REVIEW: Daredevil #1 -“Know Fear”

DAREDEVIL #1 / Writer: Chip Zdarsky / Artist: Marco Checchetto / Colorist: Sunny Gho / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Publisher: Marvel / Release Date: February 6th, 2019

Matt Murdock has survived things that would kill an ordinary man. He lost his sight when he was a boy due to a container of radioactive waste. He was possessed by a demon. And, most recently, he was hit by a truck and has been hovering on the edge of death. Now, in the hands of writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto, Murdock returns to his vigilante lifestyle—but as it turns out, he still has a way to go before he’s in fighting form.

Zdarsky has proven himself to be one of the strongest writers in Marvel’s stable, often mixing gut-busting humor with classic superheroic shenanigans (as seen in Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Two-In-One.) In Daredevil #1, though, he dials back the laughs. Zdarsky delves deep into the nature of Murdock’s character, jumping through different points in his life. Here is a man who chooses to dress as a demon, yet is driven by faith. Here, too, is a man who seeks justice both inside and outside a courtroom. Murdock is a man of duality, and Zdarsky embraces this. (Zdarsky also writes and draws a four-page backup that showcases Murdock’s radar sense in a refreshing new light.)

Checchetto is no stranger to drawing Daredevil, and I’m glad to see him on a monthly book again. His take on Murdock shows a man who is world-weary, who’s learned to roll with the punches, and who can throw a few punches of his own. Colorist Sunny Gho sets a somber mood, as Murdock is often depicted in shadow—both in and out of costume.

Most creators, when tackling Daredevil, try and see how miserable they can make Murdock. This is a side effect of the long shadow Frank Miller has cast over the character. Zdarsky and Checchetto take things in a different direction, showing the toll Murdock’s actions have taken on his body and mind over the years. Hopefully future issues will continue to explore this.

If you are a fan of psychological dramas or the Netflix version of Daredevil, this comic is right up your alley. The Man Without Fear is once again in good hands.

FINAL VERDICT: 5 out of 5 billy clubs.

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Collier, or CJ as he’s known to his friends, is a screenwriter and blogger residing in Seattle. When he isn’t at his laptop or at work, he loves to read comics, watch movies, play card games, and hit the local arcade. Spider-Man is his favorite fictional character of all time.

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