Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, has a story to tell. Though he says it is part confession, Daredevil #17 starts off with our man without fear sitting in the confession booth relaying everything that has happened in his life to a priest.
Murdock revealed his true identity to the world as the Hell’s Kitchen crime fighter, and his life has never been the same. Going from anonymity to fame, Murdock can no longer practice law, and though he has made millions from selling his story, he is not a happy man.
In fact, Matt Murdock is depressed and regretting having ever revealed his secret identity. He is so desperate to somehow reverse his fortune that he has sought out advice from other super heroes like Doctor Strange and even the Silver Surfer, hoping they could somehow erase everyone’s memory. No one can help, except for some little purple children who show up at his door one night.
A super hero who isn’t happy is not a new or original story line for comics. That being said, Daredevil #17 is a very interesting comic. You see, Murdock is desperate to regain his anonymity, and at the start of the comic, the priest has no idea who he is, and neither does anyone else. So how on Earth does Murdock erase the world’s memory that he is Daredevil. Writer Charles Soule has done an excellent job in teasing us. We know Murdock does it, but how it’s done is what we will have to read on to learn.
It was nice to see a comic that didn’t focus on a death, or some crime, but how the hero reacts when the world knows their identity. Murdock makes an excellent point about how others have balance in their lives. Tony Stark is Iron Man but he always has his company. Bruce Banner may turn into the Hulk, but he has his research which gives him solace to his rage. Murdock was a lawyer. He fought to help those in the courts and on the streets as Daredevil. Since he can no longer practice law, he has no balance. He doesn’t just want to be Daredevil, but that is what the world expects from him now.
Artists Ron Garney and Matt Milla introduce the most powerful image of Murdock’s reflection about balance with a simple but deadly portrait of Frank Castle, The Punisher. Soule sets up the comparison with this text, “Perspective is important. Go in too deep . . . you might never come out.” Garney and Milla support this with a portrait of The Punisher with guns blazing. Matt Murdock is worried about what might happen.
My one and only complaint about this comic is this, why did the solution to Murdock’s problem have to come in the form of creepy little children? Murdock should know that you can’t trust mysterious strangers who offer solutions to impossible problems, especially when they look like the kids from Children of the Corn. When you’re desperate you will accept help from anyone. I look forward to seeing how this story plays out, but I could do without the creepy children.