Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Color Artist: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
The Devil’s Reign event continues to spin out and influence various corners of the Marvel (NYC-based) universe, while maintaining a concentrated, street-level focus. This allows the many players to breathe and react, rather than teleporting from one universal threat to another, as is the case with many invasion or hero-vs-hero events. In #3, Luke Cage goes public with his mayoral campaign, while Matt Murdock dramatically escalates his conflict with Fisk.
Zdarsky and Checchetto, progenitors of Devil’s Reign, began their Daredevil run with an in depth exploration of what happens when a superhero makes a mistake on the job. More specifically, Daredevil grappled with concepts of morality and justice after accidentally killing a criminal. For dozens of issues he has tried to regain a disciplined, measured hold on himself. But Fisk’s expanding influence is too much for Matt to handle. And once he catches wind of the issue’s bloody cliffhanger, it’s possible we’ll see Daredevil driven off the deep end.
Chechetto’s art is strong as ever. It’s been a joy to see his character designs eclipse the Hell’s Kitchen cast and encompass the larger Marvel roster, with Devil’s Reign #3 alone featuring the likes of Sue Storm and Zebediah Killgrave, incarcerated in two very different prisons, a small Avengers contingent, and a multiversal smorgasbord of Doc Ocks. His slick, cinematic designs and compact sequencing are perfect for event-level business.
He also demonstrates concise control of action. Memorable scenes include Daredevil saving Captain America from a rooftop fall, Otto Ghostrider melting Iron Man’s armor, and a four-armed Otto Hulk pummeling away at She-Hulk. The climax leaves readers to wonder how exactly Devil’s Reign will conclude. With the NYC Avengers taking on Fisk’s Thunderbolts in a wild display of powers in Central Park? Or something more intimate, confined to Fisk’s office and one or two of his oldest adversaries? Say, Matt, Elektra, maybe a revived Peter Parker?
The end of Devil’s Reign #3 raises a couple of serious questions. To start, it had appeared that Octavius-616 was working a long game power play. Especially considering we’ve only read the first of his Superior Four mini. But the doctor has already pushed all his chips in and forced Fisk to respond in kind, which should set things into overdrive next month.
Perhaps more notably is the unclear fate of Murdock’s partner in law, Foggy Nelson. Now, it’s the comics. And we don’t see a corpse. But it will take some very timely intervention for Nelson to come out of his current circumstances intact.
Devil’s Reign continues in earnest next week with Elektra’s journey in Woman Without Fear #2.
Devil's Reign #3
Mini-events are starting to collide and key players are making moves that can't be taken back. With Elektra busy, who will keep Matt from pushing too far?