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Review – Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1 (Marvel Comics)

Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1 (Marvel Comics) connecting variant cover (detail) by Kaare Andrews
Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1
Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 7/10
    7/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
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User Review
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Summary

Writer: Donny Cates
Pencils: Travel Foreman
Inker: Derek Fridolfs
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release: November 7, 2018

Our heroes have forgotten who they are! What mad villain would do this, and why? Find out in Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1.

 

 

“Shout at the Devil” Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1

A mystery unravels in Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1. Matt Murdock doesn’t remember he is “the man without fear”—Daredevil—but something draws him to the grave of a girl named Karen. A cop approaches him saying a skull symbol awakened him to who he truly is. He wants to awaken Matt Murdock, but will Matt believe? Who would erase all of our hero’s memories and what do they have planned?

Writing

Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Geoff Shaw
Main cover by Geoff Shaw

Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1 has two things going right off the bat for me. First, it stars Daredevil, one of my favorite Marvel heroes, and second, Donny Cates is writing it. I love Donny Cates’ writing; from Thanos to God Country he has done some incredible work. Now he is getting to write Matt Murdock and it has me very excited. I see Cates as a big epic storyteller; his Venom run has built up an epic storyline and he has done some crazy things with The Death of the Inhumans and other titles at Marvel. Marvel Knights is a little smaller story feel for him.

He crafts a nice start to a mystery story. The issue starts off fast and Cates does not let up from there. We are brought along as Matt discovers who he truly is. The pace may be a little too quick. I would have liked the issue to slow down just a little to let the reader catch their breath some. 

Overall the story is a solid first issue that builds up a good mystery to be further revealed. I also enjoy Cates’ writing and dialogue throughout Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1. He has a unique voice and perspective that he lets shine in the issue, while still letting the characters feel like themselves. It is another great writing job by Donny Cates.

Art

Travel Foreman does the penciling work for Marvel Knights. Foreman has a pretty distinct style, with some great character work and kinetic visuals. His characters always have this slender, sleek look to them. The necks always seem a little too long and the arms and legs are the same way. It works tremendously well when he conducts action sequences as it gives off a great energy on the page. Something just felt a little off in Foreman’s art in Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1. It was not bad, it just didn’t feel as “clean” or as detailed as his normal stuff. The backgrounds were kind of blank as well, and he usually has some fantastic background detail.

Part of the change could be the inking from Derek Fridolfs. It is not a very bold inking style. The lines are very thin and wavy like; that doesn’t seem to mix well with Foreman’s pencil work. It is still good artwork, it is far from bad, it’s just not up to the what I expect when I see Foreman’s name on the credits.

I did like Matt Milla‘s coloring work on this issue. He uses a great color palette throughout Marvel Knights. A nice mix between light and dark helps set the tone for the issue. There is a great one-page spread of Matt Murdock remembering he is Daredevil that is laid out extremely well by the art team, with flashbacks to his superhero life spread out in a circling motion with a wonderful mix of reds and yellows. It is a delightful page to look at.

Conclusion

Overall Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary #1 was a good start to this six-part story bringing back the Marvel Knights imprint. It did not live up to the great expectations I had for it, but it was still good. Donny Cates continues to be a fantastic writer and I really want him on a Daredevil story soon! Travel Foreman’s pencils, while still really well done, just felt not as “polished” as normal; maybe that is partly from the inking or him trying something new? I am not sure. The art is not bad, it just not as good as what we normally see from him. I am excited to see what issue #2 brings as other artist and writers will be joining the fray, and to see where the story is going.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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