Today, I’m taking a brief break from reviewing Shonen Manga and Anime Shows for a look into the dark, gritty streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.
The world has changed for Matt Murdock and his war on crime. William Fisk, The Kingpin, has become the Mayor of New York. Organized Crime is going under a boom. And Hell’s Kitchen is overrun with petty crime. Daredevil is dead, or so everyone believes.
Daredevil: No Fear takes place after Charles Soule’s Death of Daredevil and Jed MacKay’s The Man Without Fear. Matthew Murdock was hit by a truck saving someone’s life, mirroring the injury that cost him his eyesight, and has spent the last while in the hospital recovering. Meanwhile, Daredevil hasn’t been seen during this time, and this has caused the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen to become bolder.
Writer Chip Zdarsky brings readers a beginner-friendly approach to Daredevil, but it is also rewarding for longtime readers. Speaking as a man who is still fairly new to Daredevil Comics and Zdarsky’s work, this has to be one of the best current titles I have read in a long time.
His narration for Matt throughout this volume was excellent, including when Murdock was going on his first outing as Daredevil showed the mindset of a man who has been out of the game for a while and is enjoying it. During the first issue, Matt mentions that he wants to be seen, for the word to spread about Daredevil’s return because it would make the criminals hesitant.
The first outing went well, he apprehended a mobster, but Matt’s luck would run out when he tried to stop a robbery. Poor Matt was still shaky but still was recovering from his injuries. Matt was almost overpowered but barely managed to escape. The store they almost robbed ended up being severely damaged. It was later that night that it would be revealed, that one of the robbers would die from his injuries.
When the news broke about what happened that night, the Kingpin was quietly excited, he recognized that this would serve as the perfect opportunity to turn the world against Daredevil forever. Also happening behind the scenes, there was a new Detective transferring to New York. His name is Cole North and is ready to dive headfirst into the hunt for Daredevil. Foggy Nelson took to the courts to prove Matt’s innocence, while Murdock has convinced himself that someone set him up. But we quickly find out that it was true, Daredevil has carelessly killed someone, and now he has to live with the consequences.
As the story continued, Matt’s luck went from bad to worse. He was becoming irrational and making bad decisions. After getting captured by the Punisher, he barely escaped Castle and the police with the skin of his teeth. This situation was one of my favorite moments of this volume. Daredevil had to reason with Frank Castle and try to make it out alive. Thanks to the Punisher, he learned what the Owl had planned. Unfortunately, it led to a very public fight with the Owl’s Gang. This required Matt’s friends to bail him out of this predicament.
After the fight, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist try to stage an intervention, trying to help Matt move on and telling him that it was an accident. But Murdock turned the tables on them learning they were killers too. The story ended with Spider-Man finally making an appearance, he tells Matthew to stop and to stop being Daredevil. Matt agreed with him.
Zdarsky did a great job of writing Daredevil’s state of mind throughout the volume. Daredevil started excited and confident in his abilities but becomes nervous and erratic as the story progressed. When reaching the end of the book, he is mentally broken.
The focus on Murdock’s Catholic faith is one of the unique parts of the story. He has always been a devout Catholic, but it has been explored in Flashbacks. This was one of the things that gave him an informed sense of Justice.
Let’s discuss the artwork in this volume. Artist Marco Checchetto has done a phenomenal job of illustrating the story that Zdarsky is trying to tell. It’s a style that matches perfectly with the story’s dark, grim, and gritty nature. Each splash page is breathtakingly beautiful, and the interior panels are perfect. Each fight and situation is chaotic and well-drawn and perfectly captures Matt’s mindset. Checchetto’s work enhanced the story wonderfully.
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