March 24, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: Daredevil #17 (February, 2020)

Matt Murdock faces down the people behind the mess in Hell's Kitchen...maybe.

From what I have read, the best Daredevil runs tend to have rather morally complex storylines that best fit the tortured soul at the center of the action.

That seems to be coming from all kinds of different angles in this series.

Issue:  Daredevil #17, February 2020

Writer:  Chip Zdarksky

Artist:  Jorge Fornes

The Plot:  Matt Murdock seems to be facing some problems while ignoring others.

Commentary:  At the heart of any Daredevil series is the basic knowledge that he is the ultimate of neighborhood heroes.  There are plenty of city heroes.  Think just about any major DC hero.  Batman protects Gotham.  Superman has Metropolis.  Even in the more real-world oriented Marvel Universe, there’s still the idea that Spider-Man watches over the entire city of New York.  Heck, most of the Marvel heroes watch over the entire city of New York.  It’s not like Spidey limits himself to even his home borough of Queens.

But then there’s Daredevil, a hero who only really cares about the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen.  It’s to the point where even Wilson Fisk has a good solid laugh over the fact that Matt Murdock only really cares about a handful of city blocks, and in a neighborhood that isn’t even as bad as its nickname suggests.  Heck, the Netflix series even manages to take advantage of the gentrification of the real Hell’s Kitchen by relating it to repair work left over from the battle at the end of the first Avengers movie.

So, with that and Matt’s usual moral feelings about whether or not anything he does is doing anyone any good in the grand scheme of things, let’s consider for a moment what’s been happening here.  Matt started Chip Zdarsky’s run by accidentally killing a man in a fight, and he’s been haunted by that ever since.  How can a man who believes in helping others and has supersenses ignore literal cries for help?  And how can a man who has a strict moral code not question what he does when he accidentally violates it?

And what happens when the current attack on Hell’s Kitchen is a bit bigger than anything a masked vigilante normally deals with?

That seems to be the theme here.  While Matt worries about his soul, he’s ignoring the escalating gang war.  He may be getting forgiveness from his victim’s mother, but he’s also working with Elektra to the general disapproval of Foggy.  And even when he does go to see the superwealthy siblings who are doing something in the Kitchen, all he ends up doing is getting some confused looks because these are people with their fingers in so many pies, people who can have the mayor of New York (Wilson Motherlovin’ Fisk!) beaten within an inch of his life without fear of repercussion, and they aren’t even completely sure what they’re doing in Hell’s Kitchen either.  Mostly because they are so big and Matt’s purview is so small.

If Matt does anything right, it’s that he doesn’t try a physical confrontation with the wealthy siblings.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t retaliate.

After all, they made the mayor their bitch.  What’s one neighborhood vigilante whose skills seems limited to some impressive acrobats?

Grade:  B

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