Comic Book Review – Daredevil #612

Recap – “After being struck by a truck and fighting for his life on the operating table, Matt Murdock returned to Hell’s Kitchen determined to prove that Wilson Fisk, formerly the Kingpin of Crime and now the city’s mayor, rigged the election in his own favor. As Daredevil and his investigative squad got closer to revealing the truth, Fisk’s hired assassins circled closer—going so far as to kill Fisk’s right-hand man, John Wesley, to keep Fisk’s secrets. Daredevil isolated himself to protect his team but made himself vulnerable in the process. Cornered by Bullseye, he was only spared when Mike Murdock, Matt’s fictional brother come to life, intervened. Now, injured and exposed, Daredevil must decide who he can trust as he races the clock and Fisk’s newest assassin, the Vigil…”

Daredevil #612

Written by Charles Soule

Drawn by Phil Noto

Part IV – Apeirophobia

Mike has taken Daredevil to the Black Clinic to get the gunshot wound to his leg patched up. On the way to see the doctor, Mike provided detailed information about the Kingpin to Daredevil. Daredevil is told by the doctor to rest before his previous injuries are reaggravated, just as the Vigil shows up. Daredevil tells the doctor and Mike to leave immediately as Daredevil and the Vigil tussle. Daredevil is clearly outmatched and is thrown through a window, where he takes this opportunity to escape and fight another day.

The Mad Thinker is shown with the Kingpin’s fixer at a local diner. The Mad Thinker is trying to squeeze more money from the Kingpin as it was he that was responsible for helping swing the election in Fisk’s favor. This was accomplished by distributing altered votes across the five boroughs, all documentation plausible and all but untraceable. Matt has been sitting above the diner, listening to the conversation – Mike’s information panned out.

Matt goes to a fellow associate lawyer telling him he has concrete evidence on the Kingpin. Daredevil can be called as a witness, citing a previous case as precedent. Hochberg is unsure of taking Fisk to trial, until Matt reassures him it will be a victory for them and New York City.

Daredevil takes the stand first as does Cypher, who found specific evidence of voter tampering. Frank McGee and Reader also take the stand. A splash page reveals that the superheroes that reside in New York City have also come to take part in the trial, with Captain America, Thor, She-Hulk, and Spider-Man as witnesses against the Kingpin. Kingpin has his day in court and it does not go well; Hochberg uses Kingpin’s one weakness- vanity- to make Fisk reveal what he knew about the election before he zips his lip and leaves the court, defeated. Protestors are seen outside the mayor’s residence as Kingpin’s fixer tells him that he didn’t need the fraudulent votes – he would have been elected mayor without them.

The next day, Daredevil is sitting on a building, holding a newspaper that reads” Wilson Fisk resigns as mayor.” A new day has dawned on the city and Matt relishes his victory, until the Vigil shows up. Daredevil tells the Vigil let’s finish this. Daredevil has the upper hand in the fight and takes the Vigil down. Daredevil unmasks the assassin and the face under the hood is… Matt’s! Matt takes a moment to process everything- cut to Matt lying in the hospital on a stretcher in the emergency room. Daredevil reflects on his life- he fights for the soul of New York City from evil, triumphs, only to face evil once more, a never-ending cycle until he sees the face of his beloved Karen Page then darkness. Darkness until the heart monitor blips again. The story ends with this voiceover, “I cannot see the light, so I will be the light. I am Daredevil. I am not afraid.”

These 4 issues were a wild ride from start to finish. I avoided all internet talk and spoilers for this issue and I’m glad I did. The reveal of the Vigil made me realize that all of this was in Matt’s head. There were a few inklings this was all a dream- one being the Max Dillion version of Electro and the other was how easily Bullseye was defeated by Mike Murdock in issue 611. Phil Noto’s art is always a sight to behold and he did a wonderful job over the course of these four issues. I’m looking forward to Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil in February.

Up Next – Daredevil is gone, but Hell’s Kitchen is still a place of heroes and villains. Foggy Nelson (issue #1), the Defenders (issue #2), the many loves of Matt Murdock (issue #3), the Kingpin (issue #4) and a mysterious Guardian Devil (issue #5) will all learn what it means to live in a world without a Daredevil. And without a Daredevil to protect it, has hell come for his city? Who is The Man Without Fear?!