REVIEW: ‘Daredevil,’ Issue #31

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Daredevil #31 - But Why Tho

Daredevil #31 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by Chip Zdarsky. The penciller is Mike Hawthorne and the inker is Adriano Di Benedetto. The colourist is Marcio Menyz. Clayton Cowles is the letterer.

Daredevil has been jailed for manslaughter, placing him in a prison full of those that want to kill him. One of those seeking to end his life is the warden, who had Murdock’s food poisoned. He was then ambushed by a gang of fellow inmates and stabbed. Recovering, an FBI agent offered Daredevil the role of an informant, looking into wrongful deaths inside the institution, which he upsets.

Elektra becomes Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, protecting it in her ex’s absence. She brings a small child, Alice, under her wing after failing to save her mother. Starting to train her goes wrong after Alice shoots and kills a member of the Hand.  Meanwhile, Mayor Kingpin has been keeping Bullseye trapped in a lab for weeks, but receives a phone call: the assassin has escaped, and is longing for blood.

Within this issue, Daredevil begins his new mission within the prison. Investigating the wrongdoing inside the jail. His one friend Marcus attempts to offer words of advice, but Daredevil’s refusal puts them at odds. This confrontation sends him towards the warden’s office, the man who tried to kill him. In the city, an angry Elektra is on the warpath. She hunts for Izzy Libris, who is responsible for bringing the Hand back to the Kitchen. And Kingpin is desperate to recapture Bullseye as the killer already begins his massacre.

The beginning of a new arc, Daredevil #31 moves at an incredibly quick pace. Each of the plot lines, powered by the central characters of the story, as all have a common goal. Everyone is looking for something. This moves the different threads forward all at the same time. There is a lot going on in this series, but Zdarsky has maintained the readers’ interest throughout the run. The comic is full of suspense and multiple surprises. 

The presence of Bullseye increases the danger for all three characters in a way that no other villain can. Not only is he utterly remorseless and terrifying, but his connection to Elektra, Kingpin, and Daredevil makes him a fantastic addition to the story. Bullseye adores killing, with the death toll rising in this issue, and it is clear that not every character will survive this arc.

All three of the main characters have changed in regards to their composure inside the issue, resulting in some terrific confrontation. Matt didn’t seem to have a purpose since his imprisonment, resulting in him being despondent and even calm. But the attempts on his life and mission he has been given from outside have given him a purpose. With other people dying inside the jail, this is something he cannot allow. Elektra is angry at herself for letting Alice down. Natchios is a force of nature in Daredevil #31, showing off her ferocity and power. 

And as for Fisk, his change is into one of fear. He is a reprehensible man, but New York is his home and his ward. And he has just unleashed a monster into the city he loves. One that wants him dead as well. The strength of the characters is one of the most powerful aspects of Zdarsky’s run, as all of them have weight and depth.

The art takes a small change in this issue. Hawthorne and Di Benedetto illustrate the whole issue as opposed to parts of it. They do this perfectly, creating stunning pages. Each character looks incredible, with some superb facial expressions adding personality. Elektra’s composure shifts between two panels, going from sadness to rage. The menace that suddenly radiates from her sends shivers down the spine. But the issue truly shines through its fights scenes. Each of the main characters has a moment where they display their physicality, and each of them is presented differently. Hawthorne’s style works brilliantly to demonstrate this. 

Kingpin is stationary during his scene, but his strength seems to radiate from him. Every move that Matt makes is methodical. The inks by Di Benedetto are good at showing this fluidity through motion lines. As for Elektra, her rage follows her on the page, matched with speed, ferocity, and elegance. In one scene, Daredevil utters a smile, but the rendering of it makes it creepy and terrifying.

The colours are terrific by Menyz. An interesting factor of the colours is that they are sometimes used to represent impact. When Kingpin grabs a person violently, the skin darkens and deforms around his fingers. This insinuates touch in a way that also brings depth. The red of Elektra’s suit and the orange of Matt’s uniform are rich in their shade without being overpowering.

The lettering by Cowles has been consistently great throughout his tenure on this serious and continues to be in this issue. The small font of the captions allows the brilliant dialogue to be read easily without taking up too much room in the panels.

Daredevil #31 is a phenomenal start to a new arc. With a high tempo and thrilling story, the series shows no sign of slowing down. Characters stride into the comic with a tremendous presence. There are no weak voices, no forgettable faces. The art is sensational and keeps the intense energy going from start to finish. Elektra and Daredevil’s greatest enemy is loose, and the possibilities of what that can mean are hair-raising.

Daredevil #31 is available where comics are sold.

Daredevil #31
5

TL;DR

Daredevil #31 is a phenomenal start to a new arc. With a high tempo and thrilling story, the series shows no sign of slowing down. Characters stride into the comic with a tremendous presence. There are no weak voices, no forgettable faces. The art is sensational and keeps the intense energy going from start to finish. Elektra and Daredevil’s greatest enemy is loose, and the possibilities of what that can mean are hair-raising.