If you’ve ever enjoyed a comic, find this and read it. If you’ve never enjoyed a comic, this could be the collection that changes your mind. If you’ve never read a comic, but you’ve enjoyed the Daredevil movie or any film noir, find and read this collection.

General Information

Title: Daredevil: Born Again
Author: Frank Miller
Illustrator(s): David Mazzucchelli
Original Publication Date: 2001 reprint of material first published in
1986
ISBN: 0-87135-297-4
Cover Price: $17.95 US, $27.50 Can
Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

When the Green Goblin learned Spider-Man’s real identity, he took the
woman Peter Parker loved and dropped her off a bridge. When the
Sentinels were able to track the X-Men down in their real identities,
they did so, and faced them in battle. When Loki learned Thor’s human
identity, he sent others to fight him.

Every one of these villains faced the heroes in combat, on the heroes’
terms. The Kingpin doesn’t make that kind of mistake. In this
collection, Wilson Fisk learns that Daredevil is Matt Murdock, the
blind lawyer. He doesn’t kill his woman, and he doesn’t face him in
combat. Instead, he spends six months meticulously tearing Matt’s
life apart piece by piece, making Matt think the world is out to get
him. That is the story told here, reprinting issues 227-233 of
Daredevil, volume 1.

High Point

So many choices… There’s the cliffhangers after just about every
issue. There’s the phone call to the voice that tells time. There’s
the cameo from a normally bland character who was beautifully written.
There’s several scenes with Ben Urich. There’s a completely new
history waiting to be discovered in Maggie. I don’t know how to
choose.

Low Point

Ben Urich can overpower two men, one a trained police officer?

The Scores

This is one of the earliest story arcs I’m aware of that deals almost
entirely with a super-hero’s day job, and not his super persona.
This villain didn’t try to drown the hero in some trap, or blow him up
with a rancid pumpkin. He pushed the man to his breaking point,
stripping everything he cared about in the process, and then pushed
just a little bit more. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a story like
this in comics, so that earns it a 6 out of 6 for
originality.

The artwork is the gritty, dark style that still pervades the
title. It’s very well done, harmed only by the limited colouring
technology of the day. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is incredible. I honestly believe it’s the best
comic book story I’ve ever read. This is the kind of book that can
convince people that comics can be literature. Superbattles are kept
to a minimum. Daredevil is out of costume for four consecutive
issues, and a substantial portion of the first and sixth issues. This
is not about the hero, it’s about the man who chooses to be a hero. I
give it 6 out of 6.



The characterization of Matt, Wilson Fisk, Karen Page, and
Ben Urich is universally excellent. This is very much about Murdock
and Fisk, but the side players are not neglected by any means. Frank
Miller even makes Captain America interesting. For example, this
quote: “The soldier tries not to remember how it used to be — when
breaking into top secret records of military intelligence — an act of
treason — was unthinkable. Unthinkable — because it was
unnecessary.” Every character that appears in more than one panel
receives the complete attention of Miller as a writer and Mazzucchelli
as an artist. They all come through with complete definition, without
distracting the reader from Matt and his problem. I give it 6 out of
6.

The emotional response this produced was perfect, for lack of
a better word. When Matt’s life is dragged through the mud, the
reader is dragged right along with him. By the end of page one, we
know that Daredevil’s secret identity will be shot, but we don’t know
to whom, or even how many whoms. This creative team grabbed me from
the outset and dragged me along every step of the way. I’m not even
sure dragged is the right word; it implies that I went unwillingly. I
knew they were taking me to a dark and ugly place, but they made me
want to do there. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is fantastic. The story paces itself. When Matt
feels lethargic, as though the world has stopped, the pace drops to a
crawl. When the story called for rapid action, I found myself reading
through the pages as quickly as I could stand. I give it 6 out of 6.

I have to rate this as an overall package now. Let me put it
this way: if you haven’t already read this, go to your favourite
online retailer and get it. If you don’t buy things online, you can
find the nearest comic book store at this website. If they don’t
have it in stock, hand them your printout of the Short Order Form from
this
page
, with “MAR03 1601” in the Item blank, “Daredevil Born Again”
in the Title/Product blank, and “195” in the Page blank. If they
still can’t get you the volume, find a better comic shop, or find
issues 227-233 in the bins with the individual issues. This is a 6
out of 6.

In total, Daredevil: Born Again receives 41 out of 42. Had
it been recoloured with today’s technology, it would have been a
perfect score.