(THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS)
Daredevil has always been a tragic character to me. Much like Spider-man he chose a super heroes life and in the living of it has saved many others lives and done much good. Like Spidey though his life has been full of great harms and horrors directly affecting him and his loved ones. He is a character who while he doesn’t feel sorry for himself he indeed questions himself and the whys and hows. Sadly he has gotten in too deep and there is no turning around and walking away from the path chosen. Decisions are made and then it’s all about the dealing with them.
Daredevil:End of Days is a mini-series which brings together a number of former Daredevil writers and artists who have helped make the character who he is over the years. Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Alex Maleev have teamed up to tell this alternative take, possibly inevitable ending to the Man Without Fear.
Daredevil dies here and right at the beginning of the book so as to set up the story which shall unfold over 8 issues. His killer? Bullseye. It makes sense. They have battled many times over and each hates the other for what they are and the various personal assaults each has inflicted on one another. They are twisted reflections and directly connected and it is fitting that DD fall to Bullseye. I have always felt that Daredevil just isn’t the fighter Bullseye is. While great and skilled Bullseye was always better and Daredevil’s victories came about through more creative means along with sheer willpower. In this issue they battle in the streets of Hells Kitchen for nearly two hours. Both bloody and battered, Daredevil continues to rise each time he is knocked down until Bullseye finally delivers the killing blow with one of his escrima sticks. Before he does though, Daredevil mutters one word….”Mapone”. Bullseye seems shocked by it but follows through with what he began and ends the life of a hero.
While the story is of course about Daredevil and the man under the mask, Matt Murdock it is primarily told as a sort of detective story. Ben Urich, a reporter for The Daily Bugle and long time Daredevil character seeks justice for him, the mystery behind that final word of Matt Murdock and to tell the story..the real story of the man who gave the entirety of his life to those who could not fight for themselves.
Death began this issue and ended it as well. A flashback of a battle between Daredevil and the Kingpin concluded the book and saw Daredevil finally snap and kill the big man. It’s brutal and it seems as if he attempts to validate it by telling the observing mass of people that “He tried everything else”. He finally broke from all these years of trying to fight and change things only to have the evil return. Heroes don’t kill though and Daredevil disappeared after commiting this murder only to show up at the scene of his own some time later.
There is a lot of story to be told here. Ben Urich searches for answers and secrets in the coming months of this mini-series. It is one I will follow and fans of Daredevil and good writing should as well. Not all super hero tales happen in the light and not all have happy endings. Daredevil has always done everything he could to make things better in a place made up of so much worse. Maybe it got to be too much. Maybe it infected him with its poison. Maybe the devil gave into the temptation.