One Sentence Overview: Intrigued by the baby that Gwyneth has left with him, Matt's opinion of the child is drastically altered by a visit from the mysterious Nicholas Macabees
Oh, here's Kevin getting all heavy again with a philosophical quote as a title. It's not, as one may think given the territory this tale covers, Biblical but Socratic in origin. The quotation in full is 'The unexamined life is not worth living' (see here for more details) and is also keen in Catholic theology as it asks the individual not to take things at face value but evaluate them and consider their worth.
For Matt, the question he's currently wrestling with is who is this baby he's been left with? Last issue ended with the mysterious and (allegedly) virginal Gwyneth dumping her baby with the lawyer because she has been instructed by angels to do so. She's also informed Matt that the baby is some kind of redeemer. This has caused Matt more than a little angst and his uncertainty about what's going on is increased when a nice old man called Nicholas Macabes turns up at his office to tell him that the child is the Anti-Christ.
Wow, Nick. That's not nice. Identifying Matt as a "somewhat religious man" (which probably is as accurate as we can muster with Matt), he seems to send our hero into panic with talk of his representing a mysterious organisation Sheol (which is the Hebrew word for 'grave') that has operated behind the scenes at every superhuman origin in an effort to protect the world from harm. It's not too difficult to see the issues that Kevin's wrestling with here - tossing out the religious view that incidents are not accidental or coincidental but have some kind of divine plan behind them. However, if that offends your intellect, he also has Nicholas make a very provocative statement when, reflecting upon the incident last issue that remarked upon the deaths of babies in the city's maternity wards, he asks why a child designated as a saviour would "allow so many infants to die in its name".
By so doing, Nicholas invokes the Biblical story of Jesus' escape from Herod's soldiers, whilst all other babies were slaughtered. As such, the statement perhaps reflects the ongoing concern of why a loving God would allow suffering.
It may therefore not be surprising that Matt's head is spinning following this conversation and he takes out his agitation on a poor guy who tries to mug him. It's only when he realises some kids are watching him work the guy over that he realises he's out of control. This sudden burst of violence reflects Matt's sometime loss of temper and, unlike on Dan Chichester's run, it's something he regrets.
It doesn't allow him to really process all the negativity from Macabees' visit, though. When he returns to retrieve the baby that he has left in the care of the Black Widow (who reminds DD that, in terms of babysitting, her "price range is a little out of your league"), following a short discussion as to whether he or Natasha would kill an infant Hitler given the chance, he decides to throw the baby off a top of a building.
It's clear that Matt's not thinking rationally at all in these moments. Lucky that Natasha's there to save the child (and reveal, interestingly, that it's a girl, not a boy, as stated by Gwyneth last issue).
Natasha's very presence is interesting and amusing, allowing Kevin to riff on how Matt often retreats to the Russian hero on the rebound from Karen. "Your girlfriend left you and you started feeling... nostalgic.. about us?" she enquires in answer to his call. One might expect Natasha to head for the hills, but next thing you know she's beginning to unzip her top and asking if he's up for the couch or the roof.
On this occasion, it's neither. It's babysitting he's after, as noted above. Though it ends up as more than that as Natasha finds herself having to relieve Matt of any childminding responsibilities, following his shocking convictions regarding the child. Perhaps a little more examination next time, Matt.
Elsewhere, Foggy seems to be getting very friendly with a client, Lydia McKenzie, who has come to him for help with a divorce case. Who'd have thought Foggy capable of doing the dirty behind Liz Osborne's back. That's definitely an unexamined outcome. And Karen's back. With bad news. But we'll come on to that next time.
Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff