Thursday, 9 April 2015

Devil Gets His Dues...

Whenever I am asked, who is your favourite superhero? Without hesitation, I always answer, Daredevil. Ever since I was just a kid watching cartoons and collecting random comics from dollar bins, Daredevil was always my absolute favourite hero. It didn't matter if he was an Avenger (though he did get to join the New Avengers, which was awesome) or if he was able to punch a hole in the moon, Daredevil never needed to be the biggest or strongest character in the entire galaxy of existence. Behind the mask, you have a man who is constantly challenged by enemies and his own inner demons, but he never stays down, he will always keep fighting. The greatest appeal to Daredevil is that despite his weakness, challenges and heartbreak, he never stops fighting for the right cause. And he is one of those characters who does interact with people, as a lawyer and as Daredevil, he generally wants to help good people who have fallen on some bad times. I wanted to write a little tribute piece to my favourite hero, to share with you and perhaps many new Daredevil fans (thanks to the awesome new show) why he is the best out there, no gimmicks just the courage to be the man without fear. 

Before moving out to San Fransico, the main home of the devil was Hells Kitchen, a lower end section of New York City.  The city itself helps Daredevil become more relatable to a common kid like me who was growing up in Toronto. Even to this day I am always looking up at tall buildings and offices, hoping to maybe catch the glimpse of a crimson warrior jump rooftop to rooftop. As a kid Matt Murdock was a bit of a troublemaker, the kid who would do the things others wouldn't even think about trying. And as son of local boxing hero, Battlin Jack Murdock, he had a reputation to up hold. But as times got tough, Jack sat Matt down and made him promise to a life of studies and opportunities, to never raise his fists and become a better man then he ever was. So while he couldn't fight back to bullies, they would mock him by calling him "Daredevil". And one of the greatest things you can ever do in life is take an insult and wear it, that being a "faggot" makes you a better person then anyone who tries to shame you could imagine. We should always be proud of who we are, no one has the right to bring you down or deny you, that is simply their own fears and weaknesses lashing out. So having Matt take the name that was supposed to mock him and turn it into the name that brought a Kingpin of crime to his knees, well that is something to admire for sure. The rest as they say is history, the accident that robbed him of his vision but heightened all of his other senses, giving him a radar like power to sense all around him and even anticipate attacks. And after his father is murdered for not throwing down a match, Matt uses his skills and fights back. The story does change from here, with a lot of different origin stories told over the years in my opinion the best one is probably Man Without Fear by Frank Miller (before he went off the rails) and John Romita Jr. Absolutely excellent book, and one that may influence the show quite a bit. The black track suit costume is taken right from this story, and I am guessing other elements as well will be used for sure. 

For years I have been growing up with Daredevil. When I was entering high school, Kevin Smith penned the Guardian Devil story. When I was in grade 11 or so, Daredevil decides to become the Kingpin in Hells Kitchen. I was working at the Hockey Hall of Fame when Daredevil turned his city into Shadowland and took over the Hand. Regardless what big event is taking place, I can always count on Daredevil. With as many stories as creative teams, I've never had a writer or an artist I didn't like, if anything through Daredevil I found other incredible work. Ed Brubaker is one the best story tellers out there, from noir thrillers to espionage, he is simply one of the best. And Chris Samnee, who took the devil to San Fransico and really brought the pages to life with excellent panels page by page, creating a look that fits like a glove. I am not sure what a life without Daredevil is like, but I don't want to find out. And most recently I have been able to connect with him on another personal level, in one of my favourite issues ever, we see Matt coming to terms with his own depression. Being able to block it out for months and months, he finally has to deal with his own mental health. Which like me, I have had to come to terms with what I am feeling, the weakness and the absolute darkness that is rooted to it all, being surrounded but feeling so alone and isolated. Seeing that Daredevil is also trying to understand himself and let others in was a heart touching moment for me, this was something that really spoke volumes to me and I couldn't be a happier DD fan. A massive thank you to Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, for a issue that will forever be dear to me. And in general a thank you to all the past creators who have helped shaped Matt Murdock with every issue into the greatest hero ever created. 

So yeah, this got emotional. It was going to, because for me, Daredevil isn't just some fictional character. To me, he is someone to look up, someone who reminds you to be better despite your weaknesses and the fear that others carry. Be fearless in life. So with that said, get ready for Daredevil and if you want to talk DD, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter over @ChileanStorm as well as Tumblr. Stay tuned here for plenty more comic book pieces, reviews and opinions and until then, keep chasing the storm!