Author Charles Soule, Illustrations Mike Henderson and Phil Noto
This is the spoiler full review of Daredevil: Back in Black, volumes 7 and 8. For the previous reviews please click the following: volumes 1 and 2, volumes 3 and 4, volumes 5 and 6. If you would prefer to read a spoiler free review please click here.
Volume 7: Mayor Murdock
Volume 7 of Daredevil: Back in Black opens with Mayor Murdock ordering the release of all of the heroes who had been jailed from the trap led by Fisk in the previous volume.
Fisk is in the hospital in extremely critical condition.
Fisk had been shot so many times by The Hand. Turns out The Hand is here because Blindspot made a deal with them (he’s gotta stop doing that) to kill Muse but then backed out of his side of the deal. They’re here to collect.
Elektra shows up to help some more but Murdock decides that’s still not enough and makes the very foolish decision to release all of the bad guys from that sting operation as well.
The Hand releases a toxic gas across NY.
Murdock’s heightened senses cause the gas to hit him even harder and faster and he goes down.
Then that weird militant priest from a few issues back shows up to help as well.
The priest explains that he’s part of something called the Order of the Dragon that has fought mythical creatures for centuries and he’s here to destroy The Hand’s Beast now.
Kingpin shows up straight from the hospital to throw a wrench in everyone’s plans only to pass out immediately because he really should have stayed at the hospital.
DD and the team take down the Beast and then Murdock makes a deal with Kingpin that he’ll leave office if Fisk ends his anti-vigilante tirade. They agree.
On his way out of the Mayor’s office Murdock overhears that Fisk had the vote fixed, he now has a new mission and new plan to take him out of his seat of power.
As with all of the volumes in this run there are a lot of moving pieces here. And you have to have read everything that came before in order to fully appreciate it. No part of this run is a stand alone by any means. But it’s all so worth it by the end.
Volume 7 really seems like more of a bridge than some of the others. But you need it in order to get to the incomparable volume 8.
Volume 8: The Death of Daredevil
DD is teaming up with previous character Frank, the inhuman security guard, Cypher, and Reader. They have a complicated plan to prove that Fisk fixed the election.
DD goes into a bar to break up a fight and finds someone there calling himself Mike Murdock, looks just like Matt and says he’s his brother.
Turns out Reader brought Matt’s imaginary twin to life because his powers are weird and don’t make a lot of sense and fit a plot however you need them to.
Mike Murdock doesn’t know this though, he believes himself to be real and really Matt’s brother. But as anyone who’s told they don’t exist enough times would, he snaps and goes to Foggy’s office to hold him at gunpoint.
He demands to meet with Matt because he wants to make brotherly amends. He doesn’t know that Matt is DD and he sells DD out to Kingpin. When given the opportunity Matt doesn’t banish Mike to a life of non-existence.
And then Matt’s hit by a truck.
But as he’s known to do he hops up out of the hospital and goes out daredeviling anyway. Healing time be damned!
He reveals his identity to his new task force and on his way out a mysterious new enemy cuts his swinging line and he goes down. Still reeling from all the injuries of the day he limps on home to find Elektra is in his bed.
The art has changed a bit through this issue and that should be your first clue that something is different. We wont know what until the last issue.
Elektra and Murdock get it on as they are known to do. He enlists her to help kidnap Fisk’s assistant so that they can prove he rigged the election.
The mysterious enemy, who we now know to be named Vigil, attacks again and DD and Elektra take him down. She leaves him though because DD stops her from killing him and they’re reminded yet again of why they are incompatible as a couple.
Then stuff gets really crazy. DD is herded through the city by Stilt Men into an arena full of various bad guys all there to kill him. DD pits them against one another and comes out on top only to be shot by Bullseye who is then pushed off the roof by Mike Murdock.
From there we go to court where all of the heroes who have ever set foot in NYC are present to testify against Fisk.
Fisk is promptly removed from office and it looks like everything is wrapping up until DD goes outside to see that dang Vigil again.
DD goes to fight him screaming about how he should relent, Fisk isn’t even in charge anymore. He unmasks Vigil to see… himself.
It is only then that Murdock realizes that he’s still in the hospital on the surgery table after getting hit by that truck.
It was all a dream. Fisk is still in charge, nothing has changed, and DD has failed.
He sees his deceased former assistant and love interest Karen, welcoming him into death.
Whoa. I normally really hate it when stories end with and it was all a dream. But this actually got me! Even though the title was Death of Daredevil I didn’t think he’d actually die. Everything looked like it was working out and then, BAM! gut punch of emotion!
This whole run really took me for a ride. It was so well thought out and 3 steps ahead of me the whole damn time. I’m extremely impressed with how it turned out. Soule really had a vision and was given the freedom to realize it fully.
I highly recommend this one to any Daredevil fans or anyone looking to get into him. This run may require you to start at the beginning but you don’t necessarily have to have read any previous Daredevil books to enjoy it.
Please check out the links below to get started. This run will not disappoint!
5/5 devils 😈😈😈😈😈
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