There once was a detective called Cole, who’s goal was to avoid being a troll. So what did he do? He didn’t have a clue. Until he stopped behaving like an arsehole. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, and published by Marvel Comics in May, 2019.

TO QUOTE Bill Maher:I think capital punishment works great. Every killer you kill never kills again’.

At the end of last month’s episode, we saw Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, save Daredevil from being arrested by Detective Cole North and the NYPD for a crime he didn’t commit. So, now that he’s got him, what do you think Frank’s going to do with Matt next? 

I mean, do you think they both have a nice leisurely chat with a quick cup of tea? Or alternatively, does Frank patch Matt up and explain why he saved him in the first place? Well, whatever the case may be, the one thing I can say for certain is that someone dies in this month’s... BANG! Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 4 of Daredevil today. In the meantime though, here, check this out… 

Part One) RED AND BLACK:   In no uncertain terms, a large portion of this story attempts to discuss the contrasting methods used by its two main characters. Namely, Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil: who’s a jovial hero with an adventurous streak; as well as Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher: who’s a no-nonsense mercenary with a strong sense of justice! Or in other words, these are two men who are determined, resourceful, and terribly persistent, despite possessing a somewhat contradictory point of view. 

Well, let’s face it, Matt doesn’t kill, Matt doesn’t try to break the law, and Matt doesn’t want people to know about his dual identity. And as for Frank, on the other hand, well, he does kill, he does break the law, and he doesn’t care less who knows about it. As a matter of fact, these two 'street level heroes' are so different -- ethically, at least -- that it only goes to show how surprising it is when they work together from time to time, keeping in mind that Matt’s a blind lawyer who occasionally lies, whereas Frank’s a trained killer who occasionally cries.

That said, however, which one do you think is morally correct as opposed to being ethically accurate? I mean, is Matt a better hero just because he refuses to kill anyone who crosses the line? Or alternatively, is Frank a better mercenary because he’s willing to protect the innocent by destroying the guilty? Either way, the fact remains, that these two righteous rogues aren’t as straightforward as what some people may believe, largely due to them both delving into a world of grey that isn’t always easy to traverse. 

After all, it's one thing to save a life, but it’s slightly different to protect it! Heck, just ask anyone who fights crime for a living, like a soldier, a police officer, or someone of that ilk, and they’d tell you that sometimes saving requires death whereas protecting sometimes requires hope, and hope is a quality that not everyone is able to possess.  

Part Two) FRANKIE GOES TO CUT WOOD:   Now if you’ve already had a look at my review of last month’s episode (click here to check that out), then you most probably know how much I loved reading it because it was exciting, dramatic, and very suspenseful to follow. So much so, in fact, that this month’s episode feels more like an interlude in comparison, a pit-stop even, largely due to it starting off on a fairly somber note before gradually escalating, page, by page, by page.

You see, when the book begins, we are presented with a fairly claustrophobic scene (set in a cellar) which depicts Matt slowly recovering from his injuries while Frank takes care of him from a discrete distance. But, after a while, we start to realize that Matt isn’t the only person Frank is taking care of! Oh no, because in addition to Matt, he’s also got his hands on a thug, one of The Owl’s thugs, who he tortures, threatens, and ultimately kills, which encourages Matt to then break free, fight back, and hopefully get away. 

So, as you can see, the basic thrust of this episode was a fairly straightforward one to follow, and despite most of it being devoted to a discussion about ethics, it still had a nice, incremental trajectory which was broken up by a number of intriguing questions. These include... 

  1. Is Matt stronger than Frank? Answer: Matt likes to think he is.
  2. Who's better with a gun? Answer: They both are, both at close and long range.
  3. Do these two like each other?  Answer:  Matt thinks Frank is a psycho while Frank thinks Matt is a phony who prances about in a kid’s Halloween costume.
  4. Did Matt kill the man he’s accused of murdering? Answer: Matt thinks he’s guilty, but I’m not entirely sure why.

Well, if truth be told, the main reason why I bring this last point up; is because I highly suspect that there’s more going on here than meets the eye: More in terms of motives, strategy, and other factors at play that we don’t really know much about. Admittedly, I could be completely wrong with this, yet the fact remains that Matt should at least try to look into his innocence just to make sure everything is on the level. Besides, he would do it for a complete stranger, so I can’t see why he shouldn’t do it for himself, especially when you take into consideration that his judgment is clouded by the medication he’s currently taking.

Funnily enough, while I’m on the topic of someone being judged, this leads me quite nicely onto Marco Checchetto's magnificent looking artwork. All in all, I’d say he did a great job on this book because he produced some very nice looking visuals that added to the claustrophobic nature of Matt's predicament. Clearly, you can see signs of this all over the place, and it’s particularly apparent during those scenes where Frank and Matt have an argument, partly due to the pacing being short, sharp, and crisp, whereas the panel layouts were tight, close, and very dramatically staged. Sunny Cho’s muted color palette also aided in the telling of this story, as it reinforced the bleak nature of their surroundings and highlighted the anger Matt was going through during his escape.

Anyway, that’s enough of that for the time being. So what did you think of issue 4 of Daredevil, dear reader? I mean, did you like it like me? Even though it was slightly staged and didn’t have the same dramatic impact as the previous episode. Or did you hate it like somebody else?  Even though I don’t know who they are or where they come from. Ha! Either way, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with the Bruce Springsteen song, ‘Nebraska’, simply because they both touch upon such subjects as death, violence, and murder.

Continuing on from my previous point, and I would now like to compare this comic book to someone who indirectly inspired the creation of the aforementioned song by Springsteen as well as Frank Castle himself. So, without any further ado, let me just say that ‘Nebraska’ was inspired by Charles Starkweather (who was a serial killer that lived there), Starkweather then inspired the creation of ‘Death Wish’ (the original film starring Charles Bronson), and finally, ‘Death Wish’ inspired the creation of The Punisher (therefore, comparison made).

Not so long before this issue came to a close, we got to see a pretty nifty scene where Wilson Fisk picked up the phone and had a quick chat with Detective Cole North. So, out of the following seven options, let’s see if you can guess why Wilson wanted to call him? I mean, does it have something to do with...

  1. Wilson wanting to hire Cole for protection. 
  2. Wilson wanting to reprimand Cole for usurping his spotlight.
  3. Wilson wanting to tell Cole that he has a nice ass. 
  4. Wilson wanting to congratulate Cole for a job well done.
  5. Wilson wanting to ask Cole for a low-calorie recipe.
  6. Wilson wanting to hear Cole sing the Bruce Springsteen song, ‘Nebraska’.
  7. Wilson wanting to find out who cuts Cole’s hair.

Nuff said.

DAREDEVIL #4 DAREDEVIL #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on May 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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