The Best Issue of Daredevil Yet
The fourth issue of Daredevil is even better than the one before. Joe Orlando has really upped his game on the artwork. There are still a few panels here and there that seem less than great, but overall, there's more good artwork in this issue than any previous issue. Daredevil's movements look so fluid and dynamic in most of the panels that you can really visualize exactly how he's executing every punch, leap, and judo throw.
Stan Lee's writing of Daredevil as a hero-in-progress is also nice. Just last issue Daredevil decided that he had to have a way to carry his street clothes with him, and a few panels were devoted to him making a special hood to conceal his clothes and shoes in a backpack like 'hood' that he could wear. But this issue, when it's torn open in combat, he decides it's too much of a liability. Likewise, he continues to modify his cane to suit his needs.
Even better is that with this issue, Stan comes up with one of the most interesting villains he's ever created - the Purple Man. The Purple Man is able to affect people's mind, making them comply with all his requests. This leaves Daredevil, Matt Murdock, a man who believes in the rule of law, in quite a quandary; after all, the Purple Man has broken no law - it's not a crime to ask people for things!
Speaking of crime, the increasingly crime-centric nature of Daredevil stories makes for a nice change from most of the other more sci-fi based Marvel titles. Matt Murdock/Daredevil's references to real world 'current events' in the crime world (The Appalachin Bust last issue, and the Jack Ruby Trial this issue) lend an authenticity to a character whose whole life is focused around crime and justice.
The downside here is that we're starting to see the beginnings of Daredevil's billy club as a catch-all, do-anything device. While it's clever when he pre-plans something like getting confessions on a concealed micro recorder, or specially modifying it ahead of time for a particular villain (as he does in this issue); it's really annoying when he just suddenly uses it in completely convenient new ways, such as bending it into a boomerang and throwing it (as he also does in this issue), or perfectly throwing it to hold wide elevator doors, etc.
But between the unique threat of the Purple Man, and the character development in the Matt-Foggy-Karen love triangle, this is a solidly good early issue of Daredevil.