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To help celebrate Daredevil's 40th Anniversary, I've spent the last month
getting in touch with as many past and present Daredevil creators as I
could. Why? To get them to answer one question:
"What did it mean to you personally and professionally to work on
I hope you all enjoy reading these answers as much as I did putting this
If you are a DD creator who'd like to contribute, please feel free to e-mail
me and I'll update the interview with your response. Of course, I could
not get in touch with all DD creators, but I am very happy with the responses I
received. I want to thank each and every creator who took the time to respond.
I truly appreciate it. Here's to many more years of Daredevil!
There are a few creators who have promised a response, but have been busy
with deadlines etc. I will update the interview once I receive their
-- Kuljit Mithra, September 29, 2004, with additions in 2005
Artist, DAREDEVIL: LOVE AND WAR
Daredevil was one of my all-time favorite characters. I devoured the Gene
Colan/Tom Palmer issues, which captured the speed and vertigious high that
a man without fear (or a teen with loads of it) would consider his
lifeblood. Or his monthly vicarious fix of it, at any rate.
So as a comics pro years later, when the opportunity to do my take on DD
was offered , I leapt at the chance.
The result, the graphic novel Daredevil: Love and War,(with Frank
Miller) is one of the things I've done of which I'm most proud. At the
time, my artwork was undergoing a one of many intermittent stylistic
shifts, each change was borne out of frustration and the need to
explore. In this particular incarnation, I found the artwork moving away
from a realistic linear approach to anatomy, etc., into more painted
and collaged abstraction (shape, color, pattern ,design, and movement.)
I was chomping at the bit to see what those elements, those choices,
could bring to a story. The decision was tantamount to abandoning my
aspirations to Michaelangelo for delusions of Tex Avery. Or vice versa.
For reasons that still defy explanation, I continued to get work.
What not many readers are aware of, is that Love and War was originally
slated to be a story arc in the actual run of the monthly DD comic. Had
it been so, I'm not sure what the result would have been or how it would
have played out in the visual continuity of the series. There were even
concerns it might not see the light of day at all.
It wasn't until EIC Jim Shooter saw the pencils, and he felt the story
deserved its own separate forum - a painted graphic novel - that it all
really seemed to click . His decision turned out to be exactly the right
one. It seems such an obvious a choice of format in hindsight, but at
the time, it was a gamble. Judging by the reponse the book has gotten over
the years, it seems to have paid off.
Now, even though I tend to see Love and War as more of a stand-alone,
separate entity from the main DD continuity, it's still a thrill to have
contributed a small chapter to one of the greatest Marvel characters
Editor, Writer, DAREDEVIL
Daredevil was the first "real superhero" I ever wrote and when I did the
character--in a fill-in issue plotted by an overworked Stan Lee--I felt I
was in the comics big time. He was the kind of good guy I liked, and
still like: human-scaled, heroic in spite of flaws. Later, Daredevil was
a pure joy to edit, mostly because of the extraordinarily talented people
who contributed to the title. (Nothing like brilliant writers and
artists to make an editor look good.) I sometimes miss those days and I'm
grateful that they were part of my professional life.
Really, it was a blind man that helped me see the way. Hallelujah.
Professionally, capturing the Daredevil writing mantle was clearly a
milestone for my career in comics. Probably "the" milestone, all things
considered. Within the Marvel walls, I had in effect "made my bones" by
the fact of now working on a "real" comic (i.e., a Marvel Universe
A-to-B-list hero) -- and not some a) "sad second string character," b)
"irrelevant licensed title," or (heaven help us all!) c) "esoteric Epic
whatever-it-is-they-do-over-there!" ;-) While I don't agree with those
snarky descriptions, I do recognize that working on a "name" character
opened doors. And more than simply name value, Daredevil had depth. So
while being able to introduce myself as "the writer on Daredevil" did
lead to more paying gigs, *being* the writer on Daredevil allowed me
the chance to tell stories I probably wouldn't have been able to with a
more "one note" character. The rich diversity that hornhead had shown
himself capable of via past creative teams inspired me to take the
title on a more ambitious ride. And because I had the good fortune to
work with some tremendously talented artists -- Scott McDaniel, Ron
Garney, Lee Weeks -- those stories ended up "clicking" more often than
not. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I can now see where I should
have spent more time on clarity than ambition -- but in the moment, the
"white heat" of collaborating on stories like "Fall of the Kingpin" and
"Fall from Grace" and "34 Hours" fueled my confidence as a writer. And
that gave me the belief in my own talents -- or at least the misguided
intestinal fortitude -- to seek out new projects and new challenges,
both inside and outside comics. Without fear, you might say...
On the personal front, DD led to quite a few things that I really
hadn.t considered up 'til your excellent question. Most importantly,
the monetary security of a very regular title and occasional incentive
check helped finance the romance that would lead to marrying my wife
and us having our son. Now, that's not all one big sequential wine and
billy clubs story -- the title would be taken away in a squirrel-brained
editorial co-co-coup long before the "I do's" and diaper changes -- but
being able to expense many a rendezvous, meal, and bauble to the law
firm of Nelson & Murdock certainly eased the courting-to-cohabitation
period that laid the groundwork for everything to follow. (Ungrateful
s.o.b. that I am, though, it never even occurred to me to name the boy
And for a final assault on the hypersenses, let me mix up some
professional and personal prattle: I've always been especially pleased
at the fact Lee and I were essentially "cold-called" to wrap up the
"final" issue of Daredevil before its second coming. It was a
validation, of sorts, to the contribution our team had made to the
title in our initial run. And coming, as it did, at time when
circumstances were engineering my "retreat" from comics, I looked at
that assignment as a sort of final bow. Reuniting with Lee elevated the
experience -- the creative stars doing us a solid in lining up one more
time. From the raw, cocksure Port Authority battle of "Last Rites" (aka
"Fall of the Kingpin"), we now got to bookend the thing with "Just One
Good Story:" a denser tapestry, woven by a more seasoned duo. It
certainly would've been easy enough to do just another knock down, drag
out . after all, who really cared at that point? The book had gone off
track, sidelined and maligned and was now something of a lame duck,
awaiting its Joe Q relaunch. But I like to think that by reaching a
bit, Lee and I did the guy the justice he deserved: not better than
what came before, but a worthwhile contrast that tried to represent the
"best of" what we appreciated about hornhead in ways that were both
visceral and thoughtful. And speaking at least for myself, delivering
the best put up and shut up for whatever storytelling chops I did have
when it came to the man without fear.
Professionally and personally, thanks to everyone who read. I hope
you found more to enjoy than dislike. Me, I had the time of my life.
My most memorable experience regarding Daredevil didn't come while I was
writing the comic book; it came in l997 when I had the pleasure of working
on the Daredevil movie, back when Chris Columbus was producing and Carlo
Carlei was attached to direct.
They'd been through a number of drafts and I was asked to come up with my
take. I went off, banged my head against the wall for a few weeks, pulled
out some great elements from Chris and Carlo's drafts, injected a healthy
dose of my own ideas and then wrote a lengthy, detailed treatment, which
was very well-received by the producers and the director. Then came the
I came home one afternoon to find a message on my answering machine: it
was from Stan Lee, who then went on to say that he thought my treatment
was the best film interpretation of a Marvel character he'd ever seen.
There are very few people in the world who can transform me from
reasonable adult into bug-eyed, open-mouthed, innocent fanboy, but Stan's
one of them. He's always been a literary hero of mine. And now here he
was, co-creator of the Marvel Universe, telling me how much he loved my
treatment. It truly was a moment to remember.
Hollywood being what Hollywood is, our version of Daredevil never saw the
light of day. When the movie finally came out, it was the work of another
studio, another producer, another director, and another writer. A
But that phone call from Stan made it all worthwhile. Thanks, Stan...and
For me, it was an exciting time to be working in comics and when Joe and I
created Marvel Knights, the first character we asked for was Daredevil. At
that time, the book was being cancelled and we thought we could bring the
numbers and interest back up to where it should be. The run with Kevin
Smith and Joe was a lot of fun and having been a fan since the book began,
I took special pleasure in interpreting all the characters in this modern
version and then seeing what we did make it to film. Probably the most fun
was doing the Wizard 1/2 featuring Daredevil. I got to work on the cover
and ink John Romita, as well as pencil a piece that was inked by my
favorite, Kevin Nowlan.
All around, working on the title was a great experience.
Penciller, inker, colorist, DAREDEVIL
I'm honored to work on the title with such great
talent and history as much as I am honored being part
of the team that brings the book to stands currently.
To all who have contribute to the character and to all
who work with me and help me, I'd like to use the
anniversary as an opportunity and gratefully say:
Penciller, inker, colorist, DAREDEVIL
It meant everything to me.
My pleasure in working on Daredevil came from my creations, Bullseye
and Torpedo, among others, as well as doing the very intricate Jester
storyline that, 10-15 years before Photoshop and the wide spread use of
computers, predicted a computer technology that only recently has
started to emerge. I also loved working with Bob Brown.
Getting the Daredevil assignment was an important moment in my career.
During my first five years in comics, I had floundered (in my estimation)
and grown tired of the very thing that I had always loved doing more
than anything -- drawing ... and telling stories with those drawings. In
fact, I was depressed. I hadn't just grown tired of it -- I was despising
It wasn't the assignments, necessarily, or certainly not the people I
worked with, because I worked with some of the finest. But, other than
first assignment I'd ever drawn (a short story for an anthology book
published by Eclipse Comics that I drew in '85, written by a good buddy),
subsequent job was something that came my way and not something I had
aspired to do. I wasn't choosing my path, but it was being chosen for
me. Today, as a Christian, I relish my path being chosen ... by my Lord.
But back then it felt more like being tossed about on the stormy seas --
without any purpose or direction.
In early '90, my wife became pregnant and it was like a light switch
turned on -- I knew things had to change. I finally asked myself a simple
question; "If there was any book you could choose to draw at Marvel and
you had that opportunity, which book would it be?" I didn't have an
immediate answer, but over the next night or so I sat on my living room
sketched...and sketched...and sketched. At one point, the sketches
started to wear horns and I liked it -- I liked it a lot. I had, like
everybody else, _loved_ the "Born Again" storyline by Miller and
few years earlier. Corny as it sounds, I related to Matt's struggles and
his internal search for purpose in his life. I determined to seek out a
Daredevil assignment. For those who know me now, they might find this
hard to believe, but it was a terrifying thing for me to consider going in
and asking or telling an editor what _I_ would like to do. I hadn't done
it in five years! But a few weeks later, I found myself in the office of
Ralph Macchio (the then Daredevil editor) after turning in a job to
editor. Ralph asked if I'd like to do a back-up spot in one of his
books -- five pages an issue for five issues. "Sure", I said, continuing
pattern of taking whatever I was asked to do. I chatted a while with
had given me my very first Marvel assignment in '86), all the while having
an internal dialogue, trying to talk myself into asking for a DD gig. I'm
not kidding -- I was chicken!
Well, the conversation waned and I began to head for the door.
Straddling the threshold, I decided to take the plunge and turned back
remark; "Hey, Ralph, by the way (like it was such a casual thing for
me!!), I'll put a hit on any enemy of your choosing for the chance to draw
DD inventory...if you ever have the need." He looked at his assistant
(Mike Hiesler), who returned the look. They raised their eyebrows with a
sort of, "what the heck", shrugged their shoulders, and Ralph turned back
said, "Y'know... now that you mention it..."
That was a big moment for me. Sure, it's just comics, and things are
lot different now. The pregancy that started all this is now my almost 14
year old daughter. I have another girl who is 12. I can't think of a
character or an assigment that I long for as I longed to work on that one
then. I became a follower of Jesus Christ a few years ago, and although I
still have a great fondness for the craft of comics, I'm not happy with
content of a majority of what the comics' industry has to offer. In
fact, I think they are missing opportunities with people who'd love to see
titillation, blood and guts, and profane language; people who'd love to
see good clean adventures that have a purpose and a message -- if not THE
message. But, there will always be 1991. There was much good that
came out of that experience of working on Daredevil. I got to work with
the greatest comics illustrators of all time in Al Williamson. My DD
lead to a long line of projects -- most of which I was very happy to work
at the time. Lastly, I had the honor of being invited back to finish off
the original run of the Daredevil book with issue 380, which also gave me
the opportunity to re-unite with DD writer and good friend, Dan
I hope I was half as good to the book as it was to me.
I felt very comfortable working on Daredevil since he
is one of my favorites! Unfortunately at the time
that I worked on DD, I was working on other projects
at the same time and the artistic result was not as
good as I hoped. But the inks of Pier Brito helped
so that everything came out well.
John Romita, Jr.
Penciller, DAREDEVIL, DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR
Other than the fact that, in my humble opinion, DD is the most enjoyable
to draw,I also have a fondness in my heart for DD because the cover to #12
image that "dragged" me into the comics industry, so to speak!
As an 8-year old, I came upon my father working on Daredevil #12 and, to
make a long
story short, was struck by the comics hammer! To that point, all my father
doing was romance comics and I wasn't interested. One quick conversation
and I was hooked!
Daredevil was an interesting turning point in my career. As I recall, I
had been working at Marvel about a year when I got the assignment. Prior
to that, I had done some superhero work -- a few issues of Iron Man, a
brief run on Sub-Mariner, assorted fill-in issues -- none of it very
notable. My initial work on Daredevil wasn't much to get excited about
either. The art was so-so. (Gene Colan had departed the book as regular
artist.) The stories and characterizations were, to be honest, very
shallow, and far too derivative of other writers' work on the series. As I
admitted in one DD letter column, I was trying to write Stan Lee's
Daredevil, or Roy Thomas's, or Gerry Conway's. I didn't have much of a
clue as to what might constitute a Steve Gerber Daredevil.
Sales on DD reached a critical point. In those days, the book was one of
Marvel's marginal sellers. It was always on the verge of cancellation,
but with the problem of revolving-door artists and a writer groping to
find his way, its demise looked imminent. I didn't want it to happen on my
watch. Fortunately, neither did Marvel. Gene was brought back for a few
issues, which helped immensely. Gene moved on again, but this time the
artistic duties were handed to Bob Brown, who not only had a feel for the
character but was able to stay with the book on a regular basis.
While all that was going on, I basically learned how to write a superhero
book my way, incorporating what I had learned about characterization and
plotting and pacing from the various horror series I was writing. Over a
period of months, I found what you might call my superhero voice.
Sales began to rise again. The fan mail, which had been harshly critical,
took a turn for the positive. We had rescued the book, and I had gained a
great deal of knowledge in the process.
So, in short, working on Daredevil taught me how to write superhero
stories. It meant a lot to me.
Penciller, editor, DAREDEVIL
I guess I could say it's a dream project to be working on Daredevil but
wouldn't be doing it justice. Working on DD, for me, has been almost
therapeutic in nature and completely life altering. Matt Murdock and his
life are so
Shakespearean, that you to work out a lot of your own personal demons as
create stories for Matt and his world. But more importantly, I will
be indebted to Matt and DD, he is the character that has changed my life
guess by virtue of that changed Marvel. If it wasn't for DD flagshipping
Marvel Knights with Kevin Smith, MK wouldn't be the success that it turned
be. It's "the little imprint that could!" From there DD helped get me
very cool job I now have as EiC. So, although Spidey and X-Men are the
players here at Marvel, it took a little guy dressed in red to change the
direction of the company and my life completely.
Mark Steven Johnson
Writer, director, DAREDEVIL MOVIE
I've been reading Daredevil comics ever since I was
old enough to read, so I leapt at the chance to bring
Hornhead to life. I felt very protective of this
character and I wanted to ensure that he would be
treated with the respect he deserves. There were many
battles in that regard -- some of which I won and some
of which I lost. The scenes I am most proud of are
the ones which came directly off the pages of the
comics themselves. Unlike Spider-man or X-Men,
Daredevil was unknown to the general public. That the
movie grossed $180 million is a tribute to the power
of that character. I remain very fond of the film,
despite its flaws.
Daredevil was a favorite of mine as a reader back in the sixties when it
first came out. I especially loved the issues Wally Wood worked on. I
believe Joe Orlando drew one issue that Vince Colletta inked, also one of
my favorites. The issue in which Daredevil fought Sub-Mariner, which
used, essentially, the old Red-Baron-salutes-the-valiant-foe plot, was
perhaps the one I loved most. That plot may be old, but it was utterly
revolutionary in comics at the time -- the hero lost! There were many
such startling, unheard of, revolutionary things introduced in those early
Daredevils and Marvel Comics in general in those days that are staples
now, and taken for granted.
The first writing I did on Daredevil was dialogue only for pages drawn to
someone else's plot. That was in 1976, I think, while I was associate
editor of Marvel. Eventually I got to write the series. The prevailing
wisdom at Marvel at the time, promulgated by former Editor in Chief Len
Wein and then-EIC Marv Wolfman, was that there were titles that were
naturally "first-string," like Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor and the
Fantastic Four, natural second-string titles like Daredevil, Defenders,
Master of Kung-Fu and X-Men, and third-string dregs like Ghost Rider, Luke
Cage Power Man, Werewolf by Night, and Iron Fist. I thought that was
nonsense. I thought that Daredevil, and any title we thought was worth
publishing, should be treated as first-string. I did my best to make
Daredevil as good as I could. After I became EIC, I tried (and often
failed) to extend my philosophy to all Marvel titles, to bring every title
to the fulfillment of its potential. My stint on Daredevil was memorable
because I got to work with greats like Gil Kane, Klaus Janson and Carmine
Infantino. I never managed to make Daredevil into the runaway hit it
always should have been, and had to give it up because the EIC job didn't
allow much time for writing. Eventually, though, editor Denny O'Neil got
this talented kid Miller on the book, and it finally took off (after a
year or so) and became a mega-hit -- proving my point.
When I worked on Daredevil, Hector Collazo and I were sharing an art
studio. Most of the work I did on Daredevil was either to help him on
his deadlines (he helped me on mine too) or it was because I would see
some of the pages and I would beg him to let me ink them. When Scott
McDaniel was penciling Daredevil, he was kicking some major butt. he
was doing some amazing layouts that made inkers (me at least) drool. I
always liked Daredevil from the very first issue I ever bought. It was
drawn by Gil kane and inked by Klaus Janson. I was blown away by the
art, it's still amazing today 25 years later. When I inked DD I tried
to have the quality that first hooked me 25 years ago. Did I achieve
that? I don't know, but it sure was great to have the chance to try.
Daredevil was like no other comic I ever worked on before or after.
When I worked on Spider-Man, I was worried about getting the webbing
right. When I worked on any of the X-Men books, I was to involved with
all the costumes and characters and machinery and deadlines to really,
REALLY enjoy it.
But when I worked on Daredevil, the book just set a tone, a mood that
you could feel. I don't know how to describe it, I guess it's like
watching a really good movie and then dreaming about it. You feel like
you're part of that universe. That definitely had an impact on my
creativity. It made me want to do more and I did every chance I got.
When I first got to work on DD during Fall From Grace, it was a real
honor- it was my first big gig and it was Daredevil. I've loved the
characters since I first started reading in the 80's and can't wait to
work on the book again at some point.
Writer, DAREDEVIL: YELLOW
It was a pleasure on all fronts. It was the first time Tim [Sale] and I
worked at Marvel Knights under the care of Joe and Nanci Quesada.
It was the first work from Tim where the entire book was done in
ink wash which provided spectacular artwork. In terms of the character,
it was the first time I had written him, but was particularly drawn
to the relationship he had with his father. At the time, not much had
been done with Battlin' Jack Murdock and Daredevil: Yellow was meant
to celebrate his contribution to the legend. I also have a smile when
Daredevil in the Yellow Costume is now referred to as "Daredevil: Yellow"
on all merchandise, a name that had never been used prior to DDY.
Lastly, the yellow costume had always been something of a joke --
Why does Daredevil wear such an ugly yellow costume? Because he's blind!
And I think Tim and I did our best to give that early period in DD's life
some real meaning.
Penciler, Inker, DAREDEVIL: YELLOW
Daredevil was one of three comics I collected growing up, the other
two being Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. I know that primarily it
was the combination of soap opera and the artwork that got me, and with
DD it was the era of Gene Colan, Mike Murdock, and the Foggy-Karen-Matt
triangle. I just loved the loose and jaunty way that Colan drew.
There is an issue, I think #32, where Mr. Hyde and the Cobra lure DD to an
abandoned lighthouse and there is a long fight sequence in the dark,
and DD takes advantage that way of being able to "see" in the dark, and
triumph. It was that power, the blind man seeing, that connected with
me also, it just seemed so out there and cool. When I had the
opportunity to put my own spin on DD, I knew I had the perfect partner in Jeph
Loeb to bring all those elements into play, the romance, the unique
powers and everything.
Colorist, DAREDEVIL, DAREDEVIL: YELLOW
The gig on DD meant a lot to me for a variety of reasons.
I grew up on the Miller run on DD and was a huge fan of
his initial run as well as stuff he did with
Mazzucchelli and Sienkiewicz. Great stuff. So,
naturally, when the offer came in to work on the book
with Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev, I jumped at it. Alex
and I worked together and I loved working over him, and
it was being written by a great writer who was bringing
back the flavor of why I originally liked the
character. It was a good match and I found myself on a
team with a great sense of shared vision. We saw the
book the same way. I loved my run on the book and find
it to be one of the those books I can show non-comics
fan friends with a huge amount of pride. Thanks go out
to Joe Quesada, Stuart Moore, Nanci Quesada, Kelly
Lamy, Jenny Lee, Axel Alonso, and most of all to Brian
and Alex for all the great work and great stories.
Colorist, writer, DAREDEVIL
When I was an editor on staff at Marvel, Daredevil was generally thought
of as THE book to work on. Very few writers got a shot writing it because
they had the shadow of Frank Miller's run all over the place. Daredevil
attracted the cream of the comics field due to its gritty urban setting
and its very conflicted hero. So to get a chance to work on that title as
a writer and colorist was a huge ego boost and confidence builder. The
work I did on Daredevil also helped to land me some higher quality jobs
with top notch creators. For me, Daredevil was the one character who was
the most fully developed. He wasn't a goody-goody, he wasn't an anti-hero,
and he wasn't perfect. In his world, actions always had consequences. And
as a writer, the title meant more possibilities and challenge. As a
reader, Daredevil was always a good read because you never knew what might
happen. Daredevil's the sort of superhero you might actually want to be.
"What did working on DD mean to me professionally and personally?" I
enjoyed working on a comic that many of my heroes had worked on, Frank
Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Gene Colan, etc. That is a great feeling.
course I never feel like I'm giving any of those gentlemen a run for
money. Professionally I had the pleasure of working with Bill Reinhold
I always enjoy that. I think he and I did some really nice stuff.
What a great, fun character to draw.
Inker, DAREDEVIL, Artist, DAREDEVIL: PREDATOR'S SMILE
There are a couple of reasons why I got a thrill out of working on Daredevil. One, is that Daredevil was the
series that started me collecting Marvel comics. In 1968 at a shop that had a rack of new comics, they happened
to have DD #40 and DD #41. Got the bug and never stopped.
Second, a couple of artists drew Daredevil that had a big influences on me, Gene Colan and Frank Miller. Nuff
It's quite easy to get attached to and even develop
affection for the fictional characters one writes. And
who knows, some day they may discover a physics
principle that confirms a shadowy reality to creations
of the imagination. So, I must admit I adored
Daredevil during the 5 years I wrote the title.
Daredevil is such a mass of contradictions, no matter
which way you turn, a good story presents itself. The
legal justice-loving vigilante. The lapsed Catholic
with the devil's mask. The compassionate man with a
taste for dark women. The fearless daredevil terrified
only of what makes his own mind tick. How could you
not have fun with a guy like that? Of course, just as
much fun for me was the chance to create Shotgun,
Bushwacker, scores of others, but most especially,
Typhoid Mary. So, Daredevil meant a great deal to me,
personally and professionally. I worked with so many
talented artists, John Romita Jr. most importantly,
and a terrific editor, Ralph Macchio. As for
Daredevil, I looked at that guy in red from every
angle, and I still don't understand him. That's the
mark of a great comic book character. One of the very
best, I think.
DD was my first job on a well known character in a regular book, so
that in and of itself was special. The themes that have defined DD
since his inception are so powerful and so human that you can't help
but enjoy working with the character. As a bonus, I basically got to
put my father in the flashback story we did about Matt in college-- a
little autobiography when you're working doesn't hurt!
Getting Daredevil was a very special thing. It was an opportunity to
work on a steady character. One I could continue to develop. Up til
then, I was all over the map.
All of his powers were a big challenge to me to see how I could portray
them in a realistic way. I was thrilled to get the opportunity and
held onto it for quite a few years.
I always liked Daredevil best of all. Good story content and I enjoyed
what I did.
At some point, I got the thought of how to illustrate his blindness so
the reader could understand what it was like to be Daredevil. I
thought I should show images in his mind as to what was in front of him
with a minimum of detail. But when it was necessary to see things more
clearly for his own safety, he intuitively knew how to see things
Artistically, it was a great challenge.
Colorist, DAREDEVIL, DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER
Daredevil has been one of my favorite superhero characters since I first
read the classic Miller/Janson issues. Working as a colorist, I've had the
pleasure of working on Daredevil a couple of times, but it was really an
honor to re-color those classic Daredevil issues in Marvel's recent
"Visionaries" reprints. I worked closely with Klaus Janson, who originally
colored the series, to keep the intent of the original coloring while
cleaning it up and adding some "modern" touches. Professionally, I'm very
proud of this project--personally, I had a great time working with my pal
Klaus! I hope that some day I'll get a chance to work on Daredevil as a
writer/artist instead of just as colorist!
I was really pleased to be on a comic I had read for years and loved when Colan and Palmer were doing it, as
well as greats like Kane, Brown, Romita, (Windsor-) Smith and others.
But I was filling in for Klaus Janson (still my favorite inker in comics) doing his best work to date over Frank
Miller's pencils, and I felt by comparision, I was doing a substandard job.
I had fun.
I gained respect from folks I wouldn't have otherwise been respected by.
I earned legitimacy in a field I've always adored.
I got to work with good friends on something we all believed in, and helped restore an amazing character to its
I fulfilled another life-long dream.
Personally? Well, that's personal.
Writer, editor, DAREDEVIL
Though I liked the book, DD was not a personal favorite or anything, so I
wasn't as thrilled to get that assignment as I was when I got some others,
like AVENGERS. Still, I enjoyed working on the book, at first with Barry
Smith (who mostly plotted them, with some input from me) and then with Gene
Colan, where I took over the basic plotting. Gene's drawing always excited
me, and I guess I'm proudest of a few things like the sexual way DD asked
Karen to remove his mask... sound effects like KUDDA-LIK-KUDDA-LIK for
horses' hooves... Brother Brimstone and the scene in the LaBrea Tar Pits I
had just visited in L.A.... and just the generally more realistic tone of
Well... I hesitate to say this, but to be completely honest, it was a bit of
a disappointment. While I was extremely grateful for the work, it was sold
to me as a completely different kind of job than what it turned out to be.
For someone to be as big a Daredevil fan as I was (and am), and work on a
storyline that didn't actually feature the character (or hell, *any* of the
characters) as himself... let's just say that it wasn't an ideal situation,
in my opinion. On the other hand, all the people with whom I worked on it
were very cool, so there was at least that.
The way in which it affected me most was that I resolved to myself that
someday I'd get a real shot at the character! Hopefully, that'll happen
before I die...
Writer (as John Harkness), DAREDEVIL
I had discovered him in #16 - Romita
art, Spidey guest-starring, before Romita did Spidey - and as I
worked my way back through collecting, I found Wood, Orlando, and
Everett, so DD had a very dark and different mystique for me,
compared to other Marvel heroes. That's why I started my first [and
only] issue with a completely black splash page: his POV.
I loved working as an editor on Daredevil. And it was also great working as
an assistant to Denny O'Neil on the title as I was priviliged to see the
growth of Frank Miller as fostered by Denny.
D.D. is a character I believe is every bit the work of genius that
Spider-Man is. I was honored to have overseen one of the great characters in
comics over many years. Even with Frank's departure, I watched scripter Ann
Nocenti and penciler John Romita Jr. really come into their own as top
talents on this title.
DAREDEVIL has had its ups and downs during my run as editor but the core of
the character always shown through. The amazing lawyer/vigilante dynamic
tension that motivates the series is something I'll always be taken with.
Matt Murdock is such a truly human character with all the frailties and
flaws any man can have, yet he has risen above it all to become one of the
great heroes in the Marvel Universe.
And he's handicapped. He's blind. A blind super hero. There's just no end to
what makes him special--a joy to work on.
Definitely one of the high points of my career was editing and assistant
editing on The Man Without Fear!
Brian Michael Bendis
It meant everything. It's the book with the highest
standard of excellence attached and it taught me what
a comic could be.
Editor, MARVEL KNIGHTS
DAREDEVIL is an odd one to me, because people have never thought of
him as one of Marvel's big characters. But there's something about
him that people love, and that's inspired some of the best talent in
comics to do their best work.
Matt Murdock is a very moral character, but he's also extremely
flawed. The toughest thing about him, for me, is keeping that
balance. Both Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis have written him
as unsteady, always trying to do what's right, but surrounded by an
amoral world and deeply flawed inside. That's what makes him
(This may be heresy, but it sure isn't his villains. They're a pretty
sorry bunch. Once you get past Bullseye, Elektra, and the Kingpin --
who came over from Spider-Man -- there's not much to work with.)
For myself, it was a pleasure to kick off the Bendis/Maleev era of
DD, which I think ranks as one of its best. And working with Stan Lee
and Gene Colan on a special story for the anniversary issue was also
great. DD was and is the flagship book of the Marvel Knights line,
and I expect that to continue for a long time.
Writer, co-creator DAREDEVIL
Daredevil was very important to me because he was the first superhero I created who had the serious physical
handicap of blindness.
It was a challenge to me to find ways for Matt Murdock to overcome his handicap and actually function as a
I'm enormously pleased that the project turned out so successfully, evinced by the fact that Daredevil has been
a popular hero for four decades. It's also a source of great satisfaction to me that each succeeding writer has
brought new, interesting concepts and characters into the series.
So here's to our good ol' Man Without Fear. Long may he reign!
(c) Kuljit Mithra
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear