The war between Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios’ The Fist and The Hand led by Punisher has reached another level. Punisher made things even more personal by kidnapping the son of the newest recruit, Buck Cashman, Matt Murdock brought into The Fist. Now there is no avoiding The Fist vs The Hand. The question is if the first big battle between the two organizations is just the first of many or the final battle in the war both The Fist and The Hand have been fighting from the shadows. Let’s find out with Daredevil #8.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Colorists: Matthew Wilson and Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
While Cole North saves Bullet’s (Buck Cashman) son the rest of The Fist fight The Hand’s undead army and dragon. Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios each are able to reach Punisher and Aka to take them on personally.
Punisher and Matt Murdock trade blows until Punisher gains the advantage. When Punisher talks about God being dead Matt counters by knocking out Punisher and saying God is the reason Frank Castle still breathes.
At the same time, Elektra and Aka fight back and forth until Aka is able to stab Elektra in the gut. Speed Demon saves Elektra and gets her back to the jet to get treated before she dies from the blood loss.
Meanwhile, Matt uses all of his mystic powers as one of The Fist’s leaders to calm The Hand’s dragon down and get it to stop rampaging. This causes both sides to retreat.
As they are heading home Elektra reveals that she was able to steal The Lunate Talisman, which holds The Hand’s secret to resurrection. Elektra and Matt are unable to celebrate because they know they lost this battle but are still determined to win the war.
Elsewhere Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) receive information from someone inside The Fist ranks about where Daredevil is based. With this info, Spider-Man tells Captain America and Iron Man they need to stop Daredevil. End of issue.
Daredevil #8 went as expected both in a good and bad way. When it came to the Daredevil side of this story Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto continued the excellent development of these characters. Unfortunately, the Punisher and The Hand side of things brings down the story as they are a reminder a major portion of this story is being told in another series.
Starting off with the positives, Daredevil #8 got over how this is a full-scale war between The Fist and The Hand. With both sides’ numbers and powers, there is nothing small about how their battles will go down. Marco Checchetto absolutely nailed the scope of things as not only did the dragon on the battlefield make this have a large scale but so did all the rain. It’s such a classic element and Checchetto absolutely nails the rain effect in comic book form.
With this type of scale the intensity of the different fights that were spotlighted on the battlefield, all had a sense of importance. Everyone on both sides served important purposes. There was Stilt-Man, Stegron, and The Fist ninja in charge of keeping The Hand’s dragon and undead army at bay. Then there was Cole North and Agony who were in charge of saving Bullet and his son. Each role was important and given time so each character shined in the panel time they were given.
Properly juggling all these things happening at the same time made the fights Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios had against Punisher and Aka have even greater importance. These were the two fights of the leaders for each side going at it. There was a sense that the first to fall would completely turn the tide of the battle.
Then there was the personal aspect of both fights. With Matt and Punisher, we see how their respective beliefs have further shaped who they are now that they are part of The Fist and The Hand, respectively. At least on Matt’s side of things, it does appear that his greater control of his new powers and not being possessed by a demon like Punisher has been what helped him here.
On the Punisher front, this is where the story does end up suffering. Everything going on with Punisher and The Hand has obviously been developed over in his current series. Because of that fans who are only following the Daredevil series are missing out on an important part of this story. The whole demon part of Punisher and undead The Hand army doesn’t have as much impact without that context.
As this story involving The Hand and The Fist continues this is something that Zdarsky hopefully does a better job within Daredevil. Even if it is a backup or short scenes showing what Punisher and Aka are up it would go a long way in this story.
While Punisher’s side of the story suffered things were much better with Aka. Credit to the previous work Zdarsky has done in developing Elektra and Aka’s rivalry that made their fight much better executed. Things felt personal with Aka throwing shots at how Elektra has tried going down more the hero route as Daredevil because of Matt’s influence. Even though she acted like it didn’t have an impact on her it’s clear with her recent actions that Elektra can’t fully let go of her assassin background. With how the battle went there is the question of whether Elektra will push Matt to think more like an assassin as they agreed they lost the battle even with gaining possession of the Lunate Talisman.
The big wildcard in this entire war between The Hand and The Fist is how the Avengers and Spider-Man will factor into things. Everything Matt and Elektra have done as Daredevil has shown their former allies they’ve gone down the route where they need to be stopped before things get worst. Peter Parker’s Spider-Man in particular being the one to call the shot of stopping Daredevil speaks to how bad things have gotten. It all creates greater anticipation in finding out how Zdarsky and Checchetto plan on progressing this story in Daredevil.
Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto deliver an epic-scale fight between The Fist and The Hand in Daredevil #8. The results from this conflict, especially with how certain Marvel heroes responded, create even greater intrigue in what is next for Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10