For the past year, Matt Murdock has been punishing himself for killing a man while on patrol as Daredevil, a traumatizing event that sent Matt’s Catholic guilt into overdrive. Writer Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil gains remarkable depth by focusing on how this accident devastates Matt and forces him to reconsider the direction of his life (read more in this Big Issues from earlier this month). He’s given up his devil alter ego to fight white-collar criminals with his assassin ex-girlfriend, Elektra, becoming the Robin Hood of Hell’s Kitchen by stealing from the corrupt rich and giving back to the community. Sure, Elektra stole a billion dollars for herself, but at least Matt’s not beating up on his neighbors who have been driven to a life of crime to survive.
Matt’s getting back into the superhero game, but he still has plenty of emotional baggage to unpack from that whole manslaughter situation. This exclusive preview of next week’s Daredevil #17 packs an emotional wallop in just three pages as it shows Matt visiting the mother of the man he murdered. The end of last issue revealed that Elektra knows that Matt and Daredevil are one in the same, and this excerpt continues to expand the web of people who know the lawyer’s superhero secret identity as the mother tells him she knows what he did and forgives him for it. This scene builds on the themes of confession and absolution that drive this run, showing how Matt is profoundly affected by the grace of someone he has deeply hurt.
The addition of Jorge Fornés to the Daredevil team elevates this book to another level, reinforcing the grounded perspective of this story with thick, textured inks that give the characters and their world real weight. The uplifting atmosphere of an economically rejuvenated Hell’s Kitchen is emphasized by Nolan Woodard’s bright color palette, but the most powerful moment of this excerpt removes all color to show the power of a silhouette. After the mother offers her forgiveness to Matt, she wraps her arms around him and gives him a hug. Fornés presents this moment of connection in silhouette, melding the two people into one shape to show how forgiveness helps both of them heal.