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Reacquainting with The Man Without Fear

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With recent news that Charlie Cox will be appearing as Daredevil/Matt Murdock in the pcoming Spider-Man movie, it seemed apt to do a quick write-up about him. 

The Kevin Smith/'Spider-Man 3' Situation Illustrates Why Rumors Shouldn't  Always Be Reported

Daredevil made his debut in 1964 in Daredevil #1. Since then, the character has been an integral part of the Marvel Universe. His original costume was yellow, not the red we know and love today. That didn’t show up till Wally Wood introduced it in Daredevil #7 in 1965. 

Raised in Hell’s Kitchen by his father Battlin’ Jack Murdock, a boxer who also ended up working as an enforcer for a mobster Roscoe Sweeney a.k.a Fixer. While trying to save someone from being hit by a truck, young Matt Murdock lost his sight from a chemical spill caused by the truck. However, over time, his other senses were heightened to superhuman levels. Enabling him to see using a sort of “radar sense”. 

Hard work and tons of training made him a successful lawyer by day and by night, the protector of Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil.

Daredevil (1964) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Daredevil, the man without fear has had a successful solo run and as part of the Defenders on Netflix. Matt Murdock began his cinematic career in 1989’s television movie “Trial of the incredible Hulk”, played by Rex Smith alongside Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk. However most of us remember the 2003 movie where he was played by Ben Affleck. Now in my opinion, that movie was crap. Great cast, great sets, weak writing. 

Rex Smith portrayed Daredevil in a 1989 live action Marvel tv film | Steve  Hoffman Music Forums

He would have been in a TV series back in 1975, but that never worked out. Angela Bowie even had pictures taken of her as Black Widow and Ben Carruthers as Daredevil. Those promo pictures still exist somewhere on the internet, and I have one of them for you.

Angie Bowie and Ben Carruthers as Black Widow and Daredevil. (1975) :  OldSchoolCool

Daredevil has also appeared in animated shows like Spider-Man and his amazing friends, 1990’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and 1990’s Fantastic Four. Not to mention, a bunch of video games. 

But that’s not what we’re here for.

1: Daredevil Yellow (2001)

Written by Jeph Loeb

Art by Tim Sale

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The Eisner award winning duo got together to give us this retelling of the career of the man without fear. Filled with action, adventure and a bit of romance too. It follows the murder of his father Battlin’ Jack Murdock and how the chain of events that followed gave us a new hero swinging out of Hell’s Kitchen.

2. Daredevil: The Man without Fear (1993)

Written by Frank Miller

Art by John Romita Jr.

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If you enjoy the show, you’ll like this. Many scenes, ideas and even the black costume are inspired by this fantastic run by Frank Miller. This series serves as both an origin story for Daredevil, an understanding of his childhood, his relationship with his father and more. Several characters now integral to the Marvel Universe get their own origins here as well. Matt’s partner in law, Foggy Nelson, his on again/off again lover and ninja assassin, Elektra, his mysterious teacher Stick, and of course The Kingpin. Definitely a must read.

3. Daredevil: Truth/Dare (Collected edition coming in Feb 2021)

Written by Chip Zdarsky

Art by Chris Sprouse, Francesco Mobili, Marco Checchotto

Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky Vol. 5: Truth/Dare TP

While the entire current run of Chip Zdarsky has been fantastic – in fact it’s Eisner Nominated – I recommend this upcoming collected edition of issues 21-25 and Daredevil Annual (2020) #1. Matt Murdock continues to struggle with how to appease his sense of justice. But he needs to think fast. The last few weeks, Hell’s Kitchen has been a lawless neighbourhood, where even the police have just barely begun to resume patrols. With old villains like Bullseye and Typhoid Mary making their presence known, Daredevil’s old flame Electra seems to have something afoot. If you can’t wait for the collected edition, the singles are available. 

On a side note, I also enjoyed D. G. Chichester and Scott McDaniel’s run in 1993-1994, particularly the Fall From Grace storyline. 

I hope we see another season of Daredevil pop up, maybe the overlords at Disney will make that happen. But until then let’s wait and see what Spider-Man 3 brings for The Man Without Fear.

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