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on 14 May 2011
Out of all of Frank Miller and Alan Moore's stellar works for Marvel & DC Comics in the 1980s, Daredevil: Born Again by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzuchelli must stand out as being the most concise, the most stripped down as well as one of the most affecting tales that the revisionist trend for super heroes threw out in the mid-1980s.

Whatever was in Frank Miller's tea when he co-created this Marvel masterpiece with artist David Mazzuchelli starring blind lawyer Matt Murdock and the long, slow and insidious dismantling of his personal and professional life, should be bottled up and sold to the legion of imitators that came after who couldn't quite match Miller's visionary storytelling.

Myself and many of my friends at the time circa 1986/1987 who were fans of Alan Moore's writing on titles for various publishers such as Marvelman, Swamp Thing, Captain Britain and Watchmen when Daredevil: Born Again came out originally in comic book form (Daredevil Vol.1, issues 226 - 233) collectively felt that Miller had finally stepped up in to the big leagues and was if not the better then certainly the equal of Alan Moore. All the more impressive since Miller's tenure as artist/writer on Daredevil from #159 -191 (1979 to 1983) was an excellent re-imagining of a neglected second tier Marvel property.

Miller's best work by far, Born Again, presses all the right emotional buttons by virtue of its understanding and manipulation of emotional themes - its depiction of Wilson Fisk renders the Kingpin of Crime in the most realistic terms in the Marvel Universe - Fisk's gloating over winning Businessman of the Year award for "procuring footage of acts beyond description for a automobile distributor" places the character and his amoral ruthlessness firmly and subtly into abject reality. His torment as he realises Murdock has escaped his wrath is cinematic in the extreme; it would be hard to believe that a certain Q. Tarantino hadn't read this and felt humbled by Miller's writing genius. Ditto for the shootout in the police cell when Lois the nurse working for the Kingpin is being interviewed, you almost feel as if you're in the cell yourself as it plays out. It's a tad violent, shall we say, but also amazingly powerful.

So many moments stand out in this book. The mystery of a certain relative's whereabouts is resolved, several instances with Ben Urich are total genius and even J. Jonah Jamieson is depicted completely realistically in his role of newspaper publisher. Every single character in this book is handled brilliantly.

Batman: Year, also by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli, is a very sophisticated straightforward and subtle updated re-telling of Batman's origin. Its strength was its understatement. The Dark Knight Returns by Miller & Janson was epic but entertainingly OTT but Daredevil: Born Again is extremely intense and powerful and the ending is like stepping out into the sunlight - you feel...born again almost! Absolutely incredible.

Curiously, issue 233 is dedicated to Captain America co-creator, Jack Kirby. In the mid-1980s Jack Kirby was deeply embroiled in an undignified legal battle with Marvel Comics for recognition as one of the architects of the Marvel Universe and was battling for creator's rights over thousands of pages of artwork and recognition of the creation and co-creation of almost every Marvel character until 1970 and even more after his return to Marvel in 1975. Frank Miller quit Marvel Comics after Born Again wrapped in defiance of the ratings system being brought in by DC and Marvel. Alan Moore would do the same.

Back to the story, however; pursuing his vendetta against Matt Murdock, the Kingpin decides to try yet again to destroy Matt Murdock by hiring a much more powerful assassin to kill Daredevil, which brings Captain America into the equation. Agent Simpson AKA Nuke, the corrupted, evil modern day version of Captain America comes face to face with the reality of the then corporate Reaganite America. The exchange on the rooftop between Matt (Daredevil) Murdock and the star spangled Avenger is one of the most powerful scenes in the history of comics, the final battle between the escaped Nuke and Daredevil is a Battle Royale modern cinema would be hard pressed to emulate and a cameo appearance by several of Captain America and several of his super powered buddies is, quite frankly, gobsmacking.

In DD: Born Again, writer Frank Miller's aim was to separate the man from the hero, from the troubling contradiction between costumed vigilante and defense lawyer (Matt Murdock's day job) and to strip Matt Murdock back to the ferocious fighter he always was but this was too much for lesser writers to maintain and the character and his stories quickly went to a limbo of mediocrity pretty much ever since these comics came out but that's just this reviewers personal opinion. In dramatic terms, nothing since then has ever matched this incredible piece of comic writing and art and for this reason alone, you should purchase this trade paperback edition. Simply stunning.
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on 12 March 2010
Comics don't get any better than this. In fact literature doesn't get better than this.
Maybe the last chapter eases up a little, but the rest is a distillation of the best of popular culture of the last 60 years.

If anything was to surpass the Lee/Kirby/Ditko era, this would be it.
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on 20 September 2016
Daredevil Born again is fantastic, a graphic novel worthy of the most heralded heroes of the Marvel universe. The street fighter's identity is revealed by a drug addicted Karen Page, Kingpin Wilson Fisk finds this out and does what he can to destroy Murdoch's life piece by piece. Miller's depiction of Fisk is callous and calculating, comparable to a spider taking care of its intricate web. This tale is of the fall Daredevil, grimy, realistic and terrifying. It shows Daredevil slowly losing his mind, showing the deep vulnerability of the Fighter.
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on 18 January 2016
No Spoilers. Daredevil’s identity has been revealed by an old friend and The Kingpin destroy’s the life of Matt Murdoch on every level, leaving our hero penniless, alone, depressed, angry, weak and no where to turn as he faces his darkest nights. When picking the first Daredevil Comic i’ve ever read I turned to the greats and that is still considered to be Frank Miller’s run on the series. He was given the job of writing Daredevil because the sales were terrible and he completely revitalised it and that’s what gave DC the confidence to let him right The Dark Knight Returns and you can easily see why in this. It’s brilliant, so dark with amazing action set pieces, great dialogue BUT without the fascism, homophobia and misogyny that would weaken his later work. Artwork is fantastic and although it’s very Batman-esque it feels like Daredevil and the fact he managed to keep that in a story that’s really dark is impressive. I loved it, it barrels along at a great pace, all the characters are well developed, there is a cool cameo by a famous Marvel group of heroes and it kicks ass. Essential Reading and Worth Full Price.
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on 19 March 2016
I hadn't read a Daredevil book before and came to this after watching the second series of the TV show. Miller's work here is excellent and it actually serves as not only a fine story in its own right but an excellent way into the Daredevil comics. Miller's rendering of Wilson Fisk, the meticulous and lethal crime boss Kingpin illustrates what makes him such a great villain, showcasing his eye for detail and a hatred of Daredevil that undoes him in th end. This is a terrific piece of work, one of Miller's best.
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on 13 February 2016
When I was 8 years old I read the Sin-eater story in Spider-Man comics, and Daredevil was also involved. I was immediately intrigued by this enigmatic, slightly sinister-looking character and I loved the costume. Since then, he has been a personal favourite of mine. Reading Born Again is a nostalgia trip. This is Marvel at it's finest, a real emotional rollercoaster of a story, and you will not be able to put it down nor will you read it only once. Gritty storytelling and faultless artwork.
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on 30 November 2009
I recently read this and I have to say that its a classic daredevil story. it focuses on Matt Murdock's worst nightmare: the kingpin knows his identity. What then occurs is the wrath of Wilson Fisk, destroying everything he has worked for and everything that he loves. It's really a good read and like the best type of DD stories it looks at the characters around him as well, like Foggy Nelson and Karen Paige. I would recommend this to anyone who just wants to have a decent read from the Daredevil of yesteryear.
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on 20 April 2016
Had a very enjoyable story, and has actually propelled Daredevil in my opinions. Reading this alongside the Netflix show was good. Bit disappointed with the abrupt end, feels a bit to safe. Artwork is a bit dated but still enjoyed it very much
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on 9 April 2011
Collects Daredevil #226-233, an earlier Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli collaboration issue featuring Melvin Potter (Gladiator) getting exploited again and some art layouts with Millar's scribbled on scripts. This is a pretty good book. This pairing works well together and they manage to put the noir back into Daredevil where it belongs. This wasn't the first time Murdock got worked over by The Kingpin's manipulations and it certainly wouldn't be the last but it's probably one of the best treatments of this sort of plotline. My only complaint would be: Wilson Fisk - put some damn clothes on!!!
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on 11 April 2013
This book has become one of my favourite comics of all time. Matt Murdoch's life falls apart when his identity is sold to the kingpin by the former love of his life, Karen Page, for a fix of heroin, an addiction that has taken her life, her integrity and her very soul from her. One by one, matt's loved ones leave his life for various reasons that have been caused by the kingpin, who has become obsessed with destroying the minor hinderance that is Daredevil. His business, his home and his acclimated wealth are all taken from him by the criminal godfather, who spins his web of blackmail, bribes and deceit to try and end matt's life, even making it impossible for matt to vent it all out by becoming the man without fear. as he fights his way through homelessness, loneliness, a crippled body and a diminishing faith in justice, the kingpin overlooks one major thing; that a man without hope is a man without fear.

i loved the internal dialogues from the 4 main characters centred on in this graphic novel, and the themes revealed through their struggles and relationships with fellow characters; Matt murdoch's redemption and reformation as he learns to love and forgive, karen page's struggle against soul-destroying odds to reach out for the only glimpse of hope she has left, the kingpin's growing obsession with the small but blown-out-of-proportion issue of an arch nemesis who simply refuses to die, and foggy nelson's struggle to find a ath that will allow him o be happy and also honour his mysterious friend matt.

Throughout this book, you see exactly who the man under the red-devil suit is, what he's made of, and why it is that he is such a tragic hero. it gave me a new understanding and, indeed, an newfound respect for the man that is the one without fear. truly an inspiring hero, if ever there was one.
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