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!
30. “Death of Jean DeWolff” (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110)
It’s a bit hard to relate to nowadays, when every superhero knows every other superhero’s identity (heck, over at DC, everyone just calls each other by their first name even in costume. Even in the DC TV series, the Flash seems to take his mask off at the drop of a hat. “Oh? You were just trying to kill me? Hey, let me take my mask off – that won’t cause any problems, right?”), but at the time of the “Death of Jean DeWolff,” Spider-Man and Daredevil did not know each other’s secret identity. That changed in this tale, which is likely the all-time greatest Daredevil/Spider-Man team-up. In this story, written by Peter David and drawn by Rick Buckler and Kyle Baker, one of Spider-Man’s minor supporting cast members, police captain Jean DeWolff (who was so minor that no one even seems to remember her weird hook that Bill Mantlo introduced her with) is murdered by a psycho known as the Sin-Eater. After the Sin-Eater also almost kills Betty Brant, Spider-Man goes off on him, trying to beat him to death. Daredevil can’t let this happen…
It’s a good thing Daredevil took on Spider-Man by himself and not with an entire team of X-Men, or else he never would have had a chance against Spidey!
Daredevil manages to convince Spider-Man to see the error of his ways and the two part as friends, along with the newly gained knowledge of their respective secret identities!
29. “Wake Up!” (Daredevil Vol.2 #16-19)
Brian Michael Bendis’ first work on Daredevil was this four-parter with painted artwork from David Mack that explores the world of a young boy who is so traumatized by a fight between the minor villain Leap Frog and Daredevil that he is practically catatonic. But WHY? What isn’t the boy remembering? That’s what Ben Urich and then later Daredevil strive to find out, leading to Daredevil making a breakthrough with the kid…
It’s a dark but touching story that showed perfectly the type of introspective, character-based stories that Bendis would do when he took over the title soon afterwards. Mack’s painted artwork is gorgeous, but you knew that already from the above sample pages, didn’t you?
28. “Love and War” (Marvel Graphic Novel #24)
This is a particularly interesting story in the sense that the main conflict in this book is not between Daredevil and the Kingpin, but between the Kingpin and the psychiatrist he “hires” to cure his wife, Vanessa, from her comatose state. I use quotes because the Kingpin figures that the only way to make sure that the doctor does his best to cure Vanessa is to kidnap the doctor’s wife (who happens to be blind, of course) and hold her as collatoral. Luckily for the wife, Daredevil rescues her from the creep that the Kingpin hired. However, Doctor Mondat ends up striking at the Kingpin THROUGH Vanessa and in the end, the wife ends up defending herself when Daredevil ultimately cannot keep Victor away from her. Drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, it has stunning artwork…
Written by Frank Miller, this serves as an important point between his first run and Born Again, as the tensions between the Kingpin and Daredevil are driven to be a boil again after being on a low boil since Miller’s run first ended. Kingpin’s anguish over his essential impotence in this story was really well-handled.
Read on to the next page for #27-26!
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