Capturing the Tension of a Post-Trump America in Daredevil 595

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The Kingpin, a literal supervillain, has just been elected the Mayor of Marvel’s New York City. If you can read that sentence and not immediately see parallels to the United States’ current political climate, then you’re clearly far blinder than Matt Murdock. In Daredevil 595, Charles Soule and Stefano Landini tap into the confusion, shock, fear, and paranoia that have come to define the last year for so many of us. 

Matt returns to NYC smack-dab in the middle of Fisk’s inauguration celebration. Matt isn’t just shocked that Fisk’s become Mayor, but that he seemingly did so legally — that the people of NYC actually voted for him. That’s the knowledge that Fisk uses to taunt Daredevil late in the issue — that the city chose him to be their savior, not Daredevil or any of the heroes — and it’s the idea behind much of this issue’s feelings of dread and hopelessness.

I found this to be the most effective moment in the issue. The idea that Ellen, somebody Matt knows and trusts and works with every day, may have voted for a monster like Fisk rattles him. It’s a question I think many of us have grappled with since Trump’s election. What if people I love and care about voted for him? Is this seemingly nice person I just met actually a hateful bigot, or at the absolute least supporting one? I’ve got to admit, I still get nervous every time I see someone in a red baseball cap — the terrifying revelation that so many seemingly normal people around us support hate is hard to live with, and has been a constant part of life in Post-Trump America.

Ellen’s complaint about her car and just wanting normalcy also echoes the many Trump voters who backed him looking for economic relief, not acknowledging or caring about the fact that he’s a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic, wholly unqualified abuser. Ellen’s anxiety and complaints aren’t without warrant, but like so many Trump supporters, she wants relief so badly that she not only ignores all of Fisk’s bad qualities, but the fact that he’s not actually going to be all that much help to her. Trump’s economic policies hurt his supporters just as bad, and often worse, as they do non-supporters. Fisk is a crime boss who sees his new office as a “win,” a chance to finally rule the city. He may think he wants what’s best for the city, but that really means what’s best for him. Even his policy to rid the city of vigilantes is self-serving; it leaves the city open for him to pillage, but also leaves it susceptible to supervillain or alien attack. Trump and Fisk’s promises are a facade, but one that many people are all too willing to buy into.

Daredevil ends the issue more determined than ever to take Kingpin down. For so many of us who have spent the past year desperately fighting not just for our own survival, but the survival of others, Daredevil’s resolute resistance and heroism is a powerful inspiration. We can’t give up, even when things seem at their worst.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?


One comment on “Capturing the Tension of a Post-Trump America in Daredevil 595

  1. I kind of want this to be a more difficult comic – I want to see a story where Fisk makes some positive changes, which makes it harder to know what to do about him. I don’t want him full heel, I want some nuance. I trust Soule will do something interesting here.

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