Dardevil has always been one of the most consistently well written comic books. That has not changed under Chip Zdarsky, who has carried over the work from previous runs for his. Right now Matt Murdock is going through a “Daredevil No More” style story after he went to far from the path of being a superhero. This new direction has been a refreshing change of pace that has provided Matt and his world a whole new challenge. The change hasn’t gone over as smoothly as those in Hell’s Kitchen would have thought as that area of New York City is still dealing with various chaotic elements running wild. How much longer will the Marvel Universe be without Daredevil? Let’s find out with Daredevil #10.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Jorge Fornes
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At the hospital Detective Cole North apologizes to an unconscious Detective Higgins for being a coward and letting “them” win.
At Matt Murdock’s apartment, Matt is spending the night with Mindy Libris. While in bed Matt thinks about if he is truly saving Mindy from her mafia husband. He then gets a call from Tamra Long about a job.
Over at the NYPD’s Hell’s Kitchen precinct Detective North gives his colleagues an update on Detective Higgin’s health. Suddenly Detective Simmons gets a troubling call.
At the same time, Matt shows up at the precinct to act as a locked up Joe Carraro’s legal consultant. Matt questions Joe on if he had a gun at the scene of the crime. Joe confirms this but says he is clean. Matt then senses a wild heart rate from one of the officers in the precinct during the conversation.
In the offices Detective Simmons confirms with a fellow detective about the news he just got. They both agree to clear the room of all the officers before breaking the news to Detective North.
Elsewhere Mindy is walking around the city when she sees a police barricade set up near her family’s shop. She freaks out but is stopped from entering the shop by the police.
Mindy spots Tom Libris being attended to by some EMTs. Tom reveals that the Owl’s men tried to burn their shop down but he was able to fight them off. Tom says a small fire was still started and burnt their books down. Mindy hugs Tom, thankful that he is safe.
Back at the NYPD some Detectives are called to conduct a manhunt for the arsonists with mafia connections. The rest of the precinct is evacuated except for Detective North and a few other detectives being told to stay.
In another part of the precinct Matt hears what is going on and figures out that something is about to go down. Matt immediately knocks out the cop who was watching over him. He then puts on a white bandanna over his head like his old-school black Daredevil costume.
Back in the office Detective North notices that something is wrong with this entire scene. Detective Simmons says that this is not how things were supposed to turn out. He then revealed that Detective Higgins is dead.
Detective Simmons suddenly pulls out a gun but before he can fire it Detective North shoots him. Detective North fights all the cops that are left there to attempt to kill him. He is is eventually overwhelmed as he is heavily outnumbered.
Matt shows up and is able to help Detective North out. Between the two of them Detective North and Matt are able to fight all the dirty cops off. Matt notices that Detective North, in his rage over being betrayed by the true cop killers, about to kill a cop. Matt is able to stop Detective North before he crosses the line.
Matt tells Detective North that since the cameras in the precinct were turned off no one will be able to take the blame for what just took place. Matt says that Detective North can pin all of this on “him.” Detective North realizes that the disguised Matt is Daredevil. Matt tells Detective North that while he may be unbendable others are not and walks away.
Matt is able to quickly get away from the NYPD precinct and finds a rooftop to be alone. Once he is alone Matt questions whether he can be a vigilante now or not.
Suddenly, Elektra shows up, disappointed that Matt was barely able to fight off some cops. Elektra then offers to help Matt. End of issue.
The Good: Ever since giving up being Daredevil after coming to realize he didn’t have it anymore the tug and pull of the superhero life has put a lot of things into question for Matt Murdock. Daredevil #10 furthers that as we see the desire to return be the strongest it has been since giving it up a few issues ago. The weight of the choices that Matt makes carries this issue to keep the consistency this series has always been known for having.
When Matt handed over his Daredevil mask to Spider-Man, it wasn’t a question of if he would return to the superhero life. It was merely a question of if Matt would allow himself to have enough time to recover mentally and physically to get back to his prime as Daredevil. That is where Chip Zdarsky is at his best as we do see that giving himself that time is Matt’s greatest obstacle.
Part of the reason it is so tough is that Matt can’t simply shut off his senses that warned him about all the dangers around him. He has had this part of himself on 24/7 for the majority of his life that even if he wanted to, it is easier said than done. The last few issues have shown that with how he continues to work with the police, whether it is as a lawyer or an anonymous tipster.
Another big reason for the Matt hasn’t allowed himself to move on. A major part of his life has been defined by his actions as Daredevil. Even when he has done a lot of good as a lawyer that has always been more of a job to him. Being Daredevil is who Matt is, which is a big reason we saw him struggle so much with accepting that he is human and needs time to heal.
The scene with Matt sleeping with Mindy Libris at the beginning of Daredevil #10 gives us a full look at all these mental hurdles. Matt still has a desire to be a hero even when he has given up the mask. And subconsciously he has fallen into this relationship with a mafia members wife because he believes he can save her. Seeing Matt realize that trying to be Mindy’s “White Knight” is likely not the best move furthered everything that he is going through now that he is no longer Daredevil.
This all helps in furthering how Zdarsky is continuing to frame the fact that Matt is still not at 100%. That point is made with how sloppy Matt still fights when he became a masked vigilante to help Detective North out. He does still carry his skills but there were small bits of mistakes that led him to not fight as efficiently as he should be able to fight.
Which makes the ending with Elektra showing up and immediately calling Matt out on his current an intriguing note to conclude Daredevil #10. Given there past it could be that Elektra can provide the spark to get Matt back into form. And Zdarsky quickly establishes that to be the potential direction. Because while she clearly is disappointed at Matt’s current state she won’t be afraid to call him out while also helping him out. All this characterization was well done in a small, but effective, amount of dialogue that builds interest for the next issue.
As all that goes on with Matt the world in Hell’s Kitchen continues to prove to get more chaotic with each passing day. Zdarsky does a great job giving a whole different shady aura around this part of New York City that comes across as different. All of the gangs are fighting so much with each other in the shadows that it is starting to spill out into the streets.
The attack on Libris mafia family shows this. Mindy’s reaction to the possibility that her family was hurt by another gang attacking them gave greater weight to the power struggle going on. Her relief in finding out that her family was okay gave a sense of humanity in all these mafia families. As the power struggle continues Mindy is someone that can help ground the things going on. At the same time, all these events does put into question if Mindy will stop being in a damsel-in-distress role and step up to do something about the gang war she finds her family in.
With Daredevil #10 Zdarsky continues to make Detective North a major part of his run. Though the development of the character started on a bad note Zdarsky’s continued focus on Detective North is starting to pay off. With each passing appearance Zdarsky is breaking down the wall Detective North has put in front of himself.
We see that with how Detective North apologizes to Detective Higgins for his role in his hospitalized state. That is something that is shown to weigh heavily on him. And now that Detective Higgins has passed away and Detective North has been betrayed by his co-workers it throws him more into the role of wild card. He has a greater motivation to act on his own because of all this.
Which makes things more interesting when it comes to Detective North’s relationship with Daredevil. Being betrayed by those who are supposed to carry out the same sense of justice he has now Detective North is starting to realize following the laws as he has may not be best. There are things he must do, much like the vigilantes he hates, in order to weed out the corruption within the NYPD. How far he goes and if he will end up teaming up with Daredevil are big questions that will drive Detective North’s development moving forward.
Jorge Fornes artwork was absolutely fantastic throughout Daredevil #10. Along with the strong coloring of Jordie Bellaire, Fornes artwork is the perfect fit for the world of Daredevil. He gets the street level vibe this series is supposed to have. The vibe that Fornes and Bellaire are able to nail elevated everything Zdarsky was doing throughout this issue. There is a constant feeling that something dark is going on within Hell’s Kitchen. That creates a greater sense of concern when we see Matt acting as a consultant at the NYPD holding cell and when Mindy is walking through the streets.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Daredevil #10 was a phenomenal issue. Chip Zdarsky continues to do a fantastic job exploring Matt Murdock’s life without being Daredevil in a fascinating way. That has not been an easy thing for Matt to do which leads into an intriguing set-up for the role Elektra can serve in Zdarsky’s greater narrative for this series. The fantastic artwork Jorge Fornes and Jordie Bellaire provide Daredevil elevates an already strong story to an even higher level.
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