Review: Matt Murdock Goes To Hell And Back In ‘Daredevil’ #20

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

To say Matt Murdock has had a rough life is an understatement. However, the latest volume of Daredevil has shown how far things could fall apart for Matt, while not changing the core of the man.

This creative team has taken the fact that Matt Murdock is really just a human being and escalated his superheroic life from there. We saw Daredevil retire. We saw him reluctantly get back into a costume. We saw him fail and make mistakes, some of which may have cost someone their life. But in this issue, we see Matt embrace all of that, and it might be the best issue that Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Mattia Iacono, and Clayton Cowles have done yet.

A gang of hired thugs are tearing through Hells Kitchen, while the small neighborhood has been isolated from the rest of the city. Matt Murdock has put his mask back on for the first time in months, inspired by the ordinary citizens who took up the mantle in his absence. But can he survive a team of some of the deadliest villains he’s ever faced?

I’ve mentioned in other reviews that all-action issues can be hard to review. However, Zdarsky packs this issue with so much detail that it’s an incredibly rich read. Yes, it’s a massive punch-em-up (and one of the best you’ll read), but we get an incredibly creative use of Stilt-Man, we get Matt believably taking down the Rhino, we get an incredibly unexpected team-up… It’s a very rich read full of payoff for anyone who’s been following this run. The only letdown for me was the Typhoid Mary reveal, which felt kind of out of left field and was barely a blip in this fantastic story.

Checchetto has been doing career best work on this run, and he really shows off here. He gives Stilt-Man a grand sense of scale and height, and makes it clear that it’s WORK for Matt to get to his level and take him down. He depicts the crowd as a diverse group, with distinct races and body type throughout. And his Matt Murdock is a fiercely determined warrior, a man driven by his moral code to protect others at all costs. Add Iacono’s colors, which cast a hellish glow over the entire story, and it looks fantastic.

Matt Murdock has been through the wringer for the last 20 issues. Now I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Daredevil #20 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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