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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: When Words Collide - Feb 7, 2011

    This week, Tim continues THE DAREDEVIL DIALOGUES with Ryan K. Lindsay. In part 3, they talk about the topic everyone has been waiting for: Frank Miller's Daredevil. Is it really as good as its reputation?


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    33408 is the other way ian33407's Avatar
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    ...what a wonderful column, I will jump to all my old issues as soon as I can.
    You just pointed everything right, except the fact that Miller barely worships BABY CART and mangas and that influenced him as a whole: both in sequencing and with the brush. I don't think he only 'likes' ninjas ( I noticed critics got the same problem when you just quote there could be a chance for Bill Sienkiewicz to have been a great reader of Toppi and Battaglia,... an interesting debat, isn't it ?) but it doesn't deny the precursive aspect of the whole hard-boiled approach, far from it.

    I guess Frank Miller did what every Art School teachers will tell you : you will maybe work onto something that isn't interesting you, so you have to appropriate yourself the thing, to channel it to your own themas or ideas because if you don't do that, that will be soulless...I am pretty sure Miller was ACTUALLY interested in comics but what he saw in them wasn't there, so he 'just' brings it into and told the stories he wanted, and he has been f..... d... RIGHT, for which we 're all still grateful, for having a great opinion of what an artist is, for his unbelievable faith onto it.

    That's why both his run onto DD and Moore' run onto SWAMP THING are so important ( and if these two have done nothing together, I wonder what they're waiting for...) that today' comics artists feel obliged to confront ( rather lamentably) and think they erased a master, leaving their marks just like that.

    I loved what Tim said also about the way Miller get ridd of the usual setting of super-heroes stories, and I think someone like BMB understood it and did with NEW AVENGERS vs THE HOOD, which is for some, the way they like their comics, and what I appreciate the most is he's an artist who's not afraid to quote the ones who influenced him, because it is perceptible that for him too, doing comics is a matter of live or die.....

    What was I talking about ?
    Last edited by ian33407; 02-07-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Leocomix's Avatar
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    The way I read the ending of Born Again is Murdock solved the dichotomy lawyer/vigilante. He gave up on the job his father wanted him to do to find peace in an activity where he's using his abilities in his private and professional life. For me, he isn't Daredevil anymore by the end.
    Last edited by Leocomix; 02-14-2011 at 03:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Inventor of Velcro DannyWetts's Avatar
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    I've heard the Nuke-arguments before...and I guess they bother me because they sound correct..and yet I love how Nuke tears a hole through 'Born Again' -- I don't know if the corrupted-American Dream/Captain America stuff is all that important to the message of 'Born Again' -- but it DOES serve it's function to show Kingpin letting his passion for Matt's destruction get the better of him, and that's all it is, I think -- Fisk tripping up on his own obsession.

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  5. #5
    Junior Member bh123's Avatar
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    There are two major problems that I have with "Born Again," and actually neither one of them are with the story itself. Rather, my problems involve what came after.

    First off, in "Born Again" Miller takes a wrecking ball to Matt Murdock's life, totally destroying it, eliminating the status quo. The problem is, Miller then picks up and leaves the book. It then falls to other writers to look at the wreckage he has left behind and figure out how to continue an ongoing monthly book. It's really easy to wreck something. It's a lot harder to stick around and clean up the mess you've made. I will say that, to her immense credit, Ann Nocenti succeeded admirably at guiding Daredevil in the post "Born Again" era, crafting some amazing stories.

    Second problem, every new writer and their brother looks at "Born Again," thinks it's the greatest Daredevil story ever, and then decides that they absolutely have to do their own version of it. So we get this endless cycle of Matt Murdock's live getting torn down and rebuilt. Rinse and repeat.

    (Okay, not every writer. But I'm sure you get my meaning.)

    "Born Again" may have been, on its own, a great story. But regarded as a part of a decades-old ongoing title, I see it as having set a couple of really bad precedents.

  6. #6
    Great White North Brian from Canada's Avatar
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    Miller's first act is surpassed by the second — but only by the sheer difference that, for the first time in modern superhero comics, the villain utterly and totally wins. Not only does Wilson Fisk get the hero's secret identity, but he then tears it apart bit by bit in order to destroy the villain psychologically rather than physically.

    It is absolutely unique. And, as the last poster, completely unforgivable.

    Because having read all of the books in question (1-300 so far), I find it shocking that Miller leaves the book Daredevil with no steps forward towards redemption. "Born Again" really leaves the hero… dead in most respects. He's not the lawyer, he's not the superhero, he's just a blind guy who used to be those things and has no real need or desire to go back to them.

    In literary terms, his quest has been eliminated by the journey.

    And Nuke isn't the problem. For me, Nuke is a reaction to the times it's written in and HAS to be in either Daredevil or Captain America but no other book: they're the only two comics of the time that really bring things down to street level. In Cap, it's a general main street of America, in Daredevil it's a literal set of streets. And it's an attack on America that can't be ignored.

    The problem I believe is Kingpin. Note that Kingpin really isn't a Daredevil opponent until his return from Japan and — unlike most of the Marvel villains — he comes with no weakness when he does. Owl is surrounded by buffoons, Purple Man has his hubris, but what weakness does Fisk have? Fisk will sacrifice anything including his own wife in order to succeed in his criminal empire.

    And, against that, Daredevil has no chance of winning. It's made quite clear that Fisk will buy the verdicts he wants. Fisk will buy the reputation later on as well. There's nothing Matt can do to annoy Kingpin other than to do as Nocenti did and have Daredevil walk away from the table — turning Daredevil into a nagging thought more than an opponent.

    Miller opened a can of worms. It will be interesting to see where these articles go next because the runs after have to battle that legacy in their own way, and it shows — to me at least — how smart some of the other writers, particularly Nocenti and Bendis, can be at attacking it.

    (And yes, I said Bendis. Because his handling of Kingpin is symbolic in more ways than one, bringing Daredevil back to his roots far better than anyone had done in a long, long time.)

  7. #7
    Junior Member bh123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian from Canada View Post
    The problem I believe is Kingpin. Note that Kingpin really isn't a Daredevil opponent until his return from Japan and — unlike most of the Marvel villains — he comes with no weakness when he does. Owl is surrounded by buffoons, Purple Man has his hubris, but what weakness does Fisk have? Fisk will sacrifice anything including his own wife in order to succeed in his criminal empire.

    And, against that, Daredevil has no chance of winning. It's made quite clear that Fisk will buy the verdicts he wants. Fisk will buy the reputation later on as well. There's nothing Matt can do to annoy Kingpin other than to do as Nocenti did and have Daredevil walk away from the table — turning Daredevil into a nagging thought more than an opponent.

    Miller opened a can of worms. It will be interesting to see where these articles go next because the runs after have to battle that legacy in their own way, and it shows — to me at least — how smart some of the other writers, particularly Nocenti and Bendis, can be at attacking it.
    Actually, I think that the Kingpin has a certain weakness, in that his ambition outstrips his abilities.

    Wilson Fisk is a very, VERY successful organized crime leader, and when he sticks to that arena, he is seemingly unstoppable. He can control all the crime in New York City, have his influence over city and state government, and not be toppled.

    However, it is when he attempts to reach beyond his grasp that he fails. At his core, he is a street thug, and when he tries to move beyond that, things fall apart.

    Born Again demonstrates that when Fisk tries to manipulate the United States military into having Nuke deal with Daredevil for him. The whole thing (literally) blows up in Fisk's face, turning his complete victory over Matt Murdock into a costly debacle.

    D.G. Chichester would explore this again in his run. The Kingpin, in order to gain a foothold in mass media and have a television news station that he can manipulate behind-the-scenes, becomes involved with the international terrorist organization Hydra. Fisk is overconfident, thinking he can successfully collaborate with, and manipulate, a global subversive entity. Instead, Nick Fury learns of the connection between Fisk and Hydra, and he leaks the information to Matt Murdock. Daredevil, in turn, begins to spread disinformation (ironic, since that was what Fisk originally wanted to do with his news channel) among the rank & file of the underworld that the once-mighty Kingpin is now a lackey of Hydra. As DD intends, Fisk misinterprets this as Hydra attempting to undermine him on the streets. Once again, he falls back to his street thug roots, and attacks the vastly superior Hydra, thinking his reputation will intimidate them. Instead, Hydra hacks into Fisk's computers and steals all assets, bombs all his properties, and attacks his main headquarters, leaving him completely ruined. He is literally returned to being a street thug, and has to begin the long, arduous process of rebuilding his empire from the ground up.

    The way that Daredevil can defeat Fisk is to wait for the Kingpin to overreach himself, and then exploit that weakness.

  8. #8
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    Great column, especially the in-depth review of Frank Miller's contribution to the title, but I would have like to have seen an assessment of the Denny O'Neil run that is sandwiched in between Miller's original run and Born Again. It's an odd little duck because it's post Miller DD, yet pre-Born Again DD. Though not one of the most memorable, it is notable mainly because:

    -Denny was Frank's editor during his first stint writing/drawing the title (and would later edit The Dark Knight Returns).
    -Klaus Janson penciled and inked several issues.
    -A very Gene Colan-esque David Mazzuchelli debuted as penciler during this run, at first inked by Danny Bulanadi before inking his own work. The transition is breathtaking.
    -It featured the death of Heather Glenn.
    -Gave us a creepy new take on the Vulture as a grave-robber. (I'd like to think that this was O'Neil's attempt at re-imagining a Spider-villain much like Miller did with Kingpin before, but it didn't take.)
    -And let's not forget the Yojimbo-influenced, Frank Miller written, John Buscema pencilled, issue #219, "Badlands."

  9. #9
    IntrePoop Reverend rev sully's Avatar
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    Cool

    Daredevil #175 & 176...

    I got off the spindle rack at the Corner Store in the Summer of '82 before Summer Day Camp & something to read on the big yellow bus. I was 9 Years Old.

    I must had these rag-tag, coverless copies of those two kicking around for years!

    http://cdn.comicartfans.com/Images/C...%20175p06c.jpg
    I really think that Dan Slott in the recent AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #651 ripped off the Miller Ninjas...quite possibly my all-time fave DD scene with Kirigi.

    Hey...win a Columbia Ten Speed!

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    Last edited by rev sully; 02-12-2011 at 11:19 AM. Reason: better!

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  10. #10
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    I do not have a problem with Nuke. I suppose I always thought of him as the the dark side of the "real" super hero. In the story, Daredevil being a street level hero, is powerless to stop NUke in a physical sense. As apart of Daredevil's destruction by the Kingpin, he is confronted with a foe he cannot defeat. This seems to fit in with the major themes of this story. Of course, Daredevil defeats Nuke in the sense that he does not relent or give up at this stage in the story.

    Also, seeing the Avengers from the street level perspective gives rise to some of the best narration in any Marvel comic ever....when introducing Captain America as "a man with a voice that could command a god..." then with the silouette of Thor in the next panel with the narration "...and does." Brilliant word play, characterization, and pacing. I think it works.

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