So, I ran a poll asking what comic I should do “a panel from every issue of” next.  Daredevil came in second.  Amazing Spider-Man came in first.  But since this is my blog, my rules, I went with DD.  I’ll do Amazing Spider-Man soon, though–when I’m done with The Fantastic Four, which should be soon.

The main reason I went with Daredevil is that I’ve already read every Spider-Man, but I’ve never read every DD.  And Daredevil has had a greater influence on my love of this medium than just about any other (except maybe Spider-Man and Avengers).  It was Frank Miller’s Daredevil that taught me that comic books could be groundbreaking and literary–and inspired me to read other books like Fish Police and Cerebus.  Brian Michael Bendis’ DD was a perfect amalgam of art and words–the two went together like few other books I’d seen before.  And the recent Mark Waid reboot showed that you can put new life into a decades-old character.

And yet, I can’t remember ever reading Daredevil #1.  At least not reading it carefully.

dd lie detectorFrom the first page, it was a different comic than the other books Marvel produced at the time.  Stan Lee was always “wordy,” but it wasn’t just expostion: The narrative had noir-ish elements and, frankly, was better written than most of his other work.  The art in issue #1 was by Bill Everett, a renowned Golden Age artist who created The Sub-Mariner and came to Stan Lee as an established artist with a firm pedigree.  (He only lasted on issue on DD before quitting Marvel over creative differences.)

Most Marvel #1s set a tone; it’s one of the things Lee did well as an editor and creator.  Amazing Fantasy #15 established a wide-eyed sense of wonder.  Fantastic Four #1 emphasized family.  Avengers #1 was pure rock and roll.

And Daredevil #1 was about mystery–the most Batman-like comic Marvel had ever produced.  The dude was blind, a lawyer, and had a built-in lie detector.  I’m pretty sure none of those things had been portrayed in comics before.

And all of the ingredients for the future runs on Daredevil where there in the beginning.  The well-choreographed fights;

daredevil #1 fight sequence.jpg

The flagpole swinging…

dd flagpole

Daredevil #1 may just be my new favorite #1 issue.