For me Daredevil number 219 is one of the more weird Daredevil stories out there. In short the story is about Matt Murdock go to a small town in New Jersey. The reason this story is weird are many: Firstly in is Matt Murdock fighting (litteraly) a corrupt Sheriff and other low life
criminals and not Daredevil. Daredevil does not even appear in the story except on the front cover where he is in the reflection of a pair of sunglasses. Second Matt Murdock does not say one single word in the story. Last but not least it is not taking place in Hell’s Kitchen even though not all Daredevil stories take place in Hell’s Kitchen most of them do and Daredevil is at least in my opinion strongly connected to Hell’s Kitchen. Therefore the story can more or less be put anywhere in DD continuity. All these reason left me thinking what Frank Miller wanted to tell with this story.
How the story can be understood has been taken on by others. For instance has Robert who has the blog Matt Murdock Chronicles (great blog by the way) taken an western look on the story. http://themattmurdockchronicles.blogspot.dk/2011/03/daredevil-219.html I will however take another take on it. I will try to take into a Daredevil context and give my views on what it tells about Daredevil or maybe perhaps more about Matt Murdock. For even though I agree with Robert that this at first doesn’t fell like at Daredevil story. I think this is one of the stories that tells very much about Matt Murdock as a person without him talking or even know his thoughts. The only thing we get is his action but then again actions are what define us.
I will take a look on one of Frank Millers well known and popular and in my opinion best stories: Born Again. Here Matt Murdock doesn’t appear as Daredevil for a long run in the story and fight a couple of times as himself. Most notable when he fights the nurse how tries to kill Ben Ulrich’s wife and when he fight against his impostor. It is first in the last two issues of the story arc that Matt takes his costume on and becomes Daredevil again. In my opinion there is the same theme going on. Matt Murdock is fighting without his costume on and is fighting crime as himself and not Daredevil. But what does Frank Miller wanted to tell us with this. Well he has already given us the answer at least about Born Again. In this interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3veX7NgKTM&feature=related(you can skip to 5:00) he says “The hero wasn’t the costume, the costume was just dressing around the hero”.
This is why this issue is such a great issue and actually tells us a lot about Matt Murdock as a person. He doesn’t need the costume to fight criminals he can do it without the costume and outside of court at the same time. It is just easier for him the other way. Even though this issue takes place before Born Again based on the printed chronology you can as I see put it everywhere you want to. I think it gives Born Again a new, different and even better meaning and story if you put this issue in after Karen Page and Matt Murdock hugs in the end of issue 231 and skip issue 232 and 233 which in opinion is misplaced and doesn’t feel the tone for the first part of the story arc. And even though issue 219 has a different tone than Born Again it still works around the same kind of theme.
To sum it all up Matt Murdock maybe seems to be a lawyer that always go by the book and Daredevil is the man seeking revenge when the court system fails. It is not always this dual personality Matt Murdock is also Daredevil when he is just Matt Murdock. It is not just always wise for him to be so.
Please leave a comment bellow. Do you agree or disagree? What are you thoughts about this issue?