"Decalogue, Part 2 of 5"
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: As a group sits around discussing the impact that Daredevil has made on their neighbourhood, one man silently thinks back on his own fleeting exposure to Daredevil's world. This man, in an attempt to earn the respect of his incarcerated father, agrees to perform a job for his father, involving planting a bomb that would kill Foggy Nelson. However, this man is a devoted father and husband, and he decides that he's not about to become an assassin simply to earn his father's respect.
Comments: This isn't really a Daredevil story, but it does a pretty nice job of playing around the edges of Daredevil's universe that it's easy to see why Brian Michael Bendis felt DD fans wouldn't mind spending an issue reading about this man's personal crisis. Truth be told, the story is a bit of a non-starter, as it builds toward a big event that we know never plays out as the intended victim of the planned attack has been shown to be very much alive in the stories set in the present day, so this element of the story doesn't quite carry the emotional weight it could have. However, the writing nicely sets up its lead character so that by the time the climax comes around one actually cares what happens to him. Though once again, since he's also serving as the narrator of this story, we know nothing all that terrible can happen to him. Still, this was a very enjoyable done-in-one adventure as Brian Michael Bendis effectively establishes this character, as well as cleverly sets up how the character is linked to Daredevil's world. The motivation that drives his actions was also a well drawn personal crisis, as I'm sure everyone reading the issue will be able to identify with this man's futile attempt to secure his father's approval, and the scene where his wife helps him to realize the truth of the situation was one of the issue's strongest moments. I'll also give this issue credit for being enough of a departure from the first chapter of this arc that I'm no longer concerned that Brian Michael Bendis is going to fall into the trap of recycling the same plot over and over as these characters would sit around telling each other about how Daredevil impacted their lives. This is a pretty enjoyable character study, and my fingers are crossed that the chapters that follow are as entertaining as this one.
Alex Maleev's work on this arc has a rather interesting look about it as while there are times when the art looks a little too static (almost like the characters have been cut and pasted into the panels), there are also moments where I can't deny that the art does an absolute amazing job of capturing the natural movements of the characters. In one great little exchange the lead character in the issue first visits his father, and the sheer animosity of the father, and the desperation/growing disappointment of the son is perfectly captured by the art. I also rather enjoyed the fact that the people that populate this story look like normal people, and not cookie cutter background characters in a comic book. I also have offer up my highest praise for the work that Alex Maleev does with the little boy, as the kid's face as he watches the movie is absolute perfection. Long-time fans of Daredevil will let out a bit of a smile as Josie's windows finally get their long deserved revenge.
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