Marvel keeps turning beloved heroes into villains thanks to the age-old comics trope: heroes fighting heroes for no reason.
Warning: SPOILERS for Daredevil #8
Both Daredevil and Black Panther are villains now, and the Avengers are hunting them down. T’Challa and Matt Murdock have long comic histories and are two of the most morally upstanding heroes on the planet, even through their struggles, so why are their former team members on the Avengers treating them as enemies? Daredevil #8 provides a partial answer, but the real reason comes down to simple miscommunication, misunderstanding, and an inability to trust others on one’s own team.
Black Panther and Daredevil have faced tremendous struggles in recent months. Devil’s Reign, a Daredevil-centric event, began with the Kingpin outlawing superhero activity in New York, and ended tragically with the death of Matt Murdock’s brother. For his part, Black Panther inadvertently triggered a Wakandan civil war and has just lost his title of King, his seat on the Avengers and even his Wakandan citizenship; both men have lost much but continue to fight against evil…and the Avengers.
In Daredevil #8, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Marco Checchetto, Daredevil has just finished attacking the Punisher at his own compound; Frank Castle has made a devilish pact with the Hand in exchange for the resurrection of his wife. Daredevil has also sprung multiple criminals from a prison, but this is for a good reason: he needs the manpower to stop the Hand, and Murdock is one of the heroes who truly believes in rehabilitation and people’s ability to change. Unfortunately, no one informed the Avengers, and Captain America and Iron Man hold a meeting to decide the Man Without Fear’s fate. “Daredevil needs to be stopped” says Spider-Man.
Daredevil And Black Panther Are Villains Now – For No Reason
Black Panther is in a similar situation: in the wake of a rogue Wakandan sleeper agent taking control of a secret first strike program, the Avengers pin all the blame on T’Challa and attack him without hesitation. Even Captain America delivers punch after punch without listening to Black Panther’s explanations. Marvel often pits hero against hero, but these two situations are eerily similar: the Avengers see a situation in which one of their own acts out of the ordinary and immediately judge them to be villains without listening to reason.
Meanwhile, the real villains – the Wakandan sleeper agent Jhai and the Punisher – continue to enact their plans while the Avengers fight among themselves. This pattern even exists in the current Avengers books, in which no less than three teams of Avengers come together to fight an infinite army of Mephistos…and they still end up fighting each other first. It appears that Daredevil and Black Panther have been abandoned by their teammates – until the Avengers decide to attack another superhero first and ask questions later.