Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Marvel promised that every comic character involved in their Original Sin saga, will be changed forever; Daredevil included. Spider-Man finds out that he wasn’t the only one bitten by that radioactive Spider. Hulk finds out that Tony Stark sabotaged the bomb that created the hulk. These are huge character changing events. What did Daredevil find out?
Writers: Mark Waid & Javier Rodriguez
Ink: Alvaro Lopez
A little back story: Daredevil aka Matt Murdock was raised by his father Jack Murdock. Life as a single father was hard for Jack. Jack was an up and coming Boxer, didn’t make a lot of money, and to make matters harder his son was blind (due to an accident). Jack was offered a title match, however only if he took a dive. The payout would be huge but it would also ruin Jack’s boxing career. He didn’t take the dive and it pissed off some very scary gangsters. Jack lost his life; Matt Murdock: blind son and future lawyer vowed to keep the streets of Hells Kitchen (located in the midtown of New York City) safe from these type of gangsters. He became a vigilante named Daredevil. Later on, Daredevil met a nun named Sister Maggie who turned out to be Matt Murdock’s mother and exwife to Jack. They became close but not close enough to ask why she left his Matt’s dad. Now enter Original Sin: Daredevil issue #6.
*Spoilers* Jack was an abusive husband and she had to save herself. That’s why she left, that’s the big reveal. I guess it’s big for Daredevil. It does kind of change the relationship towards his father and what DD stands for as a superhero. But no way is it as big as Spider-Man’s or Hulk’s Original Sin reveal. I mean, I get it if it was Batman and you find out that Bruce has a brother and his parents hid it (great ark DC comics!). Or if Wonder Woman wasn’t really birth from clay. But, I the reader shouldn’t be surprised that a hard, mentally beaten man wasn’t a good person. When I write the next few sentences: I’m in no way saying abuse is an acceptable or that i’m ok with any form of it (both physical and mental). Jack Murdock was a boxer and a troubled (not very educated) man. He was always portrayed that way (don’t believe me read “Battlin Jack Murdock” a marvel mini). It’s not shocking. It certainly doesn’t feel like an Original Sin type secret. I don’t know, after all the years of hinting why Mother Maggie left (oh and real name is Grace, so literally Daredevil will be saving Grace) that this is the big reveal. I feel a bit let down. Yes, I think Jack Murdock is a terrible person (he also never hit Matt) and I understand why Grace left. However, she never went back for Matt and regardless she never got the police involved.
Now because of how Marvel Comics works, I don’t know if it’s the 1950s when Grace (Maggie) left or the 1980-90s. I mean Peter Parker dressed like a nerd from the 1950s but nerds from the 80-90s didn’t dress like that, so every flashback in Spider-man, the reader feels disconnected. Back onto DD, let’s say it’s the 1950s. Grace gets abused, she leaves, she doesn’t go after her son (nor fights to see him) and moves on and becomes a nun. I’ll accept it, it’s a different generation, a different time (less laws to protect both women and abused victims). Does that happen in this current generation? Does this happen even 30 years ago? If Grace left in the 1980-90s, she would call the police (or if she couldn’t do that due to fear) she would at least get help for her son Matt. Right? I don’t know but I would like to think a woman from Hell’s Kitchen NY (I know a lot of people from this part of the city) would do the right thing and regardless fight for her son. New Yorker’s have that kind of attitude, they don’t take any crap from anyone. I guess I’m just not sure how to take this Original Sin reveal. I’m battling it too much. I have been a Daredevil reader for most of my comic reading life and it always made sense that Grace left Jack because of something huge. Jack never talked about it, Matt always wondered but never said anything. I don’t know, i guess that feeling not surprised ruined this Original Sin reveal. I feel a lack of effort for such a big event in Daredevil’s life.
Maybe there’s more to it that Marvel hasn’t pushed out yet. Maybe in issue # 7 something bigger and worse happens. You know what this reminds me of… In the Simpsons, we discover that’s Homer’s mother is still alive. She left Abe (Homer’s father) because she didn’t love him and became a highly wanted activist. Always on the run from law, she had to leave Homer behind. Abe couldn’t tell Homer what happened to his mother, so he just told him that she died. I kind of wish Daredevil stole this idea. Is that bad? We knew Mother Maggie was Matt’s mom, we knew Jack never mentioned his exwife, we can assume it was bad. So bad that Maggie became a nun and Matt never had the stones to ask why.
On a different note: I’m proud that Marvel is showing that abuse shouldn’t be a secret and that helps educate both people who know nothing about physical abuse (and the emotional scares it leaves) and little readers who are just starting out reading Daredevil (pick up Frank Miller’s work kids). But i’m not happy in the way they did it. It’s just one small image and nothing was discussed. Mostly it was Matt denying the flashback. I’ll check out issue # 7 and get back to you if they do any big changes.
1.5 out of 5.0 for the reveal
3.0 out of 5.0 for the comic: it’s always well written, perfectly paced and drawn effortlessly.
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.