Daredevil #608 // Review
The curveballs keep coming, as co-conspirators Charles Soule and Phil Noto continue arguably the most bizarre storyline Daredevil has had yet. Desperate to dig up dirt on Wilson Fisk rigging the New York Mayoral election, Daredevil decided to dredge up his old persona of Mike Murdock, his long-lost “brother.” Due to an accident with the Inhuman known as Reader, Mike is now an actual person, complete with the same personality that Matt cooked up for him so long ago.
And Mike doesn’t want to go quietly back into oblivion.
Kidnapping Foggy Nelson to keep both Daredevil and Matt away, Mike also quickly has another issue: he looks like a dead ringer for Matt Murdock. Now hunted by C-List villain Bushwhacker, Mike struggles to survive in a world he no longer recognizes. Meanwhile, Matt is left with a burning question: does he choose to fix this accident, or does he choose to help the first family he’s had in decades?
Soule has done another great job with this comic. It’s plain to see that he’s done his research with Mike, and he feels like a much more natural version of the Mike that Matt once pretended to be. Gone are the flouncy mannerisms that distracted from the fact that he was Matt putting on a shallow show. Instead, Mike is pragmatic, and much more aggressive than Matt is. The argument Soule makes when Mike and Matt meet face to face later in the issue is that Mike just “has more of their father” in him, and it works really well. Most of the issue focuses on Mike and Foggy working their way through dealing with a changed world and a pretend man walking, respectively, but Matt’s later pages examine what’s going through his head. Does he consider this twist of fate an accident, or does he embrace the idea that he now has a brother? The answer is one that opens up a lot of story ideas, as does the story’s ending.
Phil Noto remains on his A-game for this comic. While Matt and Mike obviously look almost identical, Noto’s body language for the pair really helps solidify that Mike is his own person. Admittedly, so do the functioning eyes and the different hair, but the body language is a big one. In a story with little action, a book lives and dies on the more subtle things like body language and facial expressions. Needless to say, every panel in the comic is packed with beautiful detail, and even the sunglasses-wearing Murdock Brothers (wow, that is odd to write) carry off complex expressions fantastically well despite the more expressive halves of their faces being covered in sunglasses.
While Soule is probably far off from the always-fated showdown between the Kingpin and Daredevil, issues like these show that DD doesn’t need to always be fighting epic waves of Hand ninja or the machinations of Wilson Fisk. Sometimes, all it needs is some family drama. Of course, when the book’s title character has no family, sometimes you need to make the family in the first place.