It’s no surprise that Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil series is getting a third season. Thanks to the the incredible success of Marvel’s Netflix Universe (critical reception to Iron Fist aside), the partnership between the streaming service and Marvel is as strong as ever. Thus, a continuation of the flagship series, Daredevil, was pretty much inevitable.
However, even with fans enjoying Netflix’s version of Matt Murdock, there weren’t many viewers clamoring for a third season. Well, not until the very end of The Defenders hinted at the direction said season would take — a direction that’s been all but confirmed by the recent announcement that Vincent D’Onofrio is coming back.
That Defenders Ending
Say what you will about The Defenders, the series succeeded in its main goal of bringing together the “street level Avengers,” and while it definitely had its flaws, overall it wasn’t a bad ride. In typical Marvel/Netflix fashion, you had your fun banter between characters, you had a story line that could have probably been trimmed a bit, and, of course, you had your hallway fight scenes. What it also had, and what no one was expecting, was a genuine cliffhanger ending.
If you’re a big fan of the Daredevil comic book series, you’re probably familiar with Frank Miller’s classic run. And if you’re a fan of Frank Miller’s run on the series, you definitely remember his and David Mazzucchelli’s “Born Again.” So, after Matt Murdock is presumed dead but then wakes up next to a nun in the Defenders scene, a little thought probably popped up in your head. “Are they really going to do it? Will we finally see ‘Born Again’ adapted in live-action?” Well, while we don’t know for sure, the answers sure do seem to point to yes.
The Greatness of ‘Born Again’
While Daredevil has been riding a wave of popularity for decades now, that wasn’t always the case. Back in the late-‘70s, the title and character were pretty much a joke. Due to low sales, the comic had gone from monthly to bi-monthly, and Marvel was looking for someone to rejuvenate it. Enter Frank Miller.
Originally serving as the series’ artist starting with Daredevil #158, Miller was one of Marvel’s big up and coming stars. They loved his art on the title, but sadly, sales were not improving. Looking for any spark, they made Miller both writer and artist starting on issue #168. Almost immediately sales improved, and Daredevil went back to a monthly schedule. After one of the best creative runs in Marvel history, Miller left to go work on other things — you know, that Bat Guy and stuff.
In 1986, Miller returned as writer on Daredevil with artist David Mazzucchelli for “Born Again.” In the story, which took place over issues #227-233, Miller delved deep into the character by stripping everything away from Matt Murdock, devolving him into an emotional mess before giving him a triumphant return. The series is regarded by many fans as the single best story line in Daredevil’s history, as well as one of Miller’s personal greatest.
The story is beloved because of what it did for the character of Matt Murdock. It gave us a deeper look into his Catholic background. It literally drove him to the point of madness, revealing a scary peek into what an unhinged Matt Murdock might look like. But it also showed us that, without a doubt, Daredevil is one of the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe. He belongs right up there with Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man.
“Born Again” is also important because it made Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, one of the scariest villains in all of comics. His hatred for Daredevil was so deep, Fisk went to incredible lengths to not kill his arch-nemsis, but to destroy him. Fisk was methodical and ruthless. He bribed Karen Page for Daredevil’s secret identity for a hit of heroin. He financially crippled Murdock, making him completely dirt poor. And as the cherry on top, Fisk bombed Matt’s apartment, leaving the Daredevil costume as a way of saying, “I did this, and I know who you are.” This systematic destruction of a superhero had never been done in such an amazing way.
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