Updated: Jan 24, 2020
MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Travel Foreman & Derek Fridolfs
Colorist: Matt Milla
This book is a celebration of the Marvel Knights imprint that debuted 20 years ago. When the line was founded by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti it took the comic book industry by storm. More importantly the landscape of the Marvel Universe was forever changed for the better. They took characters such as Daredevil, Black Panther, Punisher, and the Inhumans and put out some of the best comics starring those characters, ever published.
This story at it's core is a mystery. The story opens up with Matt Murdock/Daredevil at the grave of Karen Page. It connects it to the "Guardian Devil" arc from the inaugural Daredevil story of the MK imprint, in a way that honors the past. He has no idea who he is or why he's there. The mystery deepens when a cop, who happens to be Frank Castle/Punisher, tells Matt who he is. Frank too woke up with know memory but was told about his past by a skinny little man with glowing green eyes. That's right the Hulk is sitting in the back of Frank's cop car helping him "wake up" the "others".
As Matt begins to regain some of his memories, he seeks out friends. But it doesn't go according to plan because they have no memory of him either. It's not just heroes that are affected though. A strange man, Bullseye who is also amnesiac, is watching Matt and reports to the Kingpin that Matt has regained some of his memories. Kingpin who has no memory also is keeping tabs on all these people for the mysterious villain seemingly behind it all..... DOOM.
While not much happens in the story, Cates has delivered a mystery that pulls you in from the opening page. This is another captivating story from the white hot writer. This story feels likes there's going to be lasting consequences for our heroes but is done in an intimate way that is perfect for these ground level heroes.
The art by Travel Foreman was gritty and beautiful at the same time. His depiction of Matt shows a man in turmoil and distraught, all through body language. This isn't the Man Without Fear we're used to seeing, he's lost and scared. This isn't your typical anniversary book, no gimmicks here. This book has everything we all loved about Marvel Knights and brings us a book worthy of these characters and the creators that helped shape the imprint years ago. This is shaping up to be an interesting and fun ride, and I can't think of anyone better to be behind the wheel that Donny Cates.