Comic Book Review: Daredevil #93

Brubaker delivered an incredible climax to his long running story arc involving who framed Daredevil, had him jailed and tried to kill Foggy. It was one incredibly well done conclusion to a fantastically written story. Daredevil #93 appears to be the denouement of this story arc as Brubaker looks to wrap up all the various small loose ends and get this title started on the next major story arc. I’m positive that Daredevil #93 will be another good read. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Michael Lark
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Matt stumbling along a road somewhere in upstate New York. A couple in a van stop and Matt if he is ok. Matt asks them to please help him. We cut to Foggy on the phone with the FBI. Foggy argues that there is no longer any reason for him to be in protective custody. The FBI agent on the other line disagrees and hangs up on Foggy. Foggy then returns to his little cubicle were he realizes how much he hates this new life and this lousy job.

Foggy goes to get some coffee and sees a new report in the television in the office kitchen about how Matt Murdock was found earlier in the day. That Matt had been missing since the Punisher took him hostage during the Punisher’s escape from Ryker’s Island. Foggy is shocked.

We shift to Matt alongside Dakota, Milla and Becky Blake outside of his brownstone addressing the media. Matt explains that he was taken hostage by the Punisher. That the Punisher was sick of seeing lawyers like Matt getting criminals back on the street. That the Punisher kept Matt hostage in an attempt to get information on Matt’s clients. Matt never gave the Punisher the information. Then, yesterday morning, Matt was dropped off on the side of the road. Matt assumes that once the Punisher found out about the FBI director’s death and confession that he went ahead and freed Matt.

Beck Blake then informs the media that she expects all the charges pending against Matt to be dropped. One reporter then yells that it is all pretty convenient that the FBI Director confessed everything in a suicide not. The reporter asks if Matt “Are you sure you didn’t kill him, Daredevil?”

Becky ends all of the questioning and takes Matt back inside the brownstone. Matt comments how he never expected for there to be a “honeymoon phase” between him and the media. That there will always be some people that still think he is Daredevil. Suddenly, Matt stops talking and says “No. It isn’t possible!” Matt gets up and races to the entrance of the brownstone. There we see the guards refusing to let Foggy into Matt’s office. Matt tells the guards to let him go. That Foggy is his best friend. The two friends then hug each other as tears stream down their faces.

We shift to Foggy having a touching reunion with Becky, Dakota and Milla who all thought he was dead. Matt realizes that Vanessa Fisk never meant to kill Foggy. She just wanted Matt to think that Foggy was dead. She wanted Matt to realize how sweet his life is and that he has Vanessa Fisk to thank for it. Matt realizes that there was still some of the woman he used to know left inside of Vanessa.

We cut to Matt reading the obituary for Vanessa Fisk in the newspaper. Then we cut to Matt in court as the judge announces that the government is dropping all charges against Matt. We then hop to Becky and Foggy successfully arguing for Matt getting his law license re-instated by the New York Bar.

We shift to Matt, Foggy and Becky at dinner together celebrating Matt regaining his license to practice law. Matt and Foggy ask Becky to join their law firm. Becky is thrilled and immediately agrees. Matt then unveils his new scheme for their firm. That they won’t list Nelson, Blake and Murdock’s new office space. That they will only take referrals. That should help keep the Daredevil stalkers off their doorstep to some degree.

We cut to Matt in bed with Milla. Matt thinks how things haven’t gone as well with Milla as he had hoped. That everything just feels a bit off-kilter.

We zip over to Matt at Ryker’s Island meeting with the Kingpin. Matt informs Wilson Fisk that he is going to be his attorney. That Vanessa’s estate set aside funds specifically for Matt to handle Fisk’s defense. That Matt has an appeal pending and expects to get all the charges thrown out. That Fisk will be a free man.

Kingpin retorts that Matt waited until Vanessa died before coming to get him out of jail. That Matt purposely cost Fisk a chance to bury his wife. Matt says that is exactly what he did. Kingpin responds that once he is free that he is going to come for Matt and he is going to put him in the ground.

Matt responds that he doesn’t want to be here defending Fisk. But, Matt is honoring a debt to a good person that both Matt and Kingpin destroyed. That Vanessa’s soul was eaten away by hatred. That this is both Fisk and Matt’s debt. That Matt intends to honor the woman that Vanessa used to be and not the one she was at the end.

Matt then tells Fisk that Fisk loved Vanessa and that she was the one good thing Fisk did in his entire life. And yet Fisk poisoned Vanessa with ever other aspect of his life. That Fisk made her like he is and Matt doesn’t know why. That Fisk feels the need to destroy anything that he touches. Matt asks Fisk if he remembers how happy Vanessa made him feel. Their life in Japan and how much Fisk loved her.

Matt says that Vanessa wanted to die knowing Fisk and Matt would be truing to kill each other for the rest of their lives. But that wasn’t really Vanessa. Matt then says that he has a deal for Fisk. That Matt will get all of Fisk’s charges dropped. In return Fisk is going to finally honor the woman he loves.

We shift to a news report stating that Matt Murdock successfully got all of Kingpin’s charges dismissed. That Fisk left the country early in the morning. That sources inside the federal government are indicating that Fisk’s U.S. citizenship has been revoked.

We cut to Wilson Fisk at Vanessa’s grave. Wilson falls to his knees, holds his head in his hands and calls out for his dearest Vanessa. His life.

We shift to Daredevil sitting on the ledge of the roof of the new office building of the law firm. Foggy comes outside and tells Matt that he told him not to take Fisk’s case. Matt says that his conscious will survive. That at least he got Fisk out of the country. That Matt even got Fisk to agree to give up his citizenship. At least there is some justice in that.

Foggy asks Daredevil if he thinks that Fisk will go right back to his old ways. Daredevil replies that he doesn’t know. That when you lose a person who’s part of your soul that it changes you. Usually for better and for worse.

Foggy asks Daredevil if he is ok. Daredevil says no. That he misses Karen Page. Daredevil says that he loves Milla, but he still misses Karen. That he didn’t realizes that because of everything lese that has been going on in his life. But, when Vanessa used Lily against him it brought back everything about Karen. That Lily smelled like Karen because he wanted her to. The potion made her smell like any man’s fondest desire. Daredevil pulls off his mask and says Karen is his subconscious wish. His fondest desire.

Foggy tells Matt not to beat himself up over it. That it is normal to feel the way he is. Foggy says that it doesn’t mean Matt doesn’t love Milla. That sometimes the heart doesn’t heal all the way when it breaks. Matt responds that he really misses Karen. Foggy tells Matt that he is going to be ok and that Milla loves him. That Matt should let her help him heal and that everything will take care of itself.

We shift to Lily boarding an airplane that is headed from London to New York. End of issue.

The Good: Wow. Brubaker is one of the most brilliant writers in the industry. Daredevil #93 just blew me away. This was an incredibly powerful and emotional read. Brubaker is so talented that he doesn’t need big name deaths, massive brawls, earth shattering events, time traveling storylines or anything like that in order to deliver an absolutely enthralling read. No, Brubaker instead turns out a beautifully subtle and restrained story that packs as much power and emotion as any over the top, loud and in your face story could.

Brubaker weaves such a heart wrenching story in Daredevil #93. You heart pains for Matt and the Kingpin. And that is no easy task for a writer to pull off. And at the same time your heart swells with happiness as you see the two dear friends in Matt and Foggy embrace each other. This issue is bittersweet and is certainly one of the better written comic books that I have read in a long time.

Brubaker does an incredible job getting into the minds of each character. Brubaker has an incredible feel for the various personalities and is able to construct such realistic characters. This leads to some fabulous chemistry between the various characters. You can feel the genuine love between Foggy and Matt. You can feel the pure hate that drives the bizarre relationship between Kingpin and Matt.

Brubaker also dishes out some wonderfully written dialogue. I have always thought that Brubaker delivered some of the best dialogue out of all the writers in the industry. Daredevil #93 just further bolsters this belief. The dialogue is so natural and just flows off the page. It pulls the reader deep into the story and gets the reader actively involved in the story.

The pacing to this issue is nicely measured and steady. Each scene builds nicely off the previous one. Daredevil #93 is exactly how a writer should deliver the denouement to a story arc. All the small loose ends were neatly tied up in a natural fashion that didn’t seem hurried or forced. Brubaker gives the reader a chance to catch his breathe and let everything soak in from this incredible story arc. The reader has a chance to reflect back on what has happened to Matt, Foggy and Kingpin.

The story that Brubaker has Matt tell the media was believable enough. Brubaker builds off the appearance of the Punisher earlier in the story arc as a reasonable excuse for where Matt has been since he broke out of Ryker’s Island.

I loved how Brubaker handled the scene where Matt and Foggy are reunited. Sometimes less is more and Brubaker eschewed any lengthy dialogue in favor of very short fragmented sentences and silent panels. This made this scene even more powerful.

I really enjoyed the scene with Kingpin and Matt. Brubaker fashioned one incredibly powerful scene. This was just beautifully written. The best part was how restrained and subdued this scene was between these two bitter enemies. Matt calls out the Kingpin for what he did to Vanessa, but he also calls out himself for how he contributed to Vanessa’s destruction. This was a soul searing scene as Matt just exposes Fisk for how he completely poisoned a wonderful woman in Vanessa.

Brubaker did a masterful job handling Fisk in this scene. At first we see the typical Fisk full of bravado and arrogance vowing to destroy Matt. But, as Matt continues to eviscerate Fisk to the core we see Fisk transform into a broken man who has just lost the one thing that meant more to him than anything else in this world.

I dig that Brubaker has Matt get the Kingpin to agree to give up his U.S. citizenship. This was a pretty cool move that I didn’t see coming. With Kingpin out of the country this opens up the floodgates for every criminal with some ambition to make a move and claim a piece of the Kingpin’s criminal empire.

And the short scene with the Kingpin at Vanessa’s grave was fantastic. It pulls on the reader’s heart as we see this once mighty and cruel lord of crime just collapse and fall apart. Kingpin is as weak as a baby and is just a complete shell of the man he used to be. Brubaker does an incredible job getting across the pain and sorrow that consumes Fisk’s heart.

The final scene between Foggy and Matt was a very moving ending. Brubaker gives the necessary attention to the death of Karen Page that I think has been seriously lacking on this title. Kevin Smith kills off Karen Page and Bendis hops aboard the title and pretty much ignores it. I know Bendis hated that Smith killed of Karen and the manner in which Smith did it. However, that doesn’t mean that her death is something that should be ignored as if it had no impact on Matt.

Brubaker has Matt finally let it all out. Matt’s fondest desire is still Karen Page despite how much he loves Milla. This scene is very emotional and pulls at the reader’s heart. You feel terrible for Matt who is beating himself up over still missing Karen so much even though he has Milla. And Foggy shows why he is Matt’s best friend by showing compassion and love in dispensing advice that is designed to pick Matt up and show him how bright the future is with Milla.

Personally, I have never liked Milla. I have always found her to be a deathly boring and dull character. She definitely isn’t as interesting as former loves like Electra, Black Widow and Karen Page. I wouldn’t mind it at all if Brubaker decided to kill off her character.

Bendis began the deconstruction of Daredevil as he peeled back the many layers of Matt Murdock in order to discover exactly who Matt Murdock is and what makes him tick. Brubaker continued the deconstruction of Daredevil by completely tearing down Matt Murdock to the lowest level possible. Then, Brubaker slowly began reconstruction Matt into a hero that is even more interesting than before.

With Daredevil #93, the reconstruction of Matt Murdock is basically complete. Matt has his life back. He has Foggy, Milla and a new law partner. He has had all the criminal charges dropped and even got his law license re-instated. Matt even got the Kingpin out of the country.

Brubaker has shown the reader that despite all of the tragedies that Matt has experienced, he still has a wonderful life. Even though Matt has been reconstructed, that isn’t to say that Matt is perfect now. Far from it. Matt has been rebuilt, but the past events have left their mark on his character. And those changes have been for the better and for the worse.

Daredevil #93 lays the framework for the future of Daredevil and there is no doubt that Brubaker has plenty of interesting plotlines in store for us. And of course, you know that Brubaker isn’t going to an issue without a hook. And boy do we get a nice hook. We see Lily on a plane headed for New York City. It looks like Matt’s women troubles are just beginning.

The Bad: No complaints with this issue.

Overall: Daredevil #93 was an emotionally charged issue that provided a satisfying ending to Brubaker’s story arc. Daredevil is certainly one of the best written Marvel titles. With Brubaker gearing up for the next big story arc, this would be an excellent time to hop onto this title and give it a try.