Matt Murdock has been "outed" by the Daily Globe, revealing his Daredevil secret identity to the world. As Matt struggles to come to grips with this new reality, other media sources in town try come to grips with the reality of being scooped on the hottest story of the year.
The scene is a Daily Bugle staff meeting. The man in charge is a very angry J. Jonah Jameson. The reason for his anger? The Daily Bugle broke the story on Daredevil's secret identity. Jameson, noted for his deep loathing of costumed superheroes, goes off on a rampage, demanding that his employees find out everything about Murdock. "It's not true."
The voice belongs to Ben Urich. He tells Jonah that the story isn't true and that he knows who Daredevil is. Peter Parker arrives to back up Urich. Jameson, incredulous, asks the two of them who Daredevil really is. They refuse to answer. "You're going to tell me right now or you're both fired!" "Boo hoo," Peter replies, "I don't even work here." He leaves. Urich again refuses to answer, telling Jonah that he holds the information in confidence, and that running a story would be nothing more than character assasination. Jonah orders him out of the room.
Ben Urich catches up with Peter on the street outside the building. "I didn't know you knew." "I didn't know YOU knew." Neither man has talked to Matt, but both are worried. "I can't imagine what he's going to do now."
At Matt's brownstone, Murdock is trying to figure that out himself. Foggy Nelson knows the answer: Matt needs to retire. He tells Matt that every time he puts on the costume, he creates a "cycle of pain." That he's mad at the world for needing him, mad at himself for putting himself through this, and that he needs to stop before he completely destroys himself. Matt, needing some air, pulls on his costume and takes off into the rainy night. Eventually, he finds himself on a lamppost outside his brownstone, the paparazzi only a few feet beneath him. To Be Continued.
Brian Michael Bendis is at the top of his game here. Jameson's reaction, Ben and Peter's defense of Matt, Matt's confusion and Foggy's regret-tinged insistence that Matt quit are all note-perfect, as is his "what will he do next?" cliffhanger.
Seeing the Daily Bugle staff again was a tad bittersweet. It made me realize just how much I miss the Bugle supporting cast in Spider-Man these days. Still, it was good to see Jameson again in particular. And while Urich is more of a DD cast member these days, he and Peter have a connection of their own. I'm glad to see Bendis touch on that.
I love Alex Maleev's artwork. Not only does it fit the tone of the book, but it's a refreshing change (in my opinion) from the more cartoony comic book art that we're seeing more and more of in the Spider books. (So I'm not a Humberto Ramos fan, so shoot me.)
Pick up this book if you aren't already. It's well worth your time.