There once was an innocent man, who was accused of a devilish plan. So to clear his bad name, he had a quick game, of ‘catch me as fast as you can’. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, and published by Marvel Comics in June, 2019.

TO QUOTE Walt Mossberg:I see retirement as just another of these reinventions, another chance to do new things and be a new version of myself’. 

Over the last few days, Daredevil has fought against the crooks, the cops, and even The Punisher (the well-known mercenary), in order to clear his tarnished reputation and make amends for his past sins. In fact, he’s fought against so many different people, that he’s now started to realize he needs some serious, serious help!

But, pray tell, who can he turn to at a time like this? A time where he’s currently engaged in a fight with a number of The Owl’s henchmen! I mean, would Spider-Man be of some use? Or how about, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones? Well, in any event, if you want to know more, then please pick up issue 5 of Daredevil today. In the meantime though, here, check this out… 

Part One) NOT THE END:   If truth be told, I’m not entirely sure if I enjoyed reading this issue or not. On the one hand, the artwork was great and it did feature some really heartfelt moments. Whereas, on the other, that whole Owl subplot felt more like an introduction rather than an integral part of the story, ‘The Three Amigos’ didn't give a satisfactory explanation as to why they showed up when they did, and overall, the episode in itself didn’t seem as exciting as some of the previous installments devised by this current creative team. 

Well, in fairly simple terms, the general narrative can be broken down into two distinct halves: With the first half dedicated to Daredevil taking on the Owl’s henchman in order to stop a drug smuggling scam. While, the second half, is dedicated to Matt being lectured to by three separate parties. The first party includes Iron FistJessica Jones, and Luke Cage (class). The second one mainly focuses on a flashback sequence where priest talks to a youthful Daredevil (mumbled). And finally, the last segment showcases Spider-Man (yippee) confronting Matt and laying down the same law previously told to him by the other two parties. That being, stop being a superhero, stop playing games, and start living your life. Otherwise, you will be a danger to yourself as well as everyone else around you.

Yes. That’s right. Daredevil has been persuaded to retire because he hasn’t fully recovered from his injuries and needs to take some time out after accidentally killing a man (issue 1). But, as we all know, this isn’t going to be the end of Matt Murdock, no, not in a long shot. After all, we’ve just started this new series so it seems stupid for Marvel to cancel it now. What’s more, there hasn’t been a thorough investigation of Matt’s alleged crime, not by Matt, not by the police, and not by anybody else either. So, with a little luck, maybe Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto will set that up amidst the next story-arc.

As for this one, though, well? It was a pretty nice read, more or less, as it had a very strong start but a fairly weak finish. Too weak, some might say, largely due to a formulaic fourth chapter and a finicky fifth. Needless to say, on the whole, the overall experience was somewhat enjoyable, because Marco’s art was bold, well choreographed, and nicely atmospheric in places, whereas Chip’s story did have its moments, although I don’t think he has a complete handle on Matt’s character yet. What did you think, dear reader? What did you think of this issue? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Or are you a bit like me? Sitting on the fence, patiently waiting for the next bus to arrive, beep-beep!

Part Two) HECTIC HERO:   I’ve been reading comic books for quite a while now, and during that time, I’ve often wondered if being a vigilante is a positive step in the right direction!  After all, violence does beget violence, but in the same breath, turning a blind eye to injustice isn’t moral and isn’t healthy.

So, what else can we do? What else can we do to fight the good fight? Keeping in mind that joining the police force, the fire brigade, or the armed forces, isn’t easy and isn’t suitable for everybody with a good heart. Plus, to some extent, being a lawyer, an attorney, or another member of the legal profession, requires a lot of time, a lot of money, and an awful lot of determination and perseverance. So much so, in fact, that I kind of understand why this episode ended in the way it did.  It ended with Matt calling it quits because he’s worn himself out.

Well, let’s face it; despite his enhanced senses and super-advanced abilities, at the end of the day, the man without fear is a blind human being who’s egotistical and driven to the point of destruction.  So, no matter what he tries to do, he's bound to make mistakes and destined to be the imperfect crusader that he ultimately is. Come to think of it, numerous examples of this have been highlighted throughout his entire career! Most notably when he was turned into a demon and waged war against New York City (during Andy Diggle’sShadowland’ saga), as well as the time he committed a crime and was sent off to jail (during Ed Brubaker’sThe Devil, Inside and Out’ storyline).

Although, having said all that, for some unexplained reason this adventure has forgotten, completely forgotten, these notable incidents, along with the fact that Matt isn’t a naive individual and must have known about his fellow heroes unlawful past. Heck, back during the Brubaker and Fraction run on ‘Iron Fist’, circa 2006 to 2009, Daredevil actually pitched in when Danny was having some trouble with the residents of K’un-Lun

So, in a roundabout way, I suppose what I’m trying to say, is that even though I understood why Matt wanted to throw in the towel, what I didn’t understand, is his behavior towards his friend's past mistakes as well as his recent alleged transgressions. Know what I mean?

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with The Stone Roses song, ‘I Am the Resurrection’, because in many ways, that’s precisely what it’s all about.

To some degree, this episode felt like an exorcism of sorts, an exorcism where Matt had to get rid of an evil that was lurking deep inside his brain. So, with that said, comparison made, and may Beelzebub have mercy on my soul. Amen. 

At the end of this issue, we see Matt sitting on a chair and talking to himself about what he needs to do next. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what he comes up with? I mean, does he say that he needs to...

  • Have a dump.
  • Have a bath.
  • Cast out the devil.
  • Cast in the love.
  • Vote Trump.
  • Vote to leave the EU.
  • Cut his hair.
  • Cut off his balls. 

Nuff said.

DAREDEVIL #5 DAREDEVIL #5 Reviewed by David Andrews on June 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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