Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Marco Checchetto, Sunny Gho, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 6, 2019
Review by: Aaron Anderson
Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto ’s run on Daredevil begins here with an all-new number one issue. Know Fear part one establishes Chip’s overall tone for the book going forward.
We open with Matt Murdock approaching a woman at a bar and putting on his smooth operator glasses. Which lets the reader know Matt is and will always be a horned dog. In a good little scene, we also see Matt taking some prescription pills with alcohol. Now it’s not recommended to do this, but it lets the reader know Matt isn’t fully recovered yet from his injuries that he sustained at the end of Soule’s run. Where Matt saved a kid from being hit by a truck. Matt wasn’t so lucky he got ran over in the process. This also ties back to the MacKay/Beyruth mini Man Without Fear where Matt spent five issues recovering from the accident. This all makes the Continuity monster in my belly happy.
After the bar scene, we get a flashback to when Matt was a child before his accident that turned him into Daredevil. Matt’s father is dropping him off at the Catholic Church to repent his sins since he was caught breaking into a classmates house to retrieve baseball cards that were swindled out of another student by dubious means. The Father knowing Matt is a good kid allows Matt to really explain what happened. This Father believes in Matt more than his own father which is very evident in this part of the story. Which lends itself to the overarching theme that has permeated the Daredevil books for years. That being whenever Matt is having troubles in his life, whether it is his life as a lawyer or as a vigilante, he always falls back to the church for support and strength when making huge decisions or questioning decisions he had to make in the heat of the moment.
We next jump back to Matt in the present where he just got done with the girl from the bar. Have to say, Matt rookie move bringing the girl back to your place, but it fairs well this time for him because she doesn’t want a committed relationship. It’s also lucky this girl doesn’t pay attention to the news since Matt’s face should have been plastered everywhere recently, having been the Deputy Mayor that became the Mayor so he could save the whole city from the Hand. I don’t let that little tidbit annoy me though.
We next jump to a couple hours earlier before or while Matt was picking up the girl at the bar. Two cops are trying to figure out how to file a report. This criminal has just had his legs broken having been thrown from a window by Daredevil. One cop says to put in the report “no suspects” because it will make the paperwork easier. The younger one is about to when a mystery cop shows up on the scene and he means business. He wants the report filed right and he wants the Daredevil shut down it seems. Detective Cole North has transferred from Chicago and he doesn’t approve of Daredevil’s ways, simply stating that Daredevil beat this guy up because he likes to hurt people. With Mayor Fisk demanding the Vigilantes of New York be brought to justice I can guarantee we will be seeing more from this Detective.
We next get more of Matt at the Catholic Church this time it’s after his accident that gave him his powers. This scene yet again is just to establish Matt’s gained strength from the church and his close ties to another father figure. When Matt’s dad couldn’t be around, because he is a single parent, the church was always there for him.
Back in the present and having gotten his sex on Matt finds himself restless. He dawns his Devilish mask and heads out on the town. Chip gives us a real Frank Miller Dark Knight like narration here, telling us that he hasn’t been around for a bit and the criminals know it so they have gotten embolden. Now he needs to up his profile and makes sure people see him to get them talking. He wants to get criminals to fear the night again. In the midst of this sequence, the Creators don’t forget that Daredevil isn’t at 100%. He almost doesn’t make a jump from rooftop to rooftop.
After composing himself our hero finds what he has been looking for, a robbery in process. In a three on one fight that Daredevil normally can do blindfolded Matt has an extremely tuff time even accidentally killing one of the perps and leaving one of his batons to be found by Detective Cole. All while The Kingpin Looms on High in his Ivory Tower called the Mayor’s Office.
Personally, I was blown away by this first issue. Checchetto’s art is fantastic with a lot of darker undertones that allow the brighter colors to pop at the right moments like in the church, or the squad cars, or when the Daredevil costume makes its first appearance halfway through the book. The writing I was more impressed by because it felt as if Chip chose every word meticulously. The recurring Catholic Church moments felt like the real heart of the book. The underlining soul of Daredevil is to do good in a bad world even if that good deed breaks laws. Laws that Matt holds in very high regard. That duality of lawbreaker and lawyer are brought to the forefront, and to me, that is what is really important in a Daredevil book.