Review: Daredevil #25 (2019)

Who messes with Hell's Kitchen, gets the horns.

Written by Chip Zdarsky, Art by Marco Checchetto, Cover by Marco Checchetto.

While doing research for an upcoming comics-related article, I stumbled on the headline "Daredevil #25 Gets Instant Second Printings…". This headline intrigued me quite a bit. These days, it's quite rare for comic books to get a 2nd printing let alone get one instantaneously after release. Clearly, something was up with the latest issue of the current Daredevil run, so I decided to check it out for myself and give a quick review of it.

Let's dive in.


Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil is in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. One of the goons he beat up a while back suffered a brain injury of which he died later in the hospital. Pleading guilty and sitting out a two-year sentence, Matt hopes to not only clear his own conciseness but to also be a cautionary tale to the wider superhero community.

While in prison, Matt gets an unexpected visit from his ex and professional assassin & mercenary Elektra. She and their shared mentor 'Stick' have found a book that contains information on how the end the evil Ninja clan of the Hand for good. She needs Matt helps to do so, however, but he declines. He flat-out doesn't trust her. While walking the streets of Hell's Kitchen, Elektra comes up with a plan that could win back Matt's trust as well as help Elektra find a new, brighter, path.

The recap of the story above is on the long side. This is because a lot of stuff has happened in the Daredevil series that has set this issue up. The entire 'Daredevil in prison' thing above all. What this book does very well is catching you up to these events without getting lost. If you haven't read any of the previous Daredevil issues (like me) the story does a wonderful job of neatly explaining everything you need to know. This, and Zdarsky’s general writing style, not only makes this issue easy to follow but also a great starting point for new readers.

It also helps that the story itself is just very good. While some of the plot-beats could have felt rather cliché or forced (more on the latter in the spoiler section) it really doesn't feel like it. Everything that the characters go through feels organic. The foreshadowing this book has, also don't overstay there welcome. It even helps to strengthen the story if you ask me.

The art is quite good as well. When we talk style, it reminds me very much of those 'sketchy pencil' styles. Just with a lot more (though still muted) colours. What I especially like about the art is that it's creative, has lots of small moments with some very clever symbolism and nuance.

The reason why this issue has gotten a second printing becomes quite clear at the end of the issue. It's a bit of a spoiler, but it's been all over the internet already so by the time you're reading this I'm sure it's a spoiler no more. Elektra becomes Daredevil. I won't dive too deeply into this development right here and now, I'm thinking about doing that at a later date, but for now, I can say that it's quite good. Her first outing as the horned vigilante is quite stunning, her outfit especially just pops out of the page and ingrains itself in your brain. Her taking over the Daredevil mantle also feels very natural and not like a marketing trick at all. The book does a wonderful job building up to the moment as well as providing a compelling and interesting reason for Elektra to become Daredevil. The entire reason she becomes Daredevil even sets up a bit of moral conflict that intrigues me greatly and will be very interesting to see play out.

Can I just say that Elektra's Daredevil suit looks awesome?

Conclusion

In short, Daredevil #25 is a very good book. It is well written, well-illustrated and has a very interesting story. It sets up Elektra's run as Daredevil well, providing not only the reason why she takes up the mantle but also sets up a moral conflict for her that I'm sure will be explored more in-depth in future Daredevil issues. Daredevil #25 is a very good step-in moment for new readers and a book I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Comments