There’s a gang war brewing, but with Elektra in town, will Daredevil even notice?  Your Major Spoilers review of Daredevil #16 from Marvel Comics awaits!

DAREDEVIL #16

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Jorge Fornés
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Devin Lewis
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 1, 2020

Previously in DaredevilAs Matt Murdock rekindles his alliance with Elektra, Kingpin plans to rekindle some alliances of his own…

“HELL’S KITCHEN WILL KILL YOU!”

After a brief vignette in Foggy Nelson’s office, where a man named Joe Cararro is advised to use his knowledge of Daredevil’s secret identity to his advantage, especially since the hero is wanted for murder.  Across town, in their hotel room, Matt Murdock and Elektra enjoy some masked romantic time (even she has forgotten who he is, thanks to the Purple Children wiping knowledge of his secret identity from the midns of NYC), bonding about their new mission and the possibility that The Kingpin is finally out of commision, thanks to the Stromwyn twins.  A brief visit to Kingpin’s hotel room doesn’t herald any leads, but does shake Matt’s concentration, and he and Elektra vow to break into their company, Sectotec, to find out what they’re actually up to.  At the last minute, though, Elektra springs the news that their security team consists of ninjas, or at least ninja-adjacent fighters, leading him into battle.  Matt seems very uncomfortable using his skills, repeatedly telling himself that he’s not going to die and not going to kill, easily taking them all down as Elektra hacks into the computers.  Unfortunately, this means they’re seen on video, which leads to the Stromwyns looking for the mysterious masked man and woman.  Worse still, as the issue ends, Elektra seems to be remembering who he really is.

HAMMERHEAD, OWL AND KINGPIN, OH MY!

There are a lot of moving parts in this story, and while most of them are familiar to long-term readers, it feels different from classic Miller or modern Bendis DD.  The conceit that Matt has given up his Daredevil costume is an interesting one, even if we know it can’t last, and the idea of retraining his ninjitsu with Elektra is also a nice way to rebuild their relationship without cover the same ground over again.  The subplots about which crime family will control Hell’s Kitchen are interesting (Hammerhead is in play, and he’s always good for a grim laugh or two) and I’m still not sure what’s going on with Daredevil being wanted for murder. Jorge Fornés’ art is also quite remarkable, with elements that remind me of Miller and Alex Maleev, but with much more expression and life.  His rendition of Elektra’s hair alone is almost worth the price of admission by itself, but the action sequences are likewise beautiful, even if he’s not wearing his red costume.  (The fact that he’s wearing the season one black hood and sweatshirt costume is a nice touch, if perhaps a little bit late.)

BOTTOM LINE: I LIKE THIS

This issue is reminiscent of classic Marvel, with multiple sub-plots and backburner items in play while the main story takes place, something which means that next issue could go any one of half a dozen ways, to the issue’s betterment.  Daredevil #16 delivers on both the art and the story sides, with familiar elements combining with interesting twists and a take that doesn’t feel like we’re rehasing Bendis, Miller or Soule’s work on the book, earning a better-than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I’m not always a hardcore Daredevil fan, but it’s nice to have an issue that I can enjoy as a casual fan that includes all the requisite Daredevil moving parts without being a clip show.


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DAREDEVIL #16

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In This Issue

It's interesting to see Matt working with resources beyond his usual bag of tricks, and the Elektra bits are wonderful, as well. Add in some good art, and you've got yourself a winner.

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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