by Spencer Irwin
This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
As much as I admire superheroes and the aspirational messages they’re designed to send, it is occasionally troubling that they solve 95% of their problems with violence. There are other ways, often better ways, to help people, and that’s something Matt Murdock has always understood. It only makes sense, then, that the big plan to “end crime” in NYC writer Charles Soule (a lawyer himself) has been teasing for the past few issues has nothing to do with super-powered spectacle, and everything to do with setting a legal precedent.
The plan — as explained by Soule and Goran Sudzuka in Daredevil 22 — is to establish that masked superheroes can provide “anonymous” testimony in court, allowing them to present evidence that cops can’t and more effectively prosecute criminals. It’s neither as “big” a plan as I imagined nor as foolproof as Matt seemed to be implying in earlier issues (criminals are still going to commit crimes and escape from jail), but I’m nonetheless impressed not only by its unexpected simplicity, but by how squarely it fits into Matt Murdock’s worldview. Daredevil is firmly a street-level hero, and Murdock a lawyer, so of course his big plan to end crime involves getting superheroes more entrenched in the legal process. That’s exactly the kind of cause Murdock would be lobbying for, and it’s what makes Soule’s perspective so refreshing.
Of course, the whole point of a superhero universe is that the law alone can’t stop criminals. Matt may be trying to expand the law’s role in fighting super-criminals, but superheroes are still a key, necessary element in the process.
Soule and Sudzuka demonstrate this first-hand when the Clip break into the court room. It’s a convenient way to prove Matt’s identity, but it also demonstrates why superheroes are necessary in the first place, and why they’ll remain so even if Matt’s plan actually works. That may be what’s got me most excited about this storyline — despite how it appeared last month, Matt’s plan isn’t necessarily doomed to failure. This precedent could actually stand without completely upending the Marvel Universe, and that opens up an entirely new door of storytelling possibilities — assuming Kingpin doesn’t bring it all crashing down, of course.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?