Where Do I Start? Spotlight: Daredevil 

A new series suggesting starting points for characters a reader may not be familiar with along with ‘required reading.’ With the premiere of the new Netflix series, Daredevil was the obvious choice:

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Wilson Fisk arrives in New York to consolidate the crime families against outsiders like the Maggia. J. Jonah Jameson gets in his way, so the Kingpin wants him dealt with – Spider-Man luckily gets in the way. This storyline includes the famous issue where Spider-Man almost decides to quit being a superhero for good! The creative team is Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.

 

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An original graphic novel by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz, this story sort of bridges the gap between Miller’s first Daredevil run and his second stint on the book, in a gripping tale of a psychologist who Kingpin tries to force to work on his wife by kidnapping the psychologist’s wife. Daredevil gets involved, naturally, in a moving tale rich with character moments.

 

 

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Wilson Fisk is dragged out of retirement through an attempt on the life of his wife, Vanessa. You really don’t want to anger Wilson Fisk, and in this three-parter, he returns to New York with a vengeance, hiring Bullseye as his personal assassin. Daredevil manages to stop Bullseye, but Kingpin continues to build his organization back up to full strength. Frank Miller wrote and drew this storyline.

 

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Born Again is one of Frank Miller’s best stories, with beautiful artwork by David Mazzucchelli. Through Matt Murdock’s old girlfriend, Karen Page, the Kingpin learns Daredevil’s secret identity and then conspires to destroy his life before ending it. However, much to Kingpin’s dismay, when the end game seemed complete, there turned out to be “no corpse.” And he realized that a man without hope, well, that is a man without fear. So the second half of the story is Matt making his comeback to take the Kingpin down.

 

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“Spiked” (Daredevil #179-181)

Kingpin’s political ambitions are on full display in these three Frank Miller/Klaus Janson issues, which serve as the long-running “Elektra Saga’s” final act. In it, Fisk cuts a deal with mayoral candidate Randolph Cherryh that would essentially give the Kingpin control of the city’s highest office once the politico is presumably elected. It’s up to Daredevil and Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich to pound the pavement and expose Fisk and Cherryh corrupt deal. Kingpin might come across as a supporting player in these issues, but this is arguably the most famous comic book story he’s ever taken part in.

 

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“Hardcore” (Daredevil vol. 2 #46-50)

Daredevil is simultaneously faced with murder charges, a new girlfriend, being outted by the tabloids, the return of one of his deadliest foes, Typhoid Mary, and the Kingpin’s attempt to restore his fallen empire. And the surprise ending changes Daredevil’s place in the Marvel Universe forever.

 

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“Return of the King” Prologue (Daredevil vol. 2 #116)

After the woman he loves and her children are killed by the Hand led by Lady Bullseye, the Kingpin returns to the United States and teams up with Daredevil to take down their common foe

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