Daredevil has always been one of my favorite superheroes. After all, he is “the man without fear!” The character of Matt Murdock always appealed to me. He was a working-class Catholic kid raised by a single father who was a boxer. Blinded in an accident as a youth (by a “radioactive isotope” no less! Ahhh, the brilliant Stan Lee and the 1960s, when radioactive exposure gave you superpowers!), Matt Murdock gains superhuman abilities to compensate for his loss of sight. Everything from “radar” vision, to super-sensitive hearing and smell is now in Matt Murdock’s arsenal. And so, the boy once sarcastically and tauntingly called “dare devil” by neighborhood bullies (for being too much of a bookworm, and on the advice of his pugilistic father, avoiding fights at all costs), adopts the name Daredevil as his superhero identity. Working-class-kid-made-good Matt Murdock follows his father’s advice and studies hard, graduating at the top of his law school class. As a lawyer, Matt works with the downtrodden and is happy to work pro bono, or for barter when he can. He also stuck around his old neighborhood.
You, True Believer, and lucky Eleventh Stack blog reader, should take a moment to look at a few collections of fantastic Daredevil books that the CLP has in our system. First up is the now classic Frank Miller Daredevil Born Again collection. I’m not a big fan of much of Miller’s stuff (and I’m certainly not into his critique of social issues and movements – I’ll take Alan Moore’s side, thank you very much), but this book is a very good read. It gets into some interesting character development and sets up a fascinating back story that many writers that came after used.
Next up is the Guardian Devil stuff by Kevin Smith. Possibly best known for his films and podcasts, Kevin Smith is also a writer and has written not only Daredevil books, but also Batman and Green Arrow! Kevin Smith’s Guardian Devil material is a very interesting/weird/cool book with a slick cartoonish illustration style. This is also the book that essentially helped to relaunch the title. At the time Smith wrote these comics, Daredevil was really a flagging title with a relatively small readership. This run really re-energized it!
Last up is Mark Waid’s Daredevil Vol. 1 Collection. This is the newest title of the bunch. Since Waid took over, Daredevil has shifted gears a bit and has become more of a swashbuckling, high flying adventure superhero as opposed to the brooding, noir-esque books that had been written over the last 5 years or so.
So get into it! Daredevil has a rich history, and can be a serious, funny, strange and fantastic comic to read. And I don’t have to tell you…it’s all at your local CLP!