Law and justice don’t always agree. This conundrum is at the core of Matt’s being, more so than for any other superhero. A trial attorney by day, he uses his considerable legal skills to right wrongs through the courts of law. By night, he haunts the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen as Daredevil, dispensing an entirely different brand of justice that combines cunning and a healthy dose of martial arts.
The struggle to reconcile the two sides of his being has taken a toll on Murdock over the years, but in the pages of Charles Soule’s Supreme storyline. (Daredevil Vol 5. #21-25), the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen found a way to consolidate his daytime and nighttime activities. Taking the fight all the way to the Supreme Court, Murdock won the right for costumed heroes to testify during trials, and to bring evidence to the authorities without having to reveal their secret identities.
In doing so, he legitimized the hero community, and succeeded where Tony Stark had failed with the Superhero Registration Act. However, the victory was not without its share of strife. Murdock was thwarted every step of the way by Wilson Fisk. The so-called Kingpin of Crime unleashed a two-pronged attack on him. Plan A was hiring Legal, who was once Stark Industries lead attorney, to challenge Murdock in court. Plan B was contracting hit man Lonnie Lincoln, aka Tombstone, to kill the blind lawyer.
When both of these schemes failed, the Kingpin proceeded to Plan C: getting himself elected mayor.
Written by Charles Soule, and drawn by Stefano Landini, with colors by Matt Milla and letters by Clayton Cowles, the renumbered Daredevil #595 picks up the storyline that concluded in issue 25 of the previous volume. This first Legacy issue finds Murdock returning from China, where he was fighting the Hand and rescuing Blindspot. Upon his arrival he is confronted by an unexpected nightmare: Fisk is the new mayor of New York City.
Being away and all, Murdock may be forgiven for missing the memo. However, readers may also be feeling a touch of whiplash, as the story comes out of nowhere, at least in the pages of Daredevil.
Fisk’s ascension to the mayoralty was, in fact, set up elsewhere; mostly in Matthew Rosenberg’s 5-issue Kingpin series that was part of last February’s Running with the Devil Event, but also in Nick Spencer’s Secret Empire.
Rosenberg’s story showed the Kingpin “rehabilitating” his image by hiring down-on-her-luck journalist Sarah Dewey to write his biography. He manipulates the reluctant reporter into doing his bidding by showing her both sides of his personality.
Is he the gentle giant who finances a children’s hospital and deals directly with patients and parents? Or is he the murderer who dispatches competing mobsters with ruthless efficiency? Did he pay off her ex-husband so that he would reward her custody of their kids? Or did he murder her boxer boyfriend for not throwing a fight as asked?
By destabilizing the economically and emotionally desperate Dewey, Fisk was rewarded with a tell-all biography that exposed all of his many sins. He rightly gambled that his mea culpa would open the door to redemption, and pave the way for his candidacy.