Things haven’t been easy for the superhero world in Marvel and they don’t look like they’ll be getting easier any time soon. After the events of Secret Empire, where evil Captain America turned the Marvel Universe into a Hydra playground, now our favorite heroes must deal with Wilson Fisk as the new Mayor of New York City. Given that most of the major Marvel heroes still operate in New York City having the former Kingpin of Crime as the new Mayor is not good news for them. That is especially the case for Daredevil, who has been in a never ending war with Wilson Fisk since he arrived. With that Daredevil is placed in an interesting position because by winning the election Mayor Fisk became his boss since Matt Murdock works in the District Attorney’s office. How will Matt deal with his greatest antagonist also being his boss? Let’s find out with Daredevil #595.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Stefano Landini
Colorist: Matt Milla
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The issue opens with a look back at Wilson Fisk’s rise from being a boy born in poverty, rise to become the Kingpin of Crime and losing the love of his life all as he tried to fix the city and now he can as the new Mayor elect.
In the present a massive celebration is held for Mayor Wilson Fisk in the middle of Time Square. In the middle of the crowd Matt asks Foggy how this happened. Foggy reminds Matt how Wilson ran his campaign as an independent that entered the race in the last second. He goes on to mention how Wilson’s campaign ran on the fact he went from growing up poor to being one of the rich elite while working the system in what he sold as a “New York thing.” Wilson even stayed on that message even when protesters and journalist brought up his unsavory past.
Not happy to hear that Matt walks away saying he is going to prove Fisk didn’t win fairly.
At the District Attorney’s office Matt wants to put together a voter fraud case against Mayor Fisk but Benjamin Hochberg says that they have a different case to focus on. Ben reveals that Mayor Fisk wants the DA’s office to focus on a clampdown on non-governmental exercise of authority with Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Ms. Marvel and Punisher being high on that list.
While Matt agrees they should take Punisher in he says that he argued for the legitimacy of all the other superheroes not being classified as vigilantees. Ben tells Matt that right now to the city they are bad guys.
Later that day Matt tells Ellen that while he will help out with the vigilante case he wants Ellen to help him with secretly building a case against Mayor Fisk. Ellen says that she is not against the vigilante ban since she has been on the receiving end on the lack of consequences superheroes act with when it comes to destruction, bringing up her car that was destroyed in a fight Spider-Man got in against a villain.
Matt wonders if she voted for Mayor Fisk. Ellen says that is none of Matt’s business.
Later that night as Daredevil Matt thinks about how Mayor Fisk has really cornered him at work as he can’t quit since that is what Fisk wants. At the same time by staying Matt has to build a case against himself.
He suddenly hears someone call for help and heads over to check out what is going on.
Daredevil finds a woman being mugged and quickly goes to take out the two thugs. One of the thugs tries to use a stun gun but ends up hitting his partner.
Daredevil questions the muggers on why they would have a stun gun rather than a normal gun. The woman turns around and reveals that she is NYPD officer. Daredevil realizes that he was set up and that they are all cops.
The cops tell Daredevil to stand down as they have snipers ready if he tries to leave the scene. Internally Daredevil can’t believe he was so sloppy to fall into Mayor Fisk’s plot but does surrender to the cops.
In Uptown the cops take Daredevil to Mayor Fisk’s office. While going up the elevator Daredevil hears the meeting Mayor Fisk is having with Hammerhead. He now gets that Mayor Fisk is doing all this to show his power now and can only listen to what the two talk about in terms of Hammerhead having Fisk’s back.
When Hammerhead walks out he runs into Daredevil being escorted by the cops and smiles at what Mayor Fisk is doing.
Once inside Mayor Fisk’s office Fisk tells the two police officers to leave him alone with Daredevil. The cops are hesitant but comply with Mayor Fisk’s orders.
Now alone Fisk says that convincing the cops to bring Daredevil to him was the easiest thing he has ever done. Daredevil tells Fisk that he won’t get away with what is going on.
Fisk asks Daredevil if he and his masked friends ever asked if the people of the city asked for the chaos and terror they bring. He goes on to say the people want it all to stop. Fisk admits that he knows they love this city but only one of them in the room was asked to help save the city and it wasn’t Daredevil.
Fisk then goes over how he made it absolutely clear with people during his campaign about what he wanted to do for the city to bring order, normalcy and accountability and they still wanted him.
Daredevil breaks free from his cuffs and says he didn’t. Fisk asks Daredevil what he plans to do next since he is mayor. Daredevil says it won’t be a long term and throws his baton through a window in order to jump out the building.
The cops come in and ask Fisk what happened. Fisk says Daredevil attacked him and orders them to go after Daredevil. End of issue
The Good: Daredevil #595 delivers exactly what it needed to do to set-up a new element that will be a major driving force across Marvel’s publishing line. Because make no doubt about it, having Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin of Crime, as the new Mayor of New York City has far reaching consequences. As the kick off point, Charles Soule does a very good job in using Daredevil to get over what this means for a major part of the Marvel Universe’s superheroes.
Right out of the gate it would be easy to compare Wilson Fisk’s rise to political office to our current political climate. And in truth there are very clear similarities that are drawn to the current Presidency. But while those similarities are clear Soule does a good job in quickly establishing that Fisk’s rise was an overwhelming majority, rather than a questionable 50/50 vote. The opening scene in particular establishes how Mayor Fisk is widely accepted by the public as their leader. That is a key difference that not only helps Fisk in establishing his authority but shows us what Daredevil and the entire NYC superhero community are up against moving forward.
Leading up to and during Daredevil’s confrontation with Mayor Fisk, Soule does a very good job in establishing all the reasons the former Kingpin won. Basing it all off how superheroes and villains are perceived isn’t out of the question. With how much has gone on lately in the Marvel Universe from Civil War to Secret Empire it is not shocking Wilson Fisk could use that platform to become a political figure. That along with his rags to riches story does make the rise to office even more believable, though missing one key connection I’ll talk about later.
This development builds on all the work that Matt Murdock has been putting into the District Attorney’s office and throws it out the window. The way it is thrown out the window only works to further establish the current dynamic between Mayor Fisk, Matt and Daredevil. Mayor Fisk already has a dislike for both Matt and Daredevil. And by forcing Matt be directly involved in building a case against the superhero community is a slap in the face. That slap is made to hurt even more given the success Matt recently had in arguing for the superhero community.
Matt being placed in such a spot is made even more interesting given that he seems to be the only one at the DA’s office that wants Mayor Fisk gone. Seeing both Ben and Ellen tell Matt to look past his personal hatred for Fisk only feeds into the idea that Matt will be on an island alone against the new mayor. Ben and Ellen’s arguments also further fed into the idea that the entire city is behind Wilson Fisk being the Mayor. Adding in the personal story from Ellen added some more context to this.
Soule further drove home how alone Matt is in his fight against Mayor Fisk by showing that the NYPD are on his side. Seeing how they had no problem executing Mayor Fisk’s directive to bring in Daredevil in cuffs for meeting was excellent. This effectively showed how the superheroes of New York City are now back to being seen as vigilantes endangering the city. It’s a big change from how they were perceived that will extend past just Daredevil.
Having put Daredevil in such a position made the meeting Fisk and Hammerhead had even more effective. Seeing these two meet with Fisk now having power within the system of the government shows how much Matt will have to fight against as Daredevil. This meeting also opens the door for former crime bosses that have been diminished or forgotten to get a new life under Mayor Fisk’s term. Hammerhead is a good example of this and it does provide some intriguing sub-plots for where Fisk goes with his direction as Mayor.
All of this help build to all the tension around the one-on-one meeting between Daredevil and Mayor Fisk. Sould did an excellent job having Mayor Fisk throw his position in Daredevil’s face. Adding in the dig that he was chosen by the people to help them while Daredevil just decided to take the role made the entire scene even more fun. Mayor Fisk’s words made Daredevil’s burst of anger even more effective as this first battle between the two went to Fisk, no question.
For his part Stefano Landini did a very good job complimenting Soule’s story throughout Daredevil #595. Landini gets over how everyone around Matt Murdock was actually hopeful for Mayor Fisk’s term. This help further put over the giant wall Matt will be in professionally and personally as a District Attorney and Daredevil. The tension created during Fisk and Daredevil’s scene together just added to everything Matt will be up against.
The Bad: The biggest miss that hurt Daredevil #595 is something that isn’t just a problem that exist in this series and that is the lack of follow-up to Secret Empire. It was a bit worse for this issue in particular given that Soule should’ve used the events of Secret Empire to drive home how Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin of Crime, won the Mayor’s office of New York City. And given that to the public Fisk is seen as one of the ones that helped people in New York City while Hydra covered the city in a shroud of darkness. Bringing up that fact would only strengthen the arguments everyone, including Fisk, had when Daredevil tried to fight against the new Mayor.
Not only would the events of Secret Empire make Fisk’s campaign look even better but also help the anti-masked vigilante. This is something that the entire Marvel Universe is fighting against, not just Daredevil. Captain America seriously damaged every superheroes reputation and for that to not be brought up makes the events of Marvel’s event feel like a waste when we see something like Mayor Fisk’s rise to power.
Overall: Daredevil #595 delivered a strong start to the Mayor Wilson Fisk-era of the Marvel Universe. This is a major change that changes the landscape of a lot major comic books Marvel is publishing. And Charles Soule does a very good job at getting over how big of a change this is and how it affects all Marvel superheroes. This in turn gave more weight to what Soule has done with Daredevil and what is to come for this series in the future.