Daredevil #18 is available now where all good comics are sold!
Matt must come to terms with what Daredevil truly means. And he better do it soon, as a new and deadly foe makes a decisive return…
I have been a huge fan of Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil so far, and the ‘Through Hell’ arc in particular has been thoroughly intriguing. The stakes are high as DAREDEVIL, Cole North and the Libris crime family all race to rescue the kidnapped Granddaughter of Izzy Libris, perpetrated by The Owl.
Chip Zdarsky weaves a wonderful and tense story, supported up by the fantastic art of Jorge Fornes who seems to be channelling his inner David Mazzucchelli. Zdarsky sets the stakes in the first 4 pages with emotional outbursts in the scene with the Libris Family and a calculated appeal from Detective Cole North – a character quickly becoming one of my favourites – to his peers. There is a child missing and we must find her.
The panel layouts work well to pace the scenes and build tension, as we zoom in closer and closer to Det. North’s face as he makes his speech, Fornes doing a stellar job with his acting work. A scene later Daredevil, in white shirt with white cloth mask, and Det. Cole speed off in to the rain to rescue the child. I am convinced that the officer Det. North leaves behind is a rendition of Chip Zdarsky!
The tension continues to build during the chase – rain is pouring from the heavens, Daredevil is using his enhanced hearing to locate the whereabouts of the kidnappers, the colour palette has shifted where alarming reds now prominent. However the climax of the pursuit falls flat, failing to deliver a satisfying culmination of the tension which was so well laid, the situation being resolved in typical Daredevil fashion. I feel that the situation itself had no bearing on the story. That being said the art and the storytelling cannot be faulted and the last page reveal has left me yearning for the next issue.
What I have really enjoyed about this book is the character development. The Owl has been elevated from low lever gangster to a dreaded and dangerous mob boss. One powerful panel in this issue emphases this, wonderfully and harrowingly drawn by Fornes, and I will not spoil. Wilson Fisk has gone through a different journey. Once feared and respected as the Kingpin of Crime, he is now a broken, limp puppet to those above him, emphasised by the one page and two lines that that he is granted in this issue in which he is bed ridden, the reader and camera looking down on him. I am very excited to see what Zdarsky does with these two characters and the inevitable rise of the Kingpin once again.
Overall great storytelling and genuinely tense, but an anti-climactic where it counted. The art from Fornes is stellar and is perfect for a Daredevil book. As a final issue to an arc it works well, upping the stakes and setting up future conflicts. I enjoyed the whole arc and great character development and final page reveal saved this issue for me.
7/10 (9/10 if that was a Zdarsky cameo!)