Title: Decalogue 5 – Thou Shall Not Kill
Published by: Marvel Comics
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Cory Petit
Editor: Jennifer Lee
Editor: Dan Buckley
Welcome to ‘The Devil Amongst Us’
Oh… you were looking for ‘Running With The Devil’ the Van Halen Fan club, they meet on Fridays.
…you are in the right place.
Thank you for joining us today. Today’s meeting is for a group for all of you people out there who just aren’t sure if you should accept Daredevil for what it’s become. Let me explain.
Last yearish, Matt Murdock was outted by a tabloid (for once it wasn’t the Daily Bugle making the trouble). Apparently, if you are to believe that rag, he is in fact, the vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen known as the Daredevil! Can you believe that a blind lawyer could possibly have the skills to be a rooftop leaping scourge against villainy?! Yeah… me neither.
Refreshments and counseling will be available.
For the record, I’ve whined for the last year. I felt that since Daredevil made himself Kingpin, there was nothing new under the sun. The stories about Matt having a breakdown, and him getting married, etc. They were all fun stories. They just weren’t the lead up to him finally taking down Kingpin. I felt lost.
Then along came Decalogue.
This story isn’t what most conventional comic folks are going to expect out of Daredevil OR Bendis. It, at first, only deals with ‘Devil in a secondary fashion – and then when he finally shows up, he isn’t even masked. He is Matt Murdock, sitting amongst people who are here to deal with the problems they’ve had in their lives because of the Daredevil. If you didn’t know he was the hero, you would think he was just screwing with them.
First off let’s address the title of the meeting “The Devil Amongst Us” and who happens to be sitting there? Matt. Albeit they don’t really explain how he got there, but he’s there alright. Why though?
Two words. Fetus thingy.
This small little creature who resembles Kuato from Total Recall has been causing all of the stories that we’ve heard in the prior four parts. Concluding with the very same alien fetus baby being in the very room with them. Matt is here to take it out.
Over the course of this issue, we get a closer and tighter view into Matt’s version of being the Kingpin, as well as his vision of Hell’s Kitchen. I would hope that Bendis follows up with these characters as time rolls on, because what Matt does is liberate them from their fear of him. He is just a man trying to make things better, and he knows he can’t do it alone.
I will say that the book leaves you with a few more questions to be answered, but for the most part – you walk away from it feeling that you want to go read the first four issues again looking for continuity. No, we don’t know the exact things that Matt has done the past year as ‘Kingpin’ – but we do know that he isn’t going to rest on his laurels, and he does it for the types of people who he’s hurt or scared the most.
It’s writing like this that makes me recognize that Bendis is a fun read, but occasionally a master.
I have a feeling when Maleev got to this point in the story, he realized he had to make an impact. Not only is the story taking place in a basement, but quite a bit of it relates to just Matt talking.
Maleev takes it away, making this one of his most endearing issues ever. The creative panel work, as well as the cinematic angles, make this, easily, his best. Let’s also not forget that the covers to each one of these stories reflect both the internal story, strong symbolism to what is going on within the book, as well as simply amazing looks.
So yeah – fine – you didn’t like House of M.
Whatever, you miss Hawkeye.
Blah blah decompressed blah blah Ultimate Spiderman.
This book is Bendis at his best.
I thought Daredevil had gotten stale. The stories held me, but didn’t lock me. Decalogue locked me, and this final issue moreso than most. We’ve dealt with a year of stories about the world dealing with Matt. (Ben Urich, Black Widow, his wife, etc) This book let us finally see how Matt has been dealing with the world.
Oh, and the last page? What does that portend? Is Daredevil leaving the costume behind, or has he finally just come to realize that he must live as both Matt and Daredevil. Either way, high praise for an amazing book.