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Daredevil #73

Posted: Monday, June 6, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Decalogue, Part 3 of 5"

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Plot: As the people gathered in the church basement continue their conversation about the impact that Daredevil has made on their lives, a young woman tells the others that her husband was sent to jail by Daredevil. This woman states that her husband was a good man, and that his criminal actions might have been the result of him being under the influence of a little demon like entity. Needless to say, this explanation doesn't go over well with one of her husband's victims, but another member of the meeting perhaps has seen this demon.

Comments: I'm not quite sure what to make of this arc as rather than serve as an eye-opening look at Daredevil's lost year where he served as the new Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen it's pretty clear that each chapter is simply serving as a character study where Daredevil plays a background role in the action. However, while Daredevil's role in these stories might not be all that important, these stories remain engaging, and I'll give Brian Michael Bendis credit for making these slices of life in Hell's Kitchen quite varied. The previous issue was essentially a crime drama where a man forced to decide whether he was willing to kill to win his father's respect, while this issue is a rather unsettling horror movie. The Marvel Universe is full of fantastic plot devices, and as such, some of the more outlandish claims made by criminals about what motivated their actions could be true. She-Hulk's monthly title took a look at the more humorous side of this same idea, as elements of the super-powered world intruded upon the justice system, but this issue takes a look at a decidedly darker corner of this aspect of the Marvel Universe, as a woman has discovered that her husband is a serial rapist/killer, and her claim that his behaviour might have been influenced by a tiny demon looking creature that she once encountered when she made an unannounced visit to her husband's office. The issue also offers up a wonderful explosion of emotion when one of her husband's victims steps forward to express her outrage that this woman would attempt to explain her husband's behaviour by suggesting a demon was responsible for her husband's actions. In the end this issue is an engaging look at a woman who is struggling to understand how her husband could be the inhuman monster that the rest of the world believes him to be.

While I could probably check this out online, I do find myself wondering if Alex Maleev will remain on the title when Brian Michael Bendis leaves. Truth be told, my fingers are crossed that he will be sticking around, as he brings a wonderfully grounded, down to earth quality to these pages that sets this book apart from the crowd. There's a great little moment in this issue where a fantastic plot device intrudes upon the action, and the impact of that evil looking infant creature is perfectly captured in those panels depicting the young woman's stunned reaction, which is followed by a lovely all too human moment where she closes her eyes and hopes the creature won't be there when she opens them. The explosion of emotion as one of her husband's victims makes her presence known is also well presented, as the woman's rage as she tears into the woman is on full display. This is followed by an equally powerful scene where this woman has every right to be upset. The explosion of power on display during the battle is also well presented, as is the scene where it momentarily looks like the Daredevil has killed the woman's attacker.



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