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Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three
Marvel Comics

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‘Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three’ review

As perfect a finale as can be expected. Long live Daredevil.

I’m happy to be reminded why Zdarsky had enough heat to be handed Batman. 

By the time Zdasky and Checchetto concluded their run on Daredevil, I was tired of it. There are a number of explanations I could summon, but between a general apathy toward Marvel’s publishing and Devil’s Reign sucking all the oxygen out of the room, I was just tired. I still followed the book because I remembered the highs, but it was mostly an obligatory read, and I treated it that way. Just kinda read it, didn’t think about it after, moved on, wash/rinse/repeat. 

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I’m happy I took this opportunity to reread the series as a whole, because it really is a series—beginning to end—that deserves to sit next to modern classics like HoXPoX, Immortal Hulk, Batman Inc., and whatever other books you’d call modern classics. 

Daredevil is a series that belongs beside the best comics of recent years, and Daredevil & Elektra Vol. 3 is a perfect ending to a fantastic series. 

Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three
How could I have doubted you, Mr. Zdarsky?
Marvel Comics

As far as finales go, this is up there with some of my favorite comics I’ve read, mostly for one reason: it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be the ending of either Matt Murdock or Elektra’s stories. This isn’t a book that cursing the (admittedly awful) fact that Marvel will continue publishing monthly (maybe bimonthly) Daredevil comics as long as the readership exists. Instead, it embraces the horrible parts of this annoying industry, and builds its thesis and canon on the back of it. 

Zdarsky and Checchetto (and assorted friends)’s Daredevil & Elektra has always been a book about Matt attempting new things and failing in new and beautiful ways, and this final volume is the natural conclusion to that thesis. To start, Matt is as low as he’s been. The failures have been stacked 60 issues high, and it’s all ready to tumble. So he fulfills his destiny. 

What follows is an artistic, thematic, and character victory lap, where Matt fights the devil (beast of the hand, whatever), becomes the hand of god in doing so, and dies. It’s sick. 

Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three
Daredevils (should have been the title of the comic)
Marvel Comics

The art and imagery throughout the volume have to be praised by all, as it really is like 90% Checchetto and Wilson showing off what they can do together. The Daredevils fight is an obvious issue-long highlight, with Checchetto composing the best fight pages on stands while Wilson sets the perfect tone with his pinks, blues, greens, purples, and everything between. The finale is also an incredibly pretty comic, but in a much moodier way, with more browns, grays, and reds. 

The art team was clearly given all the room they needed to make for as grand a finale as possible, and they floored with most every page. Wonderful, exemplary work here, showing up to put up numbers in the best place to do it. 

'Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three' review
The Superior Daredevil
Marvel Comics

What’s really staying with me, though, is the last scene, in particular the last page. When reading monthly, I didn’t have a very solid reaction to it. It felt right, but not in any kind of big way. It visited with the key players and let them get a little screen time, gave us a little Matt and Elektra action, showed where Matt ended up. I felt like it did all the things a finales is supposed to do, but not much more. 

At the time, it also felt like more of an ending than I see it now. It felt like Matt was in a place he could stay in for a while, he finally earned a rest after the previous 59 issues. Now, I think this was saying the opposite. 

Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three
Marvel Comics

Past me was a fool. This last page couldn’t be more clear. Matt won’t escape his history; he can’t, he’s too good, he wants to help so much. The whole run has shown how much he needs to help, and that he’ll try every possible way to fix a problem, if it costs him his freedom, or health, or life: he’ll do whatever he can to fix problems, especially the ones he’s caused. If you erase that history, what happens? 

You just get Daredevil again. 

What I love here is how optimistic it feels. Not for Matt, no, I’m not sure he can ever be happy, but for Daredevil as a concept. This issue understands that there would be a new Daredevil #1 coming out within weeks of its release. It knew that this status quo might be very very temporary, and that Matt (though maybe we should have gotten a book that’s about Elektra being the only Daredevil) would be jumping between rooftops soon enough. 

The optimism I feel here is that of Zdarsky and Checchetto passing the baton to the next people, with this “to be continued..”-ass ending setting them up for whatever they want. The door was open to whatever Ahmed and Kuder wanted to do, and it feels like a joyous offer. They already put Matt through everything they could, now it’s the next team’s turn. 

It’s like a dare, and I couldn’t think of a better way to end it. 

Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three
‘Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three’ review
Daredevil & Elektra by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 3: The Red Fist Saga Part Three
As perfect a finale as can be expected. Long live Daredevil.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9.2
Checchetto
Wilson
Zdarsky
Man
10
Fantastic
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