By Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Nolan Woodard, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Matt’s journey of learning how to become a proper and competent vigilante continues in Daredevil #13. Daredevil has a long history of being a gritty crime drama and this team of writer and artists serves that genre well. As each issue passes, the story feels like it is ramping itself up for something big to tie in all of the characters together.
This series has had an interesting twist on Matt building himself back up from being a broken man into the man without fear. Normally, there is a story arc of Matt being down on his luck and then by the end of that story Matt is back up on his feet. Chip Zdarsky has done something different in this series in that we had Matt in the Man Without Fear series broken then moving to his current run on Daredevil with Matt back in action, only to fail again. Zdarsky is taking his time with Matt’s redemption. This will most likely have a very satisfying payoff because the build up of Matt’s training with Elektra feels natural. Matt isn’t getting everything right off the bat and we can see him learning and taking on a new mindset with his “goals”. The other element that has been fantastic about Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil has been the criminal side. Arguably, Wilson Fisk’s story has been the most compelling and the Owl has been a surprising great addition to the Hell’s Kitchen underworld. Finally we have Detective North, who is trying to come to terms with his sense of right and wrong due to his increasing frustrations with being a police officer. This issue presents a new step for Detective North’s progression. We get a great moment with North after his suspension when he is put in a position where he can use his power to enforce what he believes is right. Having North put himself in that position, we really get to see him struggling with his views on vigilantism on a small scale.
As always, having Marco Checchetto and Nolan Woodard on art is an absolute treat. Out of the last few volumes of Daredevil, no art has perfectly fit the dark and realistic tone like what these two are presenting. A great technique for artists to show a character reacting to a situation is to devote a few panels to only their facial expressions and how they are changing. This is expertly portrayed when Wesley has to pull himself together in order to help Wilson take care of a dead body. This is easily one of the best moments of the issue and it could have been easily been glossed over by the wrong art team. Another stand out moment is seeing Matt’s radar sense map out the training room Matt and Elektra are in. You could easily forget this is a superhero comic up to the point in the issue and the contrast in realistic to super-powered is fun to see as Matt works his way to land a blow on Elektra.
If you are not reading Daredevil right now, then you are sorely missing out. One could argue this is the best comic out there and perfectly portrays what everyone loved about the Netflix series and more. This is a great time to be a Daredevil fan and the readers who follow it are surely to be consistently rewarded as each issue comes out.