Daredevill has turned himself in for the crime of murder… but what happens now?  Your Major Spoilers review of Daredevil #21 from Marvel Comics awaits!


Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Mattia Iacono
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Devin Lewis
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 22, 2020

Previously in DaredevilFor weeks, Hell’s Kitchen has been a lawless neighborhood thanks to the Stromwyn siblings, but as the police are finally able to resume their patrols, they’re quick to find that they aren’t the only ones interested in keeping the Kitchen safe.
Meanwhile, as Matt Murdock continues to struggle with how best to appease his sense of justice after the events of the past several weeks, a familiar enemy takes root in Hell’s Kitchen…


This issue opens in the ruins of Hell’s Kitchen, moments after Daredevil turned himself in to the police, with Mayor Fisk ready to throw the book at him.  DD will only hand himself over to his friend Cole, but at least The Owl is also going to jail for his crimes.  As Cole drives Daredevil away to jail, Foggy Nelson interrupts, insisting that he needs to speak to his client, giving DD the plan for what comes next.  Daredevil heads back home to pick up his costume, only to be confronted by Spider-Man, who warned him never to put on his mask again.  Daredevil bluffs his fellow hero and reports to the NYPD, where he is arrested and processed in his costume identity.  He is taken to the District Attorney, who is impressed by Foggy’s plan (based on the fact that costumed heroes can testify in their identities, Daredevil thus constitutes a legal identity and can be arrested and tried for murder without revealing his secret ID) but refuses to participate unless HE knows who is under the mask.  When Matt Murdock reveals himself, the DA is first shocked, then moved to violence, but agrees to the plan, instructing his officers to arrest Daredevil.


I’m a fan of this story and Zdarsky’s work on Daredevil, and I really appreciate how strong the tension and drama is in this issue, but…  I feel like we’ve done the secret identity dance before.  Daredevil’s identity being in play was a big part of the Bendis AND the Waid runs on the character, so I’m hoping that this one focuses more on questions of justice than it does on mask tricks and clever moments.  I am quite happy with Chechetto’s art throughout the issue, though, especially in the emotional moments that are conveyed by the characters’ “acting.”  The Kingpin’s rage, DA Hochberg’s disbelief, even Spider-Man’s angry resolve are conveyed as much by the visuals as by dialogue or captions, making for an impressive experience, and the moment where a fully-outfitted Daredevil leaps from a rooftop, finally feeling like himself again, is truly excellent.  The cliffhanger ending is also very impressive, making the often-referenced idea that “nothing will ever be the same” feel like it might be true.


In short, even with parts of this story feeling familiar, Daredevil #21 feels like the big moment that it’s meant to be, with excellent art and character work combining to make for a nearly seamless, riveting narrative, earning a better-than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  If this creative team can actually follow through and make the changes stick in a way that feels natural and fresh, we’re going to see a whole new era for the Man Without Fear.

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And Effective

Daredevil is ready to take responsibility for his crimes, and it's tense, but I feel like parts of this have been done before. Even so, the art and story are quite good.

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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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