Movie Reviews

Daredevil Should Be Marvel's Constantine, & His New Story Shows How

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Daredevil #1!

With his new series, Daredevil could become Marvel’s very own Constantine. With the recent reveal of a mysterious “Guardian Angel” shadowing him, Matt Murdock is in the perfect position for a dip into the paranormal.

In DC Comics, John Constantine is a detective who deals strictly in occult affairs. He may not look like much standing next to the Justice League, but his unassuming appearance belies an immense wellspring of mystical power, which is bolstered by access to a litany of artifacts and a studied memory of ritual spells. His adventures see him crossing paths with deities from many cultures, including DC’s version of Lucifer and the Abrahamic God. Daredevil shares an obvious connection with both of these figures, but Marvel has never seemed interested in hanging a hat on them—until now.

Related: Daredevil vs Batman Is Settled for Good by the Ultimate Authority

Daredevil #1 by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto picks up on the aftermath of the Devil’s Reign event and Hornhead has never been in a more uncertain place. After using his twin brother’s corpse to fake his own death, Matt has resolved to dive fully into his identity as Daredevil and split the duties of defending Hell’s Kitchen with Elektra. But the final pages of this issue introduce a cryptic figure who, by his own admission, has been following and protecting Matt for many years. A man Matt knew in law school as Robert Goldman reveals himself to in fact be a golden-hued angel, whose revelation is so luminous that it briefly restores Matthew’s sight. Just as quickly as he appears, however, he vanishes, leaving readers on a tantalizing cliffhanger.

Given Murdock’s perpetually poor fortune, this could all wind up being a trick. But it would open up so many fascinating possibilities if it’s legit. First of all, Daredevil has been sharing supervision of Manhattan with about a hundred other heroes. The entire lead up to Devil’s Reign was founded on his overwhelming feelings of impotence and doubt about whether he was actually making a positive difference in the battle against injustice. If there are diminishing returns on Daredevil as street-level hero both in-universe and from an audience perspective, could it be time for a more experimental approach to the character? “Daredevil: Demon Slayer” isn’t such a radical concept when you consider that he’s already fought Mephisto before.

Another commonality between Murdock and Constantine is their shared humanism. No matter how they treat themselves, they will continue to stick up for the innocent against the threats no one else can handle. The appearance of this angel could herald Matt’s reconnection with his spiritual source and reorient his perspective on what kinds of battles really matter. With Doctor Strange’s responsibilities growing multidimensional in scale and Ghost Rider sorting a personal vendetta, there may be principalities that yet need wrestling. If there’s any hero who’s qualified to become the Marvel Universe’s Constantine, it’s Daredevil.

Next: How Marvel’s Failed Spider-Man: One More Day Also Failed Daredevil

Daredevil #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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