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Comic Book / Chip Zdarsky's Daredevil

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All I want to do... all I've ever wanted to do... was help people.
Matt Murdock

In 2019, after the end of Charles Soule's run on Daredevil, the book was relaunched with a new writer-artist team, Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto. The book has gone on to be hailed as one of Marvel's best new books and gotten tons of critical acclaim for it's complex and morally gray themes.

Matt Murdock is still recovering from being hit by a car. Daredevil has been absent from Hell's Kitchen for months now, but even with his new scars and his continuing recovery, Matt feels the pull of the Devil and puts on the costume again. But when he returns to Hell's Kitchen as Daredevil, he ends up getting into a fight with three regular robbers...and accidentally kills one.

At the same time, a new detective, Cole North, had just joined the NYPD from Chicago and one of his first assignments is investigating the death of the robber and bringing in the vigilante called Daredevil.


Tropes in Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto's Daredevil run:

  • Accidental Murder: Early in the run, Matt kills a criminal while fighting with a concussion.
  • Advice Backfire: Subverted. When Thomas calls out his mother for allying with Hammerhead against aspiring Kingpin Owlsley, and asks how that is supposed to keep his family safe, she tells him that she has been keeping them safe like this for years, and snarks that he's welcome to go confront Owlsley on his own if he likes. A few issues later Owlsley has Thomas's young daughter kidnapped, and Thomas walks right into his headquarters to confront him… and dies.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Elektra decides to become the new Daredevil in order to earn Matt's trust.
  • Asshole Victim: Tyrone.
  • Backstory Invader: Mike changes the timeline so that he is Matt's real twin brother, instead of just a copy accidentally made by a mutant with reality-warping powers who fell asleep over a document about Mike's fictional existence.
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  • Badass Boast: Daredevil delivers one to the Punisher, as he fires several shots at him while carefully avoiding killing him.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Wesley says "we'll make this look like a suicide”, you obviously think he's referring to Tyrone's murder, and you might even wonder why they just carted off his body if that were the case, and if it occurs to you that it would be impossible to pass off a crushed skull as a suicide, you may realize before the wham line that they're going to murder Julio Alvez.
  • Berserk Button: Wilson Fisk, poor man, has a bit of a problem with people making jokes about him and calling him fat.
  • Boxing Battler: In a rather unusual move for a cop, Detective North prefers to get into fist fight over pulling a gun. Justified when you find out he once shot a kid by accident.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Detective Cole North, who has a particular hatred for vigilante justice, and targets both Daredevil and Spider-Man. However, he's also not corrupt. This is slowly changing as the words of the local vigilantes start getting to him, and he sees the corruption in New York's authorities.
  • Call-Back: In the first issue of the run, Matt says that Reed Richards was one of his first clients. The Fantastic Four were literally Matt's very first clients, from his comic debut.
  • Cement Shoes: The impracticality of this trope is discussed by Mindy's mother-in-law. Also played straight by her mother to make a point.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Supreme Court ruling from Soule's run becomes important starting with issue #21.
  • Clear My Name: Daredevil is accused of murdering a robber, and looks for evidence of a conspiracy against him. Unfortunately, he finds out he did kill the man by accident.
  • Cloning Blues: Mike Murdock has a rather severe case, leading to…
  • Cosmic Retcon: As of the 2020 annual, Matt now has a history with his formerly fake twin Mike, who used a Norn Stone to give himself a real past after being brought to life by the Inhuman Reader in an earlier story arc.
  • Demonic Possession: While in prison, Daredevil fights and is overtaken by Knull, whom he considers the Devil.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Fisk feels Quinn Stromwyn is doing this trope when he calls a tragedy "avoidable".
  • Defector from Decadence: The Owl's mooks turn against him because he's rampantly destroying the Kitchen, and they have families there.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Elektra goes to visit Daredevil in prison, dressed in her typical Stripperiffic outfit. Cue every inmate being extremely pleased. They even tell each other to keep quiet so the guards don't take her away.
  • Enemy Civil War: When Fisks steps down from his position as the Kingpin of Crime, every criminal organisation in Hell's Kitchen is out to fill the gap; it starts with the Owl's men trying to kill the Lybris family while they're having dinner, and it escalates.
  • Exposition: In the annual, Mike tells Felicia his backstory, so readers who missed or forgot that part of Soule's run are up to date.
  • Eyescream: How Fisk kills Tyrone.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Stromwyns disable all communications to and from Hell's Kitchen, and ensure there won't be police interference. Other than missing the most obvious threat (Daredevil), they also didn't disable the landlines (which alerts the Bugle to the scene) and the cops who are not on their payroll and decide to help.
  • Give Me a Sign: Matt asks God for a sign, he tells sister Elizabeth.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: When Matt and Elektra confront the governor, Elektra tells the governor she will kill him if he doesn't answer their questions. Matt tells him he'll try to stop her, but that he'll probably fail.
  • Heroic BSoD: Matt cuts himself off from engaging into his "Catholic guilt" because lives are at stake.
  • Involuntary Charity Donation: Daredevil and Elektra steal billions from the Stromwyns and distribute it among small businesses in Hell's Kitchen.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Inverted with Mindy, twice. First she starts cheating on her husband to escape the pressure of his criminal life, and then she dumps Matt for advising her to leave the city and stay out of trouble.
  • Me's a Crowd: After Matt withdraws from the scene, a whole bunch of civilians in Daredevil masks or full-blown costumes pick up the pace of his crime-fighting work.
  • Not Me This Time: Fisk admits he's not involved into the accusation of murder leveled against Daredevil but intends to thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to see the vigilante laid low — this time, he won't get any spoilers.
  • Open Secret: Fisk denies that he used to be a crime lord, but everyone knows it.
  • Papa Wolf: Mayor Fisk may not have any sympathy for his citizens, but when it comes down to it, he is very protective of them.
  • Plausible Deniability:
    • Something Fisk has to ask Wesley how to obtain while at the Stromwyn house.
    • Convinced that Kirsten will suss out Daredevil's real identity if she spends any amount of time around him, Foggy recruits Mike Murdock to pose as Matt.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • The first arc is titled "Know Fear".
    • In-universe, the book that contains instructions on how to use the norn-stone is titled "The Necronordic", a pun on H. P. Lovecraft's fictional tome The Necronomicon.
  • Punny Name: Detective Cole North. He's from Chicago.
  • Reality Ensues: Discussed by the other Defenders. Jessica points out that if you fight crime by delivering brutal beatings to criminals, even if you don't intend to kill, there is a significant chance of them dying of their injuries anyway.
  • Really Gets Around: While his rep as "the greatest himbo who ever wore a pair of tights" has been called into question, citing such facts as Matt only having had about fifteen flirts and girlfriends, the run kicks off with Matt having a one-night stand with a girl he meets in a bar, and it only gets worse from there.
  • The Reveal: Sister Elizabeth, the kind nun who has been helping Matt through tough times? Turns out she's an alternate personality of Typhoid Mary's.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: It's revealed that Elektra had her memories of Daredevil's identity restored after her most recent revival.
  • Sex with the Ex: Apparently that's what happens when you work with Elektra.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mindy and a vampire fan discuss Anne Rice in Mindy's introductory panel in issue #8.
    • To Charles Dickens, specifically Bleak House.
    • Tyrone jokes that Fisk should call his collection of businesses The Untouchables.
    • The Stromwyns's payback to Fisk involves an echo of a scene on Sherlock where they called an ambulance to let them know a man had fallen out of a window, then when paramedics were on their way, throwing him out the window.
  • Smart People Play Chess: #9: Matt plays with Reed Richards, despite being blind.
  • The Stoic: Detective Cole North.
  • Stupid Evil: Stilt-Man is not quite as funny when he's throwing bombs everywhere.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Played with. When Matt started his downwards spiral, he was sort of kidnapped by the Punisher, and then Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones all showed up to lecture him and help him through his issues. Afterwards, Spidey is shown to be active in Hell's Kitchen and lecture Detective North. However, when Hell's Kitchen is bombed, none of them shows up because all communication out of the Kitchen (with the exception of landlines) has been cut.
  • Take That!: The Daredevil Annual story is called "One More Day" and involves Mike Murdock magically rewriting reality.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: After Matt goes to prison, Elektra takes up the title of Daredevil to prove to him that he can trust her.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Subverted. Finding himself possessed by Knull, knowing that the creature is vulnerable to electricity, Matt drags himself to the resident electric chair in the supermax prison that he's in. He survives, but he couldn't have known that beforehand.
  • Thrill Seeker: Foggy calls Matt out and accuses him of being addicted to danger. Matt doesn't even try to tell him he's wrong.
  • Title Drop: In the arc of the same name, Cole says that the kid he shot has been "through hell".
  • To Be Lawful or Good:
    • Discussed by Spider-Man and detective Cole - well, more Spider-Man lecturing Cole - as he points out that there's no rule book for superheroes but they still swore an oath.
      Spider-Man: So you have a choice: you want to save lives? Or "uphold the law"?
    • In a later chapter, Cole gives a similar lecture to every single cop in the district, telling them to choose between following the orders of the higher ups and ignore Hell's Kitchen, or do their actual jobs and go stop crime and save lives. Most of them team up with Cole.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Tyrone Weltford, who follows Fisk as he goes to the bathroom to taunt him for being a pathetic has-been mafia boss with a giant frame.
    • Thomas Libris, who thought that charging in the criminal headquarters with nothing but a handgun was a good idea.
  • Training Montage: A comicbook example. Elektra trains Matt to regain his fighting skills over a few pages.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe. Detective Cole is very unnerved to see Spider-Man jump fifteen feet, and complains that at least Daredevil moved like a human.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Matt and Mindy. Made more complicated by Mindy's husband being Mafia.
  • We Need a Distraction: Wesley's reaction to news of Fisk's barehanded murder of Tyrone. He has Fisk murder a guy to hide that he murdered a guy.
  • Wham Line: Last page of issue #20: "I am turning myself in to the authorities."
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron First, Spider-Man and Elektra all give rather friendly versions of this to Matt, as they're all concerned about his recent recklessness and want him to get his head back straight.
    • Later, Spider-Man calls out detective Cole on setting up a fake mugging just to catch him.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: The mook who kidnapped Belle, a realization which lets Daredevil diffuse the situation without any shots fired.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
    • After Daredevil accidentally kills a liquor store robber, none other than the Punisher thinks he has turned away from what Frank considers the hypocrisy of being a vigilante merely to apprehend criminals. Matt is pissed off and insists he didn't kill the guy on purpose.
    • When Mayor Fisk calls Detective North to congratulate him on almost catching and most certainly injuring Daredevil, Cole can't stand it and hangs up. On the Mayor of New York.
    • Later subverted twice in rapid succession, also with Cole. A man tells his friends Cole can't be a cop, because cops wouldn't stop them bullying a homeless man. Then the homeless man says to Cole he wishes there were more people like him. The combination nearly has Cole break down crying.


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