When you thought matters would be resolved following the conclusion of Daredevil #16, part 7 of Zdarsky’s Through Hell arc continues raise the stakes as the endgame looms near.
When we last saw Daredevil working with Elektra to uncover the reason the Stormwyn family stoked the fires of a gang war in Hell’s Kitchen, the duo robbed the richest family on earth and with Elektra’s help, redistributed that wealth to small business owners, clinics and charities in Hell’s Kitchen to revitalizing the area. Coming off his high of feeling like Robin Hood, Matt Murdock now begins his struggle once again to find his calling.
Wanting nothing more than to leave behind his legacy of Daredevil and move forward, he seeks redemption for his past wrongs but we constantly see him lying to himself about what he wants to be. He wants to fight for the people but no longer wishes to use violence like he did during his time as Daredevil. Zdarsky’s take on the character and series as a whole focuses on that one element that made Daredevil shine, psychological drama.
Seeing Matt Murdock journey through his inner turmoil to pursuit of a new identity makes the series feel like a continuation of the highly acclaimed Netflix adaptation. While the action has taken a back seat for the moment to focus on character growth and story-building, Zdarsky masterfully takes the time to raise the stakes for what may ultimately be called one of the best Daredevil arcs in its long running history.
The latest issue tackles one of the mostly heavily implied themes in the series, redemption. Matt feels nothing but guilt for killing someone earlier on in the arc and to have the victim’s mother realize his identity and ultimately forgive him is one of the most powerful moment this issue has to offer. That single moment will also leave behind ripples to come since Matt has never heard the words, “I forgive you” before, so only time will tell how that affects our vigilante hero.
While lackluster in the action department, Daredevil #17 excels at character and story progression while also foreshadowing repercussions to come from Matt and Elektra’s actions. At the end of the issue it is teased that the series iconic villain, Bullseye will soon make his appearance in Daredevil #18. Hopefully with the foreshadowing and tease at the end, action will reclaim the forefront of Zdarsky’s Daredevil series and amp up to a thrilling conclusion.