Daredevil #9 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Chip Zdarsky, art by Manuel Garcia, colors by Matthew Wilson, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Daredevil and the Fist fought the Hand and won, taking their precious Talisman and rescuing the hostages that were under threat. But in the aftermath, Matt’s safe haven is in danger of collapsing, both from within and without.
What initially seems like a hangover issue turns into one of the most important of the run so far. The characters are weakened and recovering, with the mood low even after the victory in battle. But Zdarsky doesn’t ever forget about a single plot thread or character, and in his stories, the chickens always come home to roost. Figures have been waiting to strike for a while, but many are moving at the same time now. An opening builds the dread, and the rest of the comic is just waiting for the danger to come. The rest of the issue is buttering up Daredevil’s team for the perfect time to strike, as it slowly falls apart. Whilst these situations are powerful scenes, showing the group tear itself into pieces, it could be argued to have happened too soon after the last issue and the win. The progression doesn’t quite feel natural. Then comes the sucker punch, and the last part of this comic is truly devastating. From the initial inciting incident it only gets more heartbreaking, whilst being gorgeously written.
The characters and the dialogue are intense and stressful. The escalation within the conversations is extreme and surprising. To start there is Daredevil’s recent gospel speech, full of sermons and righteousness. But the anger very quickly enters and is furiously loud. Some characters that have been important to the story so far change their direction, possibly leaving altogether. But Daredevil’s complete meltdown was very unexpected so quickly, although it is extremely palpable and effective. Other figures make their return, with a quiet yet terrifying sense of purpose. The encirclement of the threats against Daredevil may have flown under the radar for a while, but it is impossible to ignore now.
The art is magnificent, Garcia stepping up to the plat superbly. Within his style, figures can look especially menacing. The rage in their faces is increase with twisted proportions and contorted expressions. In a heavy blizzard, I found myself scanning the murky backgrounds because of what could be coming. When awful things do happen, The execution of the panels is both brilliant and traumatic, with the damage to Daredevil’s face quite creepy. Perhaps it is the way that characters’ eyes are often occluded by shadows that adds a haunting quality to their designs.
The colours can also be influential in making the book so atmospheric. The red on both Daredevils is stunning in how rich it is and the blending between the shades, with the light pouring through the windows. But throughout Daredevil #9, it is the background colors that made my jaw drop. The mixture of the tones is freaky yet strangely beautiful, swirling, and ever-changing. As a letter, Cowles is almost unsurmountable.
Daredevil #9 is a disturbing book that can’t look away from. After the victory in the last issue, this is a horrifying comedown. The sudden nature of how it unfolds, from hit to hit from the very start of the issue, is what makes it so intoxicating and intense. And ever from the beginning, I don’t think anyone could have seen how the last half of the issue pushes Daredevil even further. The art is both devastating and yet excellent. Zdarsky’s storytelling and using unfinished business to always bring it back at unexpected moments gives his book a power that can shatter hearts.
Daredevil #9 is available where comics are sold.
Daredevil #9 is a disturbing book that can’t look away from.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”