Daredevil No. 1 review: Anger, hatred, and frustration


After almost dying in the hospital after saving a kid from being run over, Daredevil returns to protect Hell’s Kitchen. The question is though, is he truly protecting the city or giving into his own urges?

After the ending of Charles Soule’s brilliant run on Daredevil, it really presents a hard act to follow for the next creative team taking on The Man Without Fear. When it was announced that Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto were taking over the series, there seemed to be a lot of promise. Zdarsky seemed like an odd choice as writer because his sensibilities have seemingly leaned more to the lighter, more fun stories, but Checchetto was a brilliant choice to bring on as an artist. Turns out though, both members of the creative team were fantastic choices to begin this new volume of Daredevil because this first issue is incredible.

From a writing standpoint, Charles Soule was going to be tough to take over from, but this issue feels entirely like a thesis statement as to where the series was going and how it was going to separate itself from previous runs. There’s a lot of familiarity, but it’s used to build on the differences in this series, that difference being the focus on religion.

Image by Marvel Comics/Art by Marco Checchetto

Daredevil and Matt Murdock have always been presented as devout Catholics, but so often this is a trait that is simply thrown to the wayside and only used to explain his need to be Daredevil as “Catholic guilt.” However, this series presents itself in a way that religion will be the focal point of Matt’s journey during Zdarsky’s run on the character. Given with how this issue is structured, jumping back and forth in time, Matt’s dialogue and frustrations when he was a younger being tied into his current predicament, and how this issue ends, it presents a fascinating story.
The way Zdarsky writes Matt is honestly so relatable too. The struggles that he is dealing with, the anger, the hatred, everyone can relate to that. No matter the walks of life people can come from, there’s something primal about Zdarsky’s depiction of Matt in this issue that everyone can understand.

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The art is absolutely stellar as well in this debut issue. Marco Checchetto has been a standout artist over the past several years with his work on the Star Wars line of books, as well as the majority of Old Man Hawkeye, which is stunning. The difference with those books is that he brings this stylistic realism to exaggerated environments, so who knows if he can do the same with everyday New York. Two words. He does.

Every bit of art in this feels so grounded. From the action to the close-ups, everything feels real and just, right, for lack of better terminology. His fight scenes are brutal and his figures move so fluidly that it’s to just stare. And the way he can communicate the story with just a two or three panel series is fantastic. Every bit of emotion that he needs to bring to the art, he absolutely does, while also bringing his own flair to it.

The most interesting part of Checchetto’s art though is his use of Daredevil’s radar sense. He uses the sense in the way that it’s been used in so many previous incarnations, but in way that also combines Matt into the picture. We as readers, are no longer seeing the world through Matt’s eyes, as if he is one with the world, but rather Matt is now being presented with his radar sense, as if he is separate. It’s a gorgeous visual with significant visual subtext to it.

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This new volume of Daredevil starts out incredibly strong and brings along with it some fantastic potential.