One of the best things about comic books are the main characters. We love Deadpool because of this sense of humor and the layers in his personality. Jessica Jones is the epitome of strong women. Not just physically. Sure, she can throw someone through a brick wall, but it’s her inner strength that’s kept her popular. In stories, the side characters are just as important as the main ones. They add something to the story. Some of them can be as interesting as the character the tale follows. That’s where today’s subject comes into play.
Detective Cole North was a former detective in Chicago. He transferred to New York and partnered with one of the few people in the NYPD that wasn’t crooked. Together, they set out to clean up the streets. Their first case was taking down a murderer. That killer was Daredevil. Detective North didn’t like what Daredevil represented. To him, he was allowed to roam around and beat people up. Yes, they are criminals, but taking down crooks is a job for the police. Detective North also didn’t appreciate the way Daredevil was put on a pedestal. Since he followed the law, everyone should have to. No matter what they did for the community.
Eventually, Detective North caught Daredevil at his worst. The two of them got into a fistfight in front of cops and civilians. Detective North won the fight. Luckily for Daredevil, he was whisked away by the Punisher. Detective North may have lost the fight, but he won the war. Matt Murdock quit. Everyone thought Daredevil was dead and gone. Did that make Detective North happy? No. As things progressed in his life, he started to realize what Daredevil meant to Hell’s Kitchen.
Why am I highlighting this guy? Because of what he represents. He shows evolution. What it means to go into something thinking one way and evolving. Detective North seemed to hate Daredevil. It wasn’t until he saw true evil that things become clearer. More than that, Detective North was a crucial part of getting Matt Murdock back in the saddle.
The story that started with Daredevil: Know Fear couldn’t have been told without Detective Cole North. The two of these characters grew in their way of thinking. Matt gave up on being Daredevil and Detective North may have been going too hard at his job. It was a tale of balance. Without Detective North, Matt wouldn’t have forgiven himself for killing someone. He needed to see the opposite end of the spectrum.
As great of a character Matt Murdock is, he needs people like this to keep his story going. It was a phenomenal story with one of the best side characters you’ll ever read. The funny part is that writer Chip Zdarsky has made his run as much about Detective North as he has Daredevil.
As the series progressed, you see him growing as a person and a more interesting character. He has his flaws and he’s working on them. Any character worth reading learns to become a better person. Chip Zdarsky did such a phenomenal job writing Detective North that I wouldn’t mind seeing him in his own series in the future. It may not be full of superhero beat downs, but it would be terrific to see a comic book about a black detective. Especially one with morals.
So often we see detectives or cops in TV shows and movies who have zero morals. Or they’re so far against the law that we can’t tell where the line is drawn. This man is a good police officer. He tries his best to do what’s right. When you find out why he has his vendetta against Daredevil and why he left Chicago, you may despise him. I know it was difficult for me. Especially considering what’s going on in the world today. Nonetheless, it’s part of what makes him a good character. Definitely one worth checking out.
Detective Cole North’s Journey begins with Daredevil volume 1: Know Fear written in 2019