Man Without Fear #2 // Review
After every night, there is a dawn. After every accident, one generally struggles to get back up. But what if the night doesn’t seem to end, and what if you just can’t get back up on your feet? Once again, we visit the ruins that is the life of Matthew Murdock in the second issue of Man Without Fear.
Jed MacKay returns as the writer for this character study, while Stefano Landini comes in to provide the pencils and inks. Andres Mossa pitches in with the colors, while Clayton Cowles returns for lettering the pages.
As revealed at the end of last issue, Matt Murdock has awakened from his coma. However, despite visits from his friends and loved ones, Daredevil remains haunted by the two phrases said by the Yellow and Red creatures from his coma: What is Pain for? What is Fear for? With both Kirsten McDuffie and Blindspot taking time from their lives to visit and hold out a helping hand for Matt, Matt begins to question his life’s choices made so far. Will he reach for the hands offered, or will Matt draw into himself and choose to embrace his pain?
Jed MacKay has seriously done his homework for this book. Like with last issue, references abound to just about every era and every writer on Daredevil. Matt’s memories of his pain and the torment provided by the Yellow creature delve into continuity, but provide just enough context so the reader doesn’t necessarily feel left out for not knowing what happened in each flashback. The mystery of the Yellow and Red creatures isn’t further deepened here, but the Yellow creature gets some much-needed pagetime to flesh out the argument it seems to be making to Matt: Give up. It’s quite fascinating, and both could represent the aspects of Matt’s mind coming to terms with his life-changing injuries.
The art for this issue has some very high points and some low points. Stefano Landini’s pencils are utterly gorgeous on the Yellow creature, looking like a horror movie monster with a Daredevil theme. Some of it does come from the great colors provided by Andres Mossa, but Landini’s inks and pencils are delightfully gothic with those scenes. However, a simple scene with Matt and his pal Foggy comes off as incredibly plain, albeit with great body language. While close-ups on characters are excellently detailed, it feels like the comic’s camera is out of focus for any long shots.
Still reflecting on a lifetime of regrets and pain, Man Without Fear leaves reader wondering if Matt can even recover from this life, or if this book is paving the way for a legacy character to take the role. Either way, the rest of this series should be fascinating.