Daredevil #14 is published by Marvel, written by Chip Zdarsky, art by Marco Checchetto, colors by Matt Wilson and letters by Clayton Cowles. This is the last in the run by this creative team. After Matt Murdock’s sacrifice in the previous issue, those that loved him come to terms with losing him.
This comic has a lot to do. There are over four years of story arcs, long-standing threads and epic wars to conclude. This issue doesn’t want to fight though. That’s not what it’s here for. It’s to celebrate and reflect, on a storyline even more so than the character. Many of those stories are revisited. They aren’t necessarily concluded, but Zdarsky proved that they aren’t forgotten about.
Characters are checked in on, and the stories are seated in a way that they can be continued by the next set of creators who pick up this iconic character. Zdarsky hasn’t just been writing a Daredevil comic; he’s been shaping Hell’s Kitchen, New York, and the Marvel Universe as a whole. The consequences of this book are felt everywhere. This issue is pretty. It’s sad, but not in a sobbing or distraught way.
The sadness is deep but from a place of love and purity. There is a guest star that was a surprise. It’s not a character that is often considered as one of Daredevil’s superhero friends, but it was really fitting and leads to an intelligent and thoughtful discussion.
The dialogue has always been Zdarsky’s strength, and that is maintained right until the words “the end”. He is an extraordinarily poetic and eloquent writer, but there is a true voice underneath those words. They are speeches with meaning and emotion. This issue is quieter than others, but it is so fitting. The whole second series has been loud. It’s been filled with venom and distrust and fury, and characters being broken beyond belief. So it is refreshing to see them get the chance to talk. But it isn’t as if the characters aren’t doing anything.
Foggy and Cole are plotting their next moves against the Stromwyns, whilst Elektra pays a visit to Butch Fisk. Elektra’s ascension to becoming Daredevil is perhaps the single most lasting memory of this run, and I am extremely glad that the mantle wasn’t taken away from her at the end of the series purely because the creative team swaps over.
The art is simply sensational. Checchetto’s work is a masterpiece, and every panel is perfect. The city and the buildings are tall and imposing, really generating a sense of place. The characters are stunningly illustrated, with some of the best poses I’ve ever seen, especially from Elektra in that fantastic costume. Those moments of calm are just as gorgeous and evocative as the fight scenes. The guest star is out of costume but instantly recognizable. Of course, the comic ends in a church, it could not conclude anywhere else, but the majesty of the building is clear to see. Checchetto brings comics to life, and they feel real.
The colors are phenomenal. Wilson has crafted a natural, authentic palette that presents Hell’s Kitchen as a normal, breathing place until you need a little spark and energy. Then the red seeps in. Cowles has been an extremely underrated member of this creative team here from the start. But there has never been an issue with lettering and the SFX has always been brilliant.
Daredevil #14 is a stunning end to one of the greatest-ever creative team runs. It’s difficult for modern comics to fit alongside those classic runs and tales that formed the foundation of everything that came after. But what Zdarsky, Checchetto, Wilson, Cowles, and a whole host of other collaborators have achieved is legendary.
This series went from excelling on its own to being the pacesetter for Marvel for a brief period. An event span out of this series. Jason Aaron and his Punisher run ran in tandem with it. The comic has been heartfelt, hardcore, heartbreaking, and everything in between. The battles have gone on for multiple issues, like a manga. Every guest star has been meaningful, changing the story completely. And every issue has been achingly beautiful. I don’t recommend letter pages often, but the one at the conclusion of this issue just demonstrates the love and pride that the team had for this comic as they should.
Daredevil #14 is available where comics are sold
Daredevil #14 is a stunning end to one of the greatest-ever creative team runs. It’s difficult for modern comics to fit alongside those classic runs and tales that formed the foundation of everything that came after.