Essential Reading List: The 10 Daredevil Essential Comics
Marvel through the years has created numerous iconic characters. Everybody knows who Spider-Man is, and even the Hulk has become a household name. One character that seems to be overlooked is Daredevil.
Daredevil‘s history is one of the most beautiful stories ever told. A child get’s toxins spilled into his eyes causing blindness and enhancing the rest of his senses tenfold. Even before he had his powers, Matt Murdock was looking out for others. However, our blind vigilante also has some dark and traumatic stories as well. With season 3 of Daredevil‘s very own Netflix series coming out soon, now is the perfect time to look back at some of the characters most essential moments.
The all-star team of Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. team up to bring us a new take on Matt Murdock’s origin story. Frank Miller incorporates some of the key characters he used in his famous run on the character such as Elektra, Stick, and Kingpin. The addition of these characters gives Matt’s origin more depth than Stan Lee’s ever did.
Despite Stan Lee creating the character, Daredevil really should be considered Frank Miller’s creation. This 5-issue series is a clear example of that. Miller’s telling of Murdock’s origin is a much grittier take that adds plenty of depth. The Man Without Fear is without a doubt a must-read for anyone interested in the character of Daredevil.
The final issue of Frank Miller’s first run on Daredevil. The issue is simple yet intense. Throughout the entirety of the issue, Matt is having a conversation with Bullseye. Bullseye is telling Matt a story of a young child who committed a horrible crime. The two also are in the middle of a game of Russian roulette all while this is taking place.
Bullseye is in a hospital bed paralyzed during the issue. This issue gives a great look at the hero Murdock is, and also his relationship with arguably his most famous villain. This issue almost seems like a perfect end to Miller’s iconic run.
Once again Frank Miller shows us why his run on Daredevil is the greatest ever. In this issue, we find Bullseye in the hospital with a brain tumor. The tumor makes Bullseye believe everyone he sees is the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Causing the assassin to go on a murderous rampage, killing everyone he sees.
Matt must find Bullseye before he kills anyone else and from himself. With Bullseye due to be a key character in the third season of the Netflix series, this issue is a must read to get a good understanding of how crazy the character is.
Stan Lee puts the blind vigilante into the suit he would dawn for the remainder of his career for the very first time. Moving him from his yellow suit, into his classic red suit. This issue isn’t just great for the costume change, however. We find Matt in a battle with the Sub-Mariner.
A character who is far superior to Matt when it comes to power. Matt shows his fearlessness in taking on the Sub-Mariner nonetheless. Showing at an early stage that Daredevil truly is: The Man Without Fear.
In the most recent story on our list, Charles Soule brings us the “Dark Art” story arc. Creating the new villain Muse. Matt and, his “partner/trainee,” Blindspot investigate a number of art pieces turning up around the city. What is the dark secret behind these works of art you ask? Each is made from the blood of hundreds of missing people.
Muse is one of the darkest and most twisted characters we have seen Daredevil cross paths with since Miller’s run. Not only is Muse twisted and insane, but he is also incredibly smart. At the end of the story, we see Muse gouge Blindspot’s eyes out, inspired by the ironic twist with the word “blind” being in his name.
Soule continued to show how insane Muse was. When Muse is finally caught, Matt asks what his punishment will be. Muse answers the question himself by breaking his own hands. Matt then asks “What are you?” When he unmasks him, Muse simply answers “a man in a mask” when his horrifying face is revealed.
Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark takeover following Bendis’ legendary run. Matt Murdock is in prison attempting to prove that he is not the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. We see Matt trying to survive without using his abilities and giving away his identity.
With Matt locked up we get to see him without the tights giving us a more personal feel for him. Not to mention the scenes of Foggy visiting him in prison, making for some emotional moments.
Without question the most famous Daredevil story of all time. Matt Murdock’s life is in ruins at the hands of The Kingpin. Fisk discovered Murdock’s identity due to a costly mistake made by Karen Page, who is busy dealing with her own problems.
Matt seems to lose everything from his home to his sanity. Not only does Matt become increasingly aggressive throughout the story, he confronts Fisk, and receives a brutal beating.
With season 3 of the Netflix series heavily based on this story, it’s highly recommended to give this story a read. The dark brutality Frank Miller puts not only Matt, but all of the characters, through some turmoil in one of his most historic runs on the character in just a few issues.
Brian Michael Bendis gives a story from the point of view of Ben Urich. Matt has a final battle with bullseye leading to his death. His final word to Urich was “Mapone.” Leading Urich into a long investigation to find the meaning behind Matt’s final words.
During his investigation, Urich discovers some dark secrets of Matt’s past. This includes the murder of Wilson Fisk. Urich also crosses paths with previous lovers of Matt, and a number of villains he has fought through the years. End of Days is an exciting mystery and does not disappoint with the end result.
Frank Miller creates one of the most iconic fight scenes in the history of comics. Bullseye VS. Elektra. A battle to the death. Frank Miller has said how he was surprised that Marvel allowed him to put this scene in a comic.
The brutality of the battle is felt in every panel. Not to mention one of the most famous panels in comic history. When Bullseye impales Elektra in the stomach with her own dagger, the Marvel universe was shook. Elektra bleeding to death makes her way to Matt. Devastated by Elektra’s death, Matt goes on a manhunt seeking revenge on Bullseye.
Brian Michael Bendis takes the story arc “Out” and at long last unveils Daredevil’s identity to the world. Matt’s life is thrown into shambles. Matt struggles to save his own life and convince the world he is not the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.
This is yet again another story where we get to see Matt go through challenges not only as Daredevil; but, also, as Matt Murdock. This story is without question a great story for someone trying to learn more about the character or even a hardcore fan looking for a story that isn’t just a fight between Matt and Bullseye.
Justice Is Blind
Daredevil has a long beautiful, yet painful history. We’ve seen Matt lose his friends, his home, his identity, and – in some circumstances – his sanity. Matt will never be the hero that stops Thanos from destroying Earth or the one that throws the final blow against Dr. Doom. Daredevil does not need those stories to make him great or give him a rich history.
Matt has a wealthy history full of death, identity problems, and a mass of villains. Not to mention his most famous attribute, he is blind. That is one of the most fascinating facts about Daredevil. How many other superheroes are known for what they can’t do?