Flashback Friday: Becoming the Daredevil
Jul 30, 2021
by Amanda Sheriff
Most dictionaries define a daredevil as someone who is recklessly bold, engaging in risky pursuits. That sounds about right for a blind man who scales buildings and fights some dastardly villainous individuals.
Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, Marvel Comics’ Daredevil #1 premiered in 1964. Before he was Daredevil, Matt Murdock was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City by his single father, “Battling Jack” Murdock, a fading boxer. Raised Roman Catholic, Matt’s father instilled in him strong values, including the significance of education and a nonviolent approach to life. As with many fathers, Jack wanted his son to become a better man than he is, but when he refuses to teach Matt how to defend himself, Matt is left somewhat unprepared to deal with bullies and is branded with the disdainful nickname “Daredevil”.
Embarrassed and frustrated, Matt secretly started training how to fight. His nobility still intact, Matt rushed to save a blind man from being hit by a truck, but was ironically blinded by the radioactive material that splashed off the truck. Exposure to the material changed Matt, effectively stealing his sight, but heightening his other four senses beyond the normal human levels.
A mysterious man named Stick became Matt’s teacher, helping the confused young man learn how to control his abilities and hone his natural skills for acrobatics and martial arts. Also blind, Stick taught Matt how to form mental images of the objects around him, developing a radar sense.
Still wanting to make his father proud, Matt worked hard in school and enrolled in Columbia School of Law. Unfortunately, while Jack struggled in his boxing career, he took on a job as an enforcer for a crooked boxing manager, known as the Fixer. He then rigged a series of fights for Jack to reign victorious, but it came at a price. The Fixer told Jack to lose the fight against “Crusher” Creel, but Jack disobeyed, prompting the Fixer to have him killed.
Devastated by his father’s death, and the judicial system’s failure to vindicate him, Matt seeks retribution for all who suffer at the hands of criminals. Now a lawyer, Matt opened a law office with his best friend Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, putting as many baddies away as he can. But outside of the courtroom, Matt honors his father by forming a costume of yellow and black, the same colors as Jack’s boxing robes, and takes on the mocking nickname he was given as a child, to fight criminals as Daredevil.
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Penciled by ALEX MALEEV
Cover by ALEX MALEEV
During a character-defining run, Brian Michael Bendis crafted a pulp-fiction narrative that exploited the Man Without Fear's rich tapestry of characters and psychodrama, and resolved them in an incredibly nuanced, modern approach. Now, this Eisner award-winning run is collected across three titanic trade paperbacks! In this volume, Matt Murdock is forced to reckon with the problems and legal ramifications that have emerged as a result of his public outing. The last thing he needs is the return of Typhoid Mary-one of his deadliest foes, a schizophrenic predator who terrorizes her targets with a seemingly inexhaustible lust for bloodshed. But even worse is her connection to Wilson Fisk, who's back in Hell's Kitchen-attempting to restore his fallen empire and exact revenge against those who ousted him from his once untouchable position of Kingpin of Crime. Collecting DAREDEVIL #41-50, 56-65
512 PGS./Rated T+ ...$34.99
ROGER MCKENZIE & DAVID MICHELINIE
Penciled by FRANK MILLER
Cover by FRANK MILLER
A classic Marvel hero redefined by one of comics' greatest visionaries! A Marvel Comics mainstay since 1964, Daredevil got a new lease on life in a landmark 1979-1983 run by writer-penciler Frank Miller and inker-penciler Klaus Janson, whose daring reinvention of the character quickly made Miller one of the biggest and most influential stars in the comic-book industry. Miller put his own stamp on established cast members such as reporter Ben Urich, femme fatale Black Widow, mad assassin Bullseye, the saw-fisted Gladiator and monstrous crime boss Kingpin. Miller also introduced Daredevil's mysterious mentor Stick, deadly ninja foes the Hand and Matt's long-lost love Elektra, a beautiful assassin who would become one of Marvel's most memorable characters. Mixing traditional super-heroics with mysterious martial artistry, doomed romance and dark personal drama, Miller's character-defining DD run is collected across three titanic trade paperbacks! Collecting PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #27-28, and DAREDEVIL #158-161 and #163-172.
336 PGS./Rated T+ ...$29.99