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    Daredevil: The Man Without Fear - Frank Miller Romita Jr.

    One of Marvel’s most treasured heroes is Daredevil. But long before he became the Man Without Fear he was just a confused little boy surviving in a brutal environment. Frank Miller’s miniseries is a chronicle of everyday life in the streets of New York’s most dangerous neighborhood: Hell’s Kitchen. 

    The author has the ability to make it all feel real; of course, some might say there is little merit in taking an existing portion of the world's most famous city and simply transfer it into the pages of a comic book. There is nonetheless an undeniable strength in the way Miller describes the life of these kids that have nothing to look up for, no hopes, no optimism, no future; lost as they are, amidst a sea of petty crimes, alcoholism and abusive or neglectful parents.

    Jack Murdock, Matt's father, is no different from the rest. He is not an example, he is not the kind of man that can be admired. And in his desperation, he knows his son can’t follow in his footsteps, can’t end up as washed up boxer who can barely make ends meet. For me, this is one of the most powerful narrative elements. Despite all the painful moments between father and son, this is no detriment for the special bond they share. And when Jack hits his child, Matt understands that his father is wrong, that everyone can be wrong, and in order for us to survive in the jungle we have to follow rules, we must obey the laws. 

    After an accident, Matt loses his sight. Blinded, frustrated, he discovers he now has heightened senses; at first, it's pure torture, but thanks to the help of Stick, a mysterious man that becomes his mentor, Matt learns to focus, to control his body and his perceptions in ways no other men could. It’s thanks to that ability that he is able to exact revenge on the mobsters that kill his father.

    But taking justice in his own hands is not enough. He has to find a way to guarantee that justice. And so he decides to go to law school. In college, Matt befriends Foggy Nelson and defends him from the bullies. It’s a tendency that we've seen since the very beginning. Except that now that Foggy is the victim, Matt remembers how he was bullied at school and why he had to hold back. But he doesn’t have to refrain himself anymore, and thus he attacks Foggy’s bullies, with the satisfaction of someone who’s had to wait years to do what needed to be done.

    Still a teenager, a freshman, he discovers passion for the first time; he relishes in eroticism, in the awakening of his sexuality; sexual arousal and the delightful dance of a naked body are to him more meaningful that anything else, and it's all thanks to Elektra Natchios.
    Daredevil: The Man Without Fear - Frank Miller Romita Jr.
    Matt Murdock & Stick


    Daredevil: The Man Without Fear - Frank Miller Romita Jr.
    Matt punished the bullies / Matt castiga a los abusivos
    Miller’s spot on approach shows us how Matt and Elektra play with each other, she is the Cheshire cat, grinning and mocking his prey, and he’s merely a mouse, innocent, easy to chase, inexperienced. They have sex countless times, and all this sexual charge, all this erotic tension, humanizes a character like Daredevil, so often portrayed as a cold and dark vigilante with no life outside the mask he wears at night.

    Of course, we get to see notorious villains such as the Kingpin, who is just starting to build his criminal empire. Although they don’t actually meet on the pages of Man Without Fear, they fight each other indirectly as Matt Murdock rescues a girl from an underage exploitation ring controlled by the Kingpin’s lackeys.

    The last pages are especially revealing. In his childhood, Matt was ridiculed by his peers; accused of cowardice, they usually called him by an ironic nickname: Daredevil. Now that he is a young man, he takes the insult from his past and turns into his warrior’s title. It’s a successful attempt to resemantize a word that had such negative connotations for him.

    Even if I’m not John Romita Jr’s greatest fan, I consider this one of his finest works. There is a unique energy in his pages, and an honest emotion that seems hard to find in most of his recent superhero projects. Published 20 years ago, Man Without Fear is one of the best origin stories I can think of. But certainly, that is not a surprise coming from the man who wrote Batman: Year One. 
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    Daredevil: The Man Without Fear - Frank Miller Romita Jr.
    The wounds of passion / las heridas de la pasión

    Uno de los héroes más apreciados de Marvel es Daredevil. Pero mucho antes de ser el Hombre sin Miedo él era solamente un niño confundido, que sobrevivía en un entorno brutal. La miniserie de Frank Miller es una crónica de la vida cotidiana en las calles del vecindario más peligroso de New York: Hell’s Kitchen. 

    El autor tiene la habilidad de lograr que todo se sienta real; desde luego, algunos podrían decir que hay poco mérito en tomar una porción existente de la ciudad más famosa del mundo y simplemente trasplantarla a las páginas de un cómic. No obstante, hay una innegable fuerza en la forma en la que Miller describe la vida de estos chiquillos que no tienen nada que anhelar, sin esperanza, sin optimismo, sin futuro; perdidos como están, entre un mar de crímenes de poca monta, alcoholismo y padres negligentes o abusivos. 

    Jack Murdock, el padre de Matt, no es distinto al resto. Él no es un ejemplo, no es el tipo de hombre que pueda ser admirado. Y en su desesperación, sabe que su hijo no puede emularlo, no puede terminar como un boxeador fracasado que apenas puede llegar a fin de mes. Para mí, este es uno de los elementos narrativos más poderosos. A pesar de todos los momentos dolorosos entre padre e hijo, esto no es detrimento para el vínculo especial que comparten. Y cuando Jack golpea al niño, Matt entiende que su padre está equivocado, que todos pueden estarlo, y para sobrevivir en la jungla tenemos que seguir las reglas, debemos obedecer las leyes. 
    Daredevil: The Man Without Fear - Frank Miller Romita Jr.
    Hell's Kitchen

    Después de un accidente, Matt pierde la vista. Cegado, frustrado, descubre que ahora tiene sentidos aumentados; al principio, es pura tortura, pero gracias a la ayuda de Stick, un hombre misterioso que se convierte en su mentor, Matt aprenda a enfocarse, a controlar su cuerpo y sus percepciones en maneras que nadie más podría. Es gracias a esta habilidad que es capaz de vengarse de los mafiosos que asesinan a su padre.

    Pero hacer justicia con sus propias manos no es suficiente. Tiene que encontrar una forma de garantizar esa justicia. Así que decide estudiar leyes. En la universidad, Matt se hace amigo de Foggy Nelson y lo defiende de los abusivos. Es una tendencia que hemos visto desde el inicio. Excepto que ahora que Foggy es la víctima, Matt recuerda cómo fue maltratado en el colegio y por qué debía aguantar. Pero ya no tiene por qué refrenarse, así que ataca a los que abusan de Foggy, con la satisfacción de alguien que ha tenido que esperar años para hacer lo que hacía falta.

    Aún un adolescente, un estudiante de primer año, descubre la pasión por primera vez; se regocija en el erotismo, en el despertar de su sexualidad; la excitación sexual y la deliciosa danza de un cuerpo desnudo tienen para él más significado que cualquier otra cosa, y es todo gracias a Elektra Natchios.

    El acertado enfoque de Miller nos muestra cómo Matt y Elektra juegan entre sí, ella es el gato de Cheshire, sonriendo, mofándose de su presa, y él es simplemente un ratón, inocente, fácil de cazar, inexperto. Tienen sexo incontables veces, y toda esta carga sexual, toda esta tensión erótica, humaniza a un personaje como Daredevil, retratado tan a menudo como un vigilante frío y oscuro sin vida más allá de la máscara que usa en la noche. 

    Por supuesto, vemos a notorios villanos como Kingpin, quien recién están empezando a construir su imperio criminal. Aunque no llegan a conocerse en las páginas de "Man Without Fear", indirectamente pelean entre sí, y es que Matt Murdock rescata a una chica de un círculo de explotación de menores de edad bajo el control de los lacayos de Kingpin.
    Daredevil: The Man Without Fear - Frank Miller Romita Jr.
    Daredevil

    Las últimas páginas son especialmente reveladoras. En su niñez, Matt fue ridiculizado por sus compañeros; acusado de cobardía, ellos usualmente lo llamaban con un sobrenombre irónico: Daredevil. Ahora que es un joven, toma el insulto del pasado y lo convierte en el título del guerrero. Es un exitoso intento de resemantizar una palabra que para él tenía connotaciones negativas.

    Incluso si es que no soy el mayor fan de John Romita Jr, considero que este es uno de sus más logrados trabajos. Hay una energía única en sus páginas, y una emoción honesta que parece difícil de encontrar en sus recientes proyectos de superhéroes. Publicado hace 20 años, "Man Without Fear" es una de las mejores historias de origen que he leído. Pero ciertamente, eso no es una sorpresa viniendo del hombre que escribió "Batman: Year One".

    Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2014/06/daredevil-man-without-fear-frank-miller.html

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    About the Author - Arion


    Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

     


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