WWLA: Simons talks "Daredevil: Battling Jack Murdock"

A long time ago, a simple act of defiance changed the Marvel Universe forever. A fighter-turned-mob-enforcer-turned-fighter again named "Battling" Jack Murdock carried out that act of defiance in a boxing ring and it got him killed. That act would inspire his son, Matt, to later on become the costumed crimefighter known as Daredevil. But who was Battling Jack? What was his relationship with his son like? And why did he refuse to take a dive even if meant his life would be forfeit? All these questions and more will be answered this July in the "Daredevil: Battling Jack" mini-series, plotted and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico (who along with Richard Isanove also supplies covers for the series) and scripted by Zeb Wells. CBR News spoke with Editor Warren Simons about the project

"Battling Jack," begins when baby Matthew enters Jack Murdock's life and the series concludes with Jack's eventual death. The story unfolds all over New York City. "The action runs from Hell's Kitchen to Madison Square Garden--and a few points in between," Simons told CBR News.

The star of "Battling Jack" is a man who dreams for something better and is constantly struggling against the undertow of his violent life. "Jack works in a world where his fists are his only currency," Simons explained. "Although he wants a better life for Matt, Jack's work as a mob enforcer constantly eats away at his soul. He's a moral man in an immoral world, and he makes compromises to take care of his son.

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and like his son, Matthew --who grew up to become both a lawyer and a vigilante -- Jack Murdock was a man of extraordinary contradictions," Simons continued. "As a mob heavy, Jack worked a trade where his fists were his primary tools, but he saw a better life for his son through education, and he raised Matthew as a bookworm, forbidding him from fighting under any circumstances."

Daredevil fans may think they know all there is to know about the early portion of Matt Murdock's life but "Battling Jack" promises to shed new light on the events of the Man Without Fear's formative years. "From his work as a mob enforcer to the accident which blinded Matthew to his last fight, this story will be told from Jack's point of view, illuminating this tragic and compelling figure in the Marvel Universe and the amazing legacy he left behind," Simons stated.

"Battling Jack" is a series that will certainly live up to its title; Jack Murdock will be in a state of constant struggle against a number of obstacles and adversaries. "I don't want to give much away, but there are few corners of Jack's life that offer refuge," Simons said. "From his day job as a mob heavy to the personal demons that haunt him, to his struggle with addiction, he's not in a good place when he meets Matt for the first time."

Jack's opponents and allies in the series will include a multitude of familiar faces. "From Maggie to Josie to Turk and The Fixer, you'll be seeing a lot of the key characters that have played essential parts in Daredevil's mythology."

Readers of "Daredevil: Battling Jack Murdock" will see the beginnings of the Daredevil mythology from a new light in a tale that promises to be both thrilling and poignant. "It's got a very pulp feel to it," Simons stated. "But at the core of our story is the relationship between a father and his son, which is a great theme that Carmine and Zeb are really tapping into."

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