The Descent Of Matt Murdock In Daredevil #5

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Daredevil has accepted that he accidentally killed a burglar, and he seeks to make up for it by continuing his crusade against the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen, starting with the Owl’s new drug trafficking operation. Unfortunately, Matt is still wounded, and the Owl’s men aren’t looking to get busted. The Man Without Fear just may need some help…and a wakeup call.

Daredevil #5 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Daredevil #5 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

Daredevil #5 continues the harsh downward spiral that Matt Murdock has been experiencing lately. He’s owned up to his mistakes, but he’s still taking reckless chances and flailing desperately in his mission against Hell’s Kitchen crime.

It’s an action-heavy issue, but it’s also very character-focused. Matt Murdock is not well. The comic lets you think Daredevil is back in business, but even a slightly closer look at the details shows that Matt Murdock is on a fast-track to rock bottom.

Matt is no stranger to rock bottom, and there are some aspects of this comic which may seem familiar to the seasoned Daredevil reader. Chip Zdarsky still keeps the comic fresh by exploring different aspects of a superheroes downward spiral.

The comic wavers between glib acceptance and personal devastation on the question of accidental death and superheroes. At times, it treats it like an inevitability. At others, it uses it as a reason why superheroes shouldn’t exist. It’s interesting, and, honestly, a clear answer would seem disingenuous.

Daredevil #5 art by Marco Checchetto, Sunny Gho, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Daredevil #5 art by Marco Checchetto, Sunny Gho, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Marco Checchetto continues to blow me away with his artistic talents. This is a gorgeous comic, with countless panels dripping with detail, personality, and texture. Sunny Gho backs it up with atmospheric color work and an overall well-crafted palette.

Daredevil #5 is a heavy and hard-hitting ride that puts the reader in the passenger seat as Matt Murdock suffers an extreme mental breakdown while trying to do something to help the people of Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a fantastic issue and easily earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

Daredevil #5 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 artist John Romita Jr. with Jason Keith.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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