Must Have: Daredevil

Saturday, April 2, 2016  By  Matt Morrison     No comments

Today’s graphic literature fans are enjoying a golden age of television undreamed of. Whether you’re a fan of superheroics, spy-thrillers, or horror, there’s something for virtually everyone. But what happens when someone goes looking for the books that inspired their favorite shows? More often than not they get confused,.

It’s fairly simple to track down The Walking Dead books. iZombie and Preacher (soon to be a series on AMC) have been collected into neat little volumes. Even the various volumes of Hellblazer aren’t too difficult to navigate for those proud Constantine fans still hoping for a revival on The CW Network. But where do you send the little girls who want to see more Supergirl? The tweens who want to read about The Flash? The teens who want more Green Arrow?

Face Front, True Believers! We’ve got the reading lists to help you save the day!

DDFMDaredevil by Frank Miller

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear (9780785134794)
Daredevil By Frank Miller & Klaus Johnson, vol. 1 (9780785134732)
Daredevil By Frank Miller & Klaus Johnson, vol. 2 (9780785134749)
Daredevil By Frank Miller & Klaus Johnson, vol. 3 (9780785134756)
Daredevil: Born Again (9780785134817)

While Frank Miller’s recent works have been widely disparaged and Frank himself is apparently no big fan of the Netflix Daredevil series, his influence upon the character and the TV series cannot be denied. The black ninja costume, which Matt utilized for most of the show’s first season, came directly from his retelling of Daredevil’s origins in The Man Without Fear. Miller was also responsible for the modern characterization of Kingpin and the creation of Matt’s first tragic love, Elektra.

We would be remiss in not recommending the whole of Miller’s work with the character, particularly his final story, Born Again, which is not only a great Daredevil story but also features one of the best portrayals of The Avengers and Captain America in comic history.

DDBendisDaredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev

Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Ultimate Collection, vol. 1 (9780785143888)
Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Ultimate Collection, vol. 2 (9780785149507)
Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Ultimate Collection, vol. 3 (9780785149514)

The Bendis/Maleev run has done more to influence Daredevil as a character than any other creative team in recent memory. As such, it is well worth considering though it focuses upon an older Matt Murdock facing new challenges as an established vigilante and lawyer.

 

DDWaidDaredevil by Mark Waid

Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 1 (9780785152385)
Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 2 (9780785152408)
Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 3 (9780785161011)
Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 4 (9780785161035)
Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 5 (9780785161059
Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 6 (9780785166795)
Daredevil by Mark Waid, vol. 7 (9780785189619)
Daredevil, vol. 1: Devil At Bay (9780785154112)
Daredevil, vol. 2: West-Case Scenario (9780785154129)
Daredevil, vol. 3: The Daredevil You Know (9780785192282)
Daredevil, vol. 4: The Autobiography of Matt Murdock (9780785198024)

Waid’s recent runs on Daredevil stand out in sharp contrast to the works of Miller and Bendis. Faced with no other way to make Matt Murdock’s life any more depressing, Waid decided to do the unthinkable and return Matt Murdock to his swashbuckling, laugh-in-the-face-of-danger roots under Stan Lee’s pen. This is not to say that this book is any less dark or disturbed at times. Indeed, the story arcs involving the slave-trading villain Coyote and a grave-robbing Mole Man are some of the most nightmarish scenarios we’ve ever seen! But Waid restored a sense of fun that was sorely lacking in the character for several decades. It should prove an interesting contrast for those who only know the character from Netflix.

[Note: All of these series have been released multiple times in different editions (hardcover, softcover, etc.) with differing content. Before ordering, you might want to check exactly which “Daredevil, vol. 4” you already have in your collection.]

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