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Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil #18

Here comes Ben Urich, the reporter without a story. This is the third issue in the Bendis/Mack arc about reporter Ben Urich and Timmy, Leap Frog's young son who is unexplainably in a catatonic state. Urich should be covering the trial of the Kingpin, which took place during the previous arc, and J. Jonah Jameson, his publisher, has already rejected his idea for a story on Timmy.

Here we learn possible reasons why Urich is so drawn to Timmy's plight as well as why he's avoiding the Kingpin story. As with the first two issues of this arc Urich is the main player. Daredevil doesn't even appear until the last two pages. Urich, it seems, is haunted by a past attack on him by Electra's at the Kingpin's direction. He tells himself his disinterest in the trial is based on his resignation that there is no way the Kingpin will be convicted. This overtone adds much to Urich's psychological make up and shows the depths of Bendis' writing. However, the inference that Urich relates to Timmy because Urich was also a childhood victim of abuse is overused. Has everyone in comics with a problem suffered from child abuse?

Urich's obsession with Timmy causes him to miss out on covering the shooting of the Kingpin following the trial. Career wise he is now in major jeopardy and needs to parlay the Timmy story into big news to compensate to Jameson for his failure on the Kingpin assignment. This is a real life consequence for Urich and raises the stakes for him to find the truth about Timmy and hope it is newsworthy.

Bendis and Mack produce a fine sequence in which Urich arranges Timmy's drawings in order to make a narrative. This suggests that Timmy killed his father who had the upperhand in a fight with Daredevil. Check out the letters page where a fan predicts this outcome and calls it obvious. If this is the development next issue its success will depend on the execution. Perhaps Bendis has a trick or two coming. If not he is more than capable of presenting it in a thought provoking manner.

Mack's painting continues to shine. It's not easy illustrating a story with no action but Mack handles the moods well. He continues this book's tradition of creative layouts. He also throws in a Kim Basinger look alike as Murdock and Nelson's temporary receptionist. There are points however where the layouts are confusing. It wasn't until my second reading that the full page portrait of a wounded Electra made any sense to me at all.

The snail's pace of the first two issues has not picked up. This is a very interesting character study but I'm not sure it needs to cover four issues. Although I'm enjoying it I understand the complaints of those who feel it's too slow and are bothered by the absence of Daredevil.

Daredevil (and other related characters appearing) and the distinctive likenesses are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used WITHOUT permission.
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