REVIEW: “Daredevil,” Issue #24

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Daredevil #24

Daredevil #24 is published by Marvel Comics. It is written by Chip Zdarsky.  Pencils are from Mike Hawthorne and the inks are by JP Mayer. Mattia Iacono remains the colourist and Clayton Cowles provides the letters.

Matt Murdock is on trial for manslaughter. Wanted over the death of a robber at the beginning of Zdarsky’s run, Matt Murdock turned himself in and must now be defended in a court of law, now able to enter the court in costume without revealing his identity. The last arc has focused on him preparing for a trial, while also featuring guest appearances from Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Elektra. After a long-overdue conversation with Spider-Man, Daredevil made his way back to his office, only to find a familiar face sat in his seat. Greeting him was Mike Murdock, Matt’s identical twin brother…

In this issue. Daredevil tries to process his brother’s involvement, having big arguments with both Foggy and Mike. Mike is not aware of the connection between his twin and the person he’s helping to represent. After that, Murdock takes some business calls, including Tony Stark to check on his plan to try and buy all of Hell’s Kitchen. And after that, it is time to travel to the courthouse.

It feels rewarding to finally be heading to the courthouse, as there has been a long built up to the event. The steady pace from the issues preceding this one continues into this one as well, but much ground is covered within the many scenes. The subplot that features the Stromwyns, nefarious business owners that are challenging Stark for ownership of Hell’s Kitchen, is fantastically written by Zdarsky. It is subtle and slow, limited to few scenes before the main plot of Daredevil’s upcoming trial takes centre stage.

This mostly hidden foe is important to the series as it is giving Murdock an incentive to stay out of prison, so he can oppose his powerful foes. As the car carrying Daredevil travels to the courthouse, this impending fear that something bad may happen sets in. The twists start from within that car ride, and very few of them could have been predicted.

As with every issue, Zdarsky uses Daredevil #24 to showcase how well he writes the title character. Daredevil’s emotional state has been changing dramatically, but he seems much more unstable right before the trial. After the numerous surprises and old faces, Foggy has sprung on his best friend, Matt is furious. He is angry and snappy and unsure. His captions aren’t much calmer either, frequently showing how anxious he is. And yet he is still kind and gracious and sweet to those that try to help him. The decisions he makes within this comic are completely in character and believable for who Matt Murdock is. 

Throwing Mike Murdock into the mix is a brilliant way to mess with the dynamics of the legal team. With Kirsten McDuffie, Matt’s ex-girlfriend, involved as well, it will surely lead to some conflict as events get worse. The dialogue, in both the word balloons and though captions, is well scripted. Each line feels authentic while also laced with drama. Daredevil’s thoughts are accurately presented like strings of consciousness, littered with “damn” or “oh no…” as bad turns to worse. While they accomplish this, they are also poetic and powerful.

Hawthorne is very effective at merging the absurdity of comic books and the grounded reality of a legal drama. This is most evident within the courtroom scene, as all of the characters are dressed up. Daredevil is in his costume, but he also wearing his smart three-piece suit. This brings a smirk to the reader even with the severity of the situation he is in. 

Several members of the superhero community make cameos within the background of the final scene, awaiting to know how the trial will affect not just Daredevil, but the rest of them as well. Characters like Steve Rogers, Peter Parker, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones all make small appearances, among others. They are all iconic and identifiable through how Hawthorne draws them. It also adds some fun to the scene to try and see how many of the gallery can be recognised.

Mayer’s impact on how the comic looks are just as important as the pencils and colours; his inks add many details to the panels. The facial expressions are awesome, subtly depicting emotions that are often hard to represent on-page. Daredevil forcing a smile or the hints at deep sadness both he and Kirsten have faced are evidence of this.  A small feature of this issue that was very enjoyable was the graffiti that was painted on the background on the first page. Scribbled on the walls are references to creators that have defined Daredevil. Hints at Chris Samnee, Frank Millar and Klaus Jansson can be seen, among a couple of other known names.

Iacono is consistently spectacular throughout his work on this run, and Daredevil #24 is no exception. The red of the Man Without Fear’s suit is often the most vibrant part of the panel, always delightful to see as he wears it. Iacono provides his own details to the page. While there are a lot of people wearing suits within the second half of the issue, they are all different colours and shades. This diversity is really helpful in allowing each character to stand out and look fantastic at the same time.

The letters by Caramagna works really well with the art style. The font is small but easily legible. There are very few sound effects as this issue is light on action, but the way the balloon sizes change adds dynamism to the conversations.

Daredevil #24 is a powerful issue. So much of the threads that Zdarsky has been unraveling are tied up, while more appear to keep the reader even more invested than they were in the last issue. The constant change in Daredevil’s thought processes and personality as his dilemma gets worse shows the writer’s ability to explore characters in depth. The art team is amazing and effortlessly switches between settings. Whether on top of a water tower or inside the courtroom, the panels are phenomenal. The decisions made by the characters at the end of the issue will have lasting consequences, and Matt Murdock’s ordeal is far from over.

Daredevil #24 is available where comics are sold.

Daredevil #24
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TL;DR

Daredevil #24 is a powerful issue. So much of the threads that Zdarsky has been unraveling are tied up, while more appear to keep the reader even more invested than they were in the last issue. The constant change in Daredevil’s thought processes and personality as his dilemma gets worse shows the writer’s ability to explore characters in depth.