Daredevil #8 // Review
Now solidly in civilian life, Matt Murdock struggles to balance what he knows with what a normal man shouldn’t. While he tries to settle into the unheroic life, Wilson Fisk also experiences upheaval of his own. When one of the biggest purposes of your life is gone, what more is there?
Chip Zdarsky is one of the few men crazy enough to ask this and is the writer for Daredevil #8. Lalit Kumar Sharma provides the pencils, Jay Leistein inks, and Java Tartaglia colors the art. Clayton Cowle provides the letters.
After spending several weeks as a parole officer, Matt Murdock finds himself falling into the routine of everyday life. He even finds he has a favorite bookshop to visit, and accidentally flirts his way into dinner. With the Libris crime family. Meanwhile, the former Kingpin of Crime receives page time as he tries to find his way on the legal side of crime.
Chip Zdarsky has some serious chutzpah to continue this storyline. This is not to say that this is a bad comic, far from it. But a superhero comic that has gone three issues without actual super heroics? With the main character living a normal life despite his superpowers? With the main villain softening up as he realizes that he… enjoys his position as Mayor of New York City? This comic is one that feels revolutionary while literally doing the exact opposite of what one expects a “revolutionary” comic to be. The best part? It actually works.
Matt Murdock feels genuinely content in his life, and it makes for a fleshing out of his character. When each issue takes time for superheroics, the hero can become defined more by the mask than by the man behind it. This was something that stood out with Waid’s run when Matt unmasked himself, and Zdarsky one-ups it by just leaving the mask behind for several issues. The dinner with the Libris crime family both feels like the worst family dinner that everyone has been at. While also further expanding on Matt’s own point of view on the law… and pointing out that, sometimes, organized crime is the lesser evil. It’s a fun little character study and works incredibly well.
Lalit Kumar Sharma has a wonderfully “real” style, with everyone feeling like they stepped out of a family photo without being hyper-realistic. The family dinner is wonderfully drawn. With body language and facial expressions taking the cake for any subtle nuance that layers with Zdarsky’s script. Making a memorable sequence that provides exposition but turns into a delightful conversation that pulls the reader in. A lesser art team would have trouble working a book almost filled with normal conversations, but it’s hard to knock the team assembled.
Action fans may feel left a little cold, but Daredevil fans are being delivered some of the best stories the character has ever had. Knowing Zdarsky, Matt will wear the mask again. However, it’s going to be a bit longer before Daredevil once more swings over the streets of New York.