Written by: David Hine
Art by: Michael Gaydos
Colored by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jennifer Lee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
This story made me realize something. When was the last time we saw Matt Murdock handle a case? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last time I can remember was some years ago, when Matt handled the trial of the White Tiger shortly after his secret identity was released to the world.
This story has also made me realize how very much I MISS the stories which centered just as much, if not more, around Matt Murdock’s day-job than they did his work as a vigilante. And if you, like me, miss seeing this side of Matt Murdock’s life, than this mini-series is for you!
The plot is pretty basic stuff, though apparently based on a true story. In the small town of Redemption, Alabama, a boy is found murdered. With pressure on, the cops grab the first likely suspects; Joel, a preacher’s son, his girlfriend and her mentally-challenged brother. His father’s church abandoned, Joel has reportedly turned the place into a church of Satan and the three have gotten involved in no manner of bad things, though the worst we see is loud heavy metal music being played late at night and Joel’s black-dyed hair.
With the locals and the police showing the tolerance that Alabama is famous for, Joel’s mom flew to New York to beg the famous blind lawyer Matt Murdock to come and represent her son. Matt, famed for being open to a good sob story, agrees to come down and talk to Joel and starts trying to get down to the bottom of things.
Based on a true story or no, there’s a lot of cliche elements here. The punk re: different kid who gets blamed for everything; the lazy backwoods sheriff quick to find someone for any perceived crime; the rednecks so stubborn they can stand touching noses and never see eye to eye. Despite this, the story still rings true to me, though I admit this may be because I live in the deep South and can easily see the truth in such characters, cliched though they may seem.
Michael Gaydos’ artwork is perfectly chosen for this story. The use of shadow and ink is perfect, creating a dark and gothic atmosphere that perfectly suits the brief glimpses we get of Daredevil in costume and the gloominess of the “Satanic church”. Even the scenes taking place in broad daylight have deep shadows, suggesting the hint of corruption and spiritual darkness hidden behind a bright screen of respectability.