Return Of The Man Without Fear In Daredevil #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead]

After almost getting killed by a truck and spending weeks in recovery and physical therapy, Matt Murdock is ready to return to the mantle of Daredevil, the Man Without Fear. He starts with eavesdropping at a seedy bar where he meets a woman…and overhears someone planning illegal activity. Matt also finds himself reflecting on his childhood experiences with church. Meanwhile, a new detective has arrived in the district, and he’s more dedicated to bringing in Daredevil than his predecessors. Finally, Daredevil finds a robbery in progress, and he makes an attempt to stop it.

Daredevil #1 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Daredevil #1 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

Daredevil returns with a new series headlining Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto.

This is a very stripped-down, back to basics Daredevil. Matt is trying to get back into the groove of things, and he’s already making mistakes. He’s going to struggle with untrained thieves and burglars.

The difference from the original first days of Daredevil is, of course, that his enemies know him. Kingpin is still the Mayor of New York City, and he’s making sure the police are harder on vigilantes than ever before.

Much of the comic is more pensive and less action-oriented. There is a brawl towards the end, and it’s scripted-out quite well. The reader is allowed to get into the combat and enjoy the more brutal and tactile elements.

Daredevil #1 art by Marco Checchetto, Sunny Gho, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Daredevil #1 art by Marco Checchetto, Sunny Gho, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Of course, praise of the action scenes would be incomplete without heaping a lot of the credit upon the great Marco Checchetto, whose artwork leaves Daredevil #1 looking absolutely beautiful. The texturing is impeccable, the action scenes are enjoyably cathartic, and the emotionality is vivid. Sunny Gho’s color work leaves the page dripping with atmosphere and distinct identity, reveling in the noir-influence of the world of the Man Without Fear.

Daredevil #1 is a powerful first step for the team of Zdarsky, Checchetto, and Gho. The book is gorgeous, the story is thoughtful and enjoyably bleak, and the action sequence at the end is simple yet incredible. Like Invaders, Zdarsky has taken a group of characters previously written by the great Ed Brubaker and measures up well to that high standard of quality. This one easily earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

Daredevil #1 comes to us from writer Chip Zdarsky, artist Marco Checchetto, color artist Sunny Gho, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Julian Totino Tedesco, and variant cover artists Alex Maleev, Joe Quesada, Skottie Young, and Gabriele Dell’Otto.

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