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Production on Netflix’s Daredevil series has officially kicked into high gear. The series, set to shoot this summer in New York City, has found it’s Man Without Fear; Boardwalk Empire‘s Charlie Cox will don the crimson tights to portray Matt Murdock and his crime-fighting alter-ego. Criminals of Hell’s Kitchen had best beware, because there’s a new hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cox has his work cut out for him though, possibly even more so than the rest of his super powered peers. Daredevil’s not had an easy life as a hero; in fact, one could argue that he has just about the worst luck of any Marvel character out there – yeah, including Spider-Man. To get an idea of the wide range of torment Charlie Cox will have to endure on the big screen, we’ve come up with a list of comics that we would select to form Daredevil‘s first 13 episode season. And if you’re still unfamiliar with the hero, you can use these 19 issues to get you up to speed.
1. Daredevil v3 #1
Every first episode should introduce readers to the show’s world, and this issue by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera does just that. A pilot loosely based on this adventure would accomplish two things: the fight with the teleporting bad guy called Spot would allow for Daredevil to really show off his abilities, and it would start the series off on an upbeat note – which is important, considering just how dark things will get.
2. Daredevil v3 #28-29
Every super hero needs an origin story, too, but since the accident that gave Matt his powers happened when he was a little kid, we can’t really see that origin unfold in real time. Thankfully this recent two-parter recounts Daredevil’s origin as it relates to a court case Matt has to take on – defending his childhood bully in court against the racist Sons of the Serpent gang.
3. Daredevil v1 #131-132
After two introductory episodes, we meet one of Daredevil’s A-List bad guys: Bullseye. This story from 1976 introduces the mad marksman while still keeping the tone a little light; Bullseye and Daredevil do have a final showdown in a circus tent, after all. But don’t worry, Bullseye will be back.
4. Daredevil v3 #7
Murdock’s a hero of the people, as evidenced by the courtroom subplots we envision unfolding underneath all the super hero antics in every episode. This time we get to see Matt be a hero outside of the courtroom and out of his tights, as he guides a group of blind students he was chaperoning through a snowstorm to safety. This episode would prove that Matt Murdock can be just as inspirational and heroic as Daredevil.
5. Daredevil v3 #12
A lot of Daredevil‘s success will hinge on the relationship between Murdock and his best friend Foggy Nelson. Up until this point, we will have seen the two in a number of odd couple situations as the two try to balance work with Matt’s extracurricular activities. This flashback tale to Foggy and Matt’s time in college will finally explain how the two met, and show that Mr. Nelson’s lawyering skills are nothing to sneeze at.
6. Daredevil v1 #174
Things start to get dark. The crime boss called the Kingpin, annoyed at Daredevil meddling with his hired hitmen Spot and Bullseye in previous episodes, sends a group of Hand ninjas to assassinate him. Luckily for DD, a strange woman swoops in to rescue him at the very last minute – except her smell seems awfully familiar.
7. Daredevil v1 #168 & #175
That’s because she’s Elektra, Murdock’s college girlfriend that has since become the deadliest assassin in the murder business. This episode would cut back and forth between the character’s origin story (#168) and the two of them teaming up to take down Kingpin’s hired Hand (#175).
8. Daredevil v1 #227
As Daredevil recounts his college reunion to Foggy, the Kingpin comes into some information about his new horned enemy: his secret identity. Daredevil and Foggy deal with mysterious break-ins at both home and the offices of Nelson & Murdock, as the Kingpin searches for more evidence.
9. Daredevil v1 #169 & #227
Bullseye’s back, and he’s crazier than ever! Really, because he thinks that everyone he sees is actually Daredevil. Bullseye goes on a killing spree in Times Square, until Daredevil confronts him. Their battle that stretches from seedy movie theaters above ground all the way to the subway tracks below, where he struggles with whether or not to let the maniac get hit by an oncoming train. At the episode’s end, just when the Bullseye madness dies down, Kingpin blows up Matt’s home.
10. Daredevil v1 #228
Daredevil, homeless and enraged, tracks down the Kingpin. The two fight it out in a brutal slugfest, but Kingpin emerges victories. He stuffs Murdock in a car and throws it into the river, but his henchmen report back later with unsettling words: “There is no corpse.”
11. Daredevil v1 #229-231
Homeless and broken, Matt finds himself in the care of a nun – a nun that might just be his long lost mother. While Daredevil recuperates, his allies scramble to pick up the pieces of his exploded personal life.
12. Daredevil v1 #232-233
With Daredevil still out of the picture, the Kingpin hires another villain, Nuke, to destroy Hell’s Kitchen. Murdock returns just in time to stop Nuke, and the bad guy ends up laying blame on Kingpin after being taken into police custody. The Kingpin’s reputation is ruined. The comics feature a team-up with Captain America in this story arc, so a Chris Evans guest-role would be welcome – although we do think it’d be good for DD to tackle this threat all on his own.
13. Daredevil v2 #32
In the aftermath of the Nuke battle, the biggest disaster that’s hit Hell’s Kitchen all season, a handful of detectives try to figure out who all these major players are. One of Kingpin’s lesser cronies ends up spilling Daredevil’s secret identity, and the cops start putting the clues together; Murdock stopped the Sons of the Serpent from assassinating his client in the courtroom, he somehow guided a group of blind children through a snowstorm, and he dated a known assassin – Elektra – in college. But before the cops can figure out what to do with the information, the tabloids get hold of it. The next day, Foggy sees the headlines: “Pulp Hero of Hell’s Kitchen is Blind Lawyer.”
Netflix leaves us with this tease: Daredevil Season Two – OUT.