I love Daredevil.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has listened to the weekly Geek Hard radio show or anyone who’s had the chance to read an article here before. I am a huge Daredevil fan. But this has not always been the case. When I was a child, I followed the exploits of the X-Men and the Punisher religiously. It was the late eighties and early nineties after all. Those titles were kings of the comic shelves. Did I read Daredevil back then? Sure, the odd back issue, but nothing more. My eyes were not yet opened to the wonders of the Man without Fear. It wouldn’t be until 1998 when after a 3 year break from comics, the 18 year old version of myself decided to get back into the four colour world of awesome. What was one of the first books I picked up? Daredevil #1 from Marvel Knights, written by my favourite film director, Kevin Smith, and drawn and inked beautifully by the team of Quesada and Palmiotti. With that first issue, I was hooked. Around that same time, I picked up an issue of the now defunct Wizard Magazine where they counted down the 25 Greatest Moments in Comics as decided by the Wizard staff. It was surprising to see that a few of those moments were not only from Daredevil comics but also written by the same guy, Frank Miller. So off I went to track down the issues of both the Miller written and Drawn Daredevil run and the Born Again Storyline from Miller and David Mazzucchelli. These stories lead me to Denny O’Neil’s time on the book, then to the Ann Nocenti/John Romita Jr. run, then the original Lee issues, and so on and so forth. I was now a Daredevil fan. And like my fellow DD fans, I am both shocked and proud of the level of popularity the character has gained in the past 15 years. Once a third string Spider-man knock off, the character has become somthing so much more complex in his storied history and has even risen above all obstacles to be considered not only an A-List hero but also one of the best books currently being produced at the House of Ideas. So I was more than excited when I got the opportunity to read The Devil is in the Details.
Released back on Feburary 19th of this year, The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil is a collection of essays relesed through Sequart and edited by Ryan K Lindsay that delve into the life and times of the blind superhero and his lawyer alter ego. Fans of Daredevil know that that is no small feat for unlike Spider-man, Captain America, Thor and the rest, who tend to wear their emotions and intentions on the surface, Matt Murdock has many layers to be examined. Frankly, Matt’s a bit on the insane side. With all that he’s been through over the years, it’s no wonder. There are few characters in the Marvel Universe who’ve fallen so far and each time had to find a way to build themself back up again. And every time he’s fallen is given it’s time in this book. Whether it’s an unhealthy alter ego to his already existing one (Being Mike Murdock by Timothy Callahan), the highs and (mostly) lows of Daredevil’s lovelife (Blind Dates and Broken Hearts: The Tragic Loves of Matthew Murdock by Ryan K. Lindsay), or his strained relationships with other heroes (Daredevil and Spider-man: Dark Alleys and Bright Lights by Vinnie Murphy / Daredevil and Punisher: Polar Opposites? by M.S. Wilson), no stone is left unturned. But it’s not just the the continuity of the character that is explored. There is also a great deal of attention given to the publication history as well. When Stan Lee and Bill Everett first created the character, it was due to a mandate from publisher Martin Goodman to create “another Spider-man”, no thought that the end result would eventually lead to one of the greatest modern noir heroes that mainstream comics would see. The early days of the Daredevil publication and the impetus behind it are greatly examined in A Different Daredevil by Will Murray. It’s a must read for any Daredevil fan because it shows how different the original intent for the character was. Even for the hardcore Daredevil fans like myself, there are some very juicy tidbits and interesting facts brought to life in this collection of essays.
I have always been a fan of the Sequart books. Grant Morrison: The Early Years was an especially interesting read. So I was very happy to hear that they were behind the production of this book. After reading Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil , I can honestly say that this is by far my favourite release from Sequart and I highly recommend this book to not just any fan of Daredevil but also anyone who enjoys a good dissection of a hero.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!