Read the reviews carefully. Almost every review printed here is for the Daredevil Omnibus by Brian Michael Bendis, the volume that was published before this one, which is by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark. A listing error on the part of Amazon is causing the reviews to be merged.
So, let me get into the Brubaker book. Daredevil has always been something of a bleak and tragic series. You don't need me to rehash the history- it's full of death and suffering. The arcs in this volume continue that fine tradition of torturing poor Matt Murdock. The symbolism of DD in a upside-down cruciform on the cover is not an accident. Matt is first in prison, then on the run, and finally caught in a devastating conflict with an old enemy. The book ends in a horrible and soul-crushing finale that rivals many other DD stories for sheer depressive power.
The writing and art style in this book is a bit more "old school" than the previous years by Bendis and Maleev. In fact, Mr. Lark seems to deliberately conjure and earlier age of comics storytelling by using smaller panels and very restrained compositions. Mr. Brubaker channels film-noir plot stylings of films such as The Maltese Falcon or Touch of Evil, as well as the comic books of the 1970s and 80s.
I considered the previous years by Mr. Bendis to be a major effort to challenge the boundaries of the genre by combining typical comics conventions with the idea of real-world consequences--that is, what would REALLY happen if someone was a lawyer trying to hide a secret identity as a crime fighter? (The inevitable answer, of course, was that JAIL would happen.) The Brubaker stories certainly rely on the new concepts and territory that Bendis laid out. But he doesn't deliberately try to push any envelopes himself. There's nothing particularly challenging about the style, concepts, or other storytelling techniques he employs. Rather, he spends his energy trying to craft a solid, highly detailed, nuanced narrative, inspired by noir and 70s comics.
The result is a gripping, intense, and suspenseful story, one that may work for some fans better than the envelope-pushing Bendis work. In fact, this run by Mr. Brubaker is so old-school, I'm tempted to see it as an effort to win back those who might have been alienated by the extremes of Mr. Bendis. This is a worthy change-of-pace for DD. While not reaching the artistic heights of the Bendis years, the book is extremely rewarding and is definitely one of the best Marvel comics of the past few years.