Top 100 Comic Book Storylines #3
Here are the next storyline on the countdown, as voted on by you, the readers!! Here is the master list of all storylines featured so far.
3. “Born Again” by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil #227-233) – 1349 points (29 first place votes)
Born Again drastically re-shaped Daredevil as a character, in Frank Miller’s return to the book that made him famous.
This time, Miller was working with artist David Mazzucchelli, who was already doing very impressive work on the series with writer Denny O’Neil. However, Mazzucchelli was still growing as an artist, and in many ways, Born Again was his “coming out” party, as he at the very least equaled, and more likely SURPASSED the incredible artwork that Miller had done himself when drawing Daredevil years earlier.
The story is about what happens when Matt Murdock’s former secretary (and former love of his life), Karen Page, who had left the book to become an actress, was now a drug-addicted porn star. Desperate for drugs, Page sells Matt’s secret identity. Eventually this information finds its way to Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, who uses it to systematically destroy Matt’s life (getting him disbarred, freezing his assets, etc.).
Then, in one of the best scenes you’ll see, Kingpin also blows up Matt’s brownstone – and then, Matt realizes, all of the terrible things that had been happening to him, they weren’t just bad luck, they were because of the Kingpin!
That realization, however awesome, is not enough to make Matt “born again,” as he still has to fall to the gutters before he can rise above it all.
The scene is filled with so many great scenes that I devoted, like, a month, to cool moments from it.
But here’s a quick sampling…
1. Kingpin thinks he has Matt killed…but “there is no corpse.
“There is no corpse.
2. Kingpin realizes then that Matt may be more dangerous than ever, as after all…”A man without hope…is a man without fear.”
3. Ben Urich knows something is up and is brutalized into cowering away from his responsibilities, so seeing this seemingly meek man grow the courage…it’s brilliant (and Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis, who also colored this series, do such an amazing job on Urich’s struggles).
4. Miller introduces an interesting new character called Nuke, and becomes the first writer to extend the whole Super Soldier program into conspiracy theories…
5. This, of course, leads to Captain America getting involved, and he’s handled awesomely…
6. Nuke’s involvement helps bring Daredevil back (after Matt and Karen reunite, as Miller redeems Karen), and his return is, well, amazing – Mazzucchelli and Lewis do SUCH an amazing job on the return of Daredevil. A totally iconic shot of Daredevil in front of flames.
7. Miller, Mazzucchelli and Lewis depict the Avengers in such a way that evokes how Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben handled the Justice League in the pages of Swamp Thing – and it’s the way you’d almost expect superheroes to be depicted in the “real” world.
8. And it all ends with a likely Bob Dylan reference, so how much better can you get?