In honor of the Daredevil’s brand-new TV series, we’re counting down your picks for the fifty greatest Daredevil stories.
Here are the next five stories on the countdown!
25. “Return of the King” (Daredevil Vol.2 #116-119, Daredevil #500)
This is the conclusion of Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano’s run on Daredevil, and he celebrates the conclusion by bringing back Wilson Fisk into the title. The former Kingpin has retired to a quiet life in Spain before Lady Bullseye and The Hand show up and ruin it all. So Fisk returns to New York to get revenge on The Hand, deciding to shockingly team up with Daredevil to get it done. The Owl breaks out of prison and seemingly comes to help, as well. The problem is that Matt Murdock’s private life is crumbling around him as his marriage is falling apart due to circumstances both beyond his control and, well, some things that were ALL within his control (like what he did with that other woman). So Matt is distracted while his “allies” unsurprisingly start to work against him…
So when things seem to be at their worst, Daredevil must make a shocking decision to take control of the situation by seemingly selling his own soul to save the day. David Aja also drew part of this story, with the final issue in the storyline drawn by a committee of star artists. It’s a fine send-off to Brubaker’s run.
24. “Brother, Take My Hand!” (Daredevil Vol.1 #47)
In this striking one-off issue, Stan Lee, Gene Colan and George Klein take us to Vietnam, where a young black man has been blinded during the war. His fellow soldiers assure that he gets to “see” Daredevil during a USO performance Daredevil does for the troops and he goes to meet with the soldier, Willie, after the show, and demonstrates how impressed he is with Willie…
We fastforward a few months to present day, where Willie is now on trial due to a frame job by a local mob boss who framed Willie because he knew he couldn’t bribe Willie. So, of course, who does he end up with as his lawyer?
Willie’s problems go beyond the courtroom, though, as even if he succeeds at trial, he is a major target, being a blind cop and all, but Daredevil helps turn that situation around, as well. This is a sweet tribute to the power of the human spirit.
23. “Without Fear” (Daredevil Vol.2 #100-105)
In the classic Daredevil storyline, “Born Again,” which may or may not make this list (wink wink nudge nudge), the Kingpin seems like he is sitting on top of the world, until he realizes that his plan to strip Matt Murdock of everything might have worked TOO well, because, after all, a man with nothing to lose is a man without fear. It’s an iconic moment, but one that Ed Brubaker turns on its head with this stunning six-part storyline. Ever since Brubaker began his arc, some mysterious villain had been messing with Daredevil from behind the scenes. We learn that it is his old foe, Mister Fear, who has been using scent triggers and his trademark fear gas to mess with Matt Murdock and those close to him. But here’s the kicker – what if someone like Mister Fear just doesn’t give a crap what happens to him? If one of Matt’s villains has nothing to lose, how can Matt stand to defeat them?
This involves Mister Fear tearing apart Matt’s personal life in a manner that is irreversible, irreversible because there is no secret plot for Matt to uncover and defeat – Fear is just being a psycho jerk. There IS nothing deeper than that. And there’s little more dangerous than someone like that. Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano were the main artists on this arc, but #100 is a very clever story where Mister Fear’s fear gas causes Daredevil to hallucinate, and each one of the hallucinations is depicted by a different artist, ranging from top notch cover artists doing interior work (Marko Djurdjevic and Lee Bermjego) to classic Daredevil artists showing up for the anniversary issue (John Romita Sr., Gene Colan, Alex Maleev and Bill Sienkiewicz).
Read on to the next page for #22-21!
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