Chip Zdarsky has not wasted much time in getting into Matt Murdock’s life co-leading The Fist with Elektra Nachios. The previous issue of Daredevil ended with one of the biggest moments in the franchise’s history with Matt and Elektra, after fighting a horde of undead, officially getting married. Matt and Elektra getting married has long been in development. Now that we have gotten this payoff what will it mean for The Fist vs The Hand war that is being built up in Daredevil? Let’s find out with Daredevil #5.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Rafael De Latorre
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
With Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios getting married it marks the true resurrection of The Fist. This has led to all members of The Fist, including Foggy Nelson and Cole North, gaining superhuman abilities.
Elektra talks with Matt and Stick about how the Book of The Fist has revealed to her that The Hand has been using the Lunate Talisman to kill and resurrect world leaders under the control of The Hand. Elektra suggests she go undercover for the upcoming United Nations Conference but is stopped by Matt as they need to complete a mission together first.
Later Matt and Elektra as the Daredevil duo lead an army of The Fist ninja to infiltrate Myrmidon Super Max prison. Matt announces an offer to the prisoners, including several villains, to join The Fist.
Stegron is quick to turn down the offer when freed from their cell and attacks The Fist. Elektra is quick to respond by taking on Stegron alone.
Meanwhile, Matt’s Daredevil confronts U.S. Agent and Thunderbolt agents that responded to The Fist infiltration. Using the enhancements to his sensory abilities to quickly defeat US Agent and the Thunderbolt agents.
Before leaving Matt comes across Robert Goldman’s cell. As Robert tries to convince Matt to set him free Matt is left to wonder if this is a test of his convictions from God.
The next morning Captain America and Iron Man review the footage from The Fist’s prison breakout. Realizing Daredevil wanted them to see the footage Captain America says the Avengers need to bring Daredevil in. End of issue.
What I’ve loved about Chip Zdarsky’s writing is the sense of purpose in everything that happens in Daredevil. We see that once again be the shining takeaway from Daredevil #5 as everything that happens is done with an intention by Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios.
Right away Zdarsky puts over how the marriage between Matt and Elektra wasn’t simply something to take their relationship to the next level or signify the return of The Fist. The marriage between Matt and Elektra brings with it everything about The Fist’s history going from being a myth to reality. We see that with how in going through the marriage ritual Matt and Elektra provided all members of The Fist power upgrades. That includes those who didn’t have powers like Foggy Nelson and Cole North gaining Captain America-like superhuman abilities.
With how all of this happened Zdarsky makes good use of how Leonard Samson and Cole North were previously brought in as major supporting characters for this series moving forward. The opening therapist session with Samson showed that Matt is very well aware of how dark of a path he is going down. What means for him physically and spiritually is a different matter.
Which made Cole North call Matt out on taking things too far with the abilities everyone in The Fist received a great compliment to this. Because when confronted by someone he trusts and respects Matt does not falter in his conviction that this all needs to be done to save a world that’s already given up. Showing conviction when talking with both Cole and Samson made all of the inner struggles Matt goes through with his thoughts on following God’s path for him in Daredevil #5 much more powerful.
At the same time, it is interesting to see how Matt’s current drive is making him have a one-track mind when it comes to how to deal with this war between The Fist and The Hand. Because as Elektra is presenting Matt with how they need to tackle the conflict with The Hand from multiple directions Matt is dead set on sticking to the plan they already have set in place. No book of prophecy will change that. At least not right now.
This does create a question as to how Elektra acts in Daredevil #5. Because while she is convinced by Matt’s conviction not to investigate The Hand’s likely control of the United Nations at the moment you are left wondering why. She clearly knows Matt is going through a big change with this leadership position he has no experience with. It leaves you to wonder if Elektra knows that Matt is still closed off on how to use mystical items like The Book of the Fist to their advantage. Because there is no way we should expect Elektra to let Matt be fully in charge and her to be his second-in-command like she acts in this issue. The character development that is set in place with the way she acts in this issue continues to make Elektra as compelling of a character as Matt.
Though I can’t say the same thing about how Frank Castle and The Hand have been developed thus far. The deeper we are getting into “The Red Fist Saga” it does feel like all the development around Frank Castle and The Hand is being left up to the current Punisher series. Showing hints at what The Hand is doing, even if it’s a few silent panels, would go a long way in rebuilding The Hand as a credible threat.
That said, I will be interested to see what the ramifications of the Daredevils and The Fist prison breakout will mean for the way things go from here. Because as Captain America and Iron Man point out, it does appear that Matt wanted the Avengers to know what he did. Because there is no way he nor Elektra would’ve let the prison breakout be so easily available to access. What message Matt and Elektra are looking to send to the Avengers should make for some intriguing storytelling.
Rafael De Latore knocks it out of the part with the artwork throughout Daredevil #5. Latorre quickly gets across the excitement and fear that comes with all The Fist members getting either their abilities enhanced or new powers. The way Latorre showcased the way Matt Murdock’s sensory abilities received a power-up in the fight against the US Agent and Thunderbolt agents was particularly impressive. Credit to the coloring choice of almost entirely black and grey with only Matt’s silhouette being red by Matthew Wilson to show this power up
Chip Zdarsky and Rafael De Latorre waste no time in showing the immediate impact the marriage of Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios has on the future of the Daredevil series. From all the character interactions to Matt Murdock’s inner monologue, Daredevil #5 is yet another example of why this is one of the best comic books Marvel is publishing.
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