ve since learned that Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk created these extra Bullseyes, and now he has to worry about all the havoc they will unleash; I’m betting this action will come into play in the Devil’s Reign event. The moment is frantic as we know Kingpin is in love with Mary, so what will happen if she doesn’t survive? I enjoyed that character drama and the potential for loss as it gives depth to the leading players in this series. The opening battle scene is as dark as it is superb, reminding you that this fight is happening in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. I enjoyed that atmosphere as it made the explosions brighter and enormous. I am also enjoying the upgrades that Tony Stark made to Elektra’s sai with the electrical discharge, as the art team capitalizes on the energy to make the action rousing.
Daredevil #36 – There is a crucial moment with Daredevil (Matt) and Wilson right before the wedding, and it showcases their growth as men and how they could overcome their constant conflict. The rest of the issue is like a television show touching up on character interactions that I won’t spoil here, but they are great ways to revisit those situations and create more questions for future issues. Daredevil‘s finale issue is a perfect ending for this current volume. There was intense drama, romance, rejection, and character growth. Zdarsky and the team have taken these characters and lifted them to excellent levels. The issue has me impatiently waiting for the Devil’s Reign event to continue this roller coaster of emotions and entertainment!
The TPB itself doesn’t have much in the way of extras, just the standard collection of variant covers. I have been enjoying Daredevil for quite a while, and with Zdarsky taking over, I’ve found myself buying the monthly issues, these TPBs, and the hardcovers. The monthly issues kept me from withdrawals for this high-octane series, and the hardcovers are the ones I want to grace my bookshelves, but I find myself getting these TPBs collections to keep them handy for friends who aren’t reading this first-class series. I’m sure the single issues will be racking up at your LCS or on the secondary market, so these TPBs are a great way to test the waters and see what is happening in Hell’s Kitchen.
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