Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: ErÖ Loads. See the issue for full details.
Daredevil #65 is a celebration of sorts, nominally marking the anniversary of the character and of the Marvel Knights imprint. However, itís Bendisí run on the series up to this point which is most celebrated here, and heís worthy of the credit. His rejuvenation of the series has been nothing short of fantastic, with almost every issue an impressive character study that serves an individual that itself carries a larger, over-arching story. The Matt Murdock epic that Bendis has created rivals even that of DD legend Frank Miller, and this issue takes a look back at some of the key moments of the Bendis run from a fresh perspective.
A series of vignettes covers the high points of some 30 issues of Daredevil continuity, each written by Bendis but illustrated by a different art team. Whilst this approach is guaranteed to throw up at least one episode which isnít quite to your taste, the issue as a whole gels far better than the previous one-artist-per-panel attempt in DD #50. Whereas that approach was supposedly significant of the timeless, ongoing nature of the Kingpin struggle, this issue uses the different art styles to give us a slightly different outlook on the Matt Murdock story. Taking in unseen encounters with S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, the Punisher and a whole cast of Mattís superhero friends, the effect is to enrich the already satisfying tapestry of Mattís life. The point can occasionally be rammed home a little too hard: the Spider-Man sequence explains the subtleties of the original issues in a fairly heavy-handed manner, and the full-page art by Greg Horn, whilst pretty, relegates the pages to little more than illustrated prose. However, the stories for the most part give us some great nuggets of character that make the Matt Murdock character seem even more real, whether itís his regretful request to Dr. Strange to turn the clock back with his magic or his deft handling of the Punisher to retain his Kingpin status.
Although a couple of continuity issues are thrown up, they will only affect the most die-hard fanís enjoyment of the issue. Itís a great jumping-on point for new readers, taking us through every major event since (and even before) Bendis and Maleev began their regular tenure on the title, and serves to add new depth to old scenes for regular readers, even taking the time to set up the next few issuesí story arc in a final epilogue. Well worth a read, even with the increased price tag.
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