Daredevil has continued to be one of Marvel’s more consistent titles since Charles Soule took over the series. The latest story arc, “Mayor Fisk,” has given new life to the series as Daredevil can’t just act like he normally does. With Wilson Fisk in control of New York City as its Mayor we have seen Matt Murdock take a completely different approach. That different approach has led Matt to become part of Mayor Fisk’s inner circle while still doing his own thing as Daredevil. Now all the things Matt has been planning are coming to a head as he calls upon his friends, Spider-Man and the Defenders, to help take down Fisk once and for all. Will he be successful? Let’s find out with Daredevil #600.
Writers: Charles Soule (“Mayor Fisk” Main Story); Christos Gage (“They Also Serve” Back-Up)
Artists: Ron Garney (“Mayor Fisk” Main Story); Mike Perkins (“They Also Serve” Back-Up)
Colorists: Matt Milla (“Mayor Fisk” Main Story); Andy Troy (“They Also Serve” Back-Up)
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: Daredevil leads Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Misty Knight and Echo to the Bronx.
Earlier, in Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil tells everyone that it is difficult to make Mayor Fisk leave office since it is almost impossible for a Mayor of a city to be impeached. Daredevil reveals that Matt Murdock told him that Fisk is planning to meet with the major crime bosses of New York City and will give them Mayoral appointments before heading to his rally in Central Park. Daredevil goes on to say he is going to listen in to the meeting and then testify to the court about what he heard and needs the others as back-up in case things go wrong. The Defenders aren’t sure this plan is the best course of action but Daredevil says he is positive that this is what they should do.
In the present Daredevil is near Sarno’s Restaurant ready to listen in to the crime boss meeting Fisk is going to hold.
In downtown New York, Muse throws Blindspot off a building. Blindspot is barely able to grab a ledge before smashing onto the ground below. As Blindspot struggles to recover Muse continues to mock how they continue to fight one another.
Inside Sarno’s Restaurant Felicia Hardy is the last to arrive and everyone talks about what Fisk is planning and how it will change the game for all of them.
Back in downtown Blindspot struggles to land a blow on Muse. Muse wonders how Blindspot got his eyes back. He then asks Blindspot if he realizes his murals are to help people like Blindspot. Muse then reveals that when he first saw Daredevil he was inspired by him. When he saw what all the other heroes were doing he understood that they were all part of an act and that Blindspot should learn to play his role.
When Muse offers to take Blindspot’s eyes again Blindspot suddenly hears the Beast talking to him. The Beast offers to give Blindspot some of his powers. Blindspot agrees and suddenly overpowers Muse. Blindspot’s new powers to start a fire on the rooftop they are on.
The crime bosses start to get impatient because Fisk is late. Felicia wonders if Fisk wants the crime bosses to kill each other before he arrives. Diamondback says he’ll kick things off then.
Before Diamondback can fire his gun Spider-Man shows up and starts fighting all of the crime bosses and their underlings. As the fight goes on the Defenders and Moon Knight join in to back-up Spider-Man.
As all the heroes fight the various gangs Daredevil suddenly senses that the NYPD are about to arrive at the restaurant. Daredevil warns his allies about what is going on but is to late as the NYPD have already surrounded the restaurant. Spider-Man tells Daredevil not to help them because he has to go get Matt, who is their only shot to get out of this. Daredevil agrees and takes off.
Back downtown Blindspot dominates Muse while asking the villain why he does he hurt and kill people. Blindspot says it is the same reason Blindspot is trying to kill him, as a solution to everything because it is art. The Beast tells Blindspot to kill Muse but Blindspot resists and lets go of Muse.
Muse does not accept this and walks right into the fire, which consumes his body and kills him right in front of Blindspot.
Over at Central Park as the crowd gathers Fisk’s assistant, Wesley, tells him that the NYPD’s raid was successful and they have arrested all four crime bosses and their soldiers. Fisk mentions that now they can get rid of Murdock after he stands next to him tonight with no knowledge of what is going on.
Wesley then reveals that the NYPD also arrested Spider-Man, Jessica Jones, Danny Rand, Maya Lopez, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Marc Spector, though Spider-Man webbed his mask so they can’t find out who he is yet. They hear a noise in the tower and Fisk grabs a sledgehammer before going upstairs to check things out.
On the roof of the tower Daredevil tells Fisk to have the NYPD release the heroes because they were there to save lives. Fisk says he has no reason to especially since he knows what Daredevil’s original plan was and all he ended up being witness to was the Mayor executing his plan to keep the city safe. Daredevil says he knows Fisk is still the Kingpin of Crime and enemy of the city.
Fisk gets tired of what Daredevil is saying and starts the fight between the two. As they fight Daredevil hammers home how Fisk has not changed and all he has done is take away the laws that limited him. Fisk stops fighting and says he now knows what he was previously doing was the wrong path and that now he is on his way of helping to fix New York. Knowing that Wesley saw him come up to the tower, Fisk lures Daredevil to grab his sledgehammer. As soon as Daredevil does Fisk punches Daredevil in the gut and smashes him with the sledgehammer. With Daredevil laying on the ground Fisk declares himself ‘King.’
Fisk then goes to join the rally where the crowd showers him with love. Fisk thanks everyone at the rally and reveals that the NYPD just arrested four major crime bosses and several costumed vigilantes.
Before he can finish his speech the Hand suddenly show up and shoot Fisk with a number of arrows. The people attending the rally run away as the Hand surround Fisk.
As the news reports start to come in about the Hand’s attack Daredevil asks the cops that arrested him to let him go so he can help. They don’t listen, instead they load him in the back of a police van and lock him in.
City officials quickly gather and start talking about who is next in line to be Mayor of New York with Fisk out of commission. One of the workers, Steve Cornish, reveals that Matt Murdock is next in line to the Mayor.
Still locked up in the police van, Daredevil hears what Steve Cornish just said. End of issue.
The Good: Daredevil #600 does exactly what fans expect from a big anniversary issue with Charles Soule closing out a major part of his story. At the same time Soule puts into place several storylines that not only he can follow up on in Daredevil but other writers of Marvel’s street-level comics can also write about. That set-up creates a lot excitement for the series moving forward.
Kicking off Daredevil #600 with Daredevil gathering all of his closest allies was great way to establish what we were going to be seeing in this issue. Seeing Spider-Man, the Defenders, Moon Knight, Misty Knight and Echo gather made it clear that this was going to a be a big battle that we needed to pay attention to. It added to the threat level of the possible alliance that Daredevil thought Wilson Fisk was trying to establish between all the crime bosses.
This perceived threat made it even more clear that something else was going on since the crime bosses that actually attended the meeting couldn’t wait for Wilson Fisk to arrive before pulling out their weapons. The instability in the room with Black Cat, Diamondback, Hammerhead and the Owl was obvious from the beginning. Any alliance was bound to fail so for Fisk to try to give them power would have been an odd move given how Soule has written Mayor Fisk. Taking that into account Mayor Fisk actually setting up the crime bosses with a NYPD sting operation made perfect sense. Not only does this give more fuel to how great of Mayor that Fisk can call himself to the public, it also gives him more power within the underground gangs with their leaders gone.
Mayor Fisk’s plans were made even sweeter thanks to Daredevil and the other heroes also falling into the trap. This quickly killed two birds with one stone for Mayor Fisk. And even with Mayor Fisk out of commission with the heroes now arrested it paints them all in a worse light in the public. It actually validates Mayor Fisk and others attitude towards mask vigilantes as Spider-Man, the Defenders and others could’ve ruined an NYPD sting operation that took time and money to execute. This in turn creates story possibilities for the heroes who are part of other titles, whether they are solo or team books, to follow-up on.
The crime bosses and heroes being arrested made the fight between Daredevil and Mayor Fisk even more important. This was clearly Daredevil’s last ditch effort to help his friends out of the situation he put them in. There was a strong sense of no going back now in this final fight between the long-term rivals.
Soule added an extra layer of interest to the set-up with Fisk knowing that one of his assistants saw him go upstairs to fight Daredevil. Because of that Fisk needed to make it look more like he was defending himself. With that in mind seeing how Fisk talked about how he wants to make New York City safer was a great way to piss Daredevil off. Fisk knew that, while he was speaking some truth, that Daredevil would never believe him. In knowing that it provided Fisk the opening to attack Daredevil in a way that can be seen as self-defense, making him look like the good guy if anyone saw the fight take place.
With that big victory Soule made Fisk’s glorious moment something that further establishes the Hand as a viable threat again. With all of the crime bosses gone Fisk has created a hole that the Hand can now fill. The group acting quickly by taking out Mayor Fisk during a public rally shows that the Hand are done acting from the shadows. Now with everyone knowing that they are here to take over New York City, Soule has set up the possibility for a new war to take place for control of the city.
In taking out Mayor Fisk for a while Soule also sets up an interesting new status quo for Matt Murdock. Now with Matt being next in line to be Mayor of New York City we are left wondering how he will even be able to take office while under arrest as Daredevil. That is a situation that Matt has to do everything in his power to get out of. In addition, while Matt’s new position allows him to help his friends he can’t just show favoritism to them after they almost ruined a NYPD operation. That creates even more intrigue in how Soule will balance out the development for Matt in and out of the Daredevil costume.
With all of this going on the Daredevil and Wilson Fisk side of things, it was interesting to see Soule close out the rivalry between Blindspot and Muse. The battle between the two was a good way to give a scene that meant something much different than everything else going on in this issue. Soule got across how crazy and dangerous of a villain Muse has become with his warped view on what it means to create art. How Muse constantly mocked him made Blindspot allowing the Hand’s Beast to take him over made the character development for Blindspot even better. It showed us that Blindspot will be dealing with some serious issues as he has to continue to resist the Beast’s influence over him. In establishing this Soule puts Blindspot in an intriguing position given that the Hand have made their presence known to the public.
Ron Garney once again delivered a great looking issue. With Daredevil #600 having several different things going Garney was able to give a unique design to each one of them. Matt Milla deserves an equal amount of the credit as the coloring work helped establish the tone of each scene from the superheroes meeting to Daredevil and Wilson Fisk’s final fight. Every scene stood out while maintaining the same grounded style Garney has established for Daredevil.
It was also great to see Mike Perkins drawing a Daredevil comic again. He got across how much Daredevil has been through over the years in the flashback story. At the same time he was able to show how close of a relationship Matt and Foggy have shared with how Foggy emoted during his story.
The Bad: While the back-up Foggy Nelson story looked great it did not add anything to the series. It was a purely flashback story that could’ve been resolved with a big splash page. It would have been much better if we saw Foggy’s story actually tie into what was going on with the main story. Specifically, it could’ve been a chance to give Foggy’s point-of-view on everything going on at the rally up to when the Hand attacked Mayor Fisk.
Overall: Daredevil #600 is an excellent ending to the “Mayor Fisk” story arc. Charles Soule ends the arc in shocking fashion with Daredevil, Spider-Man and other heroes arrested. At the same time we see a major shift in the status quo with the Hand taking out Mayor Fisk. All of these developments create a number of stories for Soule and other writers to follow-up on. Those story possibilities set-up a future that will excite fans of Marvel’s street-level comic books.