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Daredevil #8 review: time to meet the (mob) family

Chip Zdarsky continues to make Matt’s life hell without even putting him in a costume.

Here we are for part 3 of “No Devils, Only God” in the second arc of Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil.  This has been an interesting arc as Matt continues to not be in costume as Guardian Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, but still the action still finds its way into Matt’s life.  Last issue had some bombshells drop on us with Matt’s new work and interactions with people. This issue takes it a step further with Matt going to dinner, so let us grab a napkin and get our SPOILERS!

So right off the bat, I would like to acknowledge that the cover was done by Chip Zdarsky himself and I like the play on the last supper bit, but what really caught my eye was Detective Cole’s shadow.  On the bottom bit it looks as if Cole is giving Matt the lecture, but in the shadow I love how it looks like Daredevil is quieting down Cole.  Maybe it’s my imagination, but we will have to see how Cole and Matt/DD play out their relationship. 

The issue starts off at Mindy Libris’ bookstore where she is helping a customer when Matt stops in hoping to see her and lets her know the book gift for Foggy went over well. As they continue with their banter, Mindy calls Matt a “retail creep” which is just hilarious if you have ever worked in retail.  Mindy calls out that Matt is taking her customer service as flirting and as that callout happens they do continue to keep flirting.  Matt uses his heightened sense of smell to pick up the cooking from upstairs (Mindy owns the book shop and lives above it as well).  She mentions that her mother-in-law and husband are cooking and then proceeds to invite Matt to their family dinner; he accepts and is shocked.  I guess the temptation was just too much for Matt to walk away.

Marvel Comics

The possible love interest that is Mindy Libris is fun as right off the bat in her first appearance, issue #6 of this current volume, Matt can tell that she isn’t interested in him but that doesn’t stop him.  It seems that Matt is really interested in powerful women that will make the chase that much more, kind of like Kristen McDuffie from Mark Waid’s run.  It is nice as Matt isn’t going after super women or villainous vixens but real women in the real world, so they will have to be very strong considering Matt’s love life. 

The scene shifts to Mayor Wilson Fisk and Governor Todd Kettle duck hunting.  What is really nice about this scene is how frank the two men are to each other.  The Governor speaks to Fisk’s recent reform and abandonment of “seedy operations” in order to be a full time mayor for NY.  Fisk acknowledges the comment and replies that he wishes the Governor would do the same since he is being very slow with legislation; they begin to discuss legalization of recreational drugs and Fisk says that he could help the Governor with speeding up his plans to gather land for green housing.   

The Governor appreciates the help but also has to look at the bigger picture — since he is at the state level, he has to worry about nationwide issues and bigger companies.  Fisk then asks the Governor to get him an audience with the companies and the Governor laughs it off to which he begins to tell Fisk he was worried and had snipers on Fisk.  Fisk tells him he was aware because he had his own men on the snipers. 

Marvel Comics

This is big. It really makes you question Fisk’s claims of going legit — could he be looking at legalization as a good way to clean up streets?  Or is this Fisk bucking at a bigger market instead of just Hell’s Kitchen?  Could you imagine Fisk having a nationwide empire instead of just what he has?  This will be a subplot to watch in the upcoming issues.

Now we phase back to Matt heading over to Mindy’s for dinner.  Matt quickly discovers that Mindy has a lot of family living upstairs; Matt does his best meet and greet but when he meet’s Mindy’s husband, Tom, it starts to click who they really are. 

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

The dinner is very tense as Dante calls out Matt for not drinking any of the wine. Matt uses his job as a Parole Officer as an excuse, to which Tom judges Matt for blindly following the rules.  Finally Isabelle, Mindy’s mother-in-law, asks Matt if he knows who she is.  Matt begins to call out the alleged crimes of the Libris family; which is funny as Matt’s thoughts are telling him to shut up while he is doing this.  Finally, it gets heated enough that Dante is yelling at Matt. Isabelle calms Dante down and tells Matt that she is surprised that he came to dinner if he believes the allegations. 

Marvel Comics

As you can see from the graphic, Matt knows he was distracted, and I really like the panel response from Mindy when Matt continues on that he probably wouldn’t have come at all.  Why does Mindy look sad?  Is it that this dinner has become a nightmare trial, or does she actually harbor feelings towards Matt?  This will be interesting to see how it plays out further in the series. 

The dinner continues and they all discuss what they believe to be right and wrong. Matt makes some very strong points about delusions or righteousness, but then Isabelle begins to tell him that violence can be a strong solution.  Isabelle speaks of her mother Lavinia’s history and how she got into the “business.”  We discover how Lavinia was an Italian bookie’s wife, how she ran her own gambling room and gained the nickname “Heels.”  The history continues with us learning that she didn’t get along with the Irish and one night she was beaten, so she wanted to get revenge and offered out a pair of cement shoes…allegedly. 

Marvel Comics

I really like the interactions between Isabelle and Matt during this dinner. We all have our own sense of right and wrong, but the hard part is what we really tell ourselves.  We can find justification when we do wrong and place blame elsewhere, but Isabelle does a good job of getting Matt to stand his ground.  Once they come to a point of talking about quitting the “business,” Isabelle reveals that Fisk is out of crime as well, and of course Matt does not believe this for one second.  

Now if it wasn’t heated enough, with the dinner and discussion, the bullets will literally fly as they become victim of a drive by shooting.  Matt does his best to save everyone without calling too much attention to himself.  Dante does get shot but the bullet passes and Lavinia suffers a broken hip from falling out of her chair due to Matt trying to get her to the floor fast. 

Marvel Comics

As Matt is talking to the police, we read that a woman said he…something, but Matt denies it quickly, so the question is, which woman?  Who could notice that there is more to Matt Murdock and how will this complicate his life even more?  Speaking of complications, Detective Cole wants to talk with Matt as well.  Cole and Matt’s discussion steers to Daredevil and Cole reveals evidence of a DD mask that was at the scene of a shooting. Looks like the gunman who shot up dinner was stopped by the Owl and killed right there, but only we know of Owl’s involvement. 

More pieces are coming together as we see Fisk make a step towards higher crime, Owl get his hands dirty, and Matt becoming aware of Fisk and a new DD.  The issue was really fun and Lalit Kumar Sharma does a good job with keeping the action moving even though this is mostly a dinner. There were times where some of the characters seemed drawn differently, however — maybe it was just my eyes.  The closeups and the ways the scenes shift add to the drama and revelations.

Chip Zdarsky continues to make Matt’s life hell without even putting him in a costume, but we wouldn’t be reading about Matt’s adventures if everything was perfect.  This arc has been great for showing how Matt can use his powers to report crimes, his new position as a Parole Officer, and also that Matt can be his own worst enemy when it comes to relationships. 

Daredevil #8
Is it good?
A tense moment for the Man without Fear at the dinner table of one of Hell's Kitchen's notorious mafia families. Wilson Fisk makes a play for the bigger crime. The story progresses the overall arc.
Wilson Fisk is just as scary even after walking away from the "business"
Interesting turn in Matt Murdock's love life with witty banter
Intense dialogue on what is right and wrong
Some parts the characters looked a little off
9
Great
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