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Daredevil: Born Again s/c

Daredevil: Born Again s/c back

Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Three years after his initial run on DAREDEVIL, Miller returned to the power struggle between the eminently successful control freak Wilson Fisk (The Kingpin of crime posing as a legitimate businessman) and blind lawyer Matt Murdock ( highly respected, also eminently successful) who as the vigilante Daredevil has been a thorn in his side and so needle to his pride.

By the very fourth page the Kingpin has already won, although Matt doesn't know it yet.

Information is all and Wilson Fisk has enough at his disposal to bring down businesses, banks, generals and politicians. He's also just acquired the last piece he needs to destroy Daredevil: his secret identity, sold to a stranger by Matt's ex-girlfriend, desperate junkie and porn star Karen Page. She sold it for the price of a fix. So does the Kingpin go after Matt's friends and family? He does not. He goes after Murdock's reputation, his personal finances, even his very home; and he does so immediately, efficiently and effectively until the ghost of Matt Murdock is left helpless, homeless, penniless and not teetering on the edge, but cast into the pits of paranoid self-destruction.

All this, very early on. It's as much about salvation - about being born again - as it is about destruction. Everyone is tested, be it the spotless cop blackmailed into falsifying evidence or so-far resilient investigative reporter Ben Urich scared into submission, and as far as I'm aware it was the first time Matt's maternal heritage was explored at all. It also introduced amphetamine-driven uber-patriot Nuke, bringing with him an uncharacteristic guest-star in the form of Captain America. Matt's fall from financial grace is evoked with a power that will send a chill down anyone's spine in a recession like this.

Mazzucchelli, meanwhile, whose interests and aesthetics as displayed later in CITY OF GLASS and now ASTERIOS POLYP couldn't be further from those here, is an interesting hybrid of John Buscema and Miller himself, but whose splash pages are all his own. They're all either single figures or couples embracing, be it the nun and her son or Karen and Matt, not one of them gratuitous but instead carrying a real emotional and carefully balanced weight.
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