After going through so much to just return to being Daredevil after his near death experience Matt Murdock has found himself in jail once again. This time he is not in jail as Matt Murdock. Instead he finds himself in jail as Daredevil after pleading guilty to second degree murder for a death he was responsible for at the beginning of Chip Zdarsky’s run. Given how much attention Matt has been getting from the hero community this decision to have Daredevil go to prison could have large ramifications for the Marvel Universe. With Zdarsky hyping up Daredevil #25 as a major game changer for his run on this series there is no telling what we are in store for. Let’s find out by checking out Daredevil #25.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorist: Marcio Menyz
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: Thinking back to their younger days as a couple Elektra remembers how she considered Matt Murdock the light in her darkness.
Sometime later we see Elektra taking on The Hand with Stick’s help.
In the present, Elektra breaks into the prison where Daredevil is locked up. Elektra calls Daredevil out for being a fool by allowing his guilt over a mistake to make him decide being locked up in prison for two years was the right choice when people will die during that time. Daredevil says this is so heroes use him as an example why they need to be more careful rather than careless.
Elektra then reveals she knows Daredevil is Matt Murdock again by mentioning how Foggy Nelson and Kirsten McDuffie reacted to Matt’s decision. Matt wonders how Elektra relearned his true identity. Elektra says it does not matter. Matt fires back saying it does because he now questions why Elektra would spend the money she had him help her steal from the Stromwyns to purchase Hell’s Kitchen.
After thinking back to when Bullseye killed her, Elektra asks Matt if he ever grows tired of the darkness. Matt says that his circumstance mean that he lives in the darkness to better understand the light.
Matt once again asks Elektra what is going on. Elektra reveals that she and Stick recently found a book outside of Jericho during a mission that almost killed her. She goes on to say that with The Hand rebuilding the book she found provides them details on how to counter The Hand’s darkness by the name of The Fist, who represent light.
Elektra goes on to say that The Fist require a Queen and King to make it work. Matt quickly turns down what he knows Elektra is offering. Elektra tries to convince Matt to join her. Matt closes his cell door and tells Elektra to prove that she wants to work for the light now.
Elektra starts walking out of the prison. As she does one of the prisoners makes crude comments about her. She immediately threatens the guy to shut him up but does not kill him.
Later, Elektra walks around the city thinking how she bought Hell’s Kitchen to gain Matt’s trust but it did not work so she is left with the waste that is this area of New York City.
Elektra runs into a homeless lady asking for change. Elektra says she does not have any. She then asks the homeless lady for her story. The homeless lady, whose name is Wilma, at first doesn’t want to say anything but eventually reveals that her husband was a construction worker who died in an accident and when the insurance company wouldn’t help her she was left with bills she could not pay alone. Elektra gives Wilma a necklace worth five thousand dollars to help her out.
Elektra then walks by a building with “We Are All Daredevil” sprayed on it.
Later, while Matt is in line for food he thinks how the difference between him and Elektra is that he is a guy who’s killed while she is a killer.
The next day Elektra in her own Daredevil costume appears in Hell’s Kitchen and immediately stops a couple guys who stole a supply van. After stopping the guys she introduces herself to the cops as Daredevil.
Flashing back to after the mission in Jericho, Elektra wakes up after Stick was able to save her from dying due to the injuries she suffered. Elektra reveals that she now remembers who Matt really is and asks about the book. Stick says that he was able to translate the contents and it revealed that while The Fist needs a Queen and King only one of them can survive in the end. End of issue.
The Good: Following Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil has been a blast as a fan. Daredevil #25 is another fantastic example as to why. Everything that takes place in this issue is an example of how natural the bigger story that Zdarsky is crafting around Daredevil builds with every issue. Having that awareness of how to craft each issue to compliment what has come before makes the big moments not just stand out visually but from a narrative perspective as well.
Opening Daredevil #25 with Elektra meeting Matt Murdock in his prison cell and revealing that she knows he is Daredevil again was an excellent starting point. Zdarsky quickly sets the tone for how this entire conversation will go starting with that first page. You can sense both the tension and love that exists between the two. It all makes great use of the both the recent history that Zdarsky developed in earlier issues and what came before with the work of previous creators. Zdarsky doesn’t beat you over the head with all that but you get a good sense that everything that is said comes from a place where Matt and Elektra intimately know one another extremely well.
Elektra bringing up how Matt surprised her with his decision to plead guilty of second-degree murder was well handled. Zdarsky is able to pick up on the shock that was felt by not only Elektra but also Foggy, Kirsten, and others without having the entire issue focus on that aspect of the story. Addressing this and showing us a couple panels of this reaction is a reminder that there will be a larger fallout from Matt’s decision in the future.
Matt understanding that his decision will have consequences for others was not surprising. We saw how since he turned himself in to the authorities as Daredevil that Matt was aware what going to prison as Daredevil would mean. That is why we saw him work so hard to give Hell’s Kitchen a chance to recover during his prison sentence. Making himself into a martyr in the superhero community so that others will be smarter about their actions given what has been going on lately fits the character. It provides some interesting story opportunities that can both be explored in this series as well as things like Outlawed where the standing of superheroes in the Marvel Universe is being explored as a hot button topic.
That’s where Elektra brought such a refreshing perspective in this conversation. Zdarsky does a great job in writing Elektra as someone who is talking to Matt as equals. Even when she calls him out on trying to become a martyr Elektra is not talking down to him. Instead, she is trying to help see the faults this decision has.
Which all plays in well into the bigger reason this conversation is going on as Elektra reveals she wants Matt’s help in taking down The Hand by revitalizing the long forgotten The Fist group. Elektra gives an explanation for what she is motivated by in a way that makes sense why she bought Hell’s Kitchen. As she did when she trained Matt to regain his skill level as Daredevil, Elektra is trying to gain his trust so they can reform The Fist together.
Matt being wary about this as there is still trust issues between them worked in providing Elektra with the spark to prove she isn’t just trying to back to her old ways. From the beginning of this issue to the end we get the idea that Elektra is genuinely trying to be better not just take down The Hand. The conversation with the homeless lady did a good job adding further fuel to that fire as we see how Elektra’s eyes are opened to what she needs to do to not only gain Matt’s trust but show she is moving forward in being a better person.
This all makes the fact that Elektra is now taking on the mantle of Daredevil for at least the period of Matt’s prison sentence such an interesting move. Once again, Zdarsky makes this decision feel like a natural next step to his story. The entire sequence works well to establish that Elektra isn’t trying to make everyone think the same Daredevil is around like when Iron Fist and others have assumed the mantle for a short period. Right out of the gate Elektra is making the Daredevil identity her own while showing that she is aware of what taking on the role of a superhero means, as we see with how she purposely does not use deadly force against the criminals.
The ending for Daredevil #25 was a good way to end this major issue with a twist. Learning that The Fist requires a Queen and King was already an interesting set-up for how this organization is supposed to represent light to The Hand’s darkness. Adding in how for The Fist to be fully formed only the Queen or King once found can exist is a surprising wrinkle that could add greater meaning to Elektra’s decision to become Daredevil. Zdarsky has Stick keep it vague enough that it could mean multiple things that’ll make all the information we continue to learn about the book detailing The Fist something to keep a close eye on.
Everything from Matt Murdock and Elektra’s conversation in prison to Elektra appearing as Daredevil worked as well as it did because of Marco Checchetto excellent artwork. Checchetto further elevate the fascinating story Zdarsky was weaving with all the dialogue and made it all feel next level. While we mostly stay in the present the few pages where we get flashbacks work because Checchetto understands those scenes needed. Whether it was drawing characters to appear younger or have a different look for a mission, the artwork really helped tell a full story in Daredevil #25. It all created a nice sense of build up so that when we get the big splash shot of Elektra in her Daredevil costume that moment felt iconic.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto once again prove why they are one of the best creative teams in the industry with their work on Daredevil #25. From the big moment everyone will remember Daredevil #25 for to the meaningful conversations, everything about this issue is a showcase of how easily you can get lost in the world that Zdarsky and Checchetto craft. What impact the developments in Daredevil #25 will have on this series moving forward will be fun to see play out.
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