This time around, the Man Without Fear: Daredevil. DD has always been one of my favourite characters, and his stories have always been among my favourite reads. Having said that, I never got into the Ann Nocenti / John Romita Jr. run or that wacky Daredevil in armour period, where he tried to pretend that Matt Murdock was dead and he was someone else. I just didn’t care for Nocenti’s take on the character and dropped it quickly. I DID pick up quite a bit of the “armour” run but STILL found it unreadable. Those two eras spanned roughly #250 to #380– almost thirteen solid years where one of my favourite books was ransacked.
A note on the Frank Miller run. No doubt this was the best era for the character, and while it is represented here with a few issues, the strength of the Miller run is in the totality and not the individual parts. While to me, not a lot of individual issues were good enough to make the list, you put all those issues together and it comprises one of the greatest runs by a creator on a character ever.
And now, this Blind Man Shall Lead…
1. Fantastic Four #39-40 & Daredevil #37-38
This is what I call the “Doctor Doom Saga”. The story began in Fantastic Four #39-40, where Daredevil assists the Fantastic Four in defeating Doom, who had taken over the Baxter Building and turned Reed’s inventions against them.
For his part in the latest defeat, Daredevil was marked by Doom for special attention, and when the right moment came, Daredevil would be used as a weapon to destroy the Fantastic Four. The right moment came in Daredevil #37-38 when, following a taxing battle with the Trapster, DD is handily beaten by Doom and gets to trade bodies with him as a boobie prize. DD turns the tables, gets his body back and has the Fantastic Four on his tail as a reward. With the help of Spider-Man and Thor, the Fantastic Four is held to a standstill. One of my favourite story sequences of all-time.
Great work by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Gene Colan. (more…)