With the help of many contributors of the web site, here is a list of
comics or collections that have been suggested for NEW READERS, RETURNING
READERS, or LONG-TIME READERS of Daredevil.
Many thanks to train, Pete, Greg, Clayton Blind Love, Jim B., Keith, rgj,
CAS, Farwell3d, Jake, Mike Without Fear, Allison, awlrite4now, SeanWLuck,
bry and alfiemoon!
Let's say you've never read anything, or are here because you liked the
Some other selections...
Some comments from contributors...
From Clayton Blind Love:
The NEW fan (I am assuming that the movie sparked an interest):
If you are coming into this because of the movie, then I would suggest
that you begin with Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol.2. (#168-182) Why not
start where the movie mainly came out of? From here, I would then suggest
moving on to Vol.3 (#183-191) of that series and right to Born Again.
After that? Well, why not check out Guardian Devil? (Don't touch Guardian
Devil until you have read Born Again! You need to see the progress of
The RETURNING fan (I assume that either the movie or the current series,
maybe both, has sparked an interest):
Welcome back! Surely, you know that Daredevil has been relaunched now.
What? No? Okay, pick up Guardian Devil and start reading all the trades of
the Vol.2 Daredevil series available. Read my favorite of the current
series, Parts of a Hole! Then dive into the brilliant trade called Wake
Up. Did you know that this is Bendis' first Marvel work? Yes, Ultimate
Spider-Man was printed first, but this Daredevil tale was in the drawer
complete first. Now have a blast reading these Bendis trades!
You know about Daredevil's origin right? Of course you do! Well, there is
a fairly recent tale called Daredevil: Yellow that you must check out.
(But don't read this until you have at least read Guardian Devil. Again,
this concerns Karen Page and your better understanding of where
Matt/Daredevil is coming from in Yellow)
*My only concern to this point is that one should read Born Again before
Guardian Devil, and Guardian Devil before Yellow. (For better enjoyment
and understanding purposes)
The REGULAR reader:
Now you must own either the Essential Daredevil or the Marvel Masterworks
(Vol.1 & 2). By now you have either been reading Daredevil for a very long
time or you love this character so much that it is time to taste the Stan
Lee stuff! You must love comics and this character, in particular, that
you are ready to swallow "60's dialogue." No way would I suggest this to a
new reader. An appreciation of comics and this character are in order
#53 - Some might shoot me for this, but I love this way better than the
original one. Gene Colan pencils an origin re-told story! A great
alternative than spending the big bucks to get issue 1. It is not a couple
of pages of origin story, no sir! It is all here!
#146 - The classic Bullseye/Daredevil fight in the TV station. (Milla
recently mentioned this one in #48-vol.2!) You better have this by now.
There are lots more of course, but I would say that #53 thru to 71 or so
are key gems that are often over looked!
Here's my list of the essentials, in the order they should be read. The
list is intended for the new DD fan, but if you're a more experienced
reader who's missed some things, definitely check it out, too.
DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR - trade paperback by Frank Miller and John
DAREDEVIL 63 - first series
DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOLUME 1 - trade paperback
DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOLUME 2 - trade paperback
DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOLUME 3 - trade paperback
ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN - trade paperback
DAREDEVIL 219 - first series
DAREDEVIL: LOVE AND WAR - graphic novel
ELEKTRA LIVES AGAIN - graphic novel
DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN - trade paperback
Why these books are on this list:
DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR by Miller and Romita, Jr. is the
definitive origin of Daredevil. I absolutely swear by it. While
Daredevil's origin has been retold a number of times, this retelling shows
what shaped Matt Murdock into the vigilante he is now, in a way that
stands apart from any other. It also has appearances by major characters
that appear later in the mythos. And this story is by Frank Miller, the
man who's written the best DD stories ever, and John Romita, Jr. is one of
the best DD artists. The trade paperback hasn't been reprinted recently,
but you can probably get a copy after some digging. You can try Amazon,
where I got a copy, and I saw some at my local Barnes and Noble once. In
addition, check out this invaluable resource:
http://www.the-master-list.com/ EVERY comics retailer is listed here.
DAREDEVIL 63 isn't as necessary as the others. I just wanted an issue
featuring Karen Page that's somewhat memorable and preceded Born Again, in
which she figures heavily. While Born Again eventually gives you all you
need to know about Karen, I thought it would still be nice to see such an
important character at least once before reading Born Again. A number of
pre-Miller Karen Page issues would fit the bill just as well as Daredevil
63. You can find lots of the early DD/Karen Page stories reprinted in the
Marvel Masterworks line and Essential Daredevil trade paperback, or just
pick up DD 63 in less-than-mint condition like I did. I don.t have much of
a liking for those early Stan Lee issues, though. Stan Lee.s great on
other titles, such as Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, but DD is handled far
better in other hands.
While Miller's writing is the focus of this list, including DAREDEVIL
VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOLUME 1 is still very necessary, even if he's
only credited as a penciler, or penciler/co-plotter at most. Miller and
inker Klaus Janson grew as an art-team-supreme in these issues and
Daredevil fights an array of opponents. Plus, the storyline with the Hulk
and Ben Urich's investigation of DD's identity sets up DD's relationship
with Ben Urich for stories to come. And Miller's collaboration with writer
Roger McKenzie was clearly an early influence on Miller's own writing.
DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOLUME 2: If there's one book that's
the core of Miller and Janson.s run and everything great about Daredevil,
this book is it. It features Elektra's first appearance, her struggle with
the Hand, her confrontation with DD, a close look at the homicidal nature
of Bullseye, DD's moral ambivalence, the Kingpin's operatic grab for
power.and DD 181. Miller began his comics writing in spectacular fashion.
DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER VOLUME 3 caps off Miller and Janson's
collaboration on the title, which is enough reason in itself to get it.
Other reasons to buy it: seeing just how much Elektra means to DD, how
Kingpin defines his and DD's relationship, and DD paying Bullseye a
visit.an unremittingly edgy story and one of the most insightful DD tales.
ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN is the only book on the list that isn't placed
chronologically, but its placement on the list is the best place to read
it from an overall storytelling point. Can't really explain why without
giving away too many details - just going to have to trust me on this.
there's been some difference of opinion as to where the story fits in
continuity. For reasons best discussed between those who have read it, I
consider it a prequel to the Elektra stories in Miller and Janson's run.
Just don't expect Daredevil to appear in it. Matt Murdock may only have a
two-panel-or-so flashback appearance, but to truly understand Matt and
Elektra's relationship, you need to understand Elektra first. Elektra:
Assassin helps towards that end. Additionally, Elektra: Assassin has a
distinct visual and narrative sophistication and is a strong part of the
next evolutionary stage in Miller's writing. Art by Bill Sienkiewicz. The
miniseries has been reprinted a number of times, but the most recent
reprint is the hardcover, Daredevil / Elektra: Love and War. It collects
both Elektra: Assassin and the first DD graphic novel, Love and War.
DAREDEVIL 219 is a stand-alone story. Even though it has nothing to do
with Born Again, a certain aspect of how Matt Murdock is portrayed is
something of a precursor to Born Again. Written by Miller, drawn by John
DAREDEVIL: LOVE AND WAR gives a revealing portrayal of Daredevil's
greatest enemy, the Kingpin. This is Miller and Sienkiewicz's first
collaboration. The original graphic novel printings don't have "Love and
War" on the cover, just "Daredevil" as the title. How descriptive is that?
"Love and War" is inside the book. Getting one of those printings is very
hard, but Amazon helped me out some time ago. As stated above, it was
recently reprinted in Daredevil / Elektra: Love and War.
ELEKTRA LIVES AGAIN: This is Elektra by Miller, one last time. Fully
compelling and primal, it's absolutely vital for DD and Elektra fans,
particularly those who have read the previous stories. Miller had drawn as
well as written the book, and Lynn Varley brilliantly colored it. You can
order it from Bud Plant's site. The link to the listing is
http://www.budplant.com/prod.itml/icOid/10585 For different reasons,
Elektra Lives Again is every bit as important as Born Again. Speaking of
No Must-Read-DDs list would be complete without DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN.
Daredevil has long opposed the Kingpin, and now pays dearly for it. As
with a number of books on this list, *every* comics collection should have
this book. But to fully appreciate Born Again, you need to read the
stories on this list before it. Born Again is the last listing here for
the best of reasons. Not only does it chronologically take place after
everything else, it.s a rare pinnacle of talent, story and art. And there
has been no finer creative team than writer Frank Miller and artist David
Mazzuchelli. Reprinted many times, the coloring shows up the best in the
recent Marvel Legends edition.
As a longtime comics reader of various series, these are the books that I
re-read the most. Daredevil interests me like no other character, and
these stories are the reason why. If you haven't read them, please do
yourself a favor - and enjoy.
I’m cobbling together a few Daredevil reads for you here that are somewhat off the beaten path. Every fan of Hornhead has read “Man Without Fear”, “Born Again”, and “Yellow”. What are some deeper cuts? With that as our guiding premise, here are a few recommendations.
Daredevil Vol. 1, 7- If you want to see the measure of Daredevil’s bravery, there is no clearer example of him ‘punching above his weight’ than Issue 7. Hornhead vs Namor. And Wally wood shows off that new eventually iconic red suit!
Daredevil Vol. 1 12-13 - Again, a deep cut. These two issues are drawn by some schlubs named Romita and Kirby, if you are a comics historian and they take Daredevil to the SAVAGE LAND!
Daredevil Volume 1, 215 - A time-spanning team up between Daredevil and the Two Gun kid! WHAT IS THAT? Not a "what if", either!
Daredevil Ninja TPB – This one just struck me, from expanding on some threads teased in the Netflix show. There is a bit more here on Stone and the Chaste, and the debut and origin of one of Marvel’s most powerful weapons. What’s the Hand’s deal? A lot of their M.O. is explained here.
Daredevil Redemption TPB – If you want to see Matt Murdock at his legal eagle best, this is it. He’s outside NYC and just doing his thing. This features some haunting art, and an even more haunting story.
Daredevil Reborn TPB – The spiritual successor to Redemption. DD is on sabbatical from the Kitchen, and another fascinating case finds him.
Daredevil / Punisher 7th Circle TPB – If the relationship between Punisher and DD in the Netflix show garnered your interest, this collection should be your next stop. Their perspectives are laid out, and their similarities and differences are explored.
Got your own comments, please send them to me and I'll post them!