Character Spotlight: Daredevil

Today begins our first of four of character spotlights for the Marvel Netflix heroes, which include Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. First up is the most famous out of the four and one of my favorite Marvel Heroes: Daredevil. Daredevil was created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Bill Everett. He started out as basically a poor man’s Spider-man who’s popularity never really took off. It wasn’t until 1979,when an up and coming writer by the name of Frank Miller took over the title and made the character one of Marvel’s best.

man-without-fear

(Image: Marvel Comics)

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear

Author: Frank Miller

Illustrator: John Romita Jr.

What better way to start than at the beginning. While The Man Without Fear was released in 1993, it has become the definitive origin story for Daredevil. Miller’s writing is enhanced by the amazing artwork of John Romita Jr. This recounts the tale of Matt Murdock’s transformation from blind lawyer to vigilante crime fighter. Witness Matt’s first encounter with the Kingpin, the early start to very complicated relationship with Elektra and Matt’s first attempt at creating costume. The black suit used in this series was the basis for the black suit used in first season of Daredevil on Netflix. If you’re curious about where to begin with Daredevil’s comics, there’s no better place than to start here.

daredevil-vol-1

(Image: Marvel Comics)

Daredevil: Frank Miller Collection Vol. 1, 2, 3

Author: Frank Miller, Bill Mantlo, Marv Wolfman, Roger McKenzie

Illustrator: Frank Miller, Klaus Johnson

Frank Miller’s entire, original run on Daredevil is collected across three volumes. While the early issues were written by legends like Marv Wolfman and Bill Mantlo with Miller handling the art, he eventually takes over writing duties himself. Major moments include the introduction of Matt’s mentor Stick, the ninja enemies the Hand, the rise of the Kingpin as Matt’s main adversary and the introduction of Matt’s long lost love, Elektra. Frank Miller took Daredevil from a light hearted superhero and injected gritty realism, failed romance, and very dark personal drama. Everything that makes Daredevil the beloved character he is today is found in these volumes.

born-again

(Image: Marvel Comics)

Daredevil: Born Again

Author: Frank Miller

Illustrator: David Mazzuchelli

It should be no surprise that Frank Miller is on here again. Years after his initial run on Daredevil ended, Miller returned in 1986 to craft one of the darkest, emotional stories for Matt Murdock. It’s also one of his best. When Matt’s ex Karen Page outs his identity of Daredevil to the public. Matt’s enemies, including of course The Kingpin, go on the offensive and take every opportunity to destroy his life.  With his world completely shattered, this is Matt at his lowest, trying to pick up the pieces. All this pain and sadness is enhanced by the masterful artwork of David Mazzuchelli, whose facial expressions convey emotions like no other. This is a dark tale of betrayal and ultimately, redemption.

daredevil-bendis

(Image: Marvel Comics)

Daredevil by Brian Bendis & Alex Maleev, Vol. 1,2, 3

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator: Alex Maleev

Not since Frank Miller has a writer had as much of an impact on Daredevil than Brian Bendis. The Daredevil comic was floundering after a few years during the early 2000’s. Bendis came on board and breathed new life into the series. He brought Daredevil back to his gritty roots involving crime and corruption. Memorable moments during this run include The Kingpin losing his criminal empire to an up and coming crime boss. Also featured are the return of several of Daredevil’s villains like Bullseye and Typhoid Mary.  This run also focuses heavily on the supporting cast and Matt’s personal life and how they are all affected by the actions of Daredevil. The realistic art of Alex Maleev really emphasizes the gritty tone of the series. The entire run is collected across three volumes.

 

So there are some reading recommendations for Daredevil Next up I will focus on Jessica Jones. If you want to know more about Daredevil or any other comics, reach out to us here or on Twitter.

By Eddie Sampson

 

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