Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Colorist: Jim Charalampidid
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 08/17/2016
Writer Charles Soule’s Daredevil and Punisher crossover Seventh Circle, comes to a conclusion with the fourth installment.
The Man Without Fear, under the activity of his alter ego, District Attorney Matt Murdock, arranged for gangster Sergey Antonov’s trial to be moved to Texas, in order to get a fair trial. A prison transfer was put into motion. But the bias of a jury and judge became distant from their concerns when Frank Castle, the Punisher attacked the prison transfer convoy. He has a different idea of justice from Murdock and plans to end Antonov’s criminal actions, permanently.
Daredevil and his protegé Blindspot were able to divert Antonov away from the Punisher’s vengeful clutches but the gangster had an escape plan in preparation. Some hired guns ambushed the duo and the Crimson Dynamo was at the head. Castle however was able to intercept them and now, Daredevil and the Punisher need to look to each other for assistance if they hope to take down the powerful villain.
As one can expect, Murdock and Castle have a difficult time with the shaky alliance as their ideologies collide with one another. Allowing Antonov to escape and head for the airport, where he evokes his disturbing outlook on life to a couple of unlucky security guards. As the two of them continue to dispute one anthers philosophies, Castle brings up a strong argument, that Texas is the death penalty state and from his perspective, that’s why Murdock wants the trial to move there. Especially when he’s viewed as one of the best D.A.’s in the state, he should be able to get a conviction anywhere. Castle believes that he is no different from Murdock, that it’s just the tactics they use differ but his way is simply more efficient.
It’s here that the Daredevil/Punisher rivalry flourishes and Soule has done a solid job of playing upon that. While Murdock still believes in the law and holds what optimistic people want to believe, Castle holds the skeptical mindset, believed by many to be the realistic view of the justice system that’s in the spotlight today.
This crossover has given readers what they expected/wanted to see and succeeds in that. Fans have an appetite to see these two duke it out both physically and philosophically. While at the end of the issue, with one of them coming out on top of the physical scramble, the battle of ideologies is still waging. Soule never draws a clear-cut line as to the right/wrong dilemma and presents positive and negative lights to both of the opposing sides. Forcing the reader to think critically about where they’d position themselves.
Artist Szymon Kudranski again illustrates the grim and unpleasant setting that lures readers to these characters. Both of them deal with heavy questions of morality that aren’t desirable to embark but are tempting at the same time. The vibe and tone of this book mirrors that of the Daredevil Netflix series, so if you’re looking for that, the art team has got you covered. There are a few instances however, where the facial expressions feel off. The background as well are lacking in detail, making this issue seem as though it was rushed.
As a finale to a 4 issue mini-series, this one succeeds. Again, it brings what fans of these two street level vigilantes want to see to the forefront and executes a story that’s very reminiscent of their lure. It’s clouded with gray moral stances and doesn’t draw a clear boundary between right and wrong. All in a simple story that anyone can grasp. The artwork captures the tone that’s needed for the rivalry but is lacking in detail. While distracting at times, it doesn’t take away from the point of the story.
Score: 4 out of 5
Read the original review here: https://thecomixalaxy.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/daredevilpunisher-4-review/