Chip Zdarsky has been on quite the roll with his run on Daredevil. He has taken everything that previous Daredevil writers have done to develop a story that continues to challenge who Matt Murdock is. As of now that Matt Murdock is one that is not ready to be Daredevil full-time after his near-death experience. That may be changing soon as Matt not only put on a mask in the last issue but Elektra made a surprise appearance back in Matt’s life. What are Elektra’s intentions as she shows back-up in Matt’s life? Let’s find out with Daredevil #11.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Running away from an obsessed attacker a woman locks herself up in her room. The guy tries to break in but is stopped when the Impostor Daredevil shows up. After a short struggle the Impostor Daredevil chokes the guy out in the apartment complex’s hallway.
Several cops show up at the scene and immediately corner the Impostor Daredevil.
Elsewhere Elektra asks Matt how he is able to see through his mask. Matt monkey flips Elektra off him and mentions that he was trained by Stick just like her. Matt asks what Elektra is doing showing back up. Elektra says that Matt is going to die.
She shows Matt what she means by easily landing a knee to Matt’s gut. She says that Matt has become soft and that while he has given up on being Daredevil he has not given up on helping people by putting himself in harms way. She goes on to say that he has forgotten Stick’s training so she will become his Stick now. She then jumps off the roof leaving Matt on his knees.
At Izzy Lubris tells her son, Thomas Lubris, that after the attack on his brother and the bookstore she is removing them as targets. Thomas is not happy by this and Luca Lubris tries to calm him down. Izzy tells Thomas to do as Luca tells him as he has a zero tolerance policy. Luca then throws Thomas out of Izzy’s office.
Thomas runs into Mindy Lubris and they get into a marital argument about how Izzy is locking them up in her house. Mindy reminds Thomas that he promised that he would keep their family safe no matter what and now they are just prisoners. Thomas says that is why they will be at his mom’s place but Mindy doesn’t like that and walks away.
On a stakeout with his new partner, Detective Greene, Detective Cole North dodges the question about being helped out by Daredevil during the police station incident.
In a nearby alley a couple guys try to steal a woman’s purse. Spider-Man shows up to stop the thieves.
As soon as he gets on the scene Detective North calls all the NYPD cops that were hiding, revealing that this was a sting operation to capture Spider-Man. Spider-Man is able to quickly turn the tables on the cops by webbing them all up. He then swings away with Detective North to have a one-on-one chat.
Elsewhere Matt meets up with Sammy at his shop. While talking Matt can’t shake being nervous about Elektra following him since he turned down her offer and his parolee seeing him do things he shouldn’t be able to.
Joey Carraro shows up with his mom, Maria Carraro, to thank Matt on having Foggy help him with his case. Matt tells Maria that if she also is in need of help she can come to him as well. Maria wonders why Matt is helping them. Matt says that he just wants to help.
At an airport Mayor Wilson Fisk’s men present him with a captured Owl. Fisk reveals he is sending The Owl on a “nice” trip. Owl freaks out and asks if this is about the Libris Family. Fisk says it is because The Owl disrespected the boundaries he gave all the crime bosses. He goes on to say that The Owl will be sent to a private island while he re-educates Owl’s organization and delivers reparations to the Libris Family.
When Fisk asks if he understand what all that means The Owl smiles and says “No.” The Owl goes on to say he is not going anywhere and reveals he knows about the upcoming dinner that Fisk has with other crime bosses across the country. The Owl thinks that Fisk’s plans can easily get derailed.
The Owl then breaks out and immediately kills two of Fisk’s security guards. The Owl warns Fisk to start playing things safe and then leaves the area.
Elsewhere Spider-Man talks with Detective North, who he has webbed up to an air conditioning unit. Detective North warns Spider-Man that he is doing mental paperwork on all the illegal things Spider-Man has done. Spider-Man tells Detective North that he and his NYPD buddies are the ones wasting time on a useless sting operation. He goes on to say that he and the other superheroes don’t believe they are above the law as all they want to do is keep saving lives.
Spider-Man goes on to mention that he knows Daredevil messed up which is why he spoke with him about walking away for now to get his head straight. Detective North asks if that means Daredevil should get away with murder. Spider-Man tells Detective North he needs to stop thinking about what is legal and illegal and instead start thinking about right and wrong.
Spider-Man says that their hour is almost up and the webs will dissolve. Before swinging away Spider-Man says Detective North has two choices: does he want to save lives or “uphold the law”?
While walking through the city with Foggy, Matt gets a call from Mindy. Mindy says she needs Matt’s help because she is losing her mind as it feels like every decision is being made for her. So because of that she wants to make a decision, like spending time in bed with Matt, that is her own. Matt thinks that is a bad idea since Mindy is married but he can help her. Mindy says she doesn’t want a white knight, she just wants a moment for themselves.
While Mindy continues to talk Matt hears some cops talking. As he listens it he hears the cops say they have captured the Impostor Daredevil.
At an apartment several cops have arrested the Impostor Daredevil. End of issue.
The Good: Daredevil #11 continues the overarching story arc that Chip Zdarsky has been working on with Matt Murdock giving up the mask. The fallout from that decision as the world continues moving with or without Daredevil has been fascinating to watch. Everyone in this series has shown to have their lives impacted in some way with the status quo Zdarsky has set up.
One of the best things that Zdarsky has done with his run thus far is shown how the world continues to move without Daredevil around. The question of if superheroes cause things to escalate with supervillains rising up at the same time always hangs over the Marvel Universe. Zdarsky answers that for the world Matt Murdock exist in as things in Hell’s Kitchen are only getting darker and more tense for its citizens.
The war between the different mafia families in particular has shown that Hell’s Kitchen is in need of someone like Matt to be Daredevil to protect the community. Without them the chaos going through the community and New York City in general has been getting worse.
Placing Mayor Wilson Fisk in the middle of all this chaos with the mafia families has been a nice wrinkle to this story. Fisk clearly has gained the power he has always craved when he was the Kingpin of Crime. Now that he has that power he wants to ensure that nothing stands in his way as a threat to take that away. With Fisk doing all he can to keep the control he created Zdarsky further creates interest in the upcoming mafia dinner he is hosting as Mayor.
The Owl being out after his confrontation with Fisk makes him a greater wildcard than he was before Daredevil #11. He is clearly the unwanted presence that Fisk wants with possibly his most important meeting with other mafia families right around the horizon. This is a great way to position The Owl as he now can play the spoiler role for the order Fisk thought he created. There are a lot of ways this could go that can further the urgency for the need of Matt to return as Daredevil.
This all further shows that Matt can’t be on the outside of what is going on around him. While he has found his own way to keep helping by reporting crimes that is not the best use of his skills. What he needs is to actually work on getting back his full form or else risk being placed in a corner like he was in Daredevil #10 where his rusty martial arts skills could get himself and those around him seriously hurt or worse.
Which made Elektra’s offer to be Matt’s new mentor like Stick once was an intriguing proposition. Even though they have been emotionally close in the past Elektra is someone that won’t hold back in training Matt to get back in his full Daredevil form. Matt clearly knows this and is not mentally ready to put that work in, as shown with how he thinks about the offer even after rejecting it.
Hopefully we do see Elektra train Matt as it would be a great change to their dynamic. The way Zdarsky presented Elektra makes the potential even higher. Because she did not hide the fact that she does not care if Matt becomes Daredevil again. Instead, she is more motivated by the fact that Matt is incredibly sloppy when he jumped into action. That is something she cannot stand. Which will add to her motivation if Matt ends up taking her up on her offer.
Throughout Daredevil #11 Zdarsky pushes how Matt should take Elektra up on her offer well. There is no escaping all the problems the community he lives in are going through. While he has been able to help them as Matt Murdock that is not enough to keep them safe for long. There are way to many things in play for characters like Mindy Libris that Matt Murdock can’t fully help. How long he allows things to keep going the way they are positions Matt at another crossroad in his life.
Zdarsky also does a good job in further developing what is going on with the Libris Family. They are no longer in a position in power. Especially with The Owl still out in the wild the Libris Family have been backed into a corner. That corner has not been good for Mindy Libris who continued her development as a strong addition to Daredevil’s supporting cast. She is in a spot where you do want to see Matt help her get from out of. At the same time, as things stand now Mindy has no way out that can ensure the safety of her daughter with Thomas Libris.
As that goes on Daredevil #11 is made even better with the continued development of Detective Cole North. Zdarsky has done a fantastic job breaking Detective North down from being a hardass cop that saw superheroes as nothing more than dangerous vigilantes to someone that is starting to question the laws he swore to uphold. Recent experiences have clearly opened Detective North’s eyes that not everything about those in his precinct are the way he thought they were.
The one-on-one conversation with Spider-Man adds to how Detective North is being developed. As one of Daredevil’s closest allies and the one who made Matt take a break from being a hero, this was the role that Spider-Man needed to serve. His speech about why he and other superheroes do what they do is what Detective North needed to hear. It was a great payoff that shows that Spider-Man still thinks Daredevil as a friend who will welcome him back once he is back to 100%.
Marco Checchetto returned to Daredevil and did not miss a beat. He does a fantastic job making everything that happened in Daredevil #11 very dynamic. As a character focused issue, Checchetto got across how every character felt about their current position through his artwork. Everyone from The Owl dastardly confidence to Mindy Libris feeling like a prisoner, every scene was elevated by Checchetto’s strong artwork throughout Daredevil #11.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Daredevil kickstarts the newest arc to this series, “Through Hell,” with many fascinating things in play. Chip Zdarsky builds on everything he has done so far in his run that continues to highlight how long Matt Murdock can go without getting back to being Daredevil. The roles Elektra, Wilson Fisk and others all play their roles in building greater interest in whatever endgame Zdarsky is building towards.
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