Daredevil: Gang War #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Erica Schultz, pencils by Sergio Dávila, inks by Sean Parsons, colors by Ceci de le Cruz, and letters by Clayton Cowles. This is part of the Gang War crossover. Daredevil returns to Hell’s Kitchen, protecting it from the Heat all by herself. But a newcomer may be more of a nuisance than believed.
This issue takes place very soon after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #39, with a small part overlapping. This allows for those only reading this tie-in to follow with as much ease as possible. And instantly, Elektra is thrown into a fight. That fast pace is relentless and sets a bar for the rest of the issue. Initially, the fight is used as a background for exposition, catching readers up on the events in both Gang War and the Daredevil series. The newcomer is introduced early on, sparking another fight. Some comic issues are story-led, others are action-led. This one uses the action to tell the story.
Every battle is terrific and unique, with specific attributes to each one, all driving the story forward. The plot is connected to Gang War but exclusively focused on Hell’s Kitchen. The final page may not be a terrific surprise, but it elevates the jeopardy that Daredevil is in. All of the surprises are in the middle of the issue, from the identity of the new character to why other villains are getting involved and what their angles are.
Daredevil: Gang War #1 focuses on the title character, something that is both welcome and needed. Elektra in this role has been fantastic but has struggled due to sharing a book with Matt Murdock. Here, you can hear her thoughts. It is fascinating to see how she speaks to other heroes and what she thinks of them. Spider-Man makes a few appearances in this issue, who has never really trusted Elektra, and how Elektra now considers him is certainly different since she picked up the cowl. Likewise, how she responds to the introduction of the villains is very in character for her. She instantly respects them for their abilities and perhaps sees parts of herself in the fighter.
Later in the issue, another villain appears, demonstrating how Elektra can treat someone she doesn’t respect at all, with much more violence and intimidation. The one thing she never lacks is confidence or determination, never doubting that she is a better fighter. There is only one instance where that wavers, when the name Bullseye is mentioned, harking back to the worst parts of her life. The new character is enigmatic and so like Elektra, and that makes their battle so incredibly fun. Elektra has the experience, but the newcomer is out for blood.
The art is glorious. Daredevil’s costume is phenomenally illustrated, and she isn’t the only excellent design. There is a recap of when the heroes split up in Amazing Spider-Man, and all of the heroes present at the moment are recreated. The new unnamed villain is amazing. There’s a reason why Elektra thought she was someone’s replacement for herself, but the costume is unique.
The evolution in the fight scene is also impressive. Elektra’s movement is always fluid and fantastic to see, but what changes is how others respond. She can be either evenly matched or in a league of her own. Hell’s Kitchen at night is beautiful, and the artist shows a great understanding when it comes to the figures and their surroundings. Whether on a roof or in an emergency fire escape, the characters use these locations to their advantage, and it leads to awesome moves in the fights.
The colors are excellent. The red from Daredevil’s costume is simply stunning. There’s red on the villain as well, but it is much darker. That red makes the protagonist the most vibrant part of the issue. But this isn’t a comic that is shrouded in darkness, as the buildings have the streetlights shining on them and fill the book with life and beauty.
Daredevil: Gang War #1 is a fantastic tie-in. It isolates Daredevil whilst also making sure it’s an integral part of the whole event. If there is a character that could be left alone to protect a whole area of New York, it is the world’s deadliest assassin. Using Elektra as the Daredevil for this tie-in, as there are two, is interesting but the right level of cool. It cements her as part of the superhero community in New York and respects her in her new identity. The new character is fascinating and a perfect foil for Daredevil, and it will be great to find out more about her.
Daredevil: Gang War #1 is available where comics are sold.
Gang War: Daredevil #1
Daredevil: Gang War #1 is a fantastic tie-in. It isolates Daredevil whilst also making sure it’s an integral part of the whole event. If there is a character that could be left alone to protect a whole area of New York, it is the world’s deadliest assassin.