In "To Quote a Phrase," I spotlight memorable quotes from comic books.
Today, I try to figure out what the best line is from the legendary Daredevil storyline, "Born Again," by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. It's very difficult to do, but I will try my best.
One of the most interesting things about "Born Again" is how David Mazzucchelli was on the title for so long before this story ever came out. After a fill-in issue for Daredevil #206, Mazzucchelli became the regular penciler on the title as of Daredevil #208. Heck, he was so impressive that Denny O'Neil was already having him plot issues within a few issues of taking over as the book's penciler! As time went by, Mazzucchelli just kept getting better and better. I mention this only to note that it is funny how much this one storyline has overshadowed his already excellent work on this series. However, that's only natural, as the story was really good and it came after he had been developing his skills so much that there is a striking difference between the Mazzucchelli you see on, say, Daredevil #208 and the one you see when "Born Again" began with Daredevil #227.
Anyhow, the whole driving force of "Born Again" is the fact that Matt Murdock's former girlfriend, Karen Page, has become a drug addict and she was so desperate for her next hit that she was willing to sell Matt out. The information eventually made its way to Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. In Daredevil #227, Fisk begins systematically tearing Matt Murdock's life apart. He steals his money from him, he gets him disbarred, all sorts of stuff. All through this time, the Kingpin delights in watching Daredevil get more and more out of control as the burden of what Fisk puts him through begin to wear him down.
However, things take a turn at the end of the issue, when Matt is at such a low point that he even begins to doubt his girlfriend, Glorianna and his best friend, Foggy Nelson. Then he arrives at his brownstone and it explodes in front of him.
This was a mistake. Up until this point, Matt could not prove that anyone was actually out to get him. It FELT that way, but he couldn't prove it. After the explosion, though, it was obvious. As he notes (in one of the coolest lines of the story arc - which is why it is so difficult to pick the ONE line), "it was a nice piece of work. You shouldn't have signed it."
Of course, KNOWING that Fisk knows and stopping Fisk are two separate things.
A completely unhinged Matt begins to go a bit crazy on the streets and subways of New York City. He finally finds his way to the Kingpin's office, where Fisk is waiting for him. He knows Matt has barely slept and is completely out of sorts. Thus, he is able to beat Matt nearly to death.
While initially considering breaking Matt and then using him as an asset, Kingpin now instead decides to kill Murdock and make sure that he is disgraced in death. He beats a bad driver to death with Matt's bully club (with Matt's fingerprints all over it) and then dumps the cab with the two of them in it into the river. It's an exquisite way to kill an enemy...
However, there is a flaw to the Kingpin's plan...