Matt Murdock is still out of the superhero game, but that doesn’t mean Daredevil is. A good cop gets a lesson in heroics and someone challenges Wilson Fisk’s iron grip on New York’s criminal underworld. Your Major Spoilers review awaits.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Devin Lewis
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 11th, 2019
Previously in Daredevil: Matt Murdock has given up his secret identity after an accident left someone dead. In his absence a group of concerned Hell’s Kitchen residents have taken up his mantle. Detective Cole continues his crusade against masked vigilantes, even after having just barely survived an attack by corrupt cops, thanks to Matt Murdock. The truce between the various criminal organizations, brokered by Wilson Fisk, is crumbling and Mindy Libris is getting dragged down by her husband’s involvement. But, she still has her lover to turn to, Matt Murdock.
“JUST MATT, SAMMY”
A domestic abuse situation is unfolding as Daredevil #11 begins. It doesn’t look like the cops will be able to arrive in time to save the day. But a man dressed as Daredevil arrives and attempts to subdue the abuser. The police arrive at the last moment. The false Daredevil attempts to surrender peacefully, but it’s clear the cops have other ideas. Over on some rooftop the real Daredevil is face to face with Elektra. She thinks Daredevil has grown soft and is going to get himself killed, which is why she’s willing to offer her assistance and train him. He declines. Elsewhere, Mindy Libris’ husband is pleading with his mother to let him go after The Owl, to which she dismisses and orders that everyone is to stay put, to stay safe. Detective Cole is on a sting operation trying to lure masked vigilantes into a trap and he manages to get the attention of the biggest one of all, Spider-Man. But, Spider-Man has no patience for the trap and instead captures Detective Cole so they can have a little one on one. Matt goes to visit on a parolee that he has decided to help personally, due to having accidentally killed his brother. He also gets to meet the parolee’s mother and the two speak, where Matt explains that he just “wants to help”. At the airport The Owl is confronted by Wilson Fisk, who demands that The Owl go into exile after breaking the truce Wilson had set up. In a surprising move, The Owl refuses and instead leaves Wilson where he’s standing after issuing the big guy a threat of his own. Spider-Man and Cole talk on a rooftop where Spider-Man asks what’s more important “Saving lives, or following the law”. During a meeting with Foggy, Matt receives a call from his part-time lover Mindy, who demands an afternoon with him, but at the same time his super senses pick up the sound of the Daredevil imposter being tortured by the police.
OH THE TWISTED WEBS WE WEAVE
I don’t think there’s too many titles that work as a twisting soap opera style plotline. But, Daredevil really works with this sort of story. Matt Murdock is written as tragic person who makes just enough bad decisions to drag in everyone in his vicinity and The supporting characters in this series have been built up very well and can carry their portions of the story. This issue in particular really feels like a lesson in how to write a story with a lot of characters but have it feel coherent. I really enjoyed how there were like four different stories going on here but it wasn’t difficult to see how it all spirals into Matt Murdock at the center. This issue did a really good job at having all these various plotlines work into a position where they are falling on Matt’s shoulders, which is when that character has really shined in the past.
SPIDER-MAN LOOKS WEIRD
If there’s one thing I haven’t been a massive fan of with this series has been Marco Checchetto’s art. This is mostly a matter of personal preference, but most of his faces have a certain grotesque quality to them, especially in high emotional moments. I will say though, that use of black space and shadows in this issue is great, the police officers at the beginning look especially sinister, thanks to the use of the heavy shadows. Also, Spider-Man in this issue is so strangely proportioned in this issue. It’s not uncommon for artists to draw Spider-Man with some non-human dimensions, but here he’s drawn like a series of boxes stacked on each other and it just doesn’t look right.
BOTTOM LINE: A REAL CRIME SOAP OPERA
Chip Zdarsky’s take on Daredevil has really captured the spirit of the character and this issue continues that approach. This issue has expanded on a twisted plotline that feels like a Rube-Goldberg machine ready to spring. Matt Murdock is at his hand-wringing, Catholic guilt ridden, sexaholic, best here. The supporting cast also is given plenty of time to shine and really spice up the issue as well. The art unfortunately distracts from this plotline and feels ill-fitting for the gritty, human drama, being played out. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Daredevil #11 is melodramatic in the best ways. At times it comes off as overwrought and a little cheesy, but it feels intentional. The story that’s being told here is supposed to be an over-the-top drama and the way all the different stories are intertwining creates a greater than the sum of its parts, situation.