writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artists: Michael Gaydos and Various
The only ones not represented are those who
have passed on: Wally Wood and Bill Everett. As has become
expected for "milestone" issues, a variety of artists return
to pay tribute, or rather by drawing have us pay tribute to
them. Trust Bendis, however, to do the unexpected.
Instead of pin-ups at the end for us to "ooh"
and "aah," each artistic team gets a panel in the final knock-down
drag-out between Daredevil and Kingpin. It's not just a chance
to see old favorites (man, I miss Gene Colan's work); it actually
has a point. If anyone can prove me wrong, cool, write in,
but I believe that I have never actually seen this sort of
guest-stunt actually be part of the story.
More than that, rotating the artists through
the fight underscores just how intrinsic the rivalry between
Fisk and Murdock is for both characters. (And despite Daredevil's
ranting against Kingpin, perhaps how futile the rivalry
That's not to sell Gaydos short, as he does
after all handle the art for most of the issue. As usual,
his style brings realism to the characters. Their fight scene
is ugly and awkward, the way it would be if it actually happened.
So Bendis knows how to write for his artists,
and use them as more than a trick. Luckily, he also knows
how to write for his audience, making this fiftieth anniversary
the pay-off to long-simmering plotlines.
Daredevil took care of Bullseye in the previous
issue, timing meant again to show fans that the classic antagonism
is not about the Irish assassin. (If he is Irish - Colin Farrell
is stuck in my head.) It's about the Kingpin.
And Wilson Fisk has never been this chilling.
Killing as a matter of respect, having no doubt that he can
regain his empire, Fisk earns the name Kingpin with this issue.
Unfortunately for him, Matt Murdock has rediscovered his own
Want to understand why Kingpin never outed
Daredevil's identity to the public? Bendis provides a credible
(and incredibly simple) answer. And of course, Fisk was right.
Another rarity with this issue, Bendis really
does change things for Daredevil. If he ever leaves the book,
an older status quo could return, but for right now, the future
holds something that Daredevil has never attempted to do.
We won't see it for a few issues, as Bendis
steps out to perhaps make up for the lost eating and sleeping
of the last few months. David Mack returns with a story of
the assassin Echo. While it, too, will no doubt be good, true
fans are just biding their time until we can see the "King
of Hell's Kitchen."