Kingpin’s Trumpocracy in Daredevil 598

by Michael DeLaney

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

Nick Spencer had his take on Trump’s America in Secret Empire and now Charles Soule holds the mirror up to our current national nightmare in Daredevil 598. Wilson Fisk is the mayor of New York City and like Trump, he’s planning on making America great again…for the bad guys. Continue reading

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Fisk Keeps His Enemies Closer in Daredevil 597

by Drew Baumgartner

Daredevil 597

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

What rock did these morally pure creatures crawl out from under and, more important, how do you go from innocent millipede to White House staffer without becoming soiled or disillusioned by the dirty realities of politics along the way?

Heather Havrilesky, “Will The West Wing go south?”

There are a lot of things to nitpick about The West Wing, between its heavy-handed Sorkin-isms and its penchant for too-saccharine resolutions, but the one criticism that I can’t stand is that it isn’t realistic enough. Of course it isn’t — it’s fiction. No, these aren’t how actual White House staffers would talk about issues, because how they actually talk would be totally impenetrable to the audience the show is actually made for. Tone-deaf critics would dismiss this as dumbing-down, but the alternative is a highly accurate but totally unwatchable bore. Policy wonks may lament that there’s no television truly tailored to their niche interests, but the rest of us want something, you know, entertaining. Moreover, we understand that in order to generate drama, characters in fiction may need to speak and act in ways that real people wouldn’t (hint: real people don’t only sit on one half of a dining room table or speak in iambic pentameter). Which means the hero sometimes has to be naive in their hopes and dreams — if they know they’re going to crash on the rocks, they might just call the whole adventure off, which doesn’t leave us with much of a story. Such is the case with Matt’s attempt to keep a watchful eye on Fisk. Continue reading

The Limits to Resistance Daredevil 596

by Patrick Ehlers

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

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, I took comfort in some of the facts of the matter. For starters, while he won the electoral college, he actually lost the popular vote by more than a million votes. This wasn’t some nation-wide referendum on misogyny and white supremacy, but a statistical loophole exploited by opportunists and trolls. Trump may be in office, but with a historically low approval rating, he is not representing the interests of the people he was elected to lead. But this is a cold fucking comfort. A man in power, even if a widely reviled one, still commands the resources and the authority to make some terrible stuff happen. Wilson Fisk, in his mayoral victory, is an obvious and easy stand-in for Trump, and while Daredevil may be confident that the people of New York City aren’t actually behind Fisk, there’s no denying that the office itself has power. Continue reading

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.  Continue reading

The Universal Immigrant Experience in Daredevil 28

by Taylor Anderson

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

For a long time, America celebrated the fact that it was a country made up of immigrants. People pointed to visionaries such as Albert Einstein, John Muir, and Hakeem Olajuwon to show that immigrants not only contributed to our country, but led it. However, the narrative around immigrants has changed lately, and, like all things these days, has been politicized. The result of this is that America has forgotten the value of immigrants, and with that has forgotten to care about them as human beings. This, in turn, is what drives Sam Chung to betray Daredevil, but it’s also why it’s so easy to understand why he did it. Continue reading

Killing Hope in Daredevil 27

by Drew Baumgartner

Daredevil 27

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

When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back.
Well I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track.
If you walk with Jesus
He’s gonna save your soul.
You gotta keep the devil
Way down in the hole.

Tom Waits, Way Down in the Hole

There are plenty of great morals to learn from The Wire, but one that left the biggest impression on me is the thought that many Americans simply don’t have access to the American Dream. Each successive series does a great job of detailing why both policing and education fail to end the drug trade, why politics fail to fix the police or the schools, and why the press fails to fix politics. It’s a disheartening lesson to learn, for sure, but it’s one we must reconcile with before we can mount any meaningful solutions. Unfortunately, many American’s are still too enamored of the old narrative of the American Dream — the kind represented by Matt Murdock’s “orphaned fighter’s son to high-powered attorney” origin — to accept that not everyone has access to that dream. Continue reading

Revisiting the Past While Also Moving Forward in Daredevil 26

by Spencer Irwin

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

Charles Soule’s run on Daredevil began with a bit of a “back to basics” approach, a return to the character’s traditionally dark tone after Waid and Samnee’s more optimistic run. Still, Soule wasn’t content to just do the same old things with Daredevil; Matt underwent significant changes, including adopting a new costume and sidekick, fighting new villains, and losing all of his old support systems. The last few storylines, though, took a step away from those changes — one was a straight-up flashback tale, and the other a Kingpin story. Daredevil 26 finds Soule reconciling all these various takes, moving forward with the status quo changes brought about by issue 25 while also revisiting concepts from both earlier in this run and long before it. Continue reading

Fist Fights and Legal Fights in Daredevil 25

by Michael DeLaney

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

I’m about to blow your mind: superhero comics are full of fist fights. Crazy, I know. But with every punch or kick traded, there’s typically opposing ideologies. In Daredevil 25, Charles Soule and Alec Morgan match the high stakes of Matt Murdock’s Supreme Court case with the trappings of superhero fisticuffs. Continue reading

The Power of Friendship (and smoke) in Daredevil 24

by Michael DeLaney

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

How long can you stay mad at your best friend? In the case of Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, it took about 20+ issues. In Daredevil 24 Charles Soule and Alec Morgan finally begin to mend their broken relationship as Matt continues his grand quest to “legalize superheroing.” That, and pick on poor Tombstone. Continue reading

Proceeding(s) Forward in Daredevil 23

by Ryan Desaulniers

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

A good villain pulls a particular thread of a hero’s core fabric; a great villain can challenge a hero on multiple levels — as Wilson Fisk so often has for Matt Murdock over the years. The Kingpin’s inclusion in the current DD arc, “Supreme,” struck me as a solid idea when it was dangled as last issue’s final reveal, but this issue shows that this great villain brings with him a multi-pronged approach to opposing Murdock which helps to progress this story on many levels. Continue reading