Daredevil Cruel and Unusual TP 1st print Ed Brubaker Greg Rucka NM Volume 3


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Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual Paperback
by Ed Brubaker (Author), Greg Rucka (Author), Mike Perkins (Illustrator), Michael Lark (Illustrator)

Matt Murdock takes a new case! Still reeling from the conclusion of his battle with Mr. Fear, an old friend drags Matt Murdock back into the light of day by bringing him the last-minute appeal of a Marvel villain now sitting on death row. What will Matt do when confronted with a bad guy who is completely innocent of the crime of which he was convicted?

Collects Daredevil (1998) #106-110.

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Marvel

It pretty much sucks to be Daredevil. This consistent maxim has governed every popular run on his title since Frank Miller revolutionized the character in the 1980s; the Millers, Smiths, Bendises, and Brubakers of the world, who torment the character with little relent, are the ones who hit it off with audiences; in between, there are stories by talented writers like Karl Kesel and Joe Kelly, who give the old college try at making him a lighthearted adventurer again, but this never sticks. The current writer, Ed Brubaker, just ended a lengthy story that saw Daredevil’s wife driven insane by the villain Mr. Fear; without a cure, she is institutionalized. So, obviously, Matt is not in a good place when this story opens.

The title of the main arc, which accounts for four of the five issues collected here (the first is an epilogue/prologue that establishes Daredevil’s mental state following the end of “Without Fear” and sets up the next story), is “Other People’s Problems”, and that accurately conveys the major theme here: Matt Murdock’s eventual realization that not everything is about his own suffering (of course, that depends on whether or not the writer of his title decides to make it all about him); for the first time in a good while, the central villain plot of the story is not to utterly destroy Daredevil: he is an incidental hero, arriving on the scene to rescue someone who needs help. This is the standard hero setup, but it hasn’t been seen in the pages of “Daredevil” for a while. Daredevil is approached by Luke Cage to investigate the case of villain Big Ben Donovan, who is about to be executed for the murder of three children: Cage doesn’t think Donovan did it. Daredevil doesn’t care, but his friend, private eye Dakota North, does. Soon, Daredevil finds himself involved, and what ensues is a fine little crime/espionage/legal drama.

The series’ regular writer, Ed Brubaker, is joined for an arc by Greg Rucka, his former co-writer on “Gotham Central”. They are a great team. It is hard to pick out whose influence is where, but one cannot help but think, given his penchant for female leads, that Rucka was heavily involved in pushing Dakota North to centre-stage (a practice that continues after Rucka departs) (even Becky, the third lawyer at Matt’s firm, gets a couple of important moments). One hopes for more Marvel work from Rucka in the future. Michael Lark continues to do a strong job on the artwork, with guest artist Paul Azaceta doing a good job of mimicking Lark’s styel (it actually reminds me more then a bit of Sean Phillips’ work on Brubaker’s “Criminal”).

This is a very enjoyable little story, recommended for those who are fans of Daredevil or the writers’ past work in general.

‘Daredevil’ Disney+ Series in the Works With Matt Corman, Chris Ord Set to Write

A new “Daredevil” series is moving forward at Disney+, with Variety having exclusively learned from sources that Matt Corman and Chris Ord are attached to write and executive produce.

Rumors have persisted for some time that a Disney+ series about the Man Without Fear was in the works, especially considering that two of the stars of the Netflix “Daredevil” series — Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio — have appeared in recent Marvel projects. Cox once again played Matt Murdock, the secret identity of Daredevil, in the film “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” while D’Onofrio reprised the role of Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, in the Disney+ series “Hawkeye.”

It now appears that the project is picking up steam with the hiring of Corman and Ord, although Marvel has yet to announce anything regarding the show formally.

Reps for Corman and Ord declined to comment. Marvel Studios reps do not comment on projects in development.

Corman and Ord most famously co-created the USA Network series “Covert Affairs” starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham. The show aired for five seasons on the basic cabler between 2010 and 2014. They most recently worked as executive producers and co-showrunners on the NBC drama shows “The Enemy Within” and “The Brave” as well as The CW series “Containment.”

Fans have been clamoring for more Daredevil ever since the Netflix series was canceled in 2018 after three seasons. They were in for a long wait, however, as Variety reported in 2018 that the deal with Netflix included a clause that prevented any characters from the Marvel-Netflix shows from appearing in any non-Netflix projects for two years after cancellation.

The move came as Disney looked to bring its Marvel heroes under one umbrella, with multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe shows having since debuted on Disney+. “Moon Knight” starring Oscar Isaac was the last such show to premiere, with a trailer for the “She-Hulk” series starring Tatiana Maslany dropping earlier this week.

Collects Daredevil (1998) 106-110. Near mint, 1st print.