Characters Appearing: Ben Urich, Daredevil, Karen Page, Kate Cushing
Issue(s): Daredevil #242
Amazing and sad that we're still having the same arguments (well, except without the caviar, hopefully) more than 30 years later.
Joe tries to call the police to confess his crime, but they put him on hold. So he calls the Daily Bugle instead "same as callin' the cops", and he gets a sleazy reporter that tells him that he's like Robin Hood and not to call the police.
When the reporter, Simon La Grange, arrives, he finds Joe has taken his message further than he expected. But Simon goes with it.
Joe kills again, and there's an argument at the Daily Bugle, with Ben Urich taking the position that by advertising the Caviar Killer's exploits and views, they are encouraging him and therefore responsible for the second death. And the articles also create "fans" of the Caviar Killer, who organize in the streets (another parallel to today; my first thought was Occupy Wallstreet).
Daredevil shows up at the rally and identifies Joe. Joe's supporters attack Daredevil.
Daredevil fights his way through the crowd and captures Joe. And he also makes the accusation that the reporter, Simon, is responsible for Joe's actions, and Simon is arrested too.
In addition to the themes of wealth inequality and media responsibility, Nocenti also continues to work the theme of super-hero legitimacy. The death of Trixter last issue is specifically referenced, and more generally Daredevil's use of violence is brought up. It's creating a wedge between Matt and Karen as well.
Also interesting to see the idea of legislation to retrain super-heroes being raised here.
This issue works more on an emotional level than a political one. Nocenti's message isn't clear cut. The first rich guy is definitely an over-the-top jerk who feeds filet minion to his dog but the second rich person Joe kills turns out to have been a big donor for charity (and no one makes a counterpoint that it's only a small percentage of her wealth or anything). And of course Joe is a murderer and the other protesters support his actions and wear shirts with big bloody dollar signs on them. Simon La Grange is slime. Daredevil is a victim of the media's portrayal of him but at the same time he isn't very responsive to Karen's concerns about his use of violence (he wonders if she's back on drugs). So no one's really a good guy here. Which is interesting in its own bleak way. Probably your mileage varies along with your politics; if you're a supply-side guy, having your views advocated by a slob stuffing his face with caviar probably isn't going to work for you. But i actually found this to be one of the better Nocenti issues i've read so far. People still sort of blurt out stream-of-consciousness style whatever they are thinking. But these topics seem to have focused Nocenti a bit and the story is better for it.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP has placed Daredevil's appearances in Amazing Spider-Man #286-288 and the Daredevl/Black Widow: Abattoir graphic novel between last issue and this one.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Bob Ingersoll had a devastating critique of this issue:
Posted by: Michael | April 4, 2014 7:30 PM
I certainly wouldn't have joined Occupy because of someone murdering,accidental or not, one of the more sleazy rich. That's just some French Revolution right there, murdering anyone just because of class. But I best stop right here.
Posted by: davidbanes | April 4, 2014 7:49 PM
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