"Decalogue 5: Thou Shall Not Kill"
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Alex Maleev
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: VC's Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$3.99 U.S. / $5.75 CAN
As the group gathered in the church basement react to Matt's sudden presence among them, we see Matt takes the time to explain why he's there, and we soon discover that he has followed the current host of the demon creature that has ruined the lives of several of the people gathered in this basement to this meeting. After Matt chases after the exposed demon host, he discovers that the host has his own plans for dealing with the creature inside him.
This issue does offer up an explanation for where the demon baby creature came from, and it also fleshes out the story of Daredevil's first encounter with the creature. The book also offers up a X-Files style ending where we see Daredevil finds himself standing around as the evil entity is taken out in a highly unsettling manner. I also rather enjoyed the revelation that Daredevil was unable to see this creature when it emerged from its host, as the character's blindness is rarely a factor when it comes to his ability to deal with a threat, and as such the scene where the young woman is terrorized by the creature, while Matt struggles to figure out why she's screaming made for a very effective scene that I wish had made a return appearance during the final encounter. However, this issue does get bogged down by the simple fact that Brian Michael Bendis seems to be of the mind that Matt needs to take the time to explain his presence to the other people who had gathered in the basement of that church. I guess what really bugged me about this issue is that given the impact that this demon creature has made on the lives of these people I found myself a little disappointed by the non-reaction from these people. I mean this creature has destroyed the lives of several of these people, and instead of an emotionally charged atmosphere the entire exchange was downright lifeless. I mean Brian Michael Bendis spent the previous four issues establishing the personalities of these people, and yet in this final chapter when they would actually be able to do more than detail the tragic events that brought them to this basement these characters are given little to do beyond sit on their hands while Matt deals with the threat that destroyed their lives. I'm not asking for them to suddenly turn into action heroes, but I expected them to play more of a role than they were given to play in this issue. I also found the final exchange to be a bit strange, as instead of questions about the demon creature, these characters are strangely obsessed with the idea that Matt has a bold vision for his neighbourhood.
Alex Maleev deserves all the credit in the world when it comes to the impact of the scenes in this issue that involve the demon baby creature, as the panels where this entity emerges from it's host are downright horrific, and of course my favourite section of the issue would have to be the scene where Daredevil gropes around blindly for the threat that has the young woman in such a panicked state. Now the rest of the issue deals largely with various shots of the characters reacting to the fairly lengthy speeches that Matt makes in this issue, and I have to say that I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed these sections of the issue thanks largely to the art, as the book opens with a lovely sequence where we get a look at all the various characters, as they react to Matt's sudden presence in the room. There's also some nice work on the issue's main bit of action, as we see Daredevil discover that the Jester is bringing something extra to the table, with the shot where he's sent flying out the front of the bank being a highlight image.
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