Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky review – a new take on Daredevil

Marvel’s most consistently great series enters a new chapter as one of the top comic writers working today Chip Zdarsky teams up with returning artist Marco Checchetto to present the latest take on The Man Without Fear in Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 1: Know Fear. Matt Murdock has clawed his way through physical therapy, but his near-death experience that nearly left him crippled has left its mark on him. Reacquainted with pain and fear, the devil is back in hell’s kitchen, but is the man who returned to the rooftops the same man who fell off them?

Daredevil is one of Marvel’s most hard-done-by heroes. Both his heroic and personal lives are frequently upended to varying degrees and he is subsequently left to pick himself up whilst trying to piece them back together. Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis’ runs in particular saw Matt’s psychological state and personal life pushed to their limits whilst Mark Waid put him in a situation where he could no longer operate in New York. Zdarsky has been dealt a tricky card though as the Daredevil he has been left with has just come off a near fatal road accident and is painfully aware of his own mortality.

Matt has always traditionally been at a disadvantage compared to other heroes. But Zdarsky does a terrific job showing just how vulnerable he is. He is plagued with self-doubt which any Daredevil readers will know is a rare occurrence, and battles with regular street thugs are not as easy as they once were. Zdarsky is best known for his comedic work, so it’s surprising how well he is able to adapt to the darker/serious tone the series is known for. In addition to excelling at showing Matt’s growing inner turmoil, he also has some great adversaries for him to face including  the mayor of New York Wilson Fisk who continues to make Daredevil’s work even harder and a police detective who has a serious problem with the Man Without Fear.

Marco Checchetto is easily one of Marvel’s dependable artists, consistently turning out top notch work on a variety of different series, with the street level characters being a particular forte of his. He’s had some experience working on Daredevil before, but this easily his best work on the title. The physical and mental turmoil Matt goes through is that bit extra palpable thanks to harsh style the art conveys. Whether it be the sheer nastiness of characters like Fisk or The Owl, or the brutal direction the story takes when The Punisher gets involved, Checchetto truly understands how the series works and is the perfect partner to Zdarsky for this new chapter in Daredevil’s life.

This is looking to be another memorable entry in one of Marvel’s all-time great series. Daredevil fans old and news should definitely pick this one up.

Daredevil By Chip Zdarsky Vol. 1: Know Fear is out 13 August from Marvel
(9781302914981, p/b, £13.50)

Or from your local bookstore.

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