Monday, September 20, 2021

Marvel Unlimited: Daredevil #228-233


Daredevil issues #227-233 comprise the Born Again story arc.  Having reached the end, I feel confident in saying it's one of the best comic book stories I've ever read - certainly the best Marvel and probably the best American work.  It's comparable with the best Alan Moore books and maybe even the best Japanese manga.  I am simply blown away.

Karen Page was once Matt Murdock's secretary and girlfriend.  She was one of very few people who knew Murdock's secret: he is also Daredevil.  Now she's a desperate junky and she sells that secret for a fix.  Unfortunately, the information makes it all the way back to New York City's arch-criminal: Kingpin.  The crime lord eschews the usual comic book villain approach of targeting the hero's loved ones.  Instead, he leverages his widespread influence to destroy Matt Murdock's life.  He ruins his finances.  He fabricates criminal charges that rob Murdock of his career.  Kingpin leaves his nemesis an empty, soul-less hull with no idea where to turn.  As a final insult upon injury, Kingpin blows up Murdock's entire apartment building.

But the crook slips up, leaving behind a clue.  Deep in the hole as he is, Murdock knows who's turning the screws.

As excellent as the basic narrative is, the true magic is in the telling.  Miller and Mazzucchelli's world-building is exemplary.  One can practically hear the sounds of Hell's Kitchen, even smell it.  One can feel the pavement underfoot.  The messes of both Karen's and Matt's lives are real.  We are squeezed by the same darkness they are.  We feel their relief when all comes, more or less, right.

So good.

My Recent Reads

Daredevil #228
Originally published March 1986
Writer: Frank Miller
Artist: David Mazzucchelli

Daredevil #229
April 1986

Daredevil #230
May 1986

Daredevil #231
June 1986

Daredevil #232
July 1986

Daredevil #233
August 1986


  1. Frank Miller gets so much love for (some of) his Batman comics (and things like Sin City, 300) that it’s become easy in recent years to forget how great his Daredevil was. For whatever reason, this seems to have started with the Ben Affleck movie that drew heavily from it, which itself happened a little before Miller’s work became, briefly, a hot Hollywood commodity. I loved the movie, too, by the way. Miller as a comics creator has long been one of the most devoted to the art of the craft. He always saw himself as chasing Will Eisner (who created the Spirit, which Miller adapted to film and which only baffled fans who had no idea how faithful Miller was being to the source material, or were simply burned out on Miller).

  2. Yeah, this was a great run. It's been a long long time since I read it, of course, but now I want to read it again.

    1. Now I'm reading The Man Without Fear - not quite as good as this one but still awfully strong.

    2. I have that. I may even have it available. I can't remember if I ever read it, though. It came out in the time period when I was phasing out of comics.