Daredevil #30 Review

by Charles Martin on May 19, 2021

Daredevil #30 Review
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Marco Checchetto & Mike Hawthorne
Inkers: Marco Checchetto & Adriano Di Benedetto
Colourist: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

A good comic, like a human spirit, contains multitudes. And Daredevil #30 is a perfect example of that. This issue has enough juicy content to fill up at least two-and-a-half comics. 

This is a good Daredevil comic. It is a terrific Elektra-as-Daredevil comic. And it throws in about 50% of a good Kingpin comic as a bonus.

Despite all the ground it covers, this issue doesn't feel rushed. Despite how spread out the storylines are, it doesn't feel scattered. Despite featuring two different (excellent) artists, it doesn't feel visually inconsistent.

Chalk up the magic that holds this variety show together to talent, tone, and theme. These three stories are definitely one story, and the whole creative team is clear on that. 

Where script meets art, a little bit of good fortune (where "good fortune" = "amazing skill on Chip Zdarsky's part") perfectly fits the settings to the artists' strengths. Virtually all of the Elektra pages handed to Marco Checchetto are set at night, where his mix of solid shadows and intricate hash-shading can really shine. Mike Hawthorne gets sunnier scenes in which his strong outlines and clear details stand out.

Don't overlook the contributions of the rest of the art team, either! Inker Adriano Di Benedetto and colourist Marcio Menyz are responsible for pulling the artists together and unifying their tone. Mr. Hawthorne's work gets some hashes of its own in key panels, and the brightest Elektra panels get some nice line-colouring to make them pop.

(Plus Mr. Menyz works extra colour magic to bring Elektra's key setting -- a dance club -- to pulsing, chaotic life.)

Chip Zdarsky lives up to his artists' talents when it comes to prose as well as structure. Each of this issue's many characters has a distinctive voice, but they all share a delicious directness that gives the book one strong voice of its own.

Elektra is the real winner when it comes to memorable writing. All of the prose is good, but her dialogue and narration climb up towards "greatest of all time" territory. Her words are further enhanced by continued themes of duality. As in the previous issue, Elektra and her antagonists are talking about the same ideas from opposing points of view, creating harmony without becoming repetitive.

On the plot side of things, I don't feel any need to spoil this issue's solid developments. Stuff happens. Some of it's shocking, a lot of it is surprising, but none of it feels irrational or arbitrary. This is a completely believable chunk of story development -- with the usual caveat that it's "Marvel universe believable," i.e., sure, a masked ninja dancefloor fight is how organized crime disputes get settled. 

A creative team at the top of its game and a set of compelling ongoing plotlines work alchemical magic in Daredevil #30. Elektra takes the lion's share of attention (deservedly so), but every panel, every line of dialogue contributes to this rich narrative tapestry. It's this volume's signature strength demonstrated yet again: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts -- but all of the parts are pretty damn great by themselves.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
Ahhh, Mike Hawthorne is so good at body language! Look close at the Typhoid Mary scene: Mr. Hawthorne says at least as much as Mr. Zdarsky does there.