Charles Soule’s Daredevil #10 is out, which means that Matt Murdock fans once again get their fix of solid storytelling. “Dart Art: Part 1” is nearly pitch perfect except for the writer’s big whiff on basic Catholicism. It’s a minor complaint, but still very important considering the fact that Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix covered the same territory without any problems.
Before we address the religious issue, here is what you need to know for DD#2:
- Daredevil tracks a common street thug across the NYC’s Upper East Side to familiarize himself with any changes in the terrain since his last visit.
- Blindspot’s arm has healed after being broken by Elektra one month earlier. He’s ready to get back into the superhero game and continue his training.
- Blindspot receives an strange invitation that references a “battle,” but when he arrives at the location on the card he only finds a dead man —and a mural painted in blood.
- Daredevil receives an emergency call to help out, which puts him in an awkward position. Matt Murdock, who know works as a prosecutor for the state, is swamped with cases and needs to call in favors he doesn’t really possess as the low man on the totem pole.
- Blindspot worries that if he goes to the police about his invitation it will put him at risk for deportation since he is an illegal immigrant.
- Daredevil takes the invite and says “if we ever need to surrender it, I’ll pass it along, say it was sent to me. Okay?” Blindspot agrees and thanks him.
- Daredevil touches the painting and concludes that it was made with “at least one hundred and thirteen” different kinds of blood. When Blindspot says, “I thought you said I couldn’t touch anything” because they are at a crime scene, Daredevil replies, “It is. Mine.”
Again, as was said earlier, Charles Soule is on his game. Aside from a seemingly rushed issue with Daredevil #1 Annual, the man has been consistently good for months. Daredevil fans are experiencing an inspired run that, years from now, will be well-regarded by a new generation of readers.
This issue’s one problem, as Christian readers may have picked up on by the first panel, is Daredevil’s decision to refer to a common thug as a “no hoper.”
The one thing any Catholic man understands — as demonstrated in the Netflix series — is that no one is without hope. Everyone is capable of redemption. That theme was hammered home over and over and over again in scenes that pitted Daredevil against Frank Castle, aka The Punisher.
All Christians know that there is always hope for redemption through Jesus Christ.
Luke 23:39-43 says:
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Charles Soule, a trained attorney, makes sure that Matt Murdock is never ignorant of something a first-year law student would know, but yet in this case a Catholic superhero says something that children making their First Communion would recognize as incorrect.
It isn’t a large gripe, but it is somewhat bothersome that Marvel cares enough about Kamala Khan to literally have it written by a practicing Muslim to make sure there are no hiccups, while Daredevil’s Catholicism is downplayed, ignored, and generally just treated (these days) with a “go ahead and fake it” mentality.
Marvel’s decision to give Mr. Murdock a generic Catholicism in 2016 is a shame because there are great tales to be told by any writer who is familiar with Hubert Van Zeller’s Suffering: The Cross of Christ and Its Meaning For You; G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man; Dom L. Scupoli Apulia’s The Spiritual Combat and a Treatise on Peace of Soul; and many, many others.
I will continue to read Daredevil, but I will also continue to be disappointed that there hasn’t been a writer in ages who is willing to mine the character’s faith to unearth amazing tales hidden just beneath the surface.
Is it possible (improbable, perhaps, but still within reasonable doubt) that the “no-hoper” comment is more along the lines of “no hope of getting away because I’m Daredevil and I’m awesome” instead of “no hope of redemption because this guy is a lost cause”?
“Is it possible (improbable, perhaps, but still within reasonable doubt) that the ‘no-hoper’ comment is more along the lines of “no hope of getting away because I’m Daredevil and I’m awesome” instead of ‘no hope of redemption because this guy is a lost cause’?”
I would say no because he immediately asks himself, “Is that mean?” It can only really be considered mean if he meant it as commentary on the guy as a lost cause.
Regardless, thanks for commenting. I appreciate it!
Marvel’s stance is that Daredevil is a lapsed Catholic. http://www.cbr.com/soule-haunts-daredevil-with-old-foes-flames-and-elektra/
“Marvel’s stance is that Daredevil is a lapsed Catholic.”
Thanks for sharing this:
Charles Soule: Matt’s reference to his “loss of faith” was literal — it’s made clear in Brian Michael Bendis’ amazing run on the character that Matt stopped being a practicing Catholic as a reaction to the death of Karen Page in Kevin Smith’s ‘Guardian Devil story.’ As far as I was able to determine (and I double-checked with Mark Waid, so I know I’m on safe ground here), that ball was never picked up — which means, as far as I’m concerned, that Murdock in the comics is what we call a lapsed Catholic. I was raised Catholic myself, and while I haven’t talked about it all that much, Matt’s relationship to his faith is and will be a running theme throughout the stories I’m trying to tell. The moment you mention is just the first part of the story there, but it’s no coincidence at all that the first arc involves a cult leader who gains deep power from the belief he inspires in his followers. More to come, let’s say.
Arrrg! This is so incredibly stupid. Brian Michael Bendis does something dumb with the character, and now we have to continue it because I’m assuming Soule too is a lapsed Catholic? In a Marvel Universe where gods and demons actually exist, Bendis and Soule are really trying to say that Matt Murdock would lose his faith and that he would do so because someone he loved died? What a joke. This is what Jose Molina tried to do in ASM “point” story “Amazing Grace.”
Again, I really appreciate that you sent this along. I may have to write a blog post on it in the near future.