A lot of people feel like Marvel’s comics have been a pretty big let down of late. There’s been a few bright spots here and there but for the most part people just haven’t been liking some of the new directions. Personally, I feel like it has been a pretty up and down ride since 2015’s Secret Wars event. However, there have been a few Marvel titles that I feel have been thoroughly enjoyable and consistently good. One of those titles has been Daredevil.
The current creative team on Daredevil, Charles Soule (writer), Ron Garney (artist), and Matt Milla (colors) is incredibly solid. They are bringing a very gritty feel to the best of Marvel’s “street level heroes.” If you haven’t been keeping up with Daredevil, I am about to delve into spoiler territory so you may not want to read any further. If you do wish to continue, read on at your own risk. You’ve been warned.
Lately, Daredevil has had a HUGE issue. How huge? Try, Wilson Fisk is the Mayor on for size. If that wasn’t enough, Fisk has taken a very public stance against vigilantes. In fact, he’s outlawed them. To make matters worse for our dear Matt Murdock, Fisk has asked Matt to be his deputy mayor. Why? Because Fisk wants to keep Matt hard at work on what amounts to a bunch of menial tasks while Fisk unites his underworld friends for his latest scheme. He also doesn’t want Matt working against him in his stance against the masked heroes of New York City.
While trying to deal with Fisk and the police chasing him, Daredevil also is having to deal with the twisted Inhuman artist, Muse. Muse is a psychotic murderer that uses his victims (and their entrails) as art. Daredevil subdued him once before but Muse was able to escape his Inhuman jailers and has started a new series of paintings. At first they were harmless. Muse wasn’t murdering people and using their blood or bodies as part of the pieces. No, instead he seemed to be taking a stand against Fisk’s outlawing of the vigilantes. He started painting murals all over New York City in seeming support of the heroes. He even went so far as to paint a huge mural of Daredevil on the building across the street from Fisk’s government office building.
However, Muse got back to his murderous ways and ended up murdering six police officers. This was after Matt asked Fisk not to send the police after Muse and to let the superhero community handle it. Fisk, of course, didn’t listen and used the Muse murders to solidify his agenda against the heroes. You see, Muse actually murdered the police in front of a mural supporting Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Fisk spun the murders by stating that Castle himself murdered those officers. While Matt certainly doesn’t condone Castle’s methods, he knows damn well that Castle wouldn’t murder innocent police officers.
Daredevil #599 picks up after the murder of the police officers. Daredevil is trying to clear his mind and focus solely on finding Muse. He just can’t seem to get rid of the thoughts of Wilson Fisk though. No matter how hard he tries he cannot narrow his focus down to just locating Muse. Soule and Garney do a great job of showing how effective Fisk’s mind games are proving to be. There is a longer game afoot for Fisk though and Daredevil has a plan to take him down. He needs to find Muse first before he can murder anyone else.
One of the biggest reasons for Matt to try and find Muse quickly is for the benefit of Matt’s former protege, Blindspot. Blindspot had been taken by Muse previously and was about to be used as another one of Muse’s art pieces before Daredevil caught him. Before Daredevil could take him down, Muse took Blindspot’s eyes. Since then, Blindspot has been insecure and has developed a disdain for Daredevil and his methods. Blindspot has gotten his eyes back thanks to some Hand mysticism but he hasn’t forgotten what Muse did to him. He’s lost patience with waiting for Matt to try and find Muse and decides he’s going to try to find him on his own.
Soule does a terrific job of really setting up the tension in this issue. It is made crystal clear that both Fisk and Daredevil are finding Muse most troublesome. It is putting a strain on both men and threatens both men’s long term plans. We also see the tension between Daredevil and Blindspot. Blindspot is still angry over what happened to him and his youth and inexperience may cost him his life if Daredevil can’t get to Muse first.
Garney’s artwork brings the proper gritty tone to Daredevil and Milla’s colors do a great job of accentuating it. This is a dark time for our hero and the artwork is reflective of that. They do a fantastic job of selling Soule’s storytelling and really getting across the point of how badly Fisk is messing with Matt/Daredevil’s head.
The end of the book sets up what will surely be a huge moment for the series in issue #600 next month. It leaves you wanting more and leaves us with a couple of compelling cliff hangers. I, for one, can’t wait to see how things play out.
I highly recommend checking out Daredevil #599.
Written by Mike Ficklin (vaderSW1)