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Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil #26

Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev take over as the regular creative team with this issue. They begin with a story that promises big changes in Daredevil's world. The tone is the familiar film noir look and feel pioneered in this book many years ago. The colors are muted and washed in tans and browns and Maleev's lines are heavy. I don't know if that's a result of the inking (none is credited) or if Maleev "painted" his work. Personally, I'd rather see conventional inking. I enjoyed Maleev's work on Batman's "No Man's Land" but here it has a chunky clunky feel which doesn't mesh with Daredevil's smooth and graceful movements.

Anyone accustomed to Bendis' work knows he excels in the gritty crime drama area. Here he is operating in his element. A new villain, Silke, is introduced and he has designs on the Kingpin's empire. Not exactly a new idea in the Spider-Man/ Daredevil canon but the introduction holds promise. The story begins in the present with a startling and sure to be controversial development. Again, it's not something we haven't seen before in the Daredevil Universe but let's hope this time it sticks for credibility's sake. Losing a central figure in the mythos can be jarring but it's not necessary a bad idea. Even vivid characters with rich histories need to give away at times to keep things fresh.

Following the introduction of Silke and his bold move on the Kingpin's turf the story flashes back to a week before where Matt Murdock is giving his summation in a lawsuit involving a corrupt corporation. Bendis gives us a fascinating view of how Matt's heightened senses aid him as a lawyer. My only quibble is the case sounds too much of a slam dunk to even have reached a jury and Bendis goes overboard in his portrait of cliched corporate misbehavior and lawlessness. Outside the courthouse after their victory Matt is accosted by a man with the power to violently repel objects. All around, including people and cars are thrown about. At Foggy's urging Matt, as Daredevil, gives chase.

Again, in something not unheard of, Daredevil's hyper senses are adversely affected by the blast and a possible concussion. Every sound, every smell is overpowering to Daredevil as he pursues the mysterious assailant. Finally caught the man confesses his powers need time to recharge so he is helpless before Daredevil. Abruptly, there the issue ends with Daredevil apparently pushed over the edge emotionally by the constant sensory assault.

Bendis is very effective in depicting Daredevil's sensory overload. He does it so well I'll forgive him his slight of Bruce Springsteen. In fact the overall tone of the book is very effective and promises to return the grittiness and street feel back to Daredevil.

The story leaves me extremely curious as to what happened in the week between the attack on Matt and Silke's move on the Kingpin. Based on Bendis' track record and the mood he and Maleev have created here, it also leaves me looking forward to see all that they have in store for Daredevil, his world and all those around him.

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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