The comics fans around the Scribd office are absolutely giddy about Netflix’s upcoming Daredevil series. A blind attorney gifted with heightened senses, Matt Murdock is one of Marvel’s most unusual heroes, and over the years some of the best writers and artists around have been drawn (pun most certainly intended) to the challenge of bringing him to life. Before the series starts this Friday, get to know the many incarnations of the Man Without Fear with these must-reads from our library:
Daredevil, by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson
Frank Miller’s classic run on Daredevil revolutionized superhero comics by ramping up the action, adding a bracing splash of realism, and mixing in a little Asian pop culture. Through Miller and artist Klaus Janson, the acrobatic Daredevil becomes a martial arts master trading moves with ninjas and the assassin Elektra, all the while dealing with his hardscrabble past as the son of a struggling boxer. Matt Murdock’s home in Hell’s Kitchen, a black hole of crime at the center of skeevy 1980s New York, is a character in itself.
Daredevil: Born Again, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
Miller’s greatest Daredevil story, drawn by the versatile David Mazzucchelli, demonstrates that energy-blasting supervillains can’t hold a candle to one really mean rich guy. The secret of Daredevil’s identity falls into the hands of the Kingpin, a crime boss who uses the information to slowly, systematically destroy his life. Matt Murdock goes through hell, redemption, and a metric ton of good old-fashioned Catholic guilt in a wrenching but ultimately uplifting saga.
Daredevil, by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Noir crime fiction with a superhero twist. This acclaimed series emphasizes Daredevil’s detective skills and his daytime identity as a lawyer, pitting him against a complex criminal underworld. Alex Maleev’s dark, understated artwork is a perfect match for Brian Michael Bendis’s hardboiled scripts, but this volume also includes an eye-popping storyline with stunning painted art by David Mack.
Daredevil, by Mark Waid
After all these grim and gritty crime dramas, it’s time to cleanse the palate with this recent award-winning series by writer Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin, which serves up a sunny take on the usually dark hero. How does this version of Matt Murdock deal with having his secret identity outed? By wearing an unconvincing “I’m Not Daredevil” T-shirt. The clean, arresting art finds imaginative new ways to illustrate how a blind superhero experiences the world.