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In January, Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev settle back in to Daredevil, returning to the book with issue #56, and finding it a much different place than it was in their last issue (#50), or for that matter, years previous. Newsarama spoke with Bendis about the current status quo.


There's no denying that 2003 saw a tumultuous run for both the creative team and the character. In the issues leading up to their arc entitled "Hardcore" (#46 - #50), Bendis and Maleev destroyed the power structure of the Kingpin in the New York underworld; unmasked Daredevil, revealing his identity of Matt Murdock to the entire world; pitted Murdock against the tabloid which ran the story; and brought back the Kingpin, who had been nearly killed by his lieutenants in a Caesar-esque uprising.


And then things really went to hell.


While Bendis was kind enough to give Matt a new girlfriend (Milla Donovan, a blind activist working for the Hell's Kitchen housing authority), "Hardcore" saw the Kingpin trying to reclaim his throne as the leader of New York's organized crime, intent on taking out Daredevil - the only true roadblock to his ascension, once and for all. To manage this, Kingpin sent Typhoid Mary after Matt (only to be defeated), and then Bullseye.


One of the more brutal battles between a costumed hero and a villain in recent memory, Daredevil's battle with Bullseye was the final straw, sending him on the hunt for Kingpin. It was no longer a "tit-for-tat" game for Matt - he took down the Kingpin - hard, proclaiming himself as the new Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen. And then…


A five issue arc written and illustrated by David Mack, starring Echo, a character from earlier in the series.


But now…the two creators who shook up Matt Murdock's world like it hasn't been shook for years are back.


And it turns out they were just getting started.


Newsarama: You've said on numerous occasions when asked about Matt's unmaksing, that you came up with a radical idea for Daredevil, and Joe Quesada said you could do it, but had to stick around to play it all out. Was the subsequent fall of the Kingpin part and parcel to the entire unmasking arc from the very start?


Brian Bendis: Actually no. this is a case of the story writing itself. I was actually going with something else, but all of a sudden, I felt Matt's frustration and came up with this. Then all these story ideas started going so I knew it had to do this way.


NRAMA: What then was the bigger story in your view - unmasking or taking down the Kingpin for good?


BB: The unmasking.


NRAMA: So - as far as things stood/stand at the end of your last issue before David's arc, explain the "Matt Murdock is Daredevil" element in the eyes of the everyday Marvel Universe New Yorker. It almost seems that the world found out Daredevil's greatest secret, and it cared about it for all of five minutes…


BB: Well, like many famous people hiding a secret, Matt is so litigious about it that most media just leave it alone. Its becoming urban legend, Matt is fighting it with sheer force of will. plus, he is doing so much good as Matt and Daredevil that most are just happy to benefit from it and don't really care. But it is a complicated struggle that never goes away.


NRAMA: So give a real world analogy - does Matt (prior to the new arc starting) have a certain notoriety, such as a suspect in a crime who was never found guilty, so that there's this "is he or isn't he?" air about him?


BB: Oh yeah, it's definitely the, "is he or isn't he?" It's gossip and fun for everyone but Matt and foggy.


NRAMA: Going back to your last arc, "Hardcore," which had the fight with Bullseye at the end of #49 - this was the one that originally, you were going to wait for Kevin Smith to be done with him in Target, right? If Target had shipped on time, would this arc have come sooner in your run?


BB: Yeah - it would have found its way at the end of the first hardback. It just had to happen. This guy killed two of his girlfriends, as the writer of the book, it just hung there.


But it all worked out great in the end, in #49 it became part of this steam roller of villains leading up to the finale. It worked out great.


NRAMA: But in that fight, Matt pretty much deconstructed Bullseye as a human being in that fight in a manner that showed just what a weak, pitiful, empty man he was. In your view - for as long as you remain on DD, is there any point to bring him back, or have you closed the door on him as far as you see him? After that knuckle-fed psychoanalysis, it's hard to see him ever coming back as a Colin Farrell-level, cocky jackass…


BB: I am done with a lot of the Miller Daredevil stuff, only because I said what I wanted to say with them. I expressed my love for them, but this new story is about new characters and ideas. But we will get some good classic fun from some older characters. Black Widow is coming back in a big way.


NRAMA: So the same goes for the Kingpin, then - the men in issue #50 as well as Matt totally deconstructed him showing him to be arrogant and, well, stupid. Is there, in your eyes, any bringing him back from that, or is he "done" in the same way Bullseye is as far as you're concerned?


BB: I think we'll do the next Kingpin story in The Pulse. There is a story there. It's a pretty good one, too. I'm still working on it though.


NRAMA: Moving ahead, then, and looking at just what leads to the new arc, take us inside Matt's head - what was it that snapped in such a big way this time to make him go after the Kingpin and not stop? He's had his girlfriends attacked and killed before; he's had the Kingpin throw psychos at him before. What was it about this point in his life that made all of this such a potent mix that he had to take him down for good?


BB: It's all of this. Plus the point of the new arc is just about this. All these things plus something that people may not see coming.


NRAMA: Well, while we're in Matt's head - he pounded the crap out of the Kingpin with his mask on, yet when he went to show off, throw him down and jungle-speaking, piss on him in front of the thugs, his mask was off…this was a power move, something to show that he is, literally the man without fear - a la, "this is who I am, bring it on if you think you can, I'm not hiding?"


BB: Oh sure it was a total mind f___. It was Matt saying plainly, "I am the man without fear." It was the exact opposite of issue #35 where he scrambled for his mask to hide behind.


NRAMA: That said though, was Matt…thinking clearly when he did this, or was declaring himself the new Kingpin fueled by adrenalin and emotion? After all, speaking realistically, there's a hell of a difference - and safety - between being the hero charging against the bad guys, or being the lone guy all the bad guys are gunning for…


BB: That is a very good question.


NRAMA: Going back to Marvel editorial was there any concern expressed over going this way with Matt? After all, he's a "hero" who's now in charge of something because he beat up the other guy - a very "might makes right" move…or is this all about showing how different Matt is from everyone else? After all, Spider-Man would never declare himself king of the 'burbs he and Aunt May lived in...he's such a nice hero…


BB: Well more than anything, this shows that Matt is not Spidey, Matt is totally unique in comics and this idea proved it. You could not do this with anybody else.


Marvel's trust of me is an honor I got here by pushing things as far as I can, which is what they want from me anyhow. Also, Daredevil is the book at marvel that has always pushed mainstream boundaries - it's almost our responsibility.


NRAMA: So - with your first issue back in January, how much time has passed since Matt took down the Kingpin?


BB: Well, as the Marvel Preview of Daredevil #56 - out now - illustrates, a year has gone by.


NRAMA: So we'll see how well his "I'm the new king" is going?


BB: I don't want to spoil but you get it all in the first ten pages.


NRAMA: Are we talking an equivalent network of operatives, spies, informants, etc. with Matt as the Kingpin had?


BB: Oh no. nothing like that. This is just Matt using his sheer force of will.


NRAMA: In "Hardcore" Matt was getting fairly chummy with FBI Agent Driver. Can an FBI agent look the other way while a guy sets himself up as the boss of a neighborhood?


BB: I bet not.


NRAMA: As solicited, issue #56 has a slew of guest stars - what do they come to Hell's Kitchen looking for?


BB: For what the hell is wrong with Matt. They are very disturbed by his new life. It's kind of a superhero intervention.


NRAMA: Of the heroes, you've got many of the "street-level" guys who are long-time friends, but also Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Strange in particular. Of those two specifically, can they really understand Matt or what he's done? After all, they both come from lives of relative privilege, while the gritty street is what Matt has known since childhood…


BB: Don't worry - all will be revealed.


NRAMA: So the heroes coming in won't have a consensus of opinion on what Matt has done?


BB: Oh sure, plus, Matt gets a little too comfy leaving him open to a takeover attempt. Which allows the West coast Yakuza come after him in force.


NRAMA: Of all the heroes coming in, is Peter Parker still going to be Matt's sympathetic ear? Why do theses two black sheep of the NYC hero community get along so well?


BB: They just do. But that's something that always rubbed my wrong personally. That's why I have their Ultimate counterparts so antagonistic. Peter has a great monologue in the upcoming issue.


NRAMA: Speaking of Matt's other confidants and friends, what's Milla's response to Matt's move? Being the wife/lover of the "Kingpin" wasn't a very healthy occupation for Wilson Fisk's wife Vanessa - kidnapped by sewer lords and all that…


BB: All good points…


NRAMA: Speaking of Mila - is there anything Alex can't draw? Believable costumed heroes, all-out action, and now very believable, beautiful women…


BB: Alex does love the ladies…


NRAMA: Wrapping this up then, will the "becoming the Kingpin" be the major theme for the next large chunk of time, or by issue #60 are we going to see Peter and Matt having coffee, with Matt saying, "Remember that time I took over Hell's Kitchen? That was some f___ed up sh__, man…" And then Peter gives him a nod, and "F-ed up, man. That was f-ed up…" And they both go and fight Galactus?


BB: Ha! Whatever the result, Matt has made a big, big, big mess of things and we both have a lot of cleaning up to do.


Sooo hyped. :D







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Yeah, this months Marvel Previews (a steal at 99 cents) had half the new DD ish and half the new Runaways. I'm happy as a pig in shit that Bendis and Maleev are gonna be back (no offense to Mack). Daredevil has been my favorite Marvel (well outside of the X-Men) for as long as I can remember.


From back in the day when he was slumming it with 8Ball and his crew, to discovering those old Miller issues, DD was my boy. He had some reeeaaally shitty moments (DD/Spidey vs. The Surgeon General, anyone? - the new costume) but post-Kevin Smith the book has been getting better and better. "Daredevil: Yellow" was a blast too - a love-letter to Karen Page, but also one to Stan Lee and Bill Everett.


There's no denying that BMB is the bees knees - all ye that voted JMS be damned! Not only is he a workaholic, he's not producing shoddy work, everything is class and DD is his best in my opinion (screw all the USM folks). Also Maleev's art is fucking great. I'm all sorts a happy that they're back again, and I with you IC "sooo hyped" and all that jazz... :D

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"Mack is a hack!!!" Hah...i was so happy to hear that his current Echo run's going into a hardcover with his earlier stuff with the character. Another couple paychecks, and im gonna be hunting down Kabuki trades on Ebay or somehwere.

DD's great cause i still think he's an underdog who's had the best characterization/writing of any solo Marvel character. Miller's "Born Again" & "Man Without Fear" really turned the tide, and if you look past years of mediocre "he's basically spider-man, look!" stuff - like you said, from Marvel Knights on - its only gotten better, especially since "Underboss" or so...im still reeling from "Hardcore", their last arc. Oh, yeah, youre right, Yellow was fun, too. If i could only convince Maleev do to an art book of some kind, or make it out to MegaCon this year...

So, anyway, yeah JMS was fun then, and Supreme Power is good, but with the insane things goin on in the Ultimate books, and havin caught up on Daredevil and some of Alias (holy shit, i need the trades to this series), the man is golden, and im gettin a ton more sigs at next year's con.

Just in case you didnt check Newsarama today, 2T...let's post some more on the man, and make this place seem like its more than you, me, mystertramp & SB.



As Powers readers know, and writer/co-creator Brian Bendis reported, the acclaimed series (illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming) will wrap with issue #37, the conclusion of the seven-part “Forever” arc. And that was only the beginning. Powers Vol. 2 starts in March.


While the versions of Homicide Detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim familiar to Powers readers have been technically absent from the series since issue #30 (where Pilgrim went on sick leave, and #31 - #36 have followed Walker and his nemesis’ various incarnations through the ages, since the dawn of man, freshly evolved from amorous monkeys), the two return albeit briefly in issue #37, where the storyline catches up to the present day and promises to reveal secrets that have been long hinted at in the Powers world.


With the plate of the first volume clear, the second will begin in March, technically in the pages of Wizard Edge, which will contain an exclusive story leading into the new series, as well as the introduction of an all-new character.


"After one of the world's most powerful superheroes unhinges, destroying entire cities in his wake before finally destroying himself, the President of the United States declares all Powers illegal," explained Bendis in an Image press release. "In the new Powers number one, we follow homicide Detective Deena Pilgrim back to work after a lengthy sick leave. We’re taken on her tour of the new world of Powers, where all Powers are illegal, a world without heroes and a world almost cracked in half by super-powered villains run amok and unchallenged. So essentially, this is a whole new chapter in the Powers saga, making the new number one completely thematic."


Image’s release continues:




For fans of Bendis' work on Marvel's Daredevil, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, Powers Vol. 2 is the perfect introduction to what has been one of comicdom's most critically lauded creator-owned series ever.


"Having entered the convention circuit again after a lengthy absence it was amazing how many of my die-hard Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man fans were not aware that i was the writer of Powers," Bendis said. "Once they found out, they'd buy the entire library of trades right off the table, so clearly, we needed to get the word out that Powers is not only one of my titles, but that it is a totally unique comic book experience or fans of superheroes or crime comics."


Added Oeming, "This really is a perfect place to step into the Powers world! If you've been wondering what this is all about, now is your chance to find out!"


And of course anyone curious about Powers’ rich back story need look no further than the shelves of his or her local comic book shop. The bulk of the series -- Powers #1-30 -- has been collected in six trade paperbacks, and the seventh installment (the "history lesson" from issues #31-37) is currently planned for an early summer release.


"I know I'm not supposed to say it, but Powers is my favorite comic," said Image Publisher & Vice President Jim Valentino. "It's the one comic I can't wait to read whenever it comes out, and I'd say that even if Image didn't publish it!"


Powers Vol. 2 #1 is solicited in the January issue of Previews and is scheduled to reach comic book stores on March 24.




Sad that the newsarama fanboys are all fussing..."No renumbering; we want #1-500 in our longboxes!" when Bendis is only after gettin this amazing book into the limelight. If youre curious, check his response to their bitchiness, its funny shit.

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Dammit, I missed the Hardcore storyline. Didn't get a chance to buy it and I've been anxiously waiting for them to put out the trade. 'S taking them so long? Underboss, Out and Hoodlum came out damn fast.


From what I've heard about the Bullseye ish, it seems like DD's gotten everything settled there. I wonder if Marvel is just gonna scrap the rest of Target (assuming Smith was ever planning to finish it, anyway). It'd be kinda a shame. It started out great, but by the now the story is already outdated. Bullseye already been brought back and taken down, and the 9/11 thing would seem out of place now... Meh. ???

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Yeah...Hard Target was lookin cool (i liked Farbry's interior art, too), but i think its done...Bendis apparently waited on 'im to finish up, but yeah, when you read Hardcore....its done, man. Was surprisingly good too, was handled the way youd think it oughta be, you know? The TPB for it should be out already, pick it up if ya see it...you wont be let down, its one of those big turning points like "Out".

So yeah im guessin they scrapped it..here's to hopin for the Black Cat finale (is she really just gonna be left there gettin raped?), but methinks i wont hold my breath on a Smith Spidey regular series either.

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  • 1 year later...

Newsarama: Bendis on the final arc...





by Vaneta Rogers


Four years ago, an up-and-coming writer named Brian Michael Bendis was given one of his first assignments at Marvel Comics as he took over writing duties for Daredevil.


Almost 50 issues later, Bendis has clearly claimed the title as his own, redefining the character with artist Alex Maleev's realistic, dark imagery and establishing Daredevil as the central comic in the edgy Marvel Knights line. Yet the pair has announced that 2005 will mark the end of their run on the Eisner-award-winning title, with their last issue scheduled for release in December of this year.


As his stint on Daredevil winds down, Bendis took a few moments to chat with Newsarama about his tumultuous relationship with Matt Murdock over the years, and what he has planned for his final few stories about the Man Without Fear.


Newsarama: Well, the obvious first question -- will December really see the last issue with you and Alex Maleev as the creators on Daredevil?


Brian Michael Bendis: Yeah. We feel we more or less accomplished what we set out to do. It's time. You can just feel it.


NRAMA: What makes you so sure it’s time to leave?


BMB: You just know. You get to a story and say, "shit, I'm done." It kind of just happens. I felt it with Alias. And it's the same here. It's been a good long run. I started Daredevil as my first Marvel gig back on issue #16. Did an arc, then Bob Gale did his, and I've been on it ever since.




NRAMA: It does feel a little like an "ending" in recent issues – the marriage to Milla is annulled, he's officially back in costume, and we're getting some sort of resolution to White Tiger's death. Are you trying to tie up Daredevil's loose ends?


BMB: Some yes. Some no. I think people will really be surprised with the story as it unfolds this last year. Not "big-event" surprised, but legitimate-story surprised - and where we leave the character at the end of our run. The genie isn't being crammed back in the bottle.


NRAMA: Are you getting Matt's house in order because you didn't want to leave the mess behind for the new owners?


BMB: No, its not about that. I have no problem leaving a huge mess for the next guy. That's fun for the next guy. Especially because I know who the next guy is. This is the story we want to tell. Some things come full circle, some things do not.


NRAMA: So you already know who's taking over? Obviously, you’re not at liberty

to announce that, but do you think the direction of the book will change drastically once the new team arrives?


BMB: I hope they tip over the truck ten more times. But I really hope the new creative team has the same creative experience Alex and I had. I hope they find all kinds of new stories to tell and tell them the way they want to. But we are working together on the transition. We'll get a great ending. They'll get a great beginning.


NRAMA: Back to talking about your upcoming issues, what other pre-existing plotlines are going to be sorted out in the coming months?


BMB: Matt will be facing the federal investigation over his double life. And the Kingpin is returning to the pages of the book.


NRAMA: Will Matt get his secret identity back, or is that something you hope is left in the open?


BMB: That's what the book is about now, and I think it's more interesting for it. It's nice that there is one book where the secret of a double life is so, so dangerous.


NRAMA: The storyline you're finishing up now, "Golden Age," tells the story of the return of Alexander Bont, the first kingpin of Hell's Kitchen that Daredevil took down in his early years as a hero. Before Golden Age started, you had said that you wanted to tell this story in a style reminiscent of Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. Why use that approach?


BMB: I’m a big fan of fractured story telling technique, as is obvious to some I know. It's a real challenge to rearrange the scenes for even more dramatic effect. And Once Upon a Time in America had this sprawling character study that covered fifty years in the life of a mobster. I thought both were very inspiring for this story we wanted to tell about who was the kingpin before Wilson Fisk. It was also a nice way to poke at the contrivance that all comics have to deal with now, which is the passage of decades of time in the life of our characters.




NRAMA: For those who don't know the film, can you explain how you approached the storyline and how it matches up to the movie?


BMB: Well, it wasn't a total lift or anything. It was just the story structure idea. We made our own creative decisions. The idea is to rearrange the scenes so they have more intrigue and effect in the order they are presented instead of chronological order. Each scene asks a question or gives an answer, and when put together you have this big tapestry.




NRAMA: Alex uses varying art styles in this arc -- with a unique "retro" feel in the historical scenes. Were those his idea or yours? At this point in your collaborative relationship, is there much back and forth on artistic approach, or do you know each other so well that you know exactly what you'll get with him?


BMB: It started with my idea. But Alex and Dave Stewart made their own decisions. Alex has fifty tricks in his sleeve. We'll be looking for excuses to show them off as often as the story will be accentuated by them.


Alex is an amazing painter and print maker on top of the choices he has made as a comic book artist. Plus he's a repressed communist, so he has a lot to say.


NRAMA: What can you say about where things will stand at the end of Golden Age? The solicit says for #70, “…an empire will fall.” Matt isn't looking like he would be able to hold up an empire.


BMB: Well, we will be seeing the debut of a new White Tiger. We'll be witness to some lovely fight choreography. And Matt's life gets even worse.


NRAMA: Even worse? Hasn't Matt brought a lot of this on himself? Looking at Hell’s Kitchen and the larger New York crime scene, was Matt fooling himself, or at least being naïve, to think that he would be able to control it, to rule it?


BMB: Well, as we have illustrated, he may have had a complete nervous breakdown after Karen Page's death, and is just now coming to grips with it. But he made those choices and has to deal with it.


NRAMA: Both before and now in “Golden Age,” you've been playing with the idea of the absence of the Kingpin being something that society, in a way, demands be filled. Is that along the lines of what we're seeing with the unrest percolating through the Kitchen?


BMB: Oh, yes. In the history of organized crime, every time the big Kahuna is taken down, the disarray that follows in the streets is always fifty times worse than what preceded it. We wanted to do the superhero version of this fascinating social issue.


NRAMA: After “Golden Age,” the “Decalogue” story arc that starts in March is going to revisit the "lost year" when Matt first ruled as Kingpin and cleaned up the Kitchen. It's a part of his life you established, but never shared with readers. Why did you skip it the first time around?


BMB: Because we thought that the fact that he had did it was more stunning, and the fact that a large amount of time had passed. But we always were coming back to the stories that make up that year. We just thought it was more interesting to tell in this order and in this way.


And I know that people hate when you skip time in a characters life. I know, but sometimes its just more interesting.




NRAMA: So you always planned to revisit it after a certain point?


BMB: Yeah, we had this planned about two years in advance.


NRAMA: The story arc is framed around the biblical Ten Commandments. Tell us more about what we'll be seeing.


BMB: The story centers around a Hell's Kitchen support group in the basement of a church. All these Hell's Kitchen citizens trying to deal with what has happened to their lives and the world around them because of Daredevil. Each person's story unlocks another layer of what Daredevil has done. It's also, I think, a great way to express different religious beliefs into the story that are not Matt's, and it shows how a guy in a devil costume can really affect someone's entire life.




NRAMA: The cover to the first issue in the "Decalogue" storyline seems to imply the role of "God" in the Ten Commandments story will be played by Matt Murdock. Is this the analogy?


BMB: It's thematic, not literal. Matt is not god nor does he think he is. I know some people were thrown by the image.


NRAMA: Can you explain the idea for utilizing the Ten Commandments theme? Golden Age followed along the lines of Once Upon a Time in America, and “Decalogue” owes its inspiration to Krzysztof Kieslowski’s series of one-hour dramas, right?


BMB: Right. As I’ve talked about right here in Newsarama, its all about the work of Krzysztof Kieslowski. I was reading his Decalogue scripts and there was an essay in there where he wished other writers would deal with the theme of the Ten Commandments. Krzysztof Kieslowski is one of my all time heroes, as he is to many, and I miss him a great deal, and I thought Daredevil was the perfect book to tell these kind of stories -- urban stories with a interlocking theme.


And to those that might find it a bit pompous to be referencing Krzysztof Kieslowski in a Daredevil interview: I don't care. The guy was a genius storyteller, and I miss him.


NRAMA: You've got a storyline based on the Ten Commandments in six parts? How does that division work?


BMB: Some stories will deal with more than one commandment. Some will deal with three at once. Some will be little stories in one issue.




NRAMA: And after that – rounding out your year, is there any information you can give us about the "Murdock Papers," the storyline that readers will see later in 2005? After we find out the details of the "lost year," what will we see happening in Matt's current life?


BMB: Matt has had the FBI chasing their tail on his case for years, and Kingpin will come to the FBI and offer them Murdock in exchange for his own freedom. And from there a lot of people make some awful decisions.


NRAMA: Ah, so that's how the Kingpin will come back. Any of his other more

colorful rogues returning soon?


BMB: Bullit makes an appearance in Decalogue as do a few other oldie-but-goodies. I also let a few of them loose in New Avengers, so who knows who might pop up.


NRAMA: Out of all the villains and heroes in Daredevil, who has been the most challenging to write?


BMB: Matt is a very big writing challenge. He couldn't be more different from me or anyone I know. Peter Parker is almost me to a scary degree, where Matt's repressed Catholic, handicapped lawyer is not me. It's a great challenge to get into his head. He's also smarter than anyone I know.


NRAMA: If Matt's the challenge, then who among his circle of friends and enemies is more understandable to you? Which relationship have you enjoyed writing about more than others?


BMB: Foggy's. Definitely. It's so real to me. I understand it. It's so complex and necessary. It's a pleasure to write, they really love each other, and Foggy has sacrificed a great deal to be his friend.


Also, the brief Elektra appearance. Having written her solo book and having written her briefly in Daredevil, it then occurred to me she is only the most interesting as an object of Matt's lost love and innocence. I was really proud of her appearance because I figured it out just as I wrote it. That is what Elektra is. And it felt right.




NRAMA: Taking a moment to look back, what are some of your other favorite moments in Daredevil's time under your pen?


BMB: You know, it's usually the thing no one else liked, so I'm going to just let the work speak for itself. I am grateful that David Mack and I did a story together that was worthy of our long friendship. I am grateful that we didn't screw up a book with such high execrations from the audience who were raised on Daredevil runs far greater than ours. And it was my first job at Marvel, and I didn't screw it up, and it got me Ultimate Spider-Man. And working with Alex is one of the true blessings of my life.


So people know, we already have our next projects approved. Alex and I are not breaking up, we are moving on to special projects after this. Like [Jeph] Loeb and [Tim] Sale, we plan on crafting interesting stories together on a variety of subjects.


NRAMA: When will we see the first Bendis/Maleev special project? And can you give us any hints about what you'll be doing, so we can get the fans at least guessing?


BMB: Honestly, its a year and a half away. It would be ridiculous to even hint at. I have House of M to be coy about this year. I'll be coy about this next thing next year.


NRAMA: Getting back to Daredevil, you've certainly pushed this character to his limits, having him snub the rest of the costumed world, exposing his secret identity and putting him through an apparent nervous breakdown. What inspired your writing to take this direction? Was this a part of Matt Murdock you thought needed to be explored?


BMB: Quite a few of these ideas had either been tried by others as quick stunts or were teased at or tickled at over the years. I wanted to see these ideas brought out full blown. It occurred to me that many writers were terrified of Daredevil: Born Again, that no one wanted to even try to take it further. And it had been twenty years. It was way past time to take it a step or two farther and see what kind of stories could shake out of it.


NRAMA: How would you respond to Daredevil fans who think you've examined this side of his life excessively -- leaving the superpowers and costume behind for the sake of delving into his psyche?


BMB: That is why there are so many comics out there. There's something for everyone. Some people wish Matt would never put on the costume. And that person is Alex Maleev, but still it's someone.


Just because no one is hitting each other doesn't mean nothing is happening. I like story over plot.




NRAMA: Is this something that's intrinsic to your enjoyment of writing to guide the story in directions that will tear apart the characters and find out what makes them tick?


BMB: Of course, why else would you be doing it?


NRAMA: When you first took over Daredevil, you must have had a vision of the character in mind. How has that vision changed as your stories about him evolved?


BMB: It's more mature, I think. I started out a little more [Gene] Colan swashbuckler, but I figured out that Daredevil isn't a superhero book. It's a pulp book. That very first issue is a pulp comic. And I started writing it as such. It really opened the scope of the book to me.


It's why it feels so different from any other comic I write.


NRAMA: You've had a successful run on the title up to this point. How do you want your time on Daredevil to be remembered by fans?


BMB: Fondly.


NRAMA: But you know with a run like this, your name will be indelibly linked to this character. Do you think you've lived up to the other creators whose names have become synonymous with Daredevil?


BMB: These legacy questions are impossible to answer, because it's not at all up to me how work is perceived or appreciated. We have already, in the time we've been on the book, exceeded my personal hopes and dreams, so anything past that, well, I don't know.


But, for me, Stan and Bill Everett set the stage, Gene Colon stamped it for life, Frank Miller turned it into an art form. It should be law that John Romita Jr. draw Daredevil every day he can draw.


NRAMA: A lot of those guys were pretty tough on the character, too. Matt Murdock has lost everything and everyone he loved at various times in his life. Do you think there will ever be a light at the end of the tunnel that surrounds Daredevil, or do you think darkness is inherent to his character?


BMB: There have been jokes on my board. When they saw a solicitation that says: "Daredevil's life turns upside down," someone joked, "Oh, he has a good day?"


But I don't torture the characters because I hate them. I want them to be as interesting to people as they can be, and the only way to do that is to put them through the wringer.


He has had some good times. He met a nice girl. He had some Black Widow adventures. He kicked the crap out of a bunch of people who had it coming. All good things.


NRAMA: I get the feeling you and Matt Murdock have become close over the years. Will you miss him?


BMB: Yes, but just because I'm giving up the monthly adventures doesn't mean I won't be writing Matt Murdock adventures. I'm still a Marvel writer.


NRAMA: Hmmm ... Does that mean he's joining the Avengers?


BMB: Who? What?

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Too many words, but the pictures with words on 'em look pretty damn boss. I haven't pickedanything up since the wrap up with Black Widow 'cause I wasn't really sure where to from the 'Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen' thing. Words would prolly clarify, but way too many too early.

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Ill sum it up for ya, m'man: current arc, "Golden Age", has the return of the original Kingpin (Bont, older guy) and its not only a cool story, a la Once Upon A Time in America (didnt know that till i read the article, arc's halfway in or so), its tying up the golden/silver age DD and making shit look cool...Bendis is bringing the character togetehr like no one's business.


Next arc (or so) should be "Decalogue", a look at that missing year of Matt as the King of Hell's Kitchen, and it sounds like what you (and I) were lookin for.


Final arc at the year's end, "Murdock Papers" is gonna be the federal case against Murdock, with the feds granting Kingpon immunity for providing them with info against Murdock. Bendis says he's not gonna tie up all loose ends; next creative team will havta deal with all he's done, and i couldnt be happier.


whaddya think?

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Yeah, with this year's end, that's wha, 5 years on the book? Outing DD, developing Hell's Kitchen around him, tying up the golden/silver age stuff, making him Kingpin for a year...im halfway through the old Frank Miller stuff, and its amazing shit, but I cant wait to see how this giant arc ends, to say which writer i honestly think leaves a bigger mark.


I honeslty cant name another Marvel character who's had better writing. If my boy Wolvy had half the work Murdock has, he'd be more than the simple Deus Ex he often is these days.



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  • 1 month later...

Bendis and Maleev have always been better with the talking than with the fights (hell, you could probably make that argument about DD in general - maybe that's why he always attracts such talky writers), so I certainly don't mind if they play to their strengths this last year.

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  • 1 month later...

Man, im enjoying "The Decalogue" so far for a decompressed story that hasnt featured Matt in like 2 issues, its a cool look at Hell's Kitchen and the ramifications of DD's bold move.

I just cant wait for their final arc, "The Murdock Papers", theyre already settin up for it in the book...


» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


Also, for those stiill holding their breath for more of Joe Q's somewhat atrocious art, you can breathe now.




In addition to announcing the schedule for the remaining issues, Marvel has announced to retailers that unsold copies of Daredevil: Father #1 (which shipped in April of 2004) are returnable.


Additionally, in August, Marvel will release a "Director's Cut" version of issue #1. Featuring no ads and some of the same extras in other "Director's Cut" editions, Daredevil: Father #1 Director's Cut will go on sale 8/3 with a price of $2.99, 51 cents lower than the original price of $3.50.


The remaining four issues of the series will also all feature cover prices of $2.99, seemingly as a conciliatory gesture to fans and retailers who have waited since April 2004 for the completion of the limited series. Issue #2 will go on sale 8/31 and issues #3-5 will go on sale September through November.


Dont know bout the rest of you, but im just gonna pretend the end of Bendis' "Lowlife" arc finished off Hard Target at this point.

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I rememeber it took me about a year to get Nick to read Daredevil. Now he's hooked. He's an easy

whore. Anyway, Frank millers run showed us that

daredevil should be grim and gritty, But bendis and alex came out of nowhere and showed us how the book should look and read. Millers run was great, but bendis kicked his ass.


"One hates to admit the mistakes caused by one's own youth" Char Aznable

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I dunno, man, I can't say Bendis has kicked Miller's ass. I mean, he's had years of great Daredevil tales but even his best stories haven't come close to, say, Miller's issue #181, or even parts of the Born Again storyline (not counting the crappy left-field ending). But he and Maleev have certainly set the bar almost impossibly high for the next creative team.


I'm not a fan of Q's beefy steroids pumping Daredevil design, but it's nice to at least see a DD miniseries getting finished. Anyone else been reading Redemption?

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What dd beating the snot of bullseye or screaming to everyone he's tne new kingpin or being outed not good for enough you.


Sure he beat the snot out of Bullseye, but he didn't beat the snot out of him and then drop him off a roof and break his spine. He declared himself Kingpin, but that hasn't really changed the way Hells Kitchen is now. And it was fun when he got outed but let's face it, Matt has told everyone his secret identity - it's not as if there were really that many people who didn't already know.


I think Bendis has been Daredevil's best writer since Miller, but the death of Elektra, Matt's breakdown in Born Again, the battles with the Hand, Man Without Fear - Bendis hasn't surpassed any of that. He's come close, but he hasn't surpassed it.

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...precisely why Millar's runin through those guys in Wolverine...i mean, theyve only ever managed to kill other ninjas.


Personally...much of Miller's shine for me came from his work being just so far ahead of its time, all the other superhero books were years behind what he was doing then. SB might hold "The Death of Elektra" one higher than me, but "Born Again" is damn fine storytelling, prolly my favorite single DD arc.


I dont see it as much of a competition; more as that Bendis picked up more where Miller left off, years later, after many writers - Smith included - were afraid to do so. Miller built the man behind the mask for me, Bendis helped build a lot of Hells Kitchen & the world around DD (this current arc Decalouge should really bring that home; he's fleshed out an entire world around Matt).


I think Gaurdian Devil was great for what it was - reviving DD, establishing Marvel Knights etc - and it was danm eventful, but lookin back, there's parts i felt Smith was injecting his own religous stuff more than was needed, mighta been a personal qualm. Miller was a bit more subtle about the catholic angle, my opinion.


Miller made huge changes to DD that everone loved, but many of the arcs ive read of his (i havnet finished the entire run yet) while they seemed to build, were sometimes sporadic; that mighta been the editor's fault, or mebbe Miller didnt plan on staying that long, i dunno. I think Bendis' strenght here is he knew he'd get the full five years, and his entire run has been one giant arc meant to change DD's status quo. He didnt just do a cheap "outting" of the charcter & move past it; he's really built soemthing new here, and between "The King of Hell's Kitchen" and what's to come, I havent been this interested in what becomes of a comic character in years.


ps SB i read the first issue of Redemption, gonna go back to the rest of it later...post your thoughts tho, im interested.

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