This months Recommended Read is inspired by the latest Marvel Netflix offering: The Defenders and one of its more famous members, Daredevil. It is a really powerful look at the origin story of Matt Murdock, the man who would eventually become known as the Daredevil, who was created by two industry greats. They need no introduction, really; they are Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. This month, I am recommending ‘Daredevil, the Man Without Fear’.
Matt Murdock is a young boy living in Hell’s Kitchen. His father is a single parent and washed-up prizefighter who’s down on his luck and resorts to working for The Mob to support his son. One day, Matt is involved in an accident that results in him losing his eyesight. Matt’s pursuit of justice, either learning to fight criminals on the streets of Hells Kitchen, or fighting for justice as he pursues his law degree at Columbia University, makes him every bit the violent vigilante. Both professions are bloodthirsty in their own way, It makes for a tragic and emotional backstory, and as Matt learns the truth about his father, he must decide whether he can forgive him his wrongdoing.
This being an early Miller story, it indicates the writer’s thirst for a good story and it contains many of the elements and influences that would later go on to be in Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns. The artwork captures so accurately the various emotional states that the story runs through, and the panels certainly add to the lead character’s angst. His combination of strong writing and powerful artwork only serve to add a more meaningful bent to the story.