February 15, 2003

My intro to Daredevil

So we were in Newark Airport, having just returned from a trip to Italy where we visited my dad. (He was stationed on the USS Nimitz which was docked in Naples for a few weeks around Christmas 1981.) Our flight back to Florida was overbooked so when asked my mom and friend (with visions of a free flight St. Thomas in their heads) immediately volunteered to be bumped to a later flight. As a result of traveling all day, the time change and being almost 12 years old, I was a cranky little bastard. So to keep me occupied for a while my mom gave me a couple of bucks to get some comics at the nearby newstand.

At this time I was a big Fantastic Four and X-Men fan with some occasional excursions into other titles whenever they had crossovers. (Sucker for the marketing.) The only money I had to spend was the result of chores, so I had to be choosy.

Unfortunately, I already had the copies of my normal titles the newstand stocked. So I spun the rack to find something interesting and came on the cover to the right. It looks cheesy now (most comics do), but to a 12-year-old it was awesome. (That it was a double issue didn't hurt either.) I quickly snatched it up and went back to my hard plastic airport seat to wait for the next available flight.

The next available flight didn't turn out to be until the next day and the airline had to put us up in a nearby hotel. The next morning they put us in a taxi for one of the NYC airports and we finally caught a plane home.

I read that comic at least a dozen times in the next 24 hours. I read it in the airport, I read it in the taxi, I read it in the hotel room. I ignored everything else, just shuffling along from one place to the next with the comic in my mitts. This was amazing work. I had no idea who any of the characters were, but it was packed with continuous action, spare but smart dialog and some shocking images. The sequence from the movie between Bullseye and Elektra is lifted exactly from the comic, although it was much more powerful in the comic.

So after that I was hooked, picking up all the issues of DD I could find from my local shop. I soon figured out who Frank Miller was and learned at which issue he started his artist tenure and when he picked up the writing duties as well. And then I followed him to later projects, picking up the Ronin miniseries and the acclaimed Batman: The Dark Knight miniseries as well. While he dropped DD around issue 189 (if memory serves), he stuck with the Elektra character for one or two additional graphic novels to complete her story arc.

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