Daredevil #244 by Ann Nocenti

Daredevil #244Daredevil #244 by Ann Nocenti
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We pick up where the last issue left off, with Karen discovering Matt’s bloodied glove which has been left in their apartment for her to find. She breaks the addict that Matt saved last issue out of the hospital and then he helps her find out where Danny Guitar is and what he’s planning…and so she goes to “Bucko” Leary at the NYPD to get his help in stopping Guitar and finding Daredevil.

There’s more beautiful art flashing back to the voodoo ritual that birthed the Nameless One and then we get back to the police who manage to catch Danny Guitar with only a single shot fired and Bucko feels incredibly smug that they’ve saved the day with minimal violence, something he feels Daredevil could learn from.

And the The Nameless One shows up and kills pretty much everyone apart from a couple of cops, Karen and Bucko. But Daredevil shows up and saves the day with punching! And Karen realises that she was wrong to encourage Matt to find non-violent ways to battle crime because his violence saves them all.

Which…is a mostly unsatisfying ending to what was an interesting story. It started to explore and pick at the central contradiction of street level super heroes who perpetuate the very violence that they claim to be fighting. But ultimately it provides an over simplistic solution by essentially saying, “No, actually, punching is good.” Perhaps a better solution would be to show the consequences of Daredevil deciding not to intervene and relying solely on the proper authorities to mete out justice…but, that’s the plot to Amazing Fantasy #15…that’s Spider-Man’s origin, and by choosing not to take action Peter Parker was ultimately responsible for his Uncle Ben’s death. Comics, and particularly Marvel comics, have already explored the idea of whether or not vigilantism is morally justified and has very clearly come down on the side of vigilantism.

I do admire this story for at least trying to revisit the idea, but the resolution is ultimately deeply unsatisfying.

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