Comics

Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out Vol. 1-2

Jason A. Zwiker

This is a man making complex choices and compromises; no longer the devil-may-care swashbuckler with the simple liberty of always doing what’s right.


Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out Vol. 1-2

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Contributors: Artists: Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, David Aja
Price: $14.99
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Length: 144
Formats: Trade Paperback
First date: 2006-10-25
Last date: 2007-04-18
Website
cat_label_url
Writer website
Amazon

If you had lost everything -- your career, home, friends, and freedom; the simple ability to walk down the streets you'd known since childhood -- what would you do if presented with the chance to get it all back? What would you do or, more to the point, what wouldn't you do?

This is the essential question of The Devil, Inside and Out, a story that redefines Matt Murdock even as his life is sewn back together.

It's been one hell of a ride for Murdock over the last few years. He watched Karen Page die at the hands of one of his most hated enemies, beat Wilson Fisk, Kingpin of Crime, to the ground, declared himself to be the new kingpin of Hell's Kitchen, and stood revealed in the press as the vigilante Daredevil.

Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev had already torn most of Murdock's life asunder before Ed Brubaker took over the writing reins. The transition in creative teams occurred at one of the most jarring moments in the history of the character, but the talent of the people involved made it seamless. Bendis and Maleev finished their run on the series with Murdock disbarred as an attorney and placed behind bars, pending trial, then Brubaker and Lark told the story of what happened next.

The Devil, Inside and Out, a twelve-issue story arc in the monthly series and a two volume set in trade paperback format, is divided in two acts. The Devil in Cell-Block D covers Murdock's time behind bars on Ryker's Island and The Devil Takes a Ride carries him overseas to find out who has destroyed his life and why.

Both parts of the story work as fantastic visual complements to one another, Lark's art being some of the best in comics today. He captures not only the visual oomph of the streets of Portugal, France, and Switzerland as well as he had the closed-in walls of the prison but also manages to impart a sense of how Daredevil, moving through them with radar in lieu of eyesight, is experiencing them. As well, the halves of the story form a stunning examination of the character under extreme duress.

The ethical problems of his double life as attorney and vigilante have been there all along, of course, they simply were not subjected to such minute scrutiny until now. When Daredevil was first created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett way back in 1964, Murdock was simply accepted as one of the good guys. He put criminals behind bars by day as an attorney-at-law and helped corral them by night as a masked vigilante.

But when prisoners in vol. 1 of The Devil, Inside and Out discuss the possibility of verdicts delivered in Murdock's cases being overturned if he is convicted of having been a masked vigilante at the time, it forces to light the fact that the double life Murdock has been leading is, professionally and legally, not simply some obscure gray area. It is, as an attorney like Murdock might say himself, actionable in a court of law.

And when he makes the choices and arrangements necessary to put his own house back in order in vol. 2, it forces readers to view him in a whole new light. This is a man making complex choices and compromises; no longer the devil-may-care swashbuckler with the simple liberty of always doing what's right.

And, as Vanessa Fisk points out while revealing the orchestrations that have brought him to this point and that will continue to haunt and dig at him, his actions and choices are far more selfish than he allows himself to realize.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image