DAREDEVIL #17 & #18

There once was a fiendish fowl, who went by the name of 'The Devilish Owl'. But then, one day, to his, dismay, his name was changed to 'The Foolish Cow'. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Fornes, and published by Marvel Comics in March, 2020.

TO QUOTE Oscar Wilde: It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious’.

In order to clear up some of the mess he's recently created for himself, Matt Murdock has spent an entire day going around town so he could talk to some of his friends and one of his foes. In the morning, for instance, he chose to pay a visit to Joey’s Mum, Ms. Carraro, who forgave him for accidentally killing her troubled child. Then in the afternoon, he confronted The Stromwyns, Una and Quinn, who revealed that they knew he previously stole their money. And at night, he had a chat with his former lover, Mindy Libris, who told him that her daughter has been kidnapped by The Owl’s henchmen in retaliation to Izzy Libris killing Hammerhead.

So, what does he do about this? How can Matt save the life of Mindy's little kid? I mean, can he team up with Detective Cole North so they can track her down? Or does he go to church and pray for a miracle? Well, to find out, please pick up issues 17 and 18 of Daredevil today. In the meantime, though, here, have a look at this...

Now I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but my God, this current creative team is good, real good, because Jorge Fornes’s artwork is clean, crisp, and constantly atmospheric, while Chip Zdarsky’s storyline is both emotional and suspenseful to read. In issue 17, for instance, we mainly get to see Matt Murdock meeting up with his friends and his foes for a chat. Whereas in issue 18, he goes on a quest to find Mindy’s kidnapped daughter. So, as you can see, both of these episodes had a lot to say and were largely driven by dialogue, action, and plot. So much so, in fact, that I might as well talk back with the following QnA...

1) Which issue did you prefer reading more? Issue 17 or issue 18? Well, if truth be told, it’s hard to say because both issues were a good, solid read, on account of them being populated by a number of dynamic characters that interacted with each other in a very terse and supercharged manner. Although, to be fair, issue 18 was slightly easier to follow as it told a somewhat straightforward adventure (find the girl), whereas issue 17, on the other hand, was more character-based, and largely relied on Matt visiting a series of people so they can reiterate (Ms. Carraro), redefine (Foggy), or revitalize (gang war) some of the plot points that this book is currently dealing with. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, but it’s still worth mentioning nonetheless.

2) Is it possible to forgive someone who’s killed a member of your family? At the start of issue 17, we‘re presented with a rather touching scene where Joey’s Mum, Ms. Carraro, confronts Matt by telling him that she knows who he really is (Daredevil), what he’s done (accidentally killed her son), and that she’s more than willing to forgive him for it (with a hug, no less). And even though I really enjoyed this scene due to it's suspenseful and personal tone, in the same breath, I’m not entirely sure if it rings true or not! Well, let’s face it, would you be able to forgive someone for killing a member of your family? (Even if it was done by accident). Because I don’t think I could. Not totally, anyway. At best, I might be able to speak to them or try to maintain some level of composure. But to physically embrace them the way Joey’s Mum embraced Matt? No. Not me, although I'm sure there are some people who might think otherwise.

3) Near the end of the same episode, Matt decided to confront The Stromwyns to see what they actually knew. So, how do you think this scenario played out? Personally, I thought it was a right blast, 💥, as I wasn't quite sure how they were going to react from one moment to the next. At first, I just presumed that they were going to dismiss Matt’s masked journalist persona, or at the very least, order one of their henchmen to escort him off of the premises. But as the scene then went on, and on, and on, and we saw him agitating them, more, and more, and more, eventually, they were destined to figure out who he was (Daredevil) and what he did to them (stole their money and gave it away). Not that their recognition did them any good, mind you. But still, it goes to show that Matt isn’t afraid to stand up to bullies. Or to be more specific about it, two bullies who can only punch down and never up.

4) Speaking about bullies, was Izzy’s retaliation against Hammerhead a good thing or not? Well, I suppose that all depends on what you mean by good. Because if you mean ‘good’ as in ‘progressive’ or ‘rewarding’, then in that case, yes, Izzy’s revenge might be good in the short term — emphasis on the word, ‘short’ — as it may help her reestablish her gang and reclaim Hell’s Kitchen. But if you mean ‘good’ as in ‘positive’ or ‘nice’, then the answer is most definitely no, it‘s not good, it’s not good that she killed Hammerhead (a long-standing Marvel villain) because it’s destined to bite her in the backside sooner or later. Which reminds me...

5) Issue 18 mainly revolved around Matt Murdock teaming up with Detective Cole North and the NYPD so they could track down Mindy Libris's kidnapped child. So, how did this kidnapping flow and was it very convincing? Now, without giving too much away, I would say that on a structural level, the entire episode was simple in its design and very exciting to read. Not only because it featured things like car chases, emotional confrontations, and a very suspenseful, ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe, but in addition to this, it also alluded to some fairly major repercussions for everyone involved. After all, who will Wilson Fisk decide to join now that Hell’s Kitchen is up for grabs? Team Libris? Team Daredevil? Or Team Stromwyn? Plus how will The Owl and his gang deal with this news? Also, now that Matt and Cole have established a ‘working relationship’, so to speak, can it last for very long? And if it can, fingers-crossed, will the NYPD start to follow suit? Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this concluding chapter, even though I wasn’t too keen on Cole’s speech at the start of it, his speech where he told his fellow officers to ‘do the right thing’, almost as if a simple sermon was enough for them to do their job properly. Still, apart from that, overall I’d say everything was a blast and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Daredevil and the NYPD versus The Owl's gang and The Libris Crime Family versus The Stromwyns and... wink-wink!

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with The Temptations’ song, ‘Get Ready’, because that’s exactly what a lot of the characters seen in this story need to do next. Get ready... for trouble.

Halfway through issue 18, we’re presented with a scene where Matt uses his sonic abilities to track down Mindy’s kid. Similar, in fact, to the ‘find your phone’ app some people use to... well... find their phone. Therefore, comparison made, wink-wink!

At the end of issue 18, The Owl boldly kills a member of The Libris Crime Family. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess which member he kills? Could it be...

  • Izzy: The head of the household.
  • Thomas: Her son.
  • Mindy: His wife.
  • Belle: Her daughter.
  • Joey: Her father’s cousin.
  • George: His brother’s uncle’s boyfriend.
  • Larry: His aunt’s second-cousin twice-removed on his daughter’s side.
  • Bert: His wife.

Nuff said.

DAREDEVIL #17 & #18 DAREDEVIL #17 & #18 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 12, 2020 Rating: 5

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