DAREDEVIL #17 [Review]

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Deep into Charles Soule and Ron Garney‘s magnificent Daredevil run and we’re finally getting answers about a lingering question from issue #1. During Mark Waid’s time with horn head, Matt Murdock‘s identity became public. Yet somehow in between Waid and Soule, Murdock’s secret identity had been restored. This arc will finally address that in full detail.

Daredevil #17, “Purple Part I”, tells the story of how Matt was affected by going public. No longer capable of being an attorney, Matt struggles with his purpose away from being a vigilante. Failing to adjust to his new lifestyle, he gets desperate. Murdock begins reaching out to the super hero community for a way to restore his secrecy and get back to being Daredevil. After finding no success, a solution shows up on his doorstep. But is it worth the risk?

Last issue, readers were introduced to the bad-ass priest whom with Matt is sharing this story. And through him, we’re finally getting the answers we were begging for from the start. Soule’s script handles the subject matter delicately, not rushing through the story in order to move on quickly. The issue addresses Waid’s run on Daredevil fondly, helping to wash away the bad taste left by that awful red suit.

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Daredevil certainly isn’t given an easy out to restore his identity; there’s a real sense of the care that Soule put into telling this story. As we see Murdock crossing possible solutions off his list, his desperate measures become justified. The journey towards Purple Man is well earned and structured, too. It isn’t going to be an easy fix for Daredevil, and Soule didn’t take the easy route to get here. Matt losing his life purpose and no longer being an attorney is perfectly executed. This series continues to expose Daredevil from his core, which is big reason why it’s already one of the strongest runs for the character in a long time.

We also get to revisit and dive deeper into Matt’s relationship with Kirsten McDuffie. Murdock pauses to emphasize his love for her numerous time in his story-telling. As more of the truth gets revealed, a heartbreak is likely around the corner — for our main character and readers alike. Does she simply not remember anything or is she yet another one of Daredevil’s love interests who’ll meet their end?

Ron Garney and Matt Milla continue to do wonders together. The pain and struggle Daredevil feels translates to the reader with ease. This issue also treats DD fans to Ron Garney’s take on the classic all-red costume. The black costume still fits this series’ tone better, but it’s a joy to see him play around with the old school skivvies.

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Soule and Garney are becoming as crucial to Daredevil as Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo were to Batman during the New 52. In Daredevil #17, they only scratch the surface of the big lingering question about Matt’s identity. It’s an appropriately timed break from the main story being told. This issue digs into what makes Daredevil who he is; it’s effective and not overly complicated. I can’t wait to see where we go next in “Purple Part II”!

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