web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 117

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we continue our look at what is most likely the greatest Daredevil story ever told, Born Again, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. It might last longer than a week, as there are a lot of cool moments, and they just keep coming with greater frequency as the series continues its slow build towards the ending.

Enjoy!

Okay, so when we last saw our hero, Matt Murdock’s life has just been ruined by the Kingpin due to information acquired from drug dealers in Miami from Karen Page, former girlfriend of Matt Murdock and current drug addict. Murdock thought everything was just a terrible coincidence until Kingpin blew up his apartment. Now he is extremely unhinged, but he at least knows that the Kingpin is behind it all.

So in a state of practically insanity along with not being in the best physical condition exactly (he hasn’t been sleeping, etc.), Matt decides to confront the Kingpin directly. He’s been dreaming of beating the Kingpin nearly to death all issue long, figuring that he will FORCE the Kingpin to give him his life back.

We intermix their encounter with Karen’s determination that she will travel to New York to get help from Matt, the one person she can trust (even though she has, you know, royally screwed him over).

This then leads to perhaps the best exchange in this series (there are so many, though, it’s hard to pick just one), as the Kingpin sits back and waits to hear about all the gory details of his plan to not only murder Murdock, but to frame him for murder at the same time.

Only, once again, Miller manages to end a tale that is filled with terrible things with an ending that, while still awful, keeps ringing with a sense of almost triumph. To be able to do that in back to back issues is quite striking – he manages to keep the downward spiral going while still giving readers hope for the future.

Mazzucchelli, of course, continues to shine on art.

But wow, “There is no corpse. There is no corpse.” So awesome. We’ll be revisiting that one soon.

And remember, just like the other week-long series, please keep your commentary to either this specific moment or very general comments of the storyline, as we have at least six more moments to get to, and we don’t want to spoil them, do we? :)

27 Comments

“There is no corpse” three times over -and Fisk’s eyes staring at the reader full of inhibited rage is one of the defining moments in this story. Kingpin is one mean, heartless SOB as portrayed here by Miller. The fact that every issue ended with a hint towards Matt’s survival of every continuing attempt at his destruction made me believe that good does triumph over evil, always.

At least in comic books, back in the day…

I had this issue when I was a little kid. I had no idea what was going on.

I’ve always liked the panel of the Kingpin smiling through his broken nose, though.

For me this was always the turning point of the story, the moment where reader (and Fisk himself) realises no matter what the Kingpin subjects Matt to, he will never ever back down.

another reason the story is one of the definite dd stories and frank miller does the character so well for even though he does not show it the kingpin figures out that daredevil survived and will sooner or later come a gunning for him back at power

I am among the very few who think Frank Miller is highly overrated. Everything he has done has been unjustly elevated to iconic status. However, there are only two things he has written that I believe deserve the praise heaped on them–Batman: Year One and Daredevil: Born Again. This is an amazing story, one of only two runs on DD that i ever cared to own until the Marvel Knights relaunch (Karl Kessel’s highly underrated run is the other). I am enjoying your recap and I think I will have to drag out my trade collection. I wonder how much Mazzucelli enhances Miller’s work for others?–Iknow his artwork is a huge reason that I prefer the two Miller stories I do.

Awesome.

I refuse to believe the guy who wrote this is the same one who inflicted ‘The God Damn Batman’ on an innocent world. What the hell happened?

I wonder how much Mazzucelli enhances Miller’s work for others?

Miller draws in a highly exaggerated that can be a bit much when coupled with his ultra-pulpy dialog. He was more restrained over-all early in his career, but I can see why your mileage might vary. But remember, Mazzucelli was nothing special working with Denny O’Neil in the issues leading up to this.

Those two were just a great combination together. Mazzucelli grounded Miller with his gritty visuals. They took it a step further in “Batman: Year One” by restraining the color palette. The visuals force the reader to take the story seriously. It is a shame that they haven’t worked together in two decades.

On the actual panels above, it really highlights what Miller does best. It is amazing to me how rarely comic book action shows a fight sequence punch-for-punch. DD and the Kingpin relate to each other in space consistently. When DD ducks, then the next blow follows him spring from a crouch. No one things these things through better than Miller.

“When DD ducks, then the next blow follows him spring from a crouch. No one things these things through better than Miller.”

Kirby was pretty great at choreographing fight scenes as well. See some of this early Thor work for some classic illustrated boxing.

Miller draws in a highly exaggerated that can be a bit much when coupled with his ultra-pulpy dialog.

Well not just that, but despite his many other strenghts as an artist, Miller is a HORRID martial arts fight choreographer. Everyone looks like they’re clumsy and falling backwards or doing an awkward dance while high on drugs. And the flow of fights from panel to panel is just clunky. Mazzuchelli on the other hand really conveys grace and power in his fight scenes, and seems like he may actually know something about fighting in real life.

On the actual panels above, it really highlights what Miller does best. It is amazing to me how rarely comic book action shows a fight sequence punch-for-punch. DD and the Kingpin relate to each other in space consistently. When DD ducks, then the next blow follows him spring from a crouch. No one things these things through better than Miller.

Is Miller really responsible for that though? Because when he drew his own fight scenes they really sucked to me.

Let me add Ditko for people who really make fight scenes flow logically from panel to panel.

Oops, last two comments were me.

I love the fact that in this issue Murdock’s escape from the cab is handled off panel. It hits you so much harder, imagining him struggling against the seat belt, trying not to drown, bashing his head against the windshield over and over without passing out until it shattered, straining to get a broken windshield shard, and then finally cutting himself free. Insane. At least that’s how I’ve always pictured it in my head.

“I am among the very few who think Frank Miller is highly overrated.”

Welcome, brother.

There are probably three moments of awesome just in this sequence alone.

The bit with Murdock mumbling “Never give up”, followed by the Kingpin’s fist, followed by just… red? That’s about as good as sequential storytelling gets.

Doug M.

Annotyed Grunt

April 28, 2009 at 1:41 pm

There was an issue of What if Daredevil Killed the Kingpin? Matt pick pocketed a gun from a security guard and just shot him in the 3rd panel of the first page.

Is it a gaff that the club appears to straighten out its own bend on the bottom of the second page? If so, it’s a tiny bit of egg on the face for the couple of people who chose this particular moment to talk about Mazuchelli’s mastery of sequential story telling.

Shouldn’t the last page of this comic also have been here? It’s part of the badassery of the entire sequence.

Shouldn’t the last page of this comic also have been here? It’s part of the badassery of the entire sequence.

It definitely is, but there’s so much badassery already, I preferred to end on the coolest part – the “There is no corpse” trifecta.

Comic book nirvana, as far as i’m concerned.
Also, while Miller can be overrated for some works, for his crowning achievements, there may be no overrating his storytelling power.
This, DKR, Bats: Year One, these are some of the greatest comics ever, epecially set in their historical context.
What other Miller creations are this good to other people?

I wish Mazuchelli’s work was more plentiful and easier to come by. We only got the two miller stories and the marvel fanfare issue out of him before he went independent. Or did I miss something I hope?

A better moment is hard to find.

“What other Miller creations are this good to other people?”

The first Sin City was as effective, for me, as anything else he’s done.

And there was a Sin City one-shot (blanking on the name – Silent Night, maybe?) featuring Marv and a frightened little kidnapped girl that was just about perfect, also.

Dammit, I’m trying to save money here and now I HAVE to get this story before it’s entirely spoiled for me!

Also, “The world seems flooded with sunlight…” Just wonderful.

Damn it. We’ll never get that Frank Miller back, will we?

Doug M.

@Andre Fairon- There’s not much else-, but there is an issue of X-Factor (16?) and the O’Neil written issues of Daredevil that preceded “Born Again.”

Thanks DanLarkin. I have the O’Neils and as I found out when I jumped up from the computer to check, I’ve got the X-Factor issue too. I’m going to re-read it right now. Forgot about this.

It seems that Miller based the plot structure of this story on the Wolverine mini that he did with Claremont. Though lord know Logan wasn’t put through anywhere near as much punishment as Matt went through.

And poor Karen. Did she have a prior history of drugs before “Born Again”, or was this something Miller did for the purposes of this story?

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives