It’s the end of an era for Daredevil as Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto end their run that started back in 2019. During that time Matt Murdock has been put through the ringer that most recently included fighting literal demons in Hell. With the previous issue feature such an epic fight Matt sacrificed himself and it appears he is stuck in Hell now. This creates a question as to how Zdarsky and Checchetto plan to end their run and what it could mean for Saladin Ahmed and Aaron Kuder’s upcoming run on Daredevil. Let’s find out how things end with Daredevil #14.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Six months after Matt Murdock saved everyone from Hell, Foggy Nelson and Cole North are working as partners to investigate Stromwyn, including helping tenants of Stromco apartments with their evictions.
Meanwhile Elektra Natchios, now understanding Matt Murdock’s mentality as a superhero, continues to operate as Daredevil protecting Hell’s Kitchen. Eventually, she confronts the current Kingpin (Butch Fisk) to remind him she is watching him and is close to uncovering his illegal actions.
As time passes Elektra, Foggy, Cole, and others think they spot Matt in crowds but it always turns out to be someone else.
One day Elektra notices a priest and follows him to church. The blind priest looks exactly like Matt and shows signs of having similar sensory abilities. While Elektra and the priest talk the priest finds something familiar with Elektra but she does not confirm they know each other.
Afterward, as the priest walks down a street, he hears some thugs attacking someone. This triggers the priest and shows signs of being Matt. He picks up a red pipe and goes into the alley to save the bystander from being attacked. End of issue.
Daredevil #14 acts as an epilogue for Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s run while setting the stage for a new status quo for Saladin Ahmed and Aaron Kuder to pick up on. It is the transition you like to see happen that we don’t get a lot of because we don’t see this type of planning in place. Was this epilogue perfect? No, but it did everything that was needed to feel like an appropriate goodbye to Zdarsky and Checchetto’s long run on Daredevil.
With the epilogue nature of Daredevil #14 Zdarsky and Checchetto hit the right notes in showing the impact their run had on the core characters of their run. We see them show how everything that they did led Matt Murdock, Elektra Natchios, Foggy Nelson, and Cole North to have open futures. Even as one chapter ends for their stories another one begins. Given the nature of comics, especially those like Daredevil that are consistently being published, it is the feeling you want to be left with.
On the Foggy and Cole side of things, Zdarsky proved how important these two characters were as they used the six-month time skip to continue what Matt started with trying to bring down Stromwyn. Starting up their own law firm is a natural next step for them. Throughout his run, Zdarsky has built Cole to be a close confidant for Matt which should not end with Zdarsky stepping away. This new status quo shows that Foggy and Cole are standing as equals in Daredevil with a mission that has a lot of potential when followed up on.
Similarly, Elektra continuing to operate as Daredevil does show what has made this franchise so special. Daredevil is a series that isn’t just simply reset to the status quo. There is always a big mark left by creative teams that is continued. It’s what has made Daredevil consistently one of the best comic books published.
Elektra still operating as Daredevil not only keeps Matt’s legacy alive but also showcases Elektra’s growth during this time. As her monologue explains, through her time sharing the Daredevil identity and marrying Matt she learned the importance of a superhero mission. This led Elektra to grow to utilize her skills to be more than an assassin who teethers on her methods depending on the story. She is firmly established as a superhero that even if the plan is for her to eventually leave Matt as the only Daredevil she won’t simply go back to her previous status quo.
The confrontation with Butch Fisk, the new Kingpin, further establishes Elektra’s status quo as Daredevil. There was a feeling of a new generation of Daredevil vs Kingpin going down. Butch is his father’s son with how much of an asshole he carries himself as. Though there is still a credibility that Butch still needs to build as Kingpin this confrontation with Elektra’s Daredevil was a good start.
For as much as all of this sets up a strong future for Daredevil there was no doubt that Matt wouldn’t be returning in some way. Zdarsky and Checchetto did a good job at teasing Matt’s return through Elektra, Foggy, and Cole having moments where they think they see him but turn out to be someone else. This emphasized the hole Matt left on an emotional level for those he was close to.
Now as for the actual return with Matt returning as a priest with amnesia, it is a direction that will be a wait-and-see. This is certainly one of those angles that it will be up to Ahmed and Kuder to make work to give their own take on Matt’s legacy as Daredevil. At least how it was presented it was good that Zdarsky and Checchetto did not try to hide that this was Matt. Confirming it through Elektra’s conversation with the priest and his showing Matt’s senses was enough of a tease to be interested in what is next.
Daredevil #14 is a great epilogue for Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto to conclude their epic run. The story showed the impact this run had on the Daredevil franchise and set up the new creative team to have success with many engaging storylines to follow up on.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10