Man Without Fear #2 Review
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Stefano Landini
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Kyle Hotz and Dan Brown
Variant Cover: Greg Smallwood
Note: I have decided to take the liberty of calling the Skeleton in the Yellow DD Costume the Guardian Devil since he claims to want to protect Matt.
Matt Murdock is awake! The battle within seems to be over for now as Matt’s mind seems to have healed from his near death experience, and now he instead focuses on recuperating his all too damaged body. We see the tail end of an interaction with former love-interest and fellow Attorney Kirsten McDuffie before Daredevil’s protege and unofficial sidekick Sam Chung aka Blindspot enters the room. After a brief exchange of pleasantries and making sure the coast is clear using his still function radar sense Matt drops a bombshell on both Sam and the readers.
Daredevil is Dead
That is it would be a bombshell if Sam didn’t immediately call Matt out on it, saying that Matt has too much “skin in the game” to quit. Matt loses his temper and points out that not only did the truck that hit him nearly kill him but it exaggerated countless old injuries that had not properly healed. the two continue to argue until Sam leaves Matt with one word that hits him at his very core, “Coward”.
Following his abrupt exit Matt continues his recovery with the help of the hospital staff and his own support system, right now consisting of Foggy and Kirsten. During a walk outside Matt reveals to Foggy that he”s the one thing he never thought he’d be. Matt Murdock, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, is afraid. He’s been Daredevil too long, and he doesn’t know who he is without the mask.
Later, in his hospital room Guardian Devil returns, when Matt says that he did what it wanted that he got rid of Daredevil and Guardian Devil replies that that’s not the only thing Matt is afraid of. Matt is afraid of the uncertain. Matt is afraid of all his failures coming back even though he’s chosen to give up his life Matt falls out of bed and struggles to get to someplace but the moment ends before we see the exact conclusion.
The issue ends with an interaction between Matt and Kirsten that leaves them both in tears. Matt faces towards a window to a world he will never see, as the reader sees an image of both the Daredevil and Matt Murdock’s greatest failure. Karen Page
First things first let’s address the change in artists. Danilo Beyruth will be penciling for issues 4 and 5 after already drawing issue 1, while this issue was handled by Stefano Landini and issue 3 will be drawn by Iban Coello. All 3 are talented and great fits for the book but I find myself partial to Beyruth’s style. Landini definitely uses Charlie Cox and Elden Henson from the abruptly and tragically prematurely canceled Netflix series as models for his Matt and Foggy respectively. This sin’t necessarily a bad thing but I do feel it robs the mini-series of some its own agency.
MacKay continues to effortlessly break down Matt Murdock and what makes him unique. The price Matt’s body has paid is very clear and Matt himself is unsure if he will ever even walk again. Both of Matt’s interactions with Kirsten which bookended the issue being silent, yet carrying completely different meanings was a great piece of visual storytelling. There is one aspect that I feel MacKay needs to touch on though. Matt’s Catholicism. Theres’ indirect references to it such as the guilt that Matt silently forces himself to carry, and his generally closed off emotional state. I just think it would be more effective were it directly addressed.
I still highly recommend this title but if MacKay does not bring Matt’s faith into play or question in the next issue I will have to count it against him.