It has been a while since we’ve had an issue of Daredevil in comics. Instead, we’ve been treated to the Devil’s Reign event, which showed how being Daredevil has impacted Elektra, how Matt deals with issues by tackling them head-on, and even the fall of the Kingpin. These are some of the themes and story beats that Chip Zdarsky and company have brought since taking over the series, but now they begin again. What will they do differently this time?
As you can see from the preview, both Matt and Elektra will be Daredevil, and even Spider-Man makes an appearance. This book is darker in tone and color, thanks in no small part to color artist Matthew Wilson. This comic is the first time I’ve seen Matthew working with Marco Checchetto on Daredevil. Their talents combined make the world of Daredevil darker, which captures Chip Zdarsky’s script. You’ve seen Marco on Daredevil before, but with Matthew as his colorist, the darkness is a new element that changes the familiar.
The tone shift here is similar to when Mark Waid took over Daredevil from Andy Diggle, but this goes the other way and restores the noir and sober vibes that accompanies Matt Murdock. The nine-panel page in the preview has a partner, and they serve as a bookend for Matt’s part of the story in this issue. Chip Zdarksky tightens the screws on Matt and takes him to some challenging places. I like that elements from Devil’s Reign and the last volume are still present and help to play to the series’ legacy. Speaking of legacy, make sure to notice that this is legacy issue #649, so the next issue will be an anniversary of sorts.
When you read Matt’s story, I recommend you pay attention to time as that does play a factor. Also, be ready to hit your back issues as you’ll find a background character from Zdarsky’s run makes a huge move forward. I was stunned and even took quite a few moments to process what happened, and I wonder how permanent Zdarsky will make that moment in Daredevil’s history. There is a glimpse of the Punisher in the preview as well, and I can’t wait to see what happens when those two collide.
With Matt’s story, we are treated to the guest appearance of Spider-Man, and it was so amusing to see the two of them working together. The last time Chip Zdarsky had Spidey and DD team up, it was very touching, and it felt honest. These two have been through SO much trama, in and out of the masks, that it makes sense for them to have a brotherly bond. I appreciate that Chip plays to Spidey’s current story arc regarding reveals. Marco Checchetto also gets to play on these pages as he is such a master artist with both of these characters; their battle scenes are such a joy to view.
The last part of the story with Elektra is quite the eye-opener too. She has grown on me since Chip Zdarsky brought her on with this series. I might have an unpopular opinion of Elektra in Daredevil’s world as I felt she was just too much. The Hand and the mysticism were extras I didn’t care about, but Chip sold me on her, and over time I’ve come around to that mystical world that intersects with Daredevil’s adventures. You can see that she meets up with Stick, and their interaction is hilarious as they don’t have to trade physical blows since they use their words as weapons. Yet it does let us know that Matt and company are entering a dark journey to face the Hand.
Daredevil #1 hits heavy as you’re seeing Matt Murdock go through some familiar pain. Chip and Marco are continuing their trailblazing run on Daredevil, but steel yourself as I think this will live up to the phrase, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Buckle up and keep your head on a swivel, as it will be a hell of a ride.
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