There once was a very corrupt city, which was poor, impolite, and rather shitty. But then, one night, to everyone’s, delight, a huge titty took pity on the city. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, and published by Marvel Comics in March, 2020.

TO QUOTE Robin Williams: Never pick a fight with an ugly person, as they've got nothing to lose’.

In order to punish the NYPD for protecting Hell’s Kitchen, The Stromwyns have hired a team of mercenaries to smash up the place and cause mayhem wherever they go. A team, I hasten to add, which comprises a roster that includes Bullseye, Stilt-Man, Bullet, Crossbones, and Rhino.

Don’t worry, though, because the people living in this New York district are made of strong stuff, really strong stuff, as they're primed and ready to stand up and face down this group of psychopaths, killers, and monsters, despite the fact that the NYPD are still prohibited from entering the Kitchen, along with the media, the National Guard, and anyone else in a position of power! But to find out who these people are, please pick up issue 19 of Daredevil today. In the meantime, though, here, check this out…

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this adventure because Marco Checchetto's artwork was crisp, clear, and very urban by design, whereas Chip Zdarsky's storyline was one part brutal and one part emotional. In many ways, the entire episode acted as an introduction of sorts, as it told us who were the good guys (Matt and Cole), who were the bad guys (Team Stromwyn), and who's sitting on the fence, waiting to see what happens next (The Owl and Wilson Fisk). Not that this is a bad thing, mind you! If anything, it’s a good thing, a really good thing, because every multipart adventure needs to start somewhere, so why not here? Which reminds me... 

1) So what’s this story all about? It’s about mayhem. It’s about how much mayhem The Stromwyns can cause so they can punish Daredevil, the police, and Wilson Fisk, while at the same time, reduce property prices in Hell’s Kitchen so they can buy it all up on the cheap. Seriously, it’s as simple as that, and to some extent, it's this style of simplicity which allows the story to touch upon a variety of different subjects and themes most of us are familiar with, ranging from corporate greed, to an unprovoked attack, to a need to defend your family and friends. Or in other words, it’s a story that's able to touch us on an emotional level by playing on our anxieties and fears. I also enjoyed seeing some of the reactions conveyed by several of the key characters, including Wilson Fisk (who was notably cautious), The Owl (who was gleefully manic), and the people of Hell’s Kitchen (who were stoically overprotective). So much so, in fact, that I must ask...

2) Was it surprising when some of the people living in the Kitchen partly dressed up as Daredevil? No, not really, because Matt’s previous alter-ego has a long-lasting reputation that’s slowly turning him into the stuff of legend. That said, however, there is one thing that’s slightly confusing about seeing a group of men and women dressed up as DD. His costume. His costume is very difficult to duplicate and requires a lot of effort and skill to get just right. Well, ask any cosplayer, and they will tell you that horns aren’t easy to make without turning them into tusks. And along similar lines, ordering the right type of burgundy material isn’t very easy either, especially if people are doing this individually and not in unison. So, even though I could understand why they wanted to dress up as Daredevil and fight the good fight, I didn't understand why they wanted to do it as Daredevil due to the complexities when making his costume.

3) What do you think about the team of villains The Stromwyns have hired to destroy Hell’s Kitchen? Well, at face value, they do look like a rather unusual bunch because they're either mad, sad, or perpetually bad. Having said that, though, they still come across as a fairly cantankerous crew on account of their previous involvement with the Marvel Universe. To elaborate...

Bullseye (First Appearance, Daredevil #131, Published in March, 1976): If you’ve been following this series for quite a while then I’m sure you know what this sadistic scoundrel is generally known for: Either murdering Matt’s lovers or having a super-sharp aim. Nonetheless, Matt’s a changed person now, so the question remains, has Bullseye changed along with him? Changed for the better.

Stilt-Man (First Appearance, Daredevil #8, Published in June, 1965): Talking about change, Stilt-Man seems to have received a major upgrade since his last appearance, but in all honesty, I don’t think it’s going to be enough because it never has and it never will.

Bullet (First Appearance, Daredevil #250, Published in January, 1988): He may be called Bullet, but he’s most probably a dud. A dud that’ll get his ass blasted to bits by either Matt, Cole, or somebody else due to his average range of abilities!

Crossbones (First Appearance, Captain America #359, Published in October, 1989): Just like Bullet, Crossbones is a very one-note villain and he'll probably end up giving himself a boner (if he’s lucky). 

Rhino (First Appearance, The Amazing Spider-Man #41, Published in October, 1966): When I first saw Rhino at the end of last month’s episode, I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, someone has been eating too many cakes, haven’t they?’. But then again, he is a fairly robust figure, so I’m sure he won’t give anyone the horn next month.

Anyway, all that aside, and on the whole, I would just like to say that I did enjoy reading this first part of ‘Kitchen's Fall’ because the art was great, the story was well told, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

For this month’s musical match-up, I’m going to align this adventure with The Rolling Stones song, ‘Street Fighting Man’, because they’re both about fighting in the streets.

For fairly obvious reasons I’m now going to compare this comic book to an actual riot.

Say no more. Bang-bang!

At the end of this issue, the secret identity of Sister Elizabeth is suddenly revealed. So, out of the following eight candidates, let’s see if you can guess who she really is? I mean, could she be…

  • Karen Page: Daredevil’s former lover.
  • Black Widow: Her too.
  • Elektra Natchios: Her three.
  • Moondragon: Ditto.
  • Typhoid Mary: Yes. Even her.
  • Maya Lopez: My God, he’s a randy f$cker!
  • Milla Donovan: He should have become a porn star.
  • Kirsten McDuffie: Or needed some sort of vaccination.

Nuff said.

DAREDEVIL #19 DAREDEVIL #19 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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