Real world consequences make for a much more interesting story for the Guardian Devil than the suspension of disbelief.
Matt Murdock is going to prison. The current arc of Daredevil has made that abundantly clear. However, this issue makes something else clear- it’s not happening without things changing in New York City on his way out.
This fascinating journey into uncharted territory has covered plot points that no comic really has before. It’s a thoughtful take on not just the title character, but also superheroes in general. It’s great work by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marco Menyz, and Clayton Cowles.
Daredevil’s trial for the accidental death of a mugger is less than a week away. With an old love back in his life to help, Matt does everything in his power to ensure the city is a better place, even without him in it. However, forces are moving all around him to ensure that’s not possible.
Zdarsky proves himself more and more with each issue of this series as one of the smartest writers in comics. The heart of this entire volume is one careless act that we’ve seen from other superheroes. It’s impossible for these superpowered individuals to stop regular crime and not cause permanent disability or death. Instead of expecting the suspension of disbelief, Zdarsky leans into that, and has been exploring what that means for Matt, but also how it’s affecting others all over his world.
This is a concept that many comic pros could learn from. Do I expect Spider-Man to accidentally snap a mugger’s neck next time he drops into a bodega robbery? Absolutely not. Yet the mindfulness that this arc is encouraging is just plain smart, and provides avenues for storytelling across the entire Marvel Universe.
I’ve really enjoyed the evolution of Checcetto’s style that we’ve seen in the last two years of this title. He still does excellent character acting, with exciting action storytelling and interesting layouts. However, he’s softened his lines a little bit, and created a style that has a bit of an ink wash feel. Menyz’s colors are moody, but towards the end of the issue, he switches up his soft blues for soothing yellows as Matt finds a sense of catharsis.
This series is such an enjoyable read month after month. It’s intelligent, but doesn’t try to show off how intelligent it is. It’s an absolute must-read, and if you’re not reading it, you should catch up today.
Daredevil #23 is available now from Marvel Comics.