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Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - Daredevil

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Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - Daredevil

Postby LOLtron » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:13 am

Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - Daredevil

This week, Keb takes a look at two very important Daredevil stories and compares the newer as homage to the latter.




 

What is a superhero’s most precious belonging? His secret identity! Without his identity, he can’t connect to the normal humans he has sworn to protect and thus, he is no longer human.

I dug up some of the old Bendis Daredevil (Underboss, Out, Lowlife and Hardcore) and read them alongside Miller and Mazzuchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again. What I find interesting about the stories is the focus on his secret identity. After reading Born Again, I realized that Daredevil’s alter ego as Matt Murdock became his greatest power.

I find both Born Again and Bendis’ run on Daredevil to be interestingly similar because they both heavily involve Daredevil/Murdock’s reaction to the events happening around him. That is what really pulled me into both storylines. However, I made note of how both writers use similar elements in juxtaposition to affect the character and his “destruction”.

At first, Bendis’ work reads like homage to Miller’s Born Again with the elements dramatically altered. Bendis doesn’t necessarily aim to “break” Matt Murdock. Where Born Again focuses on the complete and utter destruction of Matt Murdock’s life at the hands of the Kingpin, Bendis focuses everything on the destruction of the superhero’s image in the public.

What Daredevil lacks in Born Again, he finds threefold in Bendis’s run. He has the undying support of Foggy Nelson, who never once turns his back on Matt throughout the entire run. In Born Again, not only does Foggy not know that Matt is Daredevil, but Matt also feels like he can’t trust Foggy at all. I think it really shows how badly a person needs support to hold the strings together in times of crisis. With or without Foggy’s support, Matt Murdock becomes human and readers are given the opportunity to make that connection with him.

Another strong element from Born Again that Bendis juxtaposes is the actual Daredevil/Murdock relationship. In Born Again, Matt Murdock hits rock bottom and has to pick himself up and reinvent himself before he can put on the red costume and go fight for what he believes in. It’s the complete opposite in the Bendis stories. Daredevil can’t put on his costume for fear of being found out. It’s a harsh position to put Murdock in, where he is denied the one thing that can solve his problems.

The identity is important because Daredevil and Matt Murdock need each other to exist. In Born Again, Kingpin realizes this and thus he uses Matt Murdock to destroy Daredevil. Bendis recognizes the sacredness of the secret identity and how it connects the hero to world. In the story Out, Bendis essentially mirrors Miller and places Murdock in between rock and hard place to take Daredevil out of the picture.

The most brilliant part of the Bendis homage (if we can legally call it that) is how well he juxtaposes the characters of Daredevil and Kingpin. In Born Again, Murdock/Daredevil is stripped of everything and we see Kingpin put into that same position at the beginning of the Bendis saga. In subplots, we see how Kingpin rebuilds his empire and it eventually leads up to the great confrontation. What I really enjoy about both stories is that the characters  seem to have a moment of climactic madness where they just lose their shit. For Kingpin, the moment happens when he unleashes Nuke on Hell’s Kitchen and Daredevil’s moment happens when he beats Fisk and declares himself the new Kingpin. They are two moments that when read separately may not jump out at you, but when read side-by-side you definitely see how they work together.

Reading these two stories together allowed me to see a lot of great similarities between the two runs. At first, I felt that Bendis was trying to undermine Born Again but after giving the matter some further thought, I actually began to see how intricately Bendis worked his run against Miller’s story. These two iconic stories represent what I love about Daredevil most.



Written or Contributed by Keb Ellis




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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby Keb » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:27 am

Yeah, that's me praising Brian Bendis...

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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby 3MJ » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:32 am

This article makes me want to reread Bendis' DD. My favorite run on a superhero comic (That or X-statix).

The whole story works fantastically. I love the feeling of hopelessness accentuated by Maleev's awesome arc.

Interestingly I think it wouldn't work that well when read monthly. I think the whole arc however is one of the best things Marvel have ever produced.

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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby TimDrake'sDumbWings » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:44 am

I've always taken Bendis' Daredevil as a rejection of the pattern that Born Again forced on the books for decades. All too often we had seen variations on the story of "mysterious villain comes along and systematically destroys Matt's life" (I'm looking at you, Kevin Smith.) Bendis came along and had Matt embrace the fact that, no, he is not a tactician; he typically thinks with his fists. Instead of being involved in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with whatever villains antagonize him, Matt used brutal force (when fighting Kingpin and during his ensuing destruction of the underworld) to get what he wanted.

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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby GHERU » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:30 pm

I hate to say it, but I've given Miller's DD run many chances and it just doesn't do anything for me
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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby Keb » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:55 pm

His DD run or Born Again? I consider them two separate entities, since Born Again came a few years later.

T-Dubdubs: I actually agree with you. I love that Bendis makes Daredevil a lot more instinctual rather than tactile. I definitely see how he mirrors everything in Born Again and I love what he does with both DD and Kingpin.

The only thing I didn't like about that whole run was Bendis-crap-dialogue.

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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby TimDrake'sDumbWings » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:01 pm

Keb wrote:His DD run or Born Again? I consider them two separate entities, since Born Again came a few years later.

T-Dubdubs: I actually agree with you. I love that Bendis makes Daredevil a lot more instinctual rather than tactile. I definitely see how he mirrors everything in Born Again and I love what he does with both DD and Kingpin.

The only thing I didn't like about that whole run was Bendis-crap-dialogue.


I think DD is the only place the Bendis-crap-dialogue DIDN'T disappoint me, mainly since he was working with characters of his own creation besides Matt and Foggy and Ben. When he writes ALL of the Avengers that way--who have been shown to have different personalities and different ways of speaking--I dislike it.

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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby Keb » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:08 pm

There are moments when it really works. Then there are times where everyone's looking all iconic and awesome and it's just littered with word bubbles. For it to really work, he has to be paired with an artist who isn't static (like Greg Land). I think his BCD worked best in Alias and Powers (although Powers it gets on your nerves after the reboot).

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Re: Peeing in Your Shower: How to Destroy Your Superhero - D

Postby GHERU » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:14 pm

his DD run
so I never went further to get BA
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