Devil’s Reign ended with the status quo of New York City seeing major shake-ups. The biggest of them is Wilson Fisk’s reign as Mayor of New York City has come to an end. In Fisk’s place, Luke Cage has stepped up to be the new Mayor of New York City. Along with this the world now believes Matt Murdock is dead after Fisk killed Mike Murdock, who was acting as Matt in his brother’s place. Now with everyone thinking he is dead, it appears as though Matt will use this as an opportunity to join fellow Daredevil, Elektra Natchios, on a mission to defeat The Hand once and for all. Let’s see how this and more fallout from Marvel’s latest event turns out with Devil’s Reign: Omega #1.
Writers: Chip Zdarsky, Rodney Barnes, and Jim Zub
Artists: Rafael DeLatorre, Guillermo Sanna, and Luciano Vecchio
Colorists: Federico Blee, Dijjo Lima, Carlos Lopez, and Java Tartaglia
With Reed Richards unable to find Wilson Fisk, suspecting he is being hidden by Doctor Doom in Latvaria, all the heroes gather to attend the funeral of “Matt Murdock” with Kirsten McDuffie giving the eulogy.
After the funeral services tensions run high when Mayor Luke Cage spots Butch Pharris outside the church. Danny Rand is able to calm things down, giving the opening for Foggy Nelson to talk with Butch privately. During their talk, Butch reveals that Mike Murdock is the one who actually died and calls out Matt’s no-show.
On a nearby rooftop, Luke and Danny meet with Daredevil’s Matt and Elektra Natchios. Matt and Elektra reveal that they will be going after The Hand to stop the revival of the Beast. While Luke tries to bring up that escaping into being Daredevil full-time may not be a good idea Matt diverts attention toward a nearby bank robbery.
The Daredevils, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist stop the bank robbery. The Thunderbolts show up and take over the crime scene, revealing that they are still active since Wilson Fisk’s Powers Act is still a law in New York City.
Elsewhere Jessica Jones finds Joe (one of Purple Man’s children) locked in a room with a power inhibitor collar. Jessica rips off the collar and tells Joe that he deserves his freedom.
Later that night Luke talks with Harris, his Mayoral assistant, about how they need to go repeal the Powers Act, which will be easier said than done. After this conversation, Jessica and Danielle Cage return home with Joe.
At the graveyard “Matt Murdock” is being buried. Kirsten leaves a stone “Matt” was carrying when Wilson Fisk killed him in his casket. End of the main story.
Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 is exactly what it needed to be. It directly follows up on the end of the Devil’s Reign event by reinforcing the new status quo for Matt Murdock, Elektra Natchios, and Luke Cage. The latter of the three getting the bulk of the development was done well so that other Marvel creative teams will have a strong foundation for Luke’s new role as Mayor of New York City.
On the Daredevil front, we surprisingly don’t get a lot of time with Matt or Elektra. Instead their appearance in Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 was mostly to reinforce the direction they established for themselves at the end of Devil’s Reign #6. The only somewhat new wrinkle added to the Daredevils’ future plans is the possible hunt for Wilson Fisk. Given that Zdarsky opens with Reed Richards establishing that Fisk and Mary Walker have found sanctuary with Doctor Doom means we could see a detour to Latveria sometime in the future. This is a smart play so that the upcoming Daredevil series is solely focused on taking down The Hand.
Zdarsky also works in another sub-plot of how Matt will truly be able to mentally and physically handle being Daredevil 24/7. Luke Cage and Danny Rand, two of Matt’s closest friends, bringing attention to this made Matt’s decision be something you need to focus on. Because we’ve seen how obsessive Matt can be when singularly focused, which hasn’t always turned out well for him. While Elektra, with their strengthened relationship, by his side likely to ground him when needed Matt being Daredevil full-time may turn out to be a major weakness.
From there Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 is largely focused on putting over Luke Cage as the new Mayor of New York City. The three stories in Devil’s Reign: Omega by Chip Zdarsky, Rodney Barnes, and Jim Zub show how important and difficult Luke’s new status quo will be. Right away Luke is going to have to deal with everything Wilson Fisk left from his regime as it is revealed the Powers Act is still a law. This immediately shows how Luke has a lot of work ahead of him as the impact of Devil’s Reign will be something that will continue to be felt by everyone in New York City. It’s something we see in the real world as repealing laws isn’t easy since everyone in power has their own agenda. It’ll be up to Luke to find a way to show true leadership to get the politicians on his side.
On the leadership aspect, we do see in Barnes and Zub’s stories specifically that Luke is more than up for that job. Luke isn’t new to being a leader as he has held that role in The Avengers, Defenders, and in the superhero community as a whole. Even if he is going to deal with a lot of walls placed in front of him Luke is the person you want to be the one leading to bring them down and make things better. This is hopefully something explored across the Marvel titles that take place in New York City like Spider-Man and Luke Cage’s own possible series.
Adding Purple Man’s son Joe to the mix was an unexpected but welcome development. We’ve seen how strong of a family unit Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Danielle Cage are, including in the Devil’s Reign event. The Cage family is definitely who you trust to help Joe find his own path in life where he isn’t scared of his powers and becomes a positive force for good. This is why Marvel really needs to put out a new Luke Cage series, whether as a mini-series or ongoing, as there is a lot to his and Jessica Jones characters to explore.
While he is not in this issue very long Butch Pharris’s scenes in the first half of Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 establish that he will be a character to watch. Mike Murdock’s death appears to have added greater fuel to Butch’s fire to be a greater Kingpin of Crime than his father. Zdarsky has done a good job slowly developing Butch into a wild card character in his new role as Kingpin, something I did not think of initially.
When it comes to the artwork in Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 the art in the three stories gets the job done. As the three stories were more on the dialogue-heavy side Rafael DeLatorre, Guillermo Sanna, and Luciano Vecchio were able to bring what the characters said to live with their artwork.
That said, I do have to mark the artwork down several points for the inexcusable coloring of Kirsten McDuffie’s skin color. As we see in the eulogy scene and the final page of the first story Kirsten McDuffie is colored to appear as a white woman rather than a person of mixed race. Kirsten being a mixed-race was established in her first appearance and throughout Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera’s run on Daredevil where she first appeared. It’s unacceptable and I expect this to be something, at the very least, Marvel’s editorial catches so that their art teams don’t make this type of mistake before it hits print.
Devil’s Reign: Omega #1 strengthened the foundation of the new status quo the ending of Marvel’s latest big event created. Luke Cage is made to be the star of the show with Chip Zdarsky, Rodney Barnes, and Jim Zub establishing how important he will be as the new Mayor of New York City. While nothing new is learned on the Daredevil side of the story there is enough here to build excitement for Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios’ new journey.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10