Charles Soule has introduced an interesting new wildcard in the form of Mike Murdock. The return of Matt Murdock’s twin brother was an unexpected twist, especially since this time he is in fact a separate character rather than one of Matt’s alias. This has caused Daredevil to have to deal with a problem he does not need as he’s been trying to assemble a team to take down Wilson Fisk once and for all. Now with this new wildcard in play can Daredevil and his team overcome it to accomplish their greater mission. Let’s find out with Daredevil #608.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Phil Noto
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Mike Murdock orders Foggy Nelson to call his brother (Matt Murdock) at gunpoint. Foggy makes a call and acts like Matt can’t talk. Mike grabs the phone and finds out Foggy never made the call.
Daredevil busts in to Foggy’s office. Mike grabs Foggy and tells Daredevil to hand over his billy club. Daredevil does so. Mike tells Daredevil to get in touch with Matt or else he will kill Foggy.
In a taxi Mike reflects on how good it is to be back in New York and asks Foggy how Karen Page is doing. Foggy says that Karen was killed by Bullseye a long time ago.
In a car nearby a woman named Glory gets in a van with the Bushwacker. The Bushwacker tells Glory that with Wilson Fisk not having any love for Matt Murdock right now they can kill Matt and get away with it.
With that said Bushwacker chases the taxi Mike and Foggy are in. He drives them off the road with his flamethrower.
When Bushwacker is about to kill them Mike uses Daredevil’s billy club to knock him out. Mike then shoots Bushwacker’s legs to make sure he doesn’t come after them.
Foggy gets a call from Matt and hands the phone to Mike.
A little later Mike and Foggy meet Matt in Chelsea. Mike agrees to let Foggy go so he can talk to Matt alone.
On a nearby rooftop Nur and Reader watch Matt and Mike’s conversation while waiting for Matt’s signal for help.
Back on the streets Matt says he heard about Mike from Daredevil and knows he is just a figment from when he used “Mike Murdock” as a cover for investigations. Mike says that he remembers they are family and that Daredevil is trying to unmake him so he wants Matt’s help.
On the rooftop Reader gets impatient and leaves to help Matt.
Back on the streets Mike says he must of gotten their dad’s fighting spirit and will fight on his own.
Reader shows up and tries to unmake the figment that is Mike. Matt quickly hits Reader’s eraser tab out of his hand and Mike decides to runs away.
Reader wonders why Matt stopped him from erasing Mike. Matt says that while he doesn’t understand what is going on he does feel like Mike is family.
At the mayor’s office Mike offer Wilson Fisk to work for him as he knows things about his brother that could help Fisk. Wilson is not convinced he isn’t being tricked. Mike decides to reveal that Daredevil has assembled a team to take Wilson out as mayor of New York City. Wilson is does not take it seriously so Mike is forced to walk out dejected.
At a nearby park as Mike sits alone he is approached by the Hood. The Hood offers Mike a job. He then takes Mike to get something to eat so that they can talk. End of issue.
The Good: Unexpected right turns are always dangerous as they could easily cause long-term stories to get off track quickly. Luckily that does not happen with what Charles Soule has planned for his Daredevil run. Daredevil #608 is a strong showcase of that fact as Soule uses the unexpected return of Mike Murdock to further develop the overarching battle with Wilson Fisk.
There is no doubt that Mike Murdock has been introduced to be a big wildcard in what is currently going on with Daredevil trying to take down Wilson Fisk. Soule does an excellent job developing that wildcard nature of Mike by showing us how this is all throwing Matt of his game. Whether as Matt or Daredevil our hero is not acting the way he would normally. We see that he is being extraordinarily careful with how he is dealing with Mike. It’s almost to the point that you believe that Matt thinks of Mike as more than figment created by mistake due to Reader’s uncontrollable powers at times.
This created an interesting scenario for Matt as he was forced to stop his own teammate when he just got his team together. Matt taking the best shot to erase Mike puts him immediately at odds with his new allies. This decision makes you wonder if Matt is thinking clearly in this situation and why it is throwing him off so much. Those questions create an interesting emphasis on Matt’s personal struggles on top of what he is trying to accomplish as Daredevil.
All of this works thanks to how Soule wrote Mike. As the major driving force for the events of this issue Soule is able to paint Mike a a lost soul who is just trying to find his place. At the same time due to the shady background Matt originally created for Mike he can’t get away from that. His actions in taking Foggy hostage and the extra aggressive way he took out Bushwacker made it clear that he is unhinged, in due part because of how he was created.
Soule used all that to make Mike’s feeling of being betrayed by his “brother” a great motivator for him to approach Wilson Fisk for a job. With nothing left to lose it was logical that Mike would turn to Daredevil’s greatest enemy to get Daredevil and his team off his back. The Hood showing up at the end further drives home how Mike is a wildcard that can’t be left to operate on his own. With nothing to lose this is the worst outcome for Daredevil and his mission to take down Wilson Fisk.
Speaking of Wilson Fisk, it was great to see how he wasn’t easily fooled Mike. Soule furthered how carefully Wilson is playing things after how Matt almost ousted him as Mayor of New York City. There is no way Wilson will take big risks right now. At the same time it does not mean he won’t take any opportunity to take down both Matt and Daredevil. What exactly he does with the information provided by Mike will add new layers to how Soule is developing the final clash for control of NYC between Daredevil and Wilson Fisk.
The quick scene involving Bushwacker further develops this plot for the series. Setting up how Matt Murdock actually has an unofficial price on his head puts our hero in a unique spot. Because instead of Daredevil being the target from all his villains it is Matt this time around. That creates a chance for Soule to bring back other lesser known villains in a way that forces Matt to get out of danger in and out of his Daredevil costume.
With what was going on with Matt and Mike Murdock Soule used this as a chance to reintegrate Foggy Nelson back into play. Now that Foggy was forcibly brought back into what is going on with Daredevil’s current plans it is easy to see how he questions Matt’s methods. The way Foggy spoke with Mike showed that this situation is just another example of how difficult things continue to be. It puts into question if Foggy will break and speak up more about how reckless Matt is being as Daredevil. In doing so Soule can explore how Foggy is the soul of this series as he acts as the voice of reason in everything going on.
Phil Noto’s artwork was once again solid throughout Daredevil #608. With this being a heavy talking heads issue Noto is able to match the emotional expression of different character faces to match the dialogue. His work with Mike Murdock in particular stood out the most since the character was a ball of emotion. Throughout this issue we saw him go from angry and driven to desperate and sad in a very short time frame even as he wore sunglasses the entire time.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Daredevil #608 was another excellent issue in what continues to be one of Marvel’s best comic books. Charles Soule does a great job presenting Mike Murdock as an unexpected wildcard for the ongoing war between Daredevil and Mayor Wilson Fisk. Matt Murdock’s own actions put into question how exactly this story arc will affect the long-term story Soule is developing. With those questions in the air there is a lot to be excited for with what will happen next in the pages of Daredevil.