Daredevil #7 Review

by Charles Martin on June 19, 2019

Daredevil #7 Review
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciller: Lalit Kumar Sharma
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colourist: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In this issue, Wilson Fisk makes a big decision, Matt Murdock suffers a crisis of faith, and detective North gets released from the hospital. These three stories are woven together with a fine sense of pacing, but they don't really interconnect yet. And that's OK, because they're individually fantastic. 

Matt's story delivers some sterling soul-searching along with some surprisingly compelling theology. The other two storylines deliver an ample supply of plot development - and that's not really something Matt's story is lacking, either. 

Chip Zdarsky's script hops effortlessly across the story-threads, ensuring that each one gets a satisfying amount of attention. The overall reading experience feels rich and dense. Each storyline is distilled down to its "all killer no filler" essence, making this issue feel like it delivers much more than an issue's worth of material.

The most remarkable thing this issue does is make me feel that each scene's protagonist stars in a separate, noteworthy story. The superhero, the criminal, the cop; they're equally compelling. And they're all distinct, despite how smoothly the scenes transition between them. 

Mr. Zdarsky is performing some sort of scriptwriting sorcery to make these diverse stories satisfying both by themselves and in combination.

On the visual front, the art team is still aiming for a highly realistic mood. This art feels a lot more "real world" than the average superhero comic. Lalit Kumar Sharma struggles with some of the more challenging characters the script hands him, particularly Fisk and Owlsley. Sometimes, he sticks too close to the altar of realism. There's a Hammerhead cameo in here that suffers from a bad case of "today the role of Hammerhead will be played by generic white gangster #12b."

Mr. Sharma gets fair support from his collaborators. Java Tartaglia's colours do a superb job of establishing distinct moods for each scene. Inker Jay Leisten carefully brings out as much detail as possible from Mr. Sharma's pencils, making use of a range of different shading techniques to add depth in multiple textures.

Visually, everything comes together in the big gangster bank-vault meeting scene. Clever shadows, nuanced faces, moody green colours. It's a very mundane scene, and here the dissonance between the undeniably "comic-book-y" protagonist (Wilson Fisk in all his plus-sized "gorilla with alopecia" glory) and his more conventional-looking underlings works in the comic's favour.

"Mundane" fits this issue's art. It's not the first word that comes to mind when you think of superhero comics. In its best moments, though, this comic powerfully illustrates that "mundane" needn't be a bad thing. It's certainly appropriate for the mood of this arc, where all of the main characters are questioning their roles and considering less-absurd lifestyle alternatives.

Daredevil #7 delivers a particularly formidable example of Chip Zdarsky's insanely great scripting. Matt Murdock, Wilson Fisk, and detective North all shine as conflicted, deeply real people. The art takes a few tumbles but remains fully committed to supporting the script's focus on realism. This issue succeeds wildly at making its protagonists compelling as people rather than super-people.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
The theological scene with Sister Elizabeth means this is surely your local priest's favourite comic of the week.