Daredevil plays a little game of Russian Roulette with a hospitalized Bullseye. Has DD finally gone too far in his quest for vengeance? Matt Murdock is a changed man, and not for the better.
Arguably Frank Miller in his prime, Daredevil #191 is a dark, complex and enthralling psychological examination of the Man Without Fear punctuated with powerful visuals, resulting in one of the most acclaimed Daredevil books to ever hit shelves.
From Daredevil #158 in 1979 all the way to this incredible finale in Daredevil #191, Frank Miller defined the character for a new age popularized by intensely dark themes. This issue stands as a testament to the remarkable tact that the entire creative team was able to inject into the series as it navigated a more tragic approach to Daredevil. As we start with Daredevil playing a game of roulette with a now paralyzed Bullseye (see issue #181), we see a story unfold that debates the seemingly futility of using violence against crime even with the best of intentions. Murdock asks a painfully insightful question to himself “Am I fighting violence – or teaching it?” and that ultimately encapsulates everything this issue is trying to ask readers. Is this random game of deadly luck an analogy for the eventuality of the superhero agenda?
Luckily, this isn’t just Frank Miller pulling off such emotional depth. Terry Austin with Lynn Varley deliver the visuals to match, highlighting the human expressions and making even a fully paralyzed Bullseye come to life. Daredevil’s pain is overbearing, and the introspective tone is emphasized with by the overly white simplistic backgrounds. This is artwork that inspires both engagement and curiosity, even if it is surrounding a rather grim affair.
Daredevil #191 is a perfect example of what Miller brought to the series and Daredevil in general, and for fans who want some insight into why this series is so widely acclaimed I can think of no better issue to point to. Sure it may not be the smartest idea to jump into Miller’s Daredevil run with the last issue, but as a one-shot, it truly does capture the essence that continues to pull readers back into the story and inspire new creatives for Daredevil’s modern vision.
From Chuckie’s tragic tale to Matt’s own childhood, this issue takes a deep dive into the implications of vigilantism that is often attempted, but hardly ever executed as successfully. Daredevil #191 is what happens when all the pieces come together for an epic and heartfelt conclusion of a run that will long be remembered as simply one of the best.
Daredevil #191 is a dark, complex and enthralling psychological examination of the Man Without Fear punctuated with powerful visuals, resulting in one of the most acclaimed Daredevil books to ever hit shelves.
SUNDAY CLASSICS: Daredevil #191: The Lucky Idiot Lives
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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