Why did I get it: I stumbled upon this randomly while doing a general search for Daredevil. I didn’t even really know what it was about, but then I looked at it more closely and knew I had to read it. I am a sucker for single father stories, and I love Daredevil comics.
How I would rate it: 5 out of 5 stars.
My Summary: The last four rounds of Jack Murdock’s boxing career were destined to be part of the final hours of his life. Readers and fans of Daredevil know how this shaped Matt Murdock‘s future and his decision to become Daredevil, but what happened to Jack before and while raising his son? Why did Jack decide to win when he knew full well what would happen if he didn’t lose?
My Review: This graphic novel made me so sad, but Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art and Zeb Wells’ storyline were as enjoyable as they were painful. While I do love the Frank Miller’s run of Daredevil and the way he captures Matt’s parents, I think this is perhaps the best tribute that could have been given to a fictional character who was hardly a good role model and perhaps not the best father, but one who wanted only the best for his son.
Matt Murdock’s parents are definitely among the most screwed up superhero parents ever, but Jack as a single father fascinates me. He’s a man with no good choices and so aware of his circumstances that he cannot keep himself from lashing out at everyone but the people he wants to lash out at the most. He ends up with a son whose mother thinks he is the ultimate sin to the point where she even becomes a nun, and is faced with the difficulty of being who he is and not wanting his son to become a similar man.
As a result, Jack uses violence to allow for his son to choose a different path, which is so tragic since it is only through violence that Jack is able to keep his son safe. By beating Matt down when Matt finally stands up for himself, Jack is able to keep Matt from copying him but at very high price. The distance between them is captured so perfectly in the art. The inability of Jack to truly connect to his son and vice versa broke my heart.
In conclusion, I would heartily suggest Battlin’ Jack Murdock to any fan of the Daredevil comics either in the past or present. The end just gave me the best kind of chills and the entire four issues made me sniffly. More importantly, there is something very powerful about Jack learning to see his son in a different light even when Matt is no longer able to see for himself. I appreciate that this story adds a lot of depth to a very minor character while giving additional insight into a very familiar superhero.