ImageMap - Use text links ImageMap - Use text links

Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil #20

A new arc written by Bob Gale begins here and it is a departure from the tone of the 19 issues under the Marvel Knights banner before it. Not that it's light hearted but it isn't nearly as somber and full of emotional peril as the previous Smith, Mack and Bendis stories.

The story is composed of three elements, which I'm betting merge before things are settled. First, Matt Murdock defeats an unscrupulous publicity hungry lawyer in a high profile discrimination case. Later, a well known philanthropic businessman asks Murdock and Nelson to represent him in a destruction of property law suit he wants to bring against Daredevil. He brings the case to Matt because of his victory in the aforementioned case. He had thought to hire Matt's underhanded opponent. To entice Matt into taking the unusual case the man offers to donate one hundred thousand dollars to a charity for blind children. The third component of the story is the release from prison of the Jester.

We end with Matt torn over whether or not to take the case. As Daredevil he knows he was not involved with the incident referred to by the potential client. But his heightened senses also tell him the man is not lying. Matt feels he could better control the situation if he took the case while at the same time keeping it away from his unethical former opponent.

As I said the tone here, although serious, is not somber and dark. Even the colors are sharp and bright. Daredevil apprehends some thieves at the beginning and is as quick with the quips as Spider-Man. Things are stirred up at the law offices as Foggy hires a young female investigator who proves to be as efficient as she is beautiful. Everything is colors and light as Winslade, who penciled the Daredevil/Spider-Man 4 issue mini series provides good work here and stays away from alot of shadows and shading.

To my knowledge the issue of liability for property damage caused by costumed vigilantes has never been fully explored before. I know the Fantastic Four had trouble with their landlord because of it and of course Damage Control exists to pick up the pieces but Gale seems to have come up with a unique situation here. However, why Matt's potential client feels Daredevil is more to blame than the crooks he was fighting is beyond me. All in all Gale has set up an intriguing premise with a little mystery tossed in and I'm sure there are many twists and turns to come.

Since this would have been Daredevil's 400th issue if not for the Marvel Knights renumbering a bonus six page story scripted by Stan Lee and drawn by Gene Colan is included. It has Spider-Man and Daredevil sharing a meal at a bar and then watching each other's backs as Daredevil collars a mugger and Spider-Man stops a street fight. Lee's captions and narration is overly cutesy and almost parodies the style he introduced in the mid-sixties. Then he practically apologizes for the whole thing. If he thinks six pages aren't enough to do a good story he should check out the backstories in Batman's Detective Comics and Gotham Knights.

Daredevil (and other related characters appearing) and the distinctive likenesses are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used WITHOUT permission.
Copyright © 2003 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Visit