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Best Daredevil Story Before Frank Miller

 
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Best Daredevil Story Before Frank Miller Reply with quote

I think most people would agree that Frank Miller changed Daredevil for the better when he became the writer for the title back in the 80s. But what was the best DD story before Miller became involved with the character?
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read enough issues to truly give an informed answer, but I'll throw out an obvious example: The very first issue. A lot of Stan Lee's run is terrible (mostly because he was overworked doing everything else too), but that issue is a really good introduction to the character that holds up as a story.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
I haven't read enough issues to truly give an informed answer, but I'll throw out an obvious example: The very first issue. A lot of Stan Lee's run is terrible (mostly because he was overworked doing everything else too), but that issue is a really good introduction to the character that holds up as a story.


That's a good choice, DD's basic origin seems to stay the same no matter what the adaption, so the story does hold up and likely is one of the most iconic parts of the DD's mythos from the Silver Age.

Another good story from the Silver Age, IMO, is the DD vs. Namor story in DD issue 7. While having some typical Silver Age silliness in it, goes DD fighting a foe he cannot defeat, but he never gives up, which shows DD's famous determination in it. It is also the first story with DD's iconic red suit.

I actually read some of the Bullseye stories Marv Wolfman wrote, though a bit a silly, they are not bad and shows some hints of the psycho Bullseye would become later. There had some other somewhat darker stories leading up to Miller taking over the title, I think DD was moving in a more noir direction by the late 70s.

I would agree that Stan Lee's work on DD was pretty lackluster, he was putting most of his creative energy into FF and Spider-Man back in the 60s and it shows, that is those two titles are the best Silver Age Marvel titles, while others had to be revamped by other writers later.
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Ash-n-Bone
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still really enjoy Stan Lee's issue 4 which introduced the Purple Man.
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Bullseye11
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Joined: 05 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite run was probably steve gerbers run. I cant think of any single issues that i loved but it was so fun. It was really good as a comic series but i will admit that this run is just not daredevil. Looking back now its insane that daredevil ran around with black widow fighting aliens and things. I also really enjoyed the beggining of roy thomas's run and roger mckenzie's run. They were previews of what was tp come to daredevil and miller takes a lot of the credit for things that mckenzie started. And of course the first 8 or so stan lee issues are great.
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Nightwing2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's not much before the Miller stuff that stands out as great for me but I always enjoyed 124 and 125, the story with Copperhead in them. Maybe not so much for the story but the artwork by Bob Brown and Klaus Jansen was a standout here with them doing grim and gritty DD before Frank miller ever did it. I also really liked issue 148 with Death Stalker. A hurt and frustrated Daredevil is searching the city for Killgrave and runs into Death Stalker. I thought this issue showed a glimpse into the future DD we would see often, the high strung mentally on the brink version.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, Frank Miller said he wanted to bring back Copperhead if he had time.
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Acerbus
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Joined: 11 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to echo The Overlord's recommendation of #7, with the Namor vs. DD story. It really set a tone for the Matt Murdock character that has more or less been faithfully sustained to the present.

I, personally, really enjoyed #55. I think one of Daredevil's problems during the Stan Lee years was that he was only rarely (as in Issue #7) depicted as human or flawed. He was just sort of swinging around, wisecracking and didn't have many characteristics to distinguish him from Spider-Man, in that sense. With all respect to the name of this website, the "Man Without Fear" distinction was a bit of a creative albatross. In most stories, he just wasn't afraid, so it was hard for the reader to feel like the stories mattered. At least that's my read on it.

In Issue #54 Daredevil loses a battle with Mr. Fear, due to allowing his terror to get the better of him. 55 sees Daredevil legitimately doubting if the fear is from the toxin or simply in his head. He tries to fight some thugs performing a mugging and winds up breaking down and begging for his life, it's pretty downbeat, neurotic stuff. Fairly ahead of its time for late '60s Marvel.

Gene Colan's art is jaw-dropping in this issue. His rendition of Mr. Fear as this spectral, elemental force is absolutely incredible.

My only gripe is the slight cop-out ending.
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