Hands down, this was one of the best Marvel comics of 1993.  I know, I know.  Most 1993 Marvel books were mediocre at best.  But seriously, this is fantastic.  It is one of John Romita Jr.’s best stories of all time.

Frank Miller is excellent at re-telling origins–see Batman, e.g.–but Daredevil is arguably only still a known character because Miller took him on in the 1980s and turned him into the most important comic book star of that decade.

It’s not worth a blow-by-blow recap, especially since what makes it so great is the way the story is told, but here’s the notable changes to Daredevil’s origin:

  • The ninjas created by Miller during his DD run appear here–specifically, Stick is shown visiting Matt in the hospital, right after his accident, and then teaches Matt how to live with his blindness. Since The Hand and The Chaste were Miller’s creations, they obviously did not appear in Stan Lee’s origin story.
  • Stick is also shown tracking Elektra, but rejecting her as a student. There’s never been an indication that she was ninja-worthy so early in her life. Elektra is also portrayed as being mentally ill and “hearing voices.”
  • To avenge his father’s death, Matt goes after all the gangsters who were trying to force his dad to throw the fight–and he kills some of them.  DD hasn’t been portrayed as a killer in his early years.
  • The fight against the main guy, Slade, is choreographed by artist John Romita, Jr., in Miller’s style
  • Lots of interesting development in the character of Wilson Fisk, and his rise to power.  DD and Kingpin never meet in this book, but the hero saves a young girl kidnapped by Kingpin’s hoods.  To his credit, Kingpin refuses to be involved with child pornography and kills a wealthy old dude who tries to get Kingpin to engage in it.

If I were Marvel, I would do a young Daredevil TV series.  There’s tons of potential here.

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