Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Why You Should Read "Born Again"

Sometimes villains don't destroy heroes by using their fists...

I already said in my Matt Murdock post that Daredevil is one of my favorite Marvel characters and that most of my favorite comic book stories are centered around Daredevil. So, out of all the Daredevil storylines out there, "Born Again" is one of my absolute favorites and one that I highly recommend.

I took a screenwriting class a few semesters ago and I remember one tip that my professor suggested when writing stories is to never go easy on your characters. The main character should have to struggle before they win in the end. This story is a perfect example of a main character suffering and struggling before they win, making their triumph so much more satisfying.

The story opens with Matt Murdock's ex-secretary and ex-girlfriend, Karen Page, now living in Mexico after a career as an adult film actress and addicted to drugs. Even though she still has feelings for Matt, Karen sells Daredevil's secret identity to feed her addiction. Eventually, this information reaches Daredevil's nemesis, the Kingpin, setting in motion a series of events intended to destroy Daredevil's spirit.

Kingpin uses his power and influence to test the information, taking everything from Matt Murdock. He freezes Matt's bank accounts, pays off a cop to claim that Matt bribed a witness, and pushes Matt to distrust everyone he thought was a friend, including his partner, Foggy Nelson.

Being a superhero, Matt believes that someone, or a group of people, are working to destroy Matt Murdock. As Daredevil, he scours through the underworld of Hell's Kitchen to find the people responsible and their motive. It isn't until a bomb destroys his apartment that Matt realizes that it was the Kingpin all along.

Tired and paranoid, Matt becomes a machine with the sole purpose of beating the Kingpin and demanding that Fisk give him his life back. But, like I said, "Born Again" is a story where the hero has to struggle to win. Kingpin ends up beating Matt Murdock and arranges for him to be killed. 

Fortunately, the story doesn't end there, and Matt has to build himself back up to challenge the Kingpin and save the ones he loves. And Daredevil is definitely needed, especially since the Kingpin has hired men to kill anyone who knows Daredevil's identity, including Karen Page. Ben Urich, a reporter from the Daily Bugle and a friend of Daredevil, is also targeted by Kingpin for being a thorn in his side.

As much as I love this story, I do not think that this is the story for a new reader to jump into and fully appreciate it. I think this is a story for readers who know enough about Daredevil as a character and his relationships to read in order to further their live of the character. If there is anything else that I want to say about "Born Again" is that I hope that this gets adapted for the next season of Netflix's Daredevil.

ISSUES: Daredevil #227-231 (1986)
 Writing   Art   Character Development   Overall Enjoyment 
9  8 9 10

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