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  1. #1
    Amazing Member Zach's Avatar
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    Default Daredevil - Where to start reading?

    So I've recently finished watching Netflix's Daredevil and think I'd like to start reading some comics featuring the character. I'm not sure where to start though as the only Daredevil story I've read is Born Again. What's the best run to start with: Miller, Bendis, Brubaker, Waid, etc?

    EDIT: I wouldn't mind knowing good stories featuring Elektra or the Punisher either. Heck, even the Kingpin. A lot of great characters in that series.
    Last edited by Zach; 05-10-2016 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Amazing Member Skeleton13's Avatar
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    Read DD like this:

    Daredevil: "The Man without Fear" (Miller)

    Daredevil Vol. 1: Read Miller's series run: #158-191 (discard any fillers, and skip more fillers, until...)
    DD #220 -221 (Heather Glenn's death, important)
    (Ignore more fillers, then...)
    Read "Born Again" (Miller)
    (More filler to skip after that...)
    Read Ann Nocenti's run (make sure to soak up the Typhoid Mary stuff, and skip any filler stupidity following)
    Be sure to read "Fall from Grace" (Elektra resurrection)

    Daredevil Vol. 2: Read it all, give or take about twelve issues of filler.

    Then read "Shadowland."

    And read "Daredevil Reborn."

    IMPORTANT: It's absolutely essential to skip/ignore everything DD written by Mark Waid.

    Read the new series (Soule/Garney, Vol. 5?) and you're good.
    Last edited by Skeleton13; 05-10-2016 at 10:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member LifeIsILL's Avatar
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    Pre-Miller stuff is worth a read too, if you wanna read about DD and Black Widow's relationship.

    There was some wacky stuff going on there.

    Bendis run was the best to me though.

    And my favorite Daredevil story is the Secret War tie-in, when the Beyonder gave him sight.

  4. #4
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    Skip to the good stuff. Start with Bendis. Everything before the Kevin Smith reboot is very meh in my opinion, even the Frank Miller stuff. People either hate or love the Kevin Smith stuff with little in between. Bendis comes not long after Smith and most everyone agrees that it was great.

  5. #5
    Wily Veteran cc008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeleton13 View Post
    Read DD like this:

    Daredevil: "The Man without Fear" (Miller)

    Daredevil Vol. 1: Read Miller's series run: #158-191 (discard any fillers, and skip more fillers, until...)
    DD #220 -221 (Heather Glenn's death, important)
    (Ignore more fillers, then...)
    Read "Born Again" (Miller)
    (More filler to skip after that...)
    Read Ann Nocenti's run (make sure to soak up the Typhoid Mary stuff, and skip any filler stupidity following)
    Be sure to read "Fall from Grace" (Elektra resurrection)

    Daredevil Vol. 2: Read it all, give or take about twelve issues of filler.

    Then read "Shadowland."

    And read "Daredevil Reborn."

    IMPORTANT: It's absolutely essential to skip/ignore everything DD written by Mark Waid.


    Read the new series (Soule/Garney, Vol. 5?) and you're good.
    If you want/enjoyed the tone of the show, then yes. Don't read Waid's Daredevil.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc008 View Post
    If you want/enjoyed the tone of the show, then yes. Don't read Waid's Daredevil.
    I understand what this guy is getting at, since the show takes most (maybe all) of it's themes and characters from the Frank Miller (80s/early 90s) and Brian Michael Bendis (early 2000s) runs.

    HOWEVER, don't let this suggestion dissuade you from ever reading the Mark Waid run (2011-2015). After nearly three decades of dark and depressing storylines for Daredevil, Mark Waid changed the game completely. He re-introduced FUN into the book. Matt had just come out of the darkest turn of his life, and he was determined to ENJOY LIFE, for once. There's still plenty of super-heroing, classic (and awesome NEW) villains and violence, but Mark Waid added a twist in nearly every issue. We get different and creative uses of Daredevil's powers, as well as those of his enemies, even some character development with classic villains like The Spot, Purple Man, The Shroud and The Owl. Of course, Kingpin makes an appearance or two, and his presence is simply awe-inspiring.

    I shouldn't leave out that the art took a dramatic turn for the better, also. While very talented artists such as Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin handled the art chores early in the run, it was Chris Samnee's storytelling that would complete the circuit, and supercharge the book to gel seamlessly with Waid's stories. The book LOOKS as exciting as it is to read. Just seeing Matt SMILE, crack jokes, demonstrate deftness in the courtroom, analyze his enemies' abilities (even as they analyze HIS!) and how the world looks through his radar sense is wonderful to behold.

    Sometimes, issues from the past will rear up to darken his world, but Matt's outlook has completely changed the way he handles these problems. His life is no longer a series of catastrophes and deaths of loved ones. It's truly a breath of fresh air. Waid and Samnee will have you cheering for this guy.

    This run is just a complete joy to read, but the above posters are right; it's drastically different from the TV shows and the classic runs that inspired it.

    THANK GOD.

    Read this run after you've had your fill of stories that make you say, "this guy's life SUCKS. Why doesn't he just kill himself?", and feel good about reading a super-hero that is able to face his past, get over it, and come to truly love what he does.

    And skip Ann Nocenti's run. Trust me, you won't miss anything. Overly wordy and sometimes just WEIRD. Ultron as a good guy?? Typhoid Mary? Okay, she's the best thing to come out of that run, but you'll learn all you need to know about her when you get into Bendis' run.

  7. #7
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    I agree with everything Bloodyarts just posted. Waid and Samnee's runs were brilliant.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member dan12456's Avatar
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    The way I've read it (which worked well) is this...
    Frank Miller's Man Without Fear, Born Again, Guardian Devil, Daredevil Yellow, Parts of a Hole, then continue through the second volume only skipping Playing to the Camera (it's hard to find and apparently not very good). By the end of all that you'll probably be exhausted and ready for the much lighter and different run by Waid!

    The only important thing I really felt like I missed was the Elektra Saga, so you might want to add that in, depending if you prefer more modern or classic style comics. The best stuff definitely starts when Bendis comes on, but I feel like I appreciated it more with the context of the essential stories from before.
    Last edited by dan12456; 05-11-2016 at 09:36 AM.
    Current Pull: Lazarus, The Realm, Seven to Eternity, Aquaman, Flash, Justice League Dark, Justice League Odyssey, Sideways, Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil, Death of the Inhumans.

    Future Pull: Killmonger.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeIsILL View Post
    And my favorite Daredevil story is the Secret War tie-in, when the Beyonder gave him sight.
    This was an incredible single issue tie-in. It was a wonder Marvel could pull off a Beyonder/DD match, but this did it. This was a true diamond among the SW2 mess.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    As someone who started reading Daredevil in anticipation of the first season of the Netflix show, I'll give you my suggestions (I had to figure it out through trial and error, so this will include some advice I wish I had):

    I started with The Man Without Fear by Frank Miller. I think that's perfectly valid but keep in mind it was a retcon/non-continuity story. That's not a problem but when you read the original origin (which will be covered), don't get confused.

    Next, read Frank Miller's original run. I still think this is the gold standard of Daredevil. I would probably read Born Again next, but see my next paragraph for the concerns.

    Next, decide how dedicated you feel like being. Most of Daredevil is not collected. I enjoyed Denny O'Neil's run, but I'm still slowly collecting it because it's a bit hard to track down and only part of it is in trade. Next chronologically is Born Again. After that is Ann Nocenti's run. This runs into some of the same problems, but at least the middle of it is collected. Here, my question is how quickly do you want to go to modernity. If you want to jump ahead, go to the next paragraph. My suggestion is go ahead and jump ahead and then back-fill later. After Nocenti is D.G. Chichester (who I did not like). Last Rites is his best story arc and Fall From Grace is probably his most historically significant. Then there's a bit of an interlude followed by Karl Kesel and Joe Kelly (these runs fit well together). I liked it, but it's different in tone. I would also say, after reading Miller's run, it's OK to go back to the beginning and read Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, etc. But, hoo boy, it's not good.

    Either right after Born Again or after you read what's in between, start Volume 2. It starts with Kevin Smith's Guardian Devil, goes to David Mack's Parts of a Hole, and then onward. I would suggest reading all of it except Playing for the Camera (I like the story, but it's completely pointless given what follows), but keep in mind Andy Diggle's run (especially Shadowland) is nowhere near as good. You could also stop at Brubaker and then read Diggle's run on wikipedia.

    I think Mark Waid's Daredevil Volume 3 is extremely well-written. But it's very different in tone from either the majority of DD or the Netflix show. If you've read Karl Kesel and Joe Kelly and like it or you don't mind a different take that still understands the character, Volume 3 is quite good. Then comes Volume 4, which sucks. It makes me want to take back everything I said about Volume 3. That being said, the Purple Children story and Original Sin are both good stories.

    Then you're up to date with the reset and Soule's run. A few highlights in between are Daredevil: Redemption and Daredevil: Reborn. I'd read the former during Bendis's run (it's a great story) and Reborn after Shadowland (it's an OK, but not great, but it's a necessary follow-up if you read Shadowland).

  11. #11
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    I think the above comments have enough breadth for you to assemble a starting point for Daredevil. (FWIW, I started by reading from the beginning of Volume 2, and I initially skipped Playing for the Camera and Diggle's run.) (Also, if you were going to read Ann Nocenti's stuff, then I wouldn't skip it just because someone here said it was weird. That's what made it so cool )

    Anyways for Elektra, I would read:
    The Elektra Saga (abridged form of Elektra's introduction in Miller's run of Daredevil, so no need to read this if you're reading Miller's run anyways)
    Elektra: Assassin (Miller/Sienkiewicz)
    Dark Reign: Elektra (Wells/Mann)
    Shadowland: Elektra (Wells/Rios)
    Elektra v3 (Blackman/Del Mundo/others)

    The only Punisher that I've read is the Rucka/Checcheto run (sixteen issues, concluding in the miniseries Punisher: War Zone), and it was really good. The usual Punisher recommendation that everyone makes is to read is the Garth Ennis run under the MAX imprint.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    I love Ann Nocenti's run. I do think it's worth acknowledging it's quite different from what came before and after. She also has a tendency to have purple prose and would soapbox politics. To me, I'm perfectly fine with that (and I think she had enough self-awareness that her views weren't necessarily the characters views or even necessarily the right ones in the story). The other big issue is some of her stories don't really end so much as get interrupted by crossovers and the next event so it's hard to read in trade because there's no clear ending.

  13. #13
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    For my money, if you've already seen the Netflix show, and thus have a basic grasp of the character's origin, the best place to go is straight to Bendis' run. Miller's run made the character what he is, and is excellent. But Bendis' run is as good, if not maybe better. Where Miller was allowed to more or less blank-slate the character and build as he saw fit, Bendis' work is in many ways bolder and more daring. It really is a masterpiece of modern comics, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    I'll have to disagree, but that's OK because tastes differ and that's a good thing. To me, Miller is exactly the baseline of what Daredevil should be and it's possible to go lighter or darker as long as it doesn't lose those roots. To me, the Netflix show is on the darker side of things and so is Bendis's run, but I don't want anyone reading Daredevil to think that's what he's always like. Bendis was explicit that Daredevil was in an unusually dark place in that run.

  15. #15
    Amazing Member Skeleton13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroBG82 View Post
    Where Miller was allowed to more or less blank-slate the character and build as he saw fit, Bendis' work is in many ways bolder and more daring. It really is a masterpiece of modern comics, and I can't recommend it highly enough!
    I respect your opinion but strongly disagree.

    Bendis' run, for me, was readable but not
    fantastic. It was excessively talky, if not nauseatingly verbose.

    The reason I feel it's required reading though, is not because "Bendis wrote it" but because important, non-filler events happened to DD in this run.

    In other words, you've got to read the Bendis DD to fully appreciate/grasp the Brubaker and Diggle DD scenarios. If this wasn't the case, I would advise skipping the Bendis era, due to it being...just so..."conversational"; but yes, this really is an essential chapter to consume in DD's history, if you want the full story and/or the important points of plot in the world of DD.

    Miller, as far as I'm concerned, is the DD standard that has never, and can never, by any writer, be matched or outshined.
    Last edited by Skeleton13; 05-11-2016 at 07:16 PM.

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