Man Without Fear #1

Writer: Jed Mackay
Artist: Danilo S. Beyruth
Color Artist: Andres Mossa
Cover Artists: Kyle Hotz, Dan Brown
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Anelise Farris

A world without Daredevil? Say it isn’t so! Well…basically it is, as we see in this week’s Man Without Fear #1. Daredevil is in a coma, while the other inhabitants of Hell’s Kitchen — the good and the bad alike — are still running about. Will someone else take up Daredevil’s mantle? Will the city of Hell’s Kitchen descend into a world of chaos and fear (even more than normal)? Will Matt fight his way out of this? So many questions!

Man Without Fear #1 opens in the hospital room, with loyal BFF Foggy sitting at Matt’s side. Foggy wonders aloud whether Matt’s spirit is still there or not, as he recounts how the events unfolded that put him there. An incident with a truck — not Kingpin, a literal truck — is what did him in. The trauma of all his past injuries were shook loose by the blow, and, as Foggy says, the “bill’s come due.” In addition to the hospital scene, this first issue sends us into Matt’s coma-induced dreamworld where his mind might prove to be his worst enemy yet.

The story here is a compelling one as it’s more than simply the “what would the world be like if X-superhero died” narrative. Like most Daredevil stories, the gravity is of a philosophical nature. Already in this first issue readers are confronted with larger questions about the purpose of pain and fear and how those relate to our sense of duty and the human survival instinct. And Jed Mackay’s writing presents all of this beautifully. Like the writing, the art and lettering are superb. The whimsical realism, soft linework, and muted coloring convey the right sense of vulnerability and surrealism in the story being told. The wide gutters allow for self-reflection and adequate time to process the events unfolding. The lettering seamlessly transitions between the real world and the dream world, as well as between interior monologue and dialogue. 

Verdict: Buy it.

While no one wants to read about a world without Daredevil, Man Without Fear #1 gives us so much more as it considers the cost of living without fear. 

Anelise Farris
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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