By Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla, and Clayton Cowles.
If you are currently watching or have consumed Daredevil on Netflix then, you know all about the gritty, dark nature of the character. If you are into that then you need to be reading this current run of Marvel’s Daredevil. That same dark portrayal of the character is being presented in spades in Soule and Garney’s run. Issue #5 provides some closure on the current arc involving Tenfingers, the Hand, and Blindspot’s connection to it all. The book follows up as Matt Murdock faces a full day in court as a New York City Prosecutor, a pretty demanding job, and has to bail out of his day job to help save Blindspot and all the people in Tenfingers church. The Fist, an evil magical monster who works for the Hand, attacks Tenfingers because he stole magic from the Hand. This threatens Tenfinger’s entire church congregation, which includes Blindspot and his family and friends. Hopefully Daredevil can come through to save the people and Tenfingers from the wrath of the Hand.
Daredevil is being completely revived with a tone that is reminiscent of Frank Miller from his “Born Again” days with the path Charles Soule is laying out for Matt Murdock and his alter ego, Daredevil. Soule gets the psyche of Daredevil and that he works best when he is faced against a seemingly dark and dangerous villain. Pairing him with new villains like Tenfingers and new friends/apprentices like Blindspot are the perfect shakeup this character needs without sacrificing the heart of what makes Daredevil great. Daredevil is growing and evolving, having to practice patience and humility while training Blindspot and also while facing new threats like Tenfingers, all while facing new professional stress as a Prosecutor after he spent so much time as a defense attorney. Daredevil continually struggles with his mental well-being because he rarely gets balance between his demanding lives as a lawyer and crime fighter, human and super-hero. One usually suffers while the other thrives. Soule showcases that magnificently as Daredevil flies out of his lawyering duties to save people, and also as he struggles in his role as Daredevil with attempts to teach Blindspot a lesson about teamwork. Soule gets all those things and incorporates them into his writing of Daredevil while setting up a lot of great things to happen in the next arc that will cause a lot of chaos for Matt Murdock’s professional life and Daredevil’s crime-fighting plans.
The writing in this book is greatly complemented throughout with art by Garney, colors from Milla, and lettering by Cowles. The redesign on Daredevil’s outfit is phenomenal with it being reminiscent of a boxer with tie up boots and red gloves and should be noted that it only serves to better add to the gritty feel of the book. Throughout, the use of color serves to set the tone for each page and allows the red design of Daredevil’s outfit to shine and gives it a menacing, dangerous feel. This also works really well with Blindspot’s design, with his power to make himself invisible, and his outfit is all black with white details and mask. The white and red for the duo really stand out from the use of black and grey in the background art and the darker washed-out tones applied to the bad guys. The design of the Fist is completely scary; it looks like a vampire Hob Goblin that will eat everyone in its path. The panel layouts are perfect for layering the action out for the reader without overwhelming the eyes and allowing all the great details to really stand out for themselves. There are also some great little details the creative team puts into the book that give it a fantastic campy vibe amidst the blood and destruction. Details like the guns Tenfingers grab each have nine individual triggers along the grips, allowing us to assume he can fire 18 bullets simultaneously from both guns.
This book has heart, blood, and plenty of action. The writing is smart while not being pretentious and the art is masterful while looking effortless. Soule and Garney are a powerhouse creative team that have successfully delivered on this first five-issue arc and provide a powerhouse revelation in the last page of what we get to look forward to in their next Daredevil arc, and it is a blast from the past! While we wait a month for the next issue, we at least at Daredevil on Netflix to fill our gaping “Man Without Fear” void in our lives.