Daredevil Vol 12 'Decalogue'
Wr. Brian Michael Bendis

It is definitely time to give the devil his due. When Brian Michael Bendis took over for Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada on Daredevil, mainstream fans were just getting to notice the writer on Sam and Twitch. Now in 2005, Bendis has not only written over 50 plus Daredevil issues but is one of the main go to guys over at Marvel. But even with Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers, and House of M under his belt, Daredevil is still considered a fan favorite and with Daredevil volume 12: Decalogue, it is not hard to see why.

Daredevil Vol 12 Decalogue by Brian Michael Bendis Matt Murdock's life has been going on overdrive ever since a tabloid revealed to the world that he is Daredevil. Since then, he has denied the charges publicly but that hasn't stopped super villains past and present knocking at his door trying to take him out. The attention takes its toll on him, with the people around him taking the most blows. When the Kingpin sends Bullseye after his girlfriend, he beats Kingpin within an inch of his life and declaring himself the new Kingpin. The series fast-forwards to the final days of Daredevil as Kingpin, leaving many readers wondering what happened during his reign as the Kingpin of crime until now.

Decalogue, collecting Daredevil issues #71-75, reveals what exactly Daredevil was up to during his time as Kingpin. Residents of Hell's Kitchen all gather at their local church to reflect on recent events of Daredevil becoming Kingpin and how each individual is affected by the shift of power. How does Daredevil relate to each person in that meeting? How much does one member of the group actually know about Daredevil? And exactly how does this all tie into C-list and now supernaturally powered super villain the Jester?

Brian Bendis crafts an excellent Daredevil "horror" story and manages once again to revamp a campy villain and turn him into a creepy foe worthy of Daredevil. The transformation of Jester is frightening and done excellently. Dialogue, a Bendis' strong suit, is also on display since most of the action that takes place in the past and is told through the view of others. Many would criticize that there is too much dialogue in any Bendis but him credit. There is no other writer out there who can do heavy dialogue driven stories that still keep comic fans interested.

Alex Maleev is, as always superb. His dark, moody art always does Daredevil justice, even more so in this story due to its supernatural plot. One can only imagine how much better this artist will get four, five years down the line and I for one cannot wait for his run on Spider-Woman.

This trade is rather light on extras but the "meat and potatoes" of the trade is the story itself. A Daredevil story unlike any that Bendis has written before, it is worthy of a gift for yourself or for someone you love.

- James Chan

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