Daredevil #26: Serious shit happens in this latest issue of Matt Murdock’s comic. Daredevil runs around scared senseless after getting his butt handed to him last issue by a physically superior doppelganger, terrified that he won’t be able to help Foggy Nelson his best friend’s battle against cancer.
The reveal of the mastermind behind the psychological and physical attacks on Daredevil is a great one and further invests you into seeing how things will pan out.
But the standout moment in this issue comes from a moment in the back-up story where Foggy goes to speak to a group of kids who are also fighting cancer. The way that Mark Waid and Chris Samnee weave the grim undertones of the main story — cancer as an impcable foe that you need friends to help you beat — with a more innocent use of superhero symbolism in the additional tale pretty touching.
It’s a cliché that superheroes keep their identities secret to protect their loved ones but this issue drives home the fact that those friends and family members need more than safety. Sometimes, they need emotional support. Sometimes, they give it back.
Fantastic Four #8: Superhero comics get frustrating in how they treat their status quos. Either the powers-that-be hold on so reverentially to The Way Things Have Always Been or they rush in to Change Things Up for a momentary spike in interest. But the recent shift with Ben Grimm’s character that Jonathan Hickman’s run established — where he gets to be human again for one week a year — has been a great tweak that strengthens the inherent sadness of the Thing’s plight.
This issue has echoes of the classic Lee/Kirby stories but adds a more personal touch to the essential Thing conundrum, where a big-hearted guy feels cut off from the people that he loves. Ben goes to great lengths to re-visit people and places he loves in this issue and while the plot will read as familiar, it’s the subtext of past regrets and time tickling away that makes it more of a tearjerker. Great stuff.