Retiring Daredevil In Man Without Fear #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Matt Murdock is awake again, and he’s been visited by his ex-girlfriend, Kirsten McDuffie. She says that she’s back and willing to stay; she wants to help Matt through recovery. Sam Chung, aka Blindspot, has returned too. He is eager for when Matt can get back on his feet so that Daredevil and Blindspot can patrol the city once again. Matt tells him that Daredevil is dead, and he’s never returning to the costume. Sam isn’t happy about this, but Foggy is beyond relieved.

Man Without Fear #2 cover by Kyle Hotz and Dan Brown
Man Without Fear #2 cover by Kyle Hotz and Dan Brown

Man Without Fear #2 shows what may truly kill Daredevil, and it’s Matt Murdock himself. He’s exhausted with all the tragedy being the Man Without Fear has brought to his life, and his body may be too broken for him to return to the life of a superhero regardless. As it is, Matt can’t even get out of bed.

Man Without Fear has a few similarities to the story of the third season of Netflix’s Daredevil, and, given the popularity of the third season (despite meeting an untimely cancellation) it’s hard to ignore that. Both find Matt broken, beaten, and ready to give up the life. Bear in mind, this isn’t a criticism as much as an observation.

The announcement of Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s upcoming Daredevil run does undercut this to a point. While it is possible that someone else may take up the identity, it seems unlikely.

Man Without Fear #2 art by Stefano Landini, Andres Mossa, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Man Without Fear #2 art by Stefano Landini, Andres Mossa, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Stefano Landini gives a rather haunting treatment to this issue. Matt looks like a man truly broken, and there is a ghoulish montage of Matt’s losses that are made genuinely unnerving by Landini’s workmanship. Also, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson look strikingly like Charlie Cox and Elden Henson (their on-screen portrayers in Netflix’s Daredevil) in this issue. Andres Mossa continues to contribute an atmospheric and cold color palette that does the tone justice.

Man Without Fear #2 is, on the whole, an improvement on the first issue. The conflict comes more into focus, and we see where this accident has left Matt Murdock and how broken he is. It’s a solid issue, and it’s worth a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.

Man Without Fear #2 comes to us from writer Jed MacKay, artist Stefano Landini, color artist Andres Mossa, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Kyle Hotz with Dan Brown, and variant cover artists Giuseppe Camuncoli with Jason Keith and Greg Smallwood.

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