Comic Review: ‘Daredevil’ #11

Chip Zdarsky’s run on ‘Daredevil’ returns to form…

Daredevil #11 (2019)

Cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco (image credit: Marvel Comics).

 

Written by:  Chip Zdarsky / art by:  Marco Checchetto / colours by:  Nolan Woodard

What’s it about?

“Through Hell”, Part I: as the NYPD continues its crackdown on masked vigilantes, Matt Murdock faces his ongoing remorse for the death of an innocent and finds he must heed the warnings of an old face…

In review

Writer Chip Zdarsky (whose most recent Marvel works include Marvel Two-In-One, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man and Invaders) continues his run on Daredevil with issue #11 (of volume 6, the comic’s legacy numbering being #623) which marks the beginning of the next story arc and the return of Marco Checchetto on art duties.  Although this is the first instalment of “Through Hell”, it’s not really an ideal jumping on point for new readers as it builds on the events established in this Daredevil series thus far, but luckily it’s early enough to catch up but please note that some spoilers will follow.

Going in to “Through Hell”, Matt Murdock is in a relatively low place – having abandoned his Daredevil persona (albeit continuing to answer his calling to help others) after causing an accidental death and succumbing to an affair with a member of the Libris crime family he has lost his way.  In the wake of Daredevil’s absence, copycat vigilantes have been filling the void and Daredevil #11 opens as a DD impersonator (his true identity a neat twist that only complicates Matt’s situation further) intervenes in an impending assault – only to be hindered by the arrival of the Police, currently enacting a policy of zero tolerance in an effort to crackdown on masked vigilantes.  Otherwise, this issue is, given the Man Without Fear’s status quo, light on Daredevil action but that in no way makes it uninteresting.  There’s a lot going on here and Chip Zdarsky not only has a good handle on Matt Murdock and various characters (all of who he juggles admirably, along with the various subplots without creating a mess) such as the Kingpin and the Owl but also sets the right tone for Daredevil which, although on the face of it seems bleak, is always strongest when dealing with the darker, more adult elements of the character and the brutal world of Hell’s Kitchen.  It’s always more interesting when we see Matt in a hole and how a writer eventually drags him into the light and there’s a sense that Chip Zdarsky has plenty up his sleeve.

The most significant moment for Matt in Daredevil #11 is his encounter with Elektra (the point at which Zdarsky left readers in the last issue) which demonstrates his loss of focus in the current circumstances, the death of an innocent weighing heavily on his soul and as Elektra points out has ‘softened’ him, a situation which his ex-lover warns is going to lead to his death if he doesn’t get a grip and accept Elektra’s offer to retrain him in the teachings of their mentor, Stick.  The main highlight in this issue however is the appearance of Spider-Man, drawn into a trap by Detective Cole that our Friendly Neighbourhood hero skilfully turns on his pursuer.  Again, Zdarsky nails the character of Marvel’s Webslinger perfectly (no doubt aided by his experience of writing Spider-Man comics previously), balancing the action with the wisecracks and a healthy dose of pathos as Spidey debates the virtues of justice and the need for masked heroes to save lives in a place where the law just isn’t enough.  It’s a wonderfully well-written and thought-provoking exchange that’s made even more enjoyable as Zdarsky utilises the one-hour dissolve of Spider-Man’s webbing to nifty effect.

Artist Marco Checchetto makes a welcome return to Daredevil (along with colourist Nolan Woodard), sorely missed since issue #5 and returning the book to its previous visual glory which was diminished greatly during the previous arc (although the stellar Jorge Fornes was a sublime fill-in for last issue) which was arguably beginning to hurt the book.  Checchetto’s style is the perfect match for the dynamics of Zdarsky’s script, establishing the mood and rendering some exciting action scenes, particularly in those Spider-Man sequences.  Here’s hoping that Checchetto can remain onboard for a longer stretch this time.

The bottom line:  Daredevil #11 is a solid and satisfying issue of the series in which Chip Zdarsky continues to build his ongoing narrative, enhanced by the return of artist Marco Checchetto and a nicely executed guest appearance from Spider-Man.

Daredevil #11 is published by Marvel Comics and is available in print and digital formats now.

Images used herein are utilised for illustrative purposes only and remain the property of the copyright owner(s).

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9 thoughts on “Comic Review: ‘Daredevil’ #11

  1. I’ve been enjoying this new run of Daredevil a lot, Chip is doing a fantastic job with the storyline. Its been really gripping and set up some interesting challenges for Matt Murdock. I’m glad to see Artist Marco Checchetto back as well, as the art has been suffering on this book recently, so nice to see the visuals back on form.

    • Great to hear you’re enjoying Daredevil (one of Marvel’s best ongoing at the moment, along with the Immortal Hulk) as well Paul, the art was shockingly poor during the second arc but Marco has brought the title back up to standard and bring Chip Zdarsky’s story to properly to life.

      • Thanks! Yeah, I think its been a really good run from the new team on Daredevil, except for the art in the second arc of course. I really like Immortal Hulk as well, great series that. I’ve not had as much time recently to review comics as much recently as I’ve been on move reviews again for a bit, but hope to get back to reviewing some more comics soon. 🙂

  2. Wow, this seems like a great run for Daredevil. To me, the comics have been hit or miss with DD and am glad that the hero is enjoying a creative resurgence. I’m also curious to find out about what happens when Spidey’s webbing dissolves in this issue. Can you recommend a good jumping on point at least for this storyline? Time to hit up the nearest comic book shop to pick up the issues!

  3. And here I thought we wouldn’t be hearing about any decent Daredevil stories for a while. This sounds tremendous. I’ll definitely keep an eye out on the collected editions of this run now. I also like the Spidy is incorporated into this story arc. So much potential! The cover art is also formidable. Is the artwork similar to it? 😀 Great review as always, Chris!

    • I’ve been wanting to review an issue or two of this run for a while (even when the quality was beginning to slide during the second arc due to the lacklustre art) but something else always came up that I wanted to cover. Daredevil is actually the only Marvel series I currently read issue by issue (I read the Immortal Hulk and a couple of other titles by collection as the price difference is significant!) and I definitely recommend it if you enjoy any iteration of Daredevil (so long as you stick with it through the poorly drawn second arc).

      Alas, the cover art isn’t representative of the interiors, although Marco Checchetto’s visuals are superb (there are previews online if you’re curious) and a great fit for a DD title.

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