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Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil #23

Part 4 of Bob Gale's "Playing to the Camera" begins with Daredevil maneuvering out of the public relations corner Griggs painted him into at the end of last issue. From there Elaine learns Griggs was not even home but at his mistress's when he claims Daredevil damaged his greenhouse. This he strenuously denies and of course Matt can tell Griggs is not lying. The mistress of course will not testify against Griggs.

Shortly after Matt and Foggy confront Griggs and tell him only an eyewitness can save his case, lo and behold, one turns up. A background check link Griggs and the witness to a doctor, Arnold Quaid. Daredevil confronts him and learns he used to be a second rate costumed villain, the Matador. He confesses to planting false memories in Griggs as part of therapy and claims he has not broken any laws. Daredevil drags him over to Griggs' office and interrupts a meeting. Griggs explains that the Matador is not Dr. Arnold Quaid and the Matador denies everything he told Daredevil. Upon returning the Quaid's office Daredevil finds all signs of "the doctor" have been removed.

This issue is not as strong as what has come before. Legal contradictions keep piling up. As hard as it was to sallow that the Jester's faking a bank robbery in order to legally serve Daredevil didn't break any laws it's almost impossible to believe that there's nothing illegal in purposely implanting false memories. There's also a feeling here that this whole story is taking to long to tell. Perhaps the Jester and Matador episodes could have been contained in one issue. Additionally there's a sameness about the way Daredevil was deceived in both incidents. The incident in the Matador's office where Daredevil is attacked by someone named Ilsa, who for some reason wears a costume, is wildly out of place. The biggest missing ingredient here is the lack of dramatic tension. What's at stake for Daredevil? He loses a nuisance lawsuit? How is that so terribly bad for him?

I still feel a bit a foreshadowing would help this story. Four issues in and we still don't have a clue who is behind this and what their motives are. It's clear someone is using some type of mind control or altered perceptions. Sounds like the trademarks of Mysterio but he's dead. Perhaps the name Arnold Quaid holds a clue. Again giving us a glimpse or idea of how this is being done would enhance the story and add an element of danger which is missing.

Dave Ross takes over the pencils from Phil Windslade here. Ross completed the Echo arc following Joe Quesada and did a fine job. Here he slips badly. Maybe it's due to working with a different inker. He misses badly in his depiction of many characters. Foggy and Griggs are drawn unevenly, changing from panel to panel, page to page. Elaine, Matt and Foggy's office aid, bears little resemblance to how she was presented in previous issues.

Hopefully Gale can recover the momentum from the first three issues of this arc and bring it to a satisfying conclusion, avoiding the pitfalls that muddied things up here.

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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