Monday, January 16, 2017

Daredevil #15 Review and *Spoilers* - Marvel Monday

"The Seventh Day, Part One"

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Goran Sudzuka
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Review by: Deron Murphree  

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With the Dark Art arc now behind us, we turn our attention to the aftermath of those horrific events. Matt Murdock is dealing with a tremendous amount of emotional turmoil. His partner, Blindspot, is quite literally living up to his namesake. Matt's state of mind appears to be more on the fragile side as of late. Now it appears that someone is out there trying to snuff out our guardian devil for good by putting a hit out on him. Let's see how the events start to take shape in this issue.

We open with a nameless bar for super-villains in New York City. The shady establishment is supposed to be a secret, but it's poorly kept nonetheless. In the bar, we see a guy by the name of Mike arranging to put a hit out on Daredevil with another fella' sitting opposite of him in a booth.

We are taken to St. Luke's Presbyterian Hospital the day prior to find Matt Murdock standing over the bedside of his protege, Sam. Blindspot has not fully recovered since last issue's encounter with the serial killer, Muse. He paid a severe price by having his sight removed by the psychotic Vincent Van Gore killer and now Matt quietly wrestles with his guilt internally. The doctor informs Matt that the nerves to Sam's eyes are still intact and that Sam may qualify to be a candidate for cybernetic optic implants. Matt makes a command decision and tells the doctor that he will cover all of Sam's medical expenses.

Cutting back to the nameless bar scene, we find Mike and his business acquaintance finally coming to an accord after an exchange of a hefty sum of cash in a duffle bag.  On day three in Washington Square Park, we find a man named Carlos and his son, Steven playing chess. A friend of theirs by the name of Edgar approaches their game and tells them of the hit just recently placed out on our hero.

We then go to a scene with the gentleman matching the description of Mike standing outside a church and cycling through some contacts on a phone of people in Matt Murdock's life. While he does bear a striking resemblance to Matt Murdock, it remained unclear to me if this is indeed the blind lawyer. Then again, maybe I'm still hopelessly oblivious to this thing at this point.

 It is day four and we find Daredevil on the top of a rooftop in Hell's Kitchen doing some daily meditation. Two costumed goons known as the Brothers Grim try in vain to collect on the bounty but they fail miserably. Daredevil makes it look easy.

It seems that there are several would-be assassins out to get our Man Without Fear. Remember Carlos and Steven? It appears that Carlos is taking matters into his own hands and is joining in on the hunt. He feels that his son, Steven, was unjustly confined to a wheelchair and now Carlos needs the money for Daredevil's bounty to make things right for him and his son. Steven tries to talk his dad out of this foolishness, but his attempts fall on deaf ears as Carlos heads out in search of the devil of Hell's Kitchen.

We find Mike entering the church where he proceeds to meet a priest inside of a confessional booth. Mike sits there in silence and the priest pretty much tells him that he's got things to do. He says he'll step out and take care of some business but that Mike's welcome to address him face to face.

It is day five and we find Daredevil effortlessly taking down some costumed goons. It is revealed here that Daredevil is going by the name of Mike and that he's been working with Freddy, the guy in the nameless bar, to draw these would-be killers out of their hiding spots. Daredevil informs Freddy to triple the price for the hit in the hopes to get a worthy opponent.

Day six finds Daredevil on the rooftops only to be confronted by a figure dressed like a ninja. The figure intends to be the next contender for the title and begins to constrict Daredevil in a vice made of energy. It is here where the figure seems to have a moral conflict and starts to say he's no killer. He's then unceremoniously cut down by a sniper. That sniper reveals himself to be Daredevil's arch-nemesis, Bullseye.

I'm a little lost here with the plot pacing, but that's not saying I am not enjoying where this may be going. It may be that after the events of Secret Wars that Marvel's attempting to restore Matt Murdock's secret identity by re-introducing Mike Murdock. But who exactly is Mike Murdock in this new continuity? Is he Matt's twin finally returning to try and reclaim the mantle? Or is it a clone that will eventually be done away with and thereby restoring Matt's secret identity when all of this is all said and done? I'm thinking possibly the latter. Whatever happens, this story should prove interesting as we are getting a lot of setup here with Bullseye's mini-series getting launched next month. Ron Garney is absent here in this issue as Goran Sudzuka has taken over the art chores. The artwork is okay for the most part, but there are some panels where it comes across as a distraction and took me out of the story to a degree.

Bits and Pieces:

Charles Soule seems to be firmly in the driver's seat here and though there have been some peaks and valleys throughout his run on this title, I am greatly intrigued on how these events will shake out. There are several plot threads that have been laid here so this comes across as one of those setup issues. That's not saying that it's a bad thing at all. If you are a Daredevil fan, business is about to pick up in Hell's Kitchen.


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