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Daredevil Born Again Review (A Frank Miller Classic)

Daredevil Born Again Review

Meet Matt Murdock. At his worst! Attorney by day, masked crime-fighter –Daredevil by night. The ‘Man-without-Fear’ is being pushed to the edge by his arch-nemesis, the Kingpin (aka Wilson Fisk). This is how Daredevil Born Again by Frank Miller and Michael Mazzuccelli introduced the world to a darker, moody and violent Daredevil in the 80s.

Matt is about to lose everything. His home. His friends. His identity. And maybe… his sanity.

Because Daredevil has been betrayed! His secret identity has been sold to the Kingpin. By somebody he knew, loved and trusted.

Struggling, homeless and under attack from all sides and almost insane.

Will Daredevil rise from the ashes of Matt Murdocks life? Will he be reborn in blood, fire and pain?
This is where the Netflix smash hit began!

When your life falls apart you will know who you can rely on. How does Matts life come undone? It starts, like so many things, with an old lover… Read on for today’s awesome must read graphic novel!

An Old Flame Burns Down Daredevil’s Life

Karen Page was Matts girlfriend. At the very beginning, when he first became Daredevil. She was beautiful, wholesome and a little naïve. Then she got her big break and became a Hollywood starlet.

Leaving her job as secretary to Nelson and Murdock Attorneys. Karen sought out the glitz and glamour of LA.
But slowly, the movie deals started getting worse and worse –until they stopped coming at all. Karen became another washed-up former celebrity. A drug addicted ex-actress. Stranded south of the border, in Mexico.

Alone. Desperate. Craving for a fix. She does the unthinkable.

Karen sells Daredevils real name. His secret identity. To a small-time Mexican gangster. All for another hit of the junk.

Karen sells out Matt -Daredevil Born Again

Realizing that he is sitting on explosive information worth a fortune. Said gangster shops his information in the US. His offer keeps going up the food chain. Until it reaches New York City and the Kingpin.

Fisk is delighted. Like a spider, he sits in his net and spins a web. To test. To see if Matt Murdock is Daredevil.

How to Destroy a Life. One Brick at a Time

By the time Matt realizes something is wrong he is already trapped. In a web of lies, accusations and destruction. Fisks little ‘test’ swallows Daredevils life whole.

With his law practice shut down in a previous story arch, disaster strikes Matt. First his bills come back unpaid. Then the bank claims that he hasn’t been keeping up with his mortgage payments. And to top it all, the IRS wants to audit him for tax ‘irregularities’. The government freezes all his accounts and any hope of straightening this mess out.

Now penniless, Matt also gets dumped by his current girlfriend, Glori. Who promptly runs into the arms of his best friend, Foggy Nelson. How could this get worse?

Our hero is summoned to court on charges of perjury in an old case he handled. An upright NYC cop, Lt. Manolis, claims he saw Matt pay off a witness. Hmm… how convenient.

Already swaying, Matt begins to lose his grip on reality.

Daredevil hits the streets. Hard. Beating on every thug, busting up every shady bar in Hell’s Kitchen. He’s looking for information. Information no one can give him. The Kingpin sits in the shadows and laughs.

Matt starts to isolate himself. When his friend and Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich reaches out to him, Matt laughs. Daredevil has no friends.

By putting pressure on Lt. Manolis, Daredevil learns that someone has it out for Matt Murdock. Someone who knows how to putt the right amount of pressure on the right people.

Putting pressure on Lt. Manolis -Daredevil Born Again

The day he loses his court case and is disbarred –he finds out who.

The Kingpin Takes the Stage

The Kingpin blows up Matt’s apartment. Now Matt knows:

“It was a nice piece of work Kingpin. You shouldn’t have signed it”
–Matt Murdock

Fighting depression and Paranoia, will Daredevil takedown Fisk and get his life back?

On the run from assassins, will Karen Page make it back to New York? Will she reach the protection of the only man who can save her? The man she betrayed.

In his moment of triumph, will the Kingpin sow the seeds of his own destruction?

You have to read Daredevil Born Again by Frank Miller and Michael Mazzuccelli to find out…

The Art and Writing of Daredevil Born Again

Frank Miller takes a classic Marvel b-sider. Cuts him into little bloody pieces and puts him back together again. Like in The Dark Knight Returns this isn’t a pleasant process for our protagonist. Daredevil is truly ‘born again’ –in fire, pain and… love.

Daredevil Born Again isn’t so much a Daredevil graphic novel as it is one about Matt Murdock. The man behind the mask. A blind lawyer driven by the need to take his gift and his curse and make it count for something.

The story shows a man, who has superpowers but who is as human, as fragile as the rest of us. When his defenses are stripped away by a ruthless and sadistic enemy. Matt lashes out in anger and his sanity starts to frey.

Miller’s dialogue is smooth and his plot is fast and unforgiving. He takes us down into Matt Murdock’s private hell and shows us who Daredevil is at his core. Matt Murdock is a fighter. A devil to criminals and those who prey on the people of Hell’s Kitchen. He is Daredevil!

Many of the elements that have made the Netflix series a smash hit began here! In ‘Born Again’. If you like the series then you will love this graphic novel.

Michael Mazzuccelli is one of mainstream 80s graphic arts best kept secrets. He worked with Miller on the iconic Batman: Year One series. And their creative partnership has great chemistry.

His art is detailed, dynamic and engaging. You don’t question the reality of his illustrations. From the first scene in a shadowy motel room in Mexico to Daredevil running over the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen. He gets you into the story.

Back from an involuntary swim -Daredevil Born Again

The only other artist I have seen bring Frank Millers’ stories to life like this …well it’s Miller himself!

Conclusion

If you like heroes who aren’t perfect and dark tales of overcoming the worst that life has to offer, Daredevil –Born Again is for you!

The Netflix series is great but Daredevil Born Again is in a league of its own. An awesome and worthy must read graphic novel. Worthy of any collection of great graphic fiction.

Read this story. It shows that dark side of heroics. The fact that doing good and standing up to evil has consequences. See the toll that being a superhero takes.

Among all the perfect and over-confident stereotypes of the genre Daredevil stands out. Not because he is a dark and angst filled avenger. But because he is a man. With all the fears, doubts & pain that comes with being human.
Read it today! Enjoy…

PS: This is one of Frank Miller’s best works during his 80’s creative high point. Get it, it’s fantastic!

Click here to order your copy of Daredevil Born Again in paper back today.

Read Ninth Art Delight’s The Dark Knight Returns review here –it’s another Miller masterpiece from the 80s!

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