Review by Tim Sheridan
“The Murdock Papers” Part 1 of 6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Asst Editor: Cory Sedlmeier
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by Marvel Comics
I’ve reviewed this title before, and every time, I’ve extolled its virtues, of which there are many. I’ve loved the Bendis/Maleev run on Daredevil up until now, and this, their final story does not change how I feel.
Bendis is a very smart writer, so I have a feeling that every little thing he has set up for the past 50 or so issues is going to come together for his swan song on the title. From their first issue, it was clear that things were not going to be wrapped up neatly anytime soon. There has been a rich tapestry of characters and story-arcs in this run, and it was clear throughout that there was a bigger picture, and that it all was very much going somewhere. We finally see where that is.
We start the issue off with Ben Urich, who has been summoned to see the Kingpin in prison. They have a brief exchange where Kingpin tells Urich that he wishes to come clean about Daredevil and Matt Murdock. And as we all know, this is going to have disastrous results for our friend Daredevil.
Meanwhile, things seem to be going well for our hero. He fights some crime, and the people in the neighborhood like him. His law firm is doing good business. And then his ex-wife comes in the door. Now frankly, I don’t know where that is going. Milla is an interesting character in that we don’t know much about her.
While the plot points in this issue are remarkably pedestrian, and don’t really warrant any extraordinary acclaim, the key to this book is the way it’s all told. The tone in Daredevil is the thing that removes it from any other comic on the stands. The fear we feel when Ben Urich visits with the Kingpin is a perfect example of that. The joy we feel when the people cheer for Daredevil is another.
The pacing, the mood, and the realism make this book what it is; and that is one of the best comics ever made. I’ve said before that this is the best that Daredevil has ever been, and I can’t reiterate it often enough.