It has been twenty years since the inception of the Marvel Knights imprint. Despite its loyal following, the line’s tales began to fade in the early 2010s. Today though, the Marvel Knights return in a special, unforgettable event that begins in MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 from writer Donny Cates.

Matt Murdock is on the run, except he doesn’t know why, and he doesn’t exactly know who Daredevil is either.

In an unrecognizable world, what does the Man Without Fear Do without a sense of who he is and, most importantly, without the devil within?

marvel knights 20th #1
MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 page 1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Trip Down Memory Lane

MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 begins with quite the startling image. A panicked Matt Murdock falls before the grave of Karen Page. He states that he has no idea where he is, who he is, nor why he is at Karen’s resting place. In the midst of his panic, Detective Frank Castle approaches him. Castle fills Matt in on his identity, telling the man once known as Daredevil to trust him since he is accompanied by a man who has some answers for Matt’s inexplicable state of mind, a man known by the name Bruce Banner.

Interestingly, Castle tells Matt that he too experienced a similar phase of amnesia. However, Matt is not convinced and runs off, but not before Castle strikes him in the end, triggering Matt’s memories to return. Despite the return of his memories, Matt refuses to go with Castle. So, Banner and Castle continue on their journey and decide to look for Elektra Natchios.

marvel knights 20th #1
MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Following the Leader

Now with his restored memories, Matt decides to see a familiar face, that of Foggy Nelson. Weirdly though, Foggy does not recognize him. In fact, everyone around Matt sees a different world from him. So, in a panic once more, Matt decides to pray to find solace.

In his prayer, the spirit of Karen Page appears to him, prepared to help.

Meanwhile, Bullseye is revealed to be following Matt’s every move, except he has no idea who he is either. Additionally, he is answering to a mysterious employer who we are initially led to believe is Kingpin when it is, in fact, Doctor Doom!

MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 is undoubtedly rooted in its ambiguity. However, that aspect is one of the issue’s strengths as it facilitates the run’s overarching mystery. The issue also gives us just enough of a taste of the story to come to keep us engaged, but not enough to give too much away in this introduction.

Some particular highlights include the twist at the end revealing Doctor Doom to be the primary villain. Additionally, Matt’s reunion with Karen Page provides us with a captivating image from penciler Travel Foreman and an exciting reintroduction of Karen’s character and pivotal relationship with Matt.

marvel knights 20th #1
MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 page 26. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1

As aforementioned, Travel Foreman truly does provide MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 with some gorgeous images. Alongside colorist Matt Milla, the panel mentioned above serves as this issue’s focal point. Karen Page is literally a light in Matt’s darkness, perhaps exemplifying a motif the run will eventually develop.

With this, I love how standardized Foreman’s illustrations are. He gives a clean, cohesive, almost minimalist approach to each and every panel. He never falters in the consistency of his images. Interestingly though, transitional moments in this issue such as Matt’s reunion with Karen in addition to his sudden recollection of his life break the overarching patterns of the issue.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that the artistic team was incredibly meticulous during the production of this issue because each and every panel parallels the nature and gravity of the narrative to a tee.

Finally, Geoffrey Shaw’s cover art deserves recognition as it perfectly exemplifies Matt’s inability to recognize the world around him. The juxtaposition of colors and Matt’s expression itself truly bind the cover with the content of the issue.

What Lies Beyond

MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 is a thrilling new beginning to an iconic Marvel imprint. It revels in its spellbinding art and narrative that subtly prepares us for what lies ahead. We don’t exactly know yet how high the stakes are about to get, and we don’t exactly know any single’s character’s motivations at the moment.

However, this first issue gives us unpredictability as a satisfying factor. We as readers are moving forward in this run with great uncertainty, and that ambiguity is actually quite exhilarating and refreshing.

MARVEL KNIGHTS 20TH #1 by Donny Cates, Travel Foreman, & Matt Milla
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MARVEL KNIGHTS 20th #1 is an electrifying work that prepares us for a new generation of stories.
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