New school: Small town Daredevil

On Monday, you saw a blind and mute Daredevil travel the corrupt streets of the New Jersey Badlands, where police officers abuse their power and shoot those who attempt to right the wrongs. Twenty years later, Daredevil gets possessed by a demon and rules New York City’s Hell Kitchen with a horde of ninjas and a 16th century samurai mansion.  After the debacle, Matt Murdock figures he could use a break to run away or find himself or whatever.  In Daredevil: Reborn #1-4, written by Andy Diggle and drawn by Davide Gianfelice, he finds himself once more in the small town Badlands, infested again with corrupt law enforcement.

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Definitely not New Jersey.  You know what happens when strangers show up unannounced in towns rife with terrible secrets.  But remember last time when hoodlums messed with Murdock?  Well, it’s not just his fashion sense that’s changed over the past decades.  He’s also just exorcised a murderous demon from his body.

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Now, we can’t call Murdock a wussy.   The beatings serve to punish Daredevil for his actions in New York, and he accepts the physical pain as his redemption.  To go along with his emotional and mental pain.  Though he talks this time, poor Murdock doesn’t kung fu kick anybody across a diner.  Yet.

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While corrupt cops have no problem killing strangers, it’s probably better to let this beaten up man go about his way — the dude’s harmless anyway.  Plus he can send a message or cop bullets are expensive or all the shovels need new handles.  I don’t know the reason, but Murdock catches a break.

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And now our story diverges from Frank Miller’s version.  Miller wrote a perfect noir masterpiece, a twenty page story that lives up to the literary standards we hold dear in our storytelling.  But Diggle wrote a better superhero story.  We love our superheroes because  despite the always terrible idea to fight the overwhelming forces of evil for that small sliver of justice (compare superhero to supervillain ratio, for instance), our heroes have an uncontrollable urge to interfere in the affairs of bad men and women.  Because gosh darn it, that’s what superheroes do, and though Daredevil did plenty of that in Miller’s critically-acclaimed run, he did no such thing in Daredevil #219.

Also, it may just be reactionary, especially once the cops figure out the Internet:

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Don’t you see?  Superheroes meddle too often.  And even Murdock, who tried so valiantly to run away from his violent tendencies, has no choice but to intervene.  Because he’s a superhero.  That’s what they do.

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He finds out that the police may not be exactly on his side:

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I’m not going cover most of the series.  Like most of issues two and all of three.  And the climax of issue four.  But as the mystery cracks open and spills into Mexican druglords and all that other good stuff, the cops forget Daredevil has many useful ways to learn secret information.  Like in his decades of watching thugs wet themselves when he jumps down from the skyscraper above them.

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Most importantly, Daredevil realizes once more the good he can do against the unlimited bad guys pouring out all over the country.  Or at least in New York City.  But before he returns to his life — and a series that doesn’t utterly destroy every aspect of his personal and professional life — Murdock has some sweet street justice to administer.  Everywhere needs a superhero, especially in a town that desperately deserves one.

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