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I’ve always thought that one of the creepiest super villains around was Zebediah Killgrave, also known as the Purple Man. While the name and his purple skin may seem rather silly, he has the ability to control people’s minds, making them do whatever he wants. With Killgrave, there’s often been hinted and explicity stated a sexual component to this power. In Daredevil #8, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee go direct with that component, showcasing the Purple Children.
Daredevil #8 begins with Killgrave and a group of his children abducting another one from a woman with whom Killgrave had an encounter years ago. When she resists having her son taken, Killgrave cold-bloodedly commands her to jump off her roof (which she does). Later in the issue, he explains to his gathered children that he has been collecting his children with various women because he wants something/one who legitimately loves him, not simply because he commands it.
Killgrave seems to believe that simply being a biological father and then revealing that will elicit honest and unwavering love from his children. The gathered children have the same power as him, making them immune to his powers. However, Killgrave doesn’t account for them not only not loving him, but that as a group they have the power to control him – which they do, commanding him to walk in front of a train.
I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to reveal that last part because Waid and Samnee leave it intentionally vague at the end of Daredevil #8 whether Killgrave has been killed or not. While the Purple Man is not a preeminent villain of the Marvel Universe, he is notable enough that it would be surprising if Waid and Samnee killed him off so quickly. Whatever his fate, it’s clear that Daredevil’s main upcoming threat will be Killgrave’s children, who while not perhaps as wicked as their old man may be more powerful as a group.
As an introductory chapter of this arc, Daredevil doesn’t actually meet up with Killgrave, though he does find out that he was the cause of the woman jumping off her roof. As Matt Murdock, Daredevil has another challenge. He finally meets the father of his girlfriend and law partner, Kirsten McDuffie. Mr. McDuffie pitches him an idea to write a memoir of his life as Daredevil – which the elder McDuffie promises will be a bestseller (I’d read that!).
It’s revealing nothing new to say that Samnee’s art is fantastic, as always. However, it is worth noting how creepy he makes the Purple Children. While Killgrave is creepy because of his devious intentions, the Purple Children have a visual creepiness. As illustrated by Samnee and colorist , they have dead eyes and an emotionless expression, like a violet Children of the Corn clan. The cover of Daredevil #8 captures the look exactly.
Certainly, Killgrave is a wicked man who deserves his fate if he has been killed by his own children. After all, they are presumably children of sexual coercion, making Killgrave’s actions uncomfortably rape-like. It’s also interesting that Waid and Samnee are choosing to match Daredevil against the Purple Children, as Murdock has matched up numerous times on previous occasions with Killgrave. What powers do the collective Purple ones have? How can Daredevil “fight” children? There are some intriguing questions Waid and Samnee lay out for this arc.