I guess I have become Idle Time’s Chip Zdarksy mouthpiece as I’ve written about my love for his work a lot. That hasn’t changed with his debut issue on Daredevil with Marco Checchetto on art and Sunny Gho as the inker.
Daredevil has always been a comic character close to my heart. When I got really into reading comics in high school, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s Daredevil was my entry point and I fell in love with the character. From there I went back to read the Frank Miller and Bendis runs which cemented the character in my mind as a favorite. I’ve always stuck with the title since then through its ups and downs (that time Matt was possessed by a demon of the Hand and became evil was rough).
The thing that has always fascinated me about the character is inner conflict. Unlike some of the other heroes who suffer from this, like Batman, Matt’s whole deal is that he is a lapsed Catholic boy, something I identify with far too well. As someone raised in that environment, and who then left without looking back, I still find myself dwelling on what I learned for eighteen years.
That being said, Chip does what he does best and distills what makes Daredevil great into a perfect entry point. Sure a lot of this stuff is pretty by-the-book for ol’ Hornhead, but Matt’s personality is in full force with Zdarsky at the helm.
Matt’s desire to sacrifice himself, both in mind and body, for the innocent is what makes his journey feel so personal. Chip understands that Matt’s suffering is just part of the equation; he still has to have a levity and swashbuckling aspect to him a la Zorro. We wouldn’t care to see Matt fall if he wasn’t so damn likable.
So yes, the odds are against Daredevil when the book starts. On the run from Mayor Kingpin, still hurting from his accident at the end of Soule’s excellent run, and being out of practice all make for a sloppy Daredevil. Yet Checchetto still shows the grace and wonder of DD’s hopping between buildings. You can still see the pleasure Matt gets from helping and/or hurting the wicked.
Yes, the issue ends on a bombshell that will spiral Matt’s life out of control. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Also as a bonus, we get a four-page back-up drawn (!) by Chippy himself: a great story with minimal dialogue that really hammers in why Daredevil is so special.