Daredevil is visited by a loathsome enemy from his past. One who inflicted upon him untold levels of grievous pain. One who brought him to the brink of despondency. One who made his life a living hell. One who… well, you get the point.
If you thought I was talking about Bullseye or Kingpin, then you’re dead wrong. And by “inflicting untold levels of grievous pain” I meant name-calling, rubbing his face in the sand, and giving the poor schmoe ass-mangling wedgies. That’s right… it’s Daredevil’s childhood bully: and Daredevil is the only one who can help him.
Daredevil Vol. 3 #28 (Marvel)
Matt Murdock pays a visit to lawyer partner and best friend Foggy Nelson in the hospital. Poor dude’s all bedded up on account of the chemotherapy. Despite the somberness of the setting, writer Mark Waid exhibits his always clever attention to detail by showing exactly how Daredevil, what with hyper-senses and all, would react to his good pal being pumped full of cytotoxic drugs:
By puking his damn brains out.
Back at the office, Matt Murdock has a visitor. Someone who really dragged him through a world of shit as a kid:
Love the Raymond Chandler-esque inner monologue by Daredevil as soon as he walks in and gets a whiff of his bully.
His childhood bully, Nate Hackett. Sure, this type of story has been done before, but Waid puts an interesting spin on things by making this bully a sympathetic figure. Instead of just, “Yeah, I beat your ass at the bus stop because Daddy didn’t love me” we come to find that… maybe Matt Murdock actually was a little bit of an annoying know-it-all as a kid. Sure, he didn’t deserve to get persecuted as a result — but I’m sure we’ve all acted out back when we were younger in ways that make us wish we could go back and make amends (whether we were being bullied or doing the bullying) and those were exactly the sort of feelings this exchange between Murdock and Hackett incited in me.
Just like a good episode of old school Nickelodeon cartoon Doug — we get to see both the protagonist’s and antagonist’s viewpoints.
Turns out ol’ Nate needs Matt to clear his name after a false arrest because all he wants is to continue ambling down the virtuous path in life. Oh yeah, he also ran with some dudes in a racist hate-group called the Sons of the Serpent, but Nate swears that he resigned from those hombres long before they started doing all their unscrupulous stuff.
Does Matt believe him? Will he take on the case of his former tormentor? I won’t say here and spoil all the fun (unless you mouseover the blacked out text of course), but let’s just say that you’ll be blown away by the actual court scene. Well, maybe not as much as a certain somebody… but, well — just go read it and find out.
- Solid, crisp art by Javier Rodriguez.
- Clever, subtle displays of Daredevil’s powers.
- Nice flashbacks of Daredevil’s father and also his bully.
- A little devoid of action.
Is It Good?
A fine issue front to back. A little devoid of action, but plenty of backstory and characterization to keep you captivated. Next issue should shed answer some of the myriad questions that are sure to be conjured up from reading this one. Get it.