Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil has been one of the best ongoing comic books on the market today. Just as you don’t think things could get more captivating Zdarsky does just that with the decisions Matt Murdock has made. That was never more true then with Matt’s decision to, as Daredevil, to turn himself in for killing someone when he was trying to stop a crime while still recovering from his near-death injuries. Adding in the difference from the last time Matt went to prison is the fact that he is going to be convicted as Daredevil, not Matt Murdock. This development could turn out to have large ramifications for the entire superhero community. Let’s see if that is the case with Daredevil #22.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Francesco Mobili
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Mattia Iancono
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: After Daredevil gets his mugshot taken by the NYPD, Foggy Nelson reminds all the police that D.A. Hochberg said that Daredevil is the one being place on trial so his secret identity is allowed to stay intact.
As the police take Daredevil out of the precinct a horde of news outlets are there to document all of this.
Later, at an NYPD press conference, DA Hochberg talks about and answers questions about why Daredevil is being placed on trial and not his secret identity. Mayor Wilson Fisk speaks up to reaffirm his position of there being no difference between “superheroes” and “super villains,” promising to bring Daredevil to justice. One of the reporters asks if this is part of Mayor Fisk’s plan for re-election. Mayor Fisk walks out without answering the question.
Wesley asks Mayor Fisk if he should reintroduce the Vigilante Bill. Mayor Fisk says not yet as they need to use this trial for Daredevil as an opportunity to regain control.
At a court room Foggy Nelson is able to convince the judge to not place Daredevil in prison during the trial.
Daredevil thanks Foggy for his help and then leaves to let Foggy figure out a strategy for what is next.
Later that night, Daredevil stops some gang trying to sell some weapons. Iron Man shows up, immediately destroys the weapons and tells Daredevil he has already called the cops.
Over at a church Mayor Fisk meets up with Typhoid Mary, who has the church’s priest on a leash. Typhoid Mary talks about how she knows that Mayor Fisk had her placed in the church. She then goes on to talk about their equal love for control and that she’ll be in contact about how they can help each other.
Over at Tony Stark’s New York City apartment, Tony tries to casually talk about Daredevil’s decision to be tried in his superhero identity. Daredevil says he is doing it because it is the right thing.
Tony then asks Daredevil why he called him. Daredevil says that the Stromwyns are working with a developer to buy 90% of Hell’s Kitchen and wants Tony to submit a counter-offer. Tony says this will lead him to lose his fortune as Daredevil wants him to sell the land back to Hell’s Kitchen residents. Daredevil says it is the right thing to do because the people need it and Tony can do more for them then just save the world. Tony offers to help Daredevil out by giving his equipment an upgrade.
Over at his office Mayor Fisk calls Izzy Libris to set up a meeting for how they can work together moving forward. After Izzy agrees, Mayor Fisk tells Wesley to get him his investigators.
Later, Daredevil goes to Foggy’s office to check on how things are going. Matt takes off his mask as Foggy tells his friend that he needs to focus on his case and not being a superhero all the time. Foggy goes on to say he wants to focus their side on how Matt didn’t intend to kill anyone.
Matt senses someone coming to the office and puts his mask back on. Daredevil is shocked when Kirsten McDuffie enters Foggy’s office. End of issue.
The Good: Chip Zdarsky has a knack for making a compelling tale around Matt Murdock fighting with his back to a corner. Daredevil #22 is an example as Matt Murdock places himself in the middle of trial that has large ramifications. And if that wasn’t enough Matt also continues to worry about what will happen to Hell’s Kitchen.
How Zdarsky juggles all of these plotlines for Matt Murdock is the most fascinating aspect. Because even when Matt isn’t in a scene everything that happens progresses where his overall story is going. There are so many factors to what is going on in Hell’s Kitchen that you understand why Matt doesn’t have his full attention on his trial as Daredevil. It both shows a strength to his character while also making you question if Matt is stretching himself so much that he is leading to his own breaking point.
That is best exemplified by how Matt interacts with Foggy Nelson throughout Daredevil #22. While Matt has full trust in Foggy being the best person to defend Daredevil he still can’t stop being a lawyer. Even when he is exhausted by the end of the night he wants to make sure he gives his input no matter how much trust there is.
During all of these scenes Zdarsky does a fantastic job putting over why Foggy is a great lawyer. We see that through the pride that Matt has in Foggy when he convinced the judge to let Daredevil stay free during the trial period. Adding in a person from their law school days that Foggy gains this win from made things sweeter. This also worked to get over for anyone who did not know that Foggy is one of the best in the business.
The reason he calls Matt out in the final scene of Daredevil #22 is because he is taking this case as seriously as any he has ever worked on. Seeing how exhausted Matt understandably made Foggy angry because he knows his best friend has his mind in a hundred different places at once. That won’t help them because for Foggy to win or get Daredevil a lenient sentence then he’ll need Matt’s full cooperation.
Which makes bringing in Kirsten McDuffie back into the fold such an intriguing prospect. This once again shows that Foggy knows that he can’t rely on Matt helping him out throughout this case. To make things work Foggy and Matt will need help and there is no better person to provide that help than Kirsten. Given their history Kirsten will be another character to watch as things progress in Daredevil’s case.
Through all of this Zdarsky also makes sure that the reader understands how much is at stake in this Daredevil case. Seeing all of the media attention this case is getting puts over how this has far reaching consequences depending on what the verdict is. Especially as the DA’s office continues to push the fact that the person on trial is Daredevil, not Matt Murdock.
Bringing in Mayor Fisk’s re-election campaign to coincide with this case was a great move. This provides greater motivation for why Wilson Fisk is putting so much of his attention to what is going on with Daredevil. Because not only will this impact his ongoing opposition of vigilantes but also can help him regain the control he has been losing through all the dealings with Stromwyns.
Which all brings us back to how important the political game for control of Hell’s Kitchen. Since Zdarsky started his run the Stromwyns have positioned themselves as the new rulers of Hell’s Kitchen. In the process they have also taken away the control Wilson Fisk had as mayor. Fisk looking to regain that control through partnerships with Izzy Libris and Typhoid Mary provide this storyline some intriguing sub-plots.
I’m especially interested in how Fisk and Typhoid Mary’s partnership turns out. Zdarsky does a very good job presenting Typhoid Mary as someone who will be a wild card in what is going in his Daredevil run. We saw that during the gang war and here in Daredevil #22 as she makes it clear to Fisk that their partnership will be on her terms.
The interaction between Daredevil and Iron Man was a nice change of pace while keeping it all centered around what is going on with Hell’s Kitchen. Through this interaction Zdarsky was able to provide an examination of the street-level and Avengers-level superheroes. Daredevil pointing out how he is always looking out for the people and that is what is motivating this meeting with Iron Man showed the difference between them.
At the same time, Zdarsky made sure not to present Tony Stark as an antagonist. Zdarsky was careful to write Tony’s dialogue coming from someone who sees how Daredevil is thinking in the short-term. Tony appropriately calls out Daredevil on how simple his plan of Tony purchasing 90% of Hell’s Kitchen land is without taking into account everything it would mean. It all furthers how big of a political game is being played for the heart and soul of Hell’s Kitchen even after the gang war finished.
Francesco Mobili does a very good job replicating Marco Checchetto’s style to maintain a consistency with the artwork readers have come to expect from this series. With Daredevil #22 being a dialogue heavy issue Mobili brought out the character emotions out well that matched what Zdarsky was writing. It was also good to see Mobili nailing the little details with Daredevil’s new costume as Matt is now using red wrappings around his arms and fists
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Chip Zdarsky knocks it out of the park again as Daredevil #22 shows why this series is one of the best comic books on the market. The narrative around Daredevil being placed on trial is given the weight it should have. Adding in the continued battle for control of Hell’s Kitchen makes this a multi-layered story that has your attention from beginning to end.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.