The Man Without Fear
you the truth, I have never been able to pin down why comic
books end up being movies. I mean sure, most movies start
out as scripts and storyboards (which are similar enough to
comics as to make them the lazy cinematographer's dream source
material), but it puzzles me how some of the content gets
passed: a movie about a guy who wears red underwear, tights,
and is afraid of some stupid glowing rocks? Who goes to see
that? The answer is, of course, "everyone".
like Superman and Batman have a universal appeal. They are
pop-culture icons unto themselves and are two of the few modern
literary characters (aside from the Books Of Magic
rip-off Harry Potter) that almost every living person has
some familiarity with. That's probably the reason that their
movies (despite the content of some of the more recent ones,
i.e.: roast in Hell, Joel Schumacher) are usually well received.
Heck, look at Spider-Man: a comic book on film and
little else, and it becomes the highest grossing movie in
talk of celluloid and movie jive brings me around to the point:
Daredevil comes out on Friday. And Daredevil
has some problems in front of it that may not sit well with
the populace; namely that no one knows who Daredevil is.
not the most popular character outside of the comic book community
and that may hurt the movie's chances at grossing the kind
of numbers that all fanboys (and probably several movie execs)
want to see. So the question arises on how to get people familiar
with the character.
is Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, written by Frank
Miller and drawn by the man making Incredible Hulk readable
again, John Romita Jr. This is the book that made me like
does some of his best work (or rather did some of his best
work. Miller's stuff is like wine: it's better the older it
is) in re-writing the origin of Daredevil, though not enough
to warrant the now infamous "Ultimate" tag that
Marvel loves (if you've been following Ultimate Daredevil
& Elektra, you might notice some similarities that
Rucka took from this work).
out as a 64 page one-shot meant to clean up Daredevil's origins
became, under editor Ralph Macchio's insistence, a five-issue
miniseries that included the beginnings of Matt Murdock, his
training under blind ninja streetbum Stick, as well as his
first meeting with a sexy Greek assassin called Elektra, and
his first confrontation (albeit an indirect one) with the
establishes Daredevil as a street level hero, having him combat
street toughs and underworld pushers and child pornographers,
and all this done sans the red costume (or yellow if you're
captures all the grit and pathos of the character beautifully.
Romita's style is a great one; it smacks of Miller's influence,
but is cleaner and more refined. His current work on Amazing
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk are just as good and I
urge anyone looking for good street-issue comics to check
those books out.
me say that Stick, the aforementioned ninja bum, has become
one of my favorite-of-all-time characters and I want to know
more. This volume doesn't go in-depth about Stick's past and
origins, and I think I might be picking up a few Marvel Visionaries
reprints of classic DD to find out more. There is a scene
where he discusses the potential of Matt Murdock and Elektra
Natchios that rings of prophecy and cool mystic stuff that
leaves me wanting oh-so-much-more.
up Daredevil: The Man Without Fear not knowing what
to expect but wanting to get a better understanding of the
character (sure, I read Kevin Smith's run, Guardian Devil,
but so did everyone else).
characterization in spades for DD, as well as the Kingpin,
Elektra, and (hurray for braille!) Stick, so I feel justified
spending my $16.95. Before you throw down that $5-$10 for
a movie ticket to Daredevil, pick this book up so you'll
have something to compare it to.
Daredevil: The Man