Friday, June 16, 2017

Why You Should Read "Roulette"

What does a superhero really stand for?

As much as comic books serve as an escape from reality, they also provide messages and stories that remind us of the reality we live in and that it is our responsibility to fix it, because there are no heroes wearing capes and tight to save the day. "Roulette" is one of those stories.

The story takes place sometime after Daredevil's nemesis, Bullseye, murdered Daredevil's ex-lover, Elektra. After killing Elektra, Daredevil went after Bullseye and their altercation ended in an accident that paralyzed Bullseye. In "Roulette", Daredevil visits Bullseye in the hospital to play a game of Russian roulette.

But while playing the deadly game, Daredevil tells Bullseye a story about a boy named Chuckie. Matt Murdock was supposed to represent Chuckie's father, Hank Jurgens, in an embezzlement case. However, while meeting with Mr. Jurgens, Matt found that Chuckie would pretend to be Daredevil and even idolized the masked hero.

Enjoying the idea of being admired, Matt visited Chuckie at school as Daredevil and performed for the young boy. Unfortunately, Matt quickly learned that Chuckie was obsessed with the hero and admired Daredevil for the wrong reasons. "When somebody gets in your way, you give it to them -- POW, Nobody tells you what to do!" 

Later Matt finds out that Jurgen's is guilty, and as Daredevil, he stops Jurgens from shooting another man. But like most Daredevil stories, things get worse. Chuckie watches Daredevil slowly disarm Jurgens and beat him, shattering Chuckie's young mind. Months later, Chuckie takes a gun to school and shoots another student. 

This is a story that is a perfect example of Daredevil's personal conviction and why he is plagued with guilt. Daredevil asks the paralyzed Bullseye (or more accurately, asking himself) " I showing them that any idiot with fists fro brains can get his way if he's fast enough and strong enough and mean enough? Am I fighting violence  -- or teaching it?"

This is a story that also reflects a real world dilemma. How do we portray violence and evil in the media? Does our romanticization of violence and criminals encourage real life violence and criminals? "Roulette" asks that question but does not provide a definitive answer, because in the end, Daredevil is left alone with Bullseye and an empty gun.

ISSUE: Daredevil #191 (1983)

 Writing   Art   Character Development   Overall Enjoyment 
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