Writer: Charles Soule / Artist: Stefano Landini / Marvel Comics
I’ve been getting increasingly excited to see Charles Soule’s name on comics. He’s been telling compelling stories in Darth Vader and Astonishing X-Men. The last two issues of Daredevil have sent chills down my spine. Since the election of our latest president, we’ve seen allegories for the political tension in the United States in comic stories this past year. Without tact and intelligence, it can be taxing and unimpressive but part 2 in the “Mayor Fisk” arc delivers.
The first issue was heavy on the dialogue and lighter on the action. There is nothing wrong with this approach, especially when the back and forth is a well-written word tussle between Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Mayor Wilson Fisk. Issue 596, though, explodes with excitement as Daredevil finds himself on the wrong side of the law in Fisk’s New York City. We see Murdock and law enforcement in true crisis mode, trying to make sense of a peculiar set of orders regarding the Man Without Fear. As emergency orders demand, everyone has to act and react with no time to catch their breath. In real time, the comic can’t be covering more than a ten minute time period and that pace is felt by the reader.
As exciting as the comic is, it struggles with art. They play with a minimalist style that has real strength but noticeable weakness. Certain action scenes explore the darkness of a nighttime rooftop environment painting Daredevil’s face with heavy blacks without great detail. This gives a dark, haunting impression that is a large part of the character’s essence. In some of the more well-lit scenes, the lack of detail works against the comic and comes off as lazy. This isn’t universal, as some panels use an appropriate amount of detail, especially in an important foreshadowing of the involvement of a previously seen antagonist.
All in all, the comic does a wonderful job delivering a fast paced story that also moves the plot along in a direction that I can’t wait to explore. Daredevil vs Mayor Fisk promises to explore the relationship between these two enemies in a uniquely, Souleful way.