by Spencer Irwin
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, the media has been a constant bombardment of scandals, missteps, and outrage. Every new sound bite is accused of being a “distraction” from something more important, but the truth is that almost every one of these stories is important (and horrifying) in their own way. Still, so many stories flying around at once can be absolutely overwhelming — nobody can get their bearings straight or agree on which scandals to tackle first. There’s just no way to focus in a world absolutely overwhelmed by Trumpian horrors, which is exactly what Matt Murdock is discovering in Daredevil 599, where newly-elected Mayor Fisk is just as divisive, dangerous, and all-encompassing a figure.
Charles Soule and Ron Garney turn this loss of focus literal (as all the best comics do) as the issue opens, showing us Daredevil attempting to use his enhanced senses to find the black hole of sensory data that is Muse. It doesn’t work, because Matt can’t focus on anything but Fisk.
Fisk repeatedly cuts through the static, intruding upon Matt’s thoughts no matter what he tries to do, no matter how hard he tries to shut him out.
It’s hard to exactly call Fisk a distraction when he’s so dangerous — he absolutely needs to be dealt with — but much like Trump, his omnipresence makes it hard to even figure out where to begin prioritizing. Fisk is a threat, but so is Muse, and these competing threats put Daredevil and Blindspot at odds over who to stop first. I’m inclined to agree with Blindspot — Muse is a more pressing threat, if only because he’s far less predictable — but I can understand why Matt might focus more on Fisk, if only because he’s everywhere, all the time. He drowns out all other threats, arguments, and perspectives through sheer exposure, which is part of what makes him so dangerous.
Of course, Fisk is a distraction in other ways as well.
The divide between Matt and Sam here echoes the divide between various factions on the left. Matt thinks the problem is Fisk, while Sam knows that the problem lies much deeper than that. Fisk, and Trump, are far worse than the politicians that came before, but previous mayors and presidents were just as corrupt and dangerous for people like Sam (immigrants, POC, etc.). Fisk/Trump distract from those more systematic offenses by making people think that once they’re gone things will be good and back to “normal” — as if normal was ever that great — and that there’s no more need to fight. That’s certainly not true. There’s always work to be done, and we can’t let anyone, no matter how monstrous, distract us from that.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?