Daredevil #2 is a special issue published by Marvel, written by Chip Zdarsky, with art by Marco Checchetto, Rafael DeLatorre, Alex Maleev, Phil Noto, Chris Samnee, Paul Azaceta, Klaus Janson, Mike Hawthorne, John Romita Jr., and Scott Hanna, colours by Matthew Wilson, and letters by Clayton Cowles. A backup story is titled ‘The Hand,’ written by Ann Nocenti, art by Zdarsky, and letters by Cowles. There is also a one-page cartoon by Chris Giarusso. This is also the 650th Daredevil issue. In this issue, Daredevil reels from the explosion of a train that his girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie was on, whilst the old acquaintance taking credit for it claims to be his guardian angel.
With this special issue comes a really powerful main plot as the emotional weight of what happened sets in. But this devastation is purposefully interrupted by the introduction of Robert “Goldy” Goldman, who never seems to leave Daredevil alone. There is a constant mystery hovering over Daredevil #2, and the structure of the momentum is fascinating. In the present, Murdock is constantly trying to move, save survivors, or get answers. But the new antagonist often keeps him trapped or stuck.
The past is also a key part of the comic as Zdarsky rewrites a character into the very fabric of Daredevil’s history, something that no one was aware of, not even the main man himself. The exposition is heavy but integral and extremely gripping. After 650 issues of the Guardian Devil, many of his key moments are revisited. It leaves so many questions both for those reading and for Matt himself.
It’s important to note that the start of this run was heralding a new era as Murdock and Elektra dealt with the Hand. But alongside that comes doubts and uncertainties around the eras that have come before. The whole issue is unexpected, but the final part is another shocking revelation that is strangely full of more hope than the rest of the issue.
The characters in this issue are written magnificently. The emotional depth that Zdarsky is capable of is astounding. Daredevil is in deep shock, which makes his reactions to events slower. He is less capable of fighting, of exerting strength. And getting a full issue of this new character, Goldy, shows off a really unsettling new figure. What makes him so unnerving is his contradictory actions. He seems to idolise Daredevil, recognising his heroism and free-spirited nature. But he is also unphased around murder or despicable actions, taking credit for the train explosion with glee. He is incredibly unpredictable and difficult to pin down with regard to his personality, which makes me eager to discover more.
The art is where this comic is full of love and affection. The main artists of the book are present and do an excellent job, with Checchetto doing the present day and DeLatorre illustrating the flashback story. Both are amazing. Checchetto superbly depicts the devastation of the train crash, influencing chaos and confusion. It makes every event a blockbuster. The art style is very expressive and atmospheric. Heavy rain fills the next confrontation between Daredevil and Goldy. At times it is hard to see, but that is intentional, and it raises nerves as all of the surfaces become perilous. The intensity is high throughout, but Checchetto can also bring tenderness and quiet when it is needed.
DeLatorre’s art has cleaner lines, and the art style isn’t heavily centred on realism, but the high energy remains, and the young character designs are fantastic. The movement during fight scenes is enjoyable to see. But as the history of Daredevil is presented through a montage, showing key moments in his life, a jam session for guest artists begins. All of them have had huge influences either on past Daredevil comics or Marvel in general, as some of the most iconic artists return for a page.
The variety of styles is an excellent demonstration of creativity and shows how creators can be instantly recognised by their designs. Figures such as Maleev, Romita Jr, and Samnee are classic examples of this. This idea was clearly utilised because of the anniversary issue, but it helps within the story as well. With it being suggested that Goldy has been in Daredevil’s life throughout so many eras, the different art styles beautifully showcase this passage of time.
Wilson deserves a lot of credit for the colours. There are 11 different artists involved in this comic, and Wilson provides the colours for most of them (although Noto, Zdarsky, and Maleev likely added their own). Adapting from the page is awe-inspiring. The shades are particularly stunning when paired with Checchetto. This is due to the way the red of Daredevil’s suit is so rich and stands out even when it is raining. The lettering is also consistent throughout the issue, always easy to read.
Daredevil #2 is a gorgeous celebration of 650 issues for the character. Within it is a story that shockingly tries to alter history whilst paying homage to it. And bringing so many artistic masters that have helped make the character beloved return even for a page left a tear in my eye. It may not be filled with supporting cast members or rogues gallery, but it glorifies one of Marvel’s greatest heroes.
Daredevil #2 is available where comics are sold.
Daredevil #2 is a gorgeous celebration of 650 issues for the character. Within it is a story that shockingly tries to alter history whilst paying homage to it. It may not be filled with supporting cast members or rogues gallery, but it glorifies one of Marvel’s greatest heroes.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”