COMICS RETROSPECTIVE: Bendis's Daredevil Ultimate Collection Vol 2: The Implosion of Matt Murdock.

I find that when I read a Brian Michael Bendis comic (at least, his early work, that is), I'm getting a full crash course in comic book storytelling. While he does have flaws, which have become more apparent as he's aged, I find that his Daredevil run shows what he can do when he's at the top of his creative powers.

While these arcs weren't quite as excellent as "Out" from the previous volume, Bendis continues his stride in this run as he continues to turn Matt Murdock's life on its ear. He and Maleev explore every potential consequence that's pushed in Matt's way, as his life gets upended with the revelation of his secret identity being outed to the public (pardon the pun), rather it be Yakuza thugs gang-rushing him while he's walking home, cops refusing to help him when he's in danger, and so on. The amount of detail that Bendis goes into while destroying Matt's personal life showcases his strengths as a storyteller and how far he can take it when he's writing about the downfall of The Man Without Fear.

Art by Alex Maleev

Art by Chris Bachalo

Bendis's writing continues to be consistently strong throughout this run. While he sometimes is too wordy to a fault, he more than makes up for it with his patient, calculated storytelling that keeps the readers invested effortlessly. Bendis has consistently shown that his strengths as a writer lie with the more grounded heroes of Marvel, as well as with the pulp noir genre that Frank Miller helped to establish for Daredevil in the late '70s and early '80s. His acumen with the genre shows itself to be on point with this run, with hard-boiled, cynical inner monologues, doomed, self-destructive protagonists, and unwitting people who get caught in the vortex of crime. Except in this book, we see superheroics alongside the relatively grounded tone of this series. What is also relieving is that Bendis maintains a sense of humor throughout this run as well, though without losing the tone of the series that he's writing...unlike another run on Daredevil I could mention.

We also get to see one of my favorite comic book villains in The Kingpin come back in style and show everyone why he is one of the biggest, baddest villains that Marvel has to offer. The characterization of the Kingpin in this volume proves to be one of the strongest elements of this part of the run, as he isn't the calm, calculating mastermind that we