When Stan Lee first created Daredevil back in 1964, he was considered a D-List hero. Although there were many things that made him unique, to comic book readers he came off as a Spider-Man rip-off. In the years since his inception, various writers have helped elevate his status in the Marvel mythos. He has now become one of the most popular Marvel heroes.
Some of the most iconic Marvel comics have come from this character. Due to writers like Mark Waid and Frank Miller, Daredevil's legacy has been sealed as one of the darkest, deepest characters we have seen on a comic book page. Here are some of his greatest storylines ever.
10 Chip Zdarsky Run (Daredevil Vol. 6)
The most recent of all these stories, Chip Zdarsky's current run is an absolute renaissance for the character. This darker take on the character is inspired by both Frank Miller's Daredevil as well as the recently released Daredevil series on Netflix.
Zdarsky understands that a good Daredevil story doesn't just have good action, but also great psychological drama. Matt Murdock is a tortured soul, and he often fights his own demons just as much as low life criminals. By the end of Zdarsky's run, it may end up higher on this list.
9 Guardian Devil
In this story by Kevin Smith, a mysterious new enemy begins to mess with Daredevil's mind. As that new enemy manipulates Murdock from behind the scenes, he also has to deal with Bullseye. This comic run also does a great job of highlighting Matt's religion, and the deep philosophical questions his faith gives him.
"Guardian Devil" has some great action, shocking twists and an even more shocking death. This story has simply got it all. Daredevil even gets a heart to heart with one of his closest superhero friends, Spider-Man.
8 Mark Waid Run (Daredevil Vol. 3)
Mark Waid's run has become one of the most iconic in the character's history. While Frank Miller made Daredevil iconic by focusing and the dark and gritty parts of the character, Waid highlighted the colorful adventure that it is to be a Marvel hero. In the original Stan Lee comics, DD was viewed as more of a swashbuckler hero then bloody-knuckled vigilante, and Waid decided to take Murdock back to his roots.
What made Waid's run especially deep and emotionally resonant was that he didn't ignore the darkness of the character's past. Throughout the series, Daredevil states that his renewed sense of adventure and optimism is a coping mechanism to deal with his past. Overall, Waid's work was a great addition to Daredevil's dynamic legacy.
7 Man Without Fear
Paired with artist John Romita Jr., Frank Miller wrote "Man Without Fear" as a retelling of Daredevil's origin story. It follows Murdock from the time he was a child, to when he first wore a mask and started beating on criminals. Instead of the traditional red outfit, Murdock first wore a home-made black costume, which was first depicted in this story.
Netflix's Daredevil showed Matt in this costume for the whole first season. The show was also influenced by Miller's darker reinterpretation of Matt's origins, bringing the character into a world with gritty, real consequences.
6 End of Days
Set in an alternate future, "End of Days" shows what would happen after Matt Murdock's death. Killed by his arch-nemesis Bullseye, Matt leaves behind a legacy that "End of Days" explores in depth.
Upon his death, Daredevil whispers one last word, "Mapone." Ben Urich from the Daily Bugle sets out to uncover the mystery of this word in an attempt to help lay to rest Murdock's legacy. Along the way, Urich comes across many of Daredevil's former friends and enemies. It is also revealed a new Daredevil has emerged, having been trained by the original for years to one day take his place.
While Daredevil has a strict moral code, his faith in such rules has been tested many times over the course of his career. In one such case, after Bullseye is sent to the hospital, Daredevil decides to visit the detestable murderer. Upon his arrival, Daredevil pulls out a gun and plays Russian roulette with his enemy.
Distraught over the killing of his longtime lover Elektra, Daredevil wants to give Bullseye a taste of the pain he feels every single day. In the end it turns out the gun was empty. Daredevil got what he wanted, although it didn't heal the pain he still felt inside.
4 Last Hand
One of the pivotal moments in Daredevil's history was the death of Elektra. Elektra was one of the first major deaths Matt had to deal with. It began a "trend" in Daredevil stories and many of his love interests inevitably died. Although she would eventually come back, at the time the death of Elektra was one of the most heartbreaking losses in Marvel comics.
This comic also included some of the most epic fights in Marvel history. What really made this fight stand out is that they had real stakes. Not only did Elektra die, but Daredevil also retaliated by horribly injuring Bullseye. Speaking of the murderous villain, this issue is where Frank Miller definitively established Bullseye as the arch-enemy of our favorite horn-head.
3 Daredevil vs Punisher
When Punisher seeks to execute a criminal, Daredevil takes it upon himself to stop this from happening. Over the course of the story, both the readers and Daredevil begin to see that things aren't so black and white.
Not only do we get some great fight scenes between Daredevil and Punisher, this story also gives readers a great look at the two vigilantes' contrary philosophies. This conflict was so influential in Daredevil lore that it made its way into the second season of Netflix's Daredevil. The episodes adapted from this arc are some of the show's best by far.
2 Gang War
Originally, Kingpin was primarily a Spider-Man villain. It wasn't until years after his inception that Frank Miller introduced the character into Daredevil comics. This story helped establish the dynamics between these two characters that would define their relationship for decades. Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk's conflicts are much more mental than they are physical.
Towards the end of this story, Kingpin's wife Vanessa is presumed dead. Devastated, the crime boss gives up so that he can both mourn his wife and regroup his forces, vowing to come back with a vengeance.
1 Born Again
"Born Again" is one of the greatest stories in Marvel's history. It is by far the greatest Daredevil/ Kingpin story ever to be written as well. When Karen Page sells out Matt Murdock's secret, eventually that information makes its way to Wilson Fisk. Then, after confirming that Murdock is in fact Daredevil, Kingpin goes to town on his foe.
It is a deeply emotional tale, showing Matt at his very lowest. After he's lost everything and everyone, Matt slowly begins to rebuild his life. No matter how many times he gets knocked down, ol' horn head always knows how to get back up again.