Tag Archives: Kingpin

Today’s Super Comic — Daredevil #82 (2006)

Then there was that time Daredevil went to jail…and it was kind of justified, actually.

Ed Brubaker took over as Daredevil’s writer beginning with #82, and he picked up right where predecessor Brian Michael Bendis left off. Bendis shook things up quite a bit over the previous few years by giving Daredevil a secret-identity crisis. Matt Murdock was outed as the Man Without Fear, but in the absence of definitive proof, he was able to get away with the reliable tactic of deny, deny, deny…until he couldn’t.

So Murdock’s behind bars in the same facility as the Kingpin and many others he’s put away throughout his career. Issue #82 begins with him in protective custody, as he is legally a blind man, but you get the feeling that’s not going to last long. Meanwhile, Daredevil is running around Hell’s Kitchen beating up bad guys. Wait, what?

It’s a gripping scenario, one that does something different with a character who had been around for over forty years at this point. As you’d expect from Brubaker, the writing is tense, intelligent, grounded, and better suited for older readers, and Michael Lark’s art is a natural fit, the gritty style setting exactly the right tone.

Daredevil as a prison show…and it works wonderfully.

Really, though—lawyer by day, vigilante by night? As much as I love the character, Murdock has broken the law numerous times over the years, so it’s fitting that his hubris earns him some comeuppance. It may have taken four decades to get here, but this was a Daredevil story that needed to happen. The events feel earned.

Writer: Ed Brubaker

Artist: Michael Lark

Cover: Tommy Lee Edwards

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in Daredevil by Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark Ultimate Collection – Book 1 (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 15 and up

Today’s Super Comic — Daredevil #178 (1982)

daredevil_vol_1_178Later this week, Marvel’s presence on Netflix will grow with Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will follow sometime next year.

So let’s look back at that time Luke Cage and Iron Fist first met Marvel’s original Netflix vigilante—Daredevil—in Daredevil #178. (No Jessica Jones in the ‘80s, alas.)

This was right in the middle of Frank Miller’s character-redefining run on the title. Luke Cage and Iron Fist, then Heroes for Hire, guest-starred to provide some comic relief and facilitate secret-identity shenanigans. There’s no team-up in the usual sense, though the issue does—for a brief scene—uphold the merry Marvel tradition of having superheroes spar over a misunderstanding.

Daredevil is trying to protect a teenager who has evidence that can be used against the Kingpin. The Kingpin sends thugs after the kid—sends them right into the offices of Nelson & Murdock. Concerned for his blind partner’s safety, Foggy Nelson hires Cage and Iron Fist to bodyguard Matt, who still needs to protect the kid from further attempts…and, to do so, he must ditch his own protectors. It’s good farcical fun, and it fits seamlessly within the larger story arc.

While this issue isn’t one of the big standouts of the Miller era, it’s still a great entry in the run (though, honestly, I can’t think of a bad issue in the run). Miller juggles numerous moving parts and keeps the momentum strong throughout, ending on a cliffhanger that pulls you into the next issue.

So that’s how Daredevil met Luke Cage and Iron Fist. I suspect it will happen differently in the Defenders Netflix series. Just a hunch.

Writer/Penciler: Frank Miller

Inker: Klaus Janson

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller vol. 2 (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up

Today’s Super Comics — Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5 (1993-94)

Daredevil_The_Man_Without_Fear_Vol_1_1Frank Miller redefined Daredevil over a decade earlier, and he returned for an encore with The Man Without Fear.

The miniseries retells and updates Daredevil’s origin and early days, working characters such as Elektra and the Kingpin into the narrative (they weren’t part of Daredevil’s world when Marvel introduced the character in the ‘60s—Miller created Elektra and drafted the Kingpin).

These five issues feel like a movie version of Daredevil, and the actual movie would’ve been far better off using these pages as its storyboard. (Thank goodness for Netflix. Fun fact: The black outfit Matt wore throughout the first season comes from this miniseries.)

Like any great action movie, these comics build and sustain incredible momentum throughout. It’s all very kinetic, both in terms of Miller’s writing and John Romita Jr.’s artwork. Their styles fit together perfectly. Romita in particular is in top form here, producing amazing images that pull you through the story while maintaining an appropriately dark, gritty atmosphere.

If you’ve never read a Daredevil comic, you have several options for a great place to start. This is one of them.

Writer: Frank Miller

Penciler: John Romita, Jr.

Inker: Al Williamson

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; Daredevil: The Man Without Fear (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 14 and up