Superhero Bootcamp - Volume 1: Daredevil

Superhero Bootcamp - Volume 1: Daredevil

Superhero Season 2016 is definitely upon us this week with Daredevil Season 2 going live tonight, and the long awaited Batman VS Superman exactly seven days later! Enter Superhero Bootcamp - all the stories you need to read to go into the cinema (or lounge room) as a total pro! First up my picks for what to read before (or during) Daredevil Season 2

Super-hero season started early this year with February’s relentlessly violent, refreshingly self-referential blood and guts fest Deadpool, which served fans of the character a big steamy plate of exactly what they’d always wanted – real life violence with cartoon wackiness served with a side of Ryan Reynolds naked man parts.

Whilst we can be sure that the rest of this year’s offerings aren’t likely to give us a whole lot more fight scenes peppered with cock shots, thanks to the ‘loose lips sink ships’ approach to producing and promoting comic book adaptations these days, we still have plenty of surprises left ahead of us with this year’s upcoming releases. For many of us fan-boys (and fan-ladies) speculating what will and won’t go down in films and tv is just as much fun as watching the films themselves. With that in mind, I’ve put together a guide to what I think (with all my years of worldly comic book wisdom) are the must read comic book runs to prep you for the upcoming season, and to better your ability to pontificate amongst your friends all of whom will be oh so jealous of your mad knowledge of the source material. Or they’ll just think you’re a jerk.

First up to really get the season under way is the small screen event of the year (sorry Mulder and Skully), Daredevil Season 2. In less than 24 hours, 13 hours of cinematically styled premium original streaming content will be coming to us courtesy of Netflix and it would be an understatement to say that anticipation is high. It’s at fever pitch! Comic book fans and laypeople (who funnily enough probably are the group of people who do get layed more often) were blown away by the awesomeness that was Matt Murdoch v. Wilson Fisk. The brilliant writing, direction and casting under the eye of showrunner Stephen D. Knight was perfectly complimented with some of the best fight and action sequences (hallway scene anyone?) as some of the most treasured character’s in modern comics history were fully realised on screen with a competence and faithfulness few expected. For myself, the best part of Season 1 was how it was so faithful to the books, yet deviated just enough to keep an air of mystery and intrigue, and by the end of the season I was glad to have so many questions I was thirsty to have answered. What’s the deal with Madame Gao? Will we see the Kingpin again? Bullseye? Elektra? What did Ben Urich uncover about Karen’s past? As packed as the first season was, all the loose threads from Season One, plus all the new characters introduced in the trailers tell me that we’re sure in for plenty of twists and turns come season 2.

So without further ado, here are my five Marvel stories to have you speculating like a pro and rubbing it in all your friends faces when something happens and you’re all like “yeah I totally know who that guy is”. Remember that tool in the cinema in 2012 who at the end of Avengers was all like “pfffft, you don’t know who that is? That’s Thanos duh!” in a real loud voice so everyone in the theatre could hear him and new he was the best coz he knew stuff they didn’t? Well now, you can be that guy! You could be that awesome – just read what I tell you to!

1.       Back In Black (Amazing Spider-Man #539-543)



No I’m not a moron, and yes I know that Daredevil isn’t Spider-Man and that neither the man without fear nor his alter-ego Matt Murdoch appear in this particular run of everybody’s favourite kid-friendly-never-gonna-turn-up-on-a-netflix-series friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. But stay with me on this because it’s with good reason that I recommend this be read. For those who have watched the latest DD trailer over a dozen times - and re-watch the first season as regularly as clockwork that eats chipotle – you may have noticed that the white prison garb that Wilson Fisk ends the season in bears a striking resemblance to the blood covered white nerd-jersey that Frank Castle AKA The Punisher is wearing in a hallway that bears a striking resemblance to a prison.

D’onofrio hasn’t been confirmed as returning but he was so well received last year I’d be very surprised if he didn’t make an appearance at some point toward the tail end of this season, and meeting The Punisher in prison sounds like a good way to slot him in without necessarily having to make him the focus of the season.

This bring us to Back In Black. This awesome five-parter is one of my favourite Spider-Man stories. Kicking off immediately after the events of Civil War where Peter Parker, under the advice of his mentor Tony Stark, publicly unmasks himself as a sign of his support for the Superhero Registration Act. Almost immediately after doing so his greatest fears are realised and he gets some pretty solid validation of the merits of his now ditched plan to keep his identity secret in the form of a long range lead bullet straight in Aunt May old lady guts, putting her on the edge of death. From this point the hunt is on to find out who sent the assassin.

An enraged and volatile Peter Parker dusts off his old black Spidey suit, but instead of getting an emo fringe and sliding around on chairs in diners he goes around beating on bad guys Batman style, until the trail of scumbags brings him to the currently incarcerated King Pin of crime – Wilson Fisk. Peter drops into the prison and puts the serious hurt on Fisk (as Peter Parker, not as Spider-Man) beating him within an inch of his life in front of all his prison pals. He basically makes the Kingpin his bitch and calls him out for being a fat loser. It’s awesome coz it’s just plain awesome, and also because you get to see a side of Peter Parker rarely seen – unhinged, brutal and murderous acting out of nothing more than a thirst for revenger. Since Spidey aint likely to turn up on DD any time soon, dropping Frank Castle into the same plot line could make for a pretty nifty little side story and if it does happen you could score some pretty solid douche bag points for pointing this out to your friends.


 
2.       The Man Without Fear (And other assorted Frank Miller)

If you’re a Daredevil fan - or become one last year after the show – chances are you’ve already read this. It’s the go to gritty origin story from the go to gritty origin guy Frank Miller (also now known as the crazy racists guy who doesn't want anyone to write about the characters he wrote about that other people wrote about before he wrote about them.. guy).



DD:TMWF pretty much came about because Marvel wanted Miller to replicate for them the success of his Batman: Year One for Daredevil, who he’d completely rejuvenated as a character already by injecting the long running series with his patented doomy gloomy gritty darkness. Whilst not as accomplished a piece of writing as B:YO, and although not in my opinion the best of Miller’s Daredevil writing (that award goes to Born Again), it’s still totally awesome and is the modern gospel on the Daredevil origin story.

You’ll recognise that a lot of stuff from season one is in this book. The college flashbacks with Foggy, Matt’s father’s boxing career and murder, Stick, etc. and whilst a lot of the origin stuff has been covered before and after this five issue run, the tv series definitely borrowed more heavily from this telling than others, and you’ll not find anywhere else with so many scenes you recognise from the show in one TPB. One of the best aspects of this book is Matt’s first introduction to Elektra, meeting her during his college days which has already been referenced in the show. Whilst its been said that this season will rely on fewer flashback sequences than last year, I’d still bet that the Elektra-Matt college sweethearts flashback will be in there, and it will borrow heavily from the Man Without Fear. And if it’s not, then it’ll be a good little insight into the character’s backstory.

Pachomp, pachomp pa chooie chomp....

Briefly, I’d recommend two other Frank Miller Runs as well that might tie in with the series. First what has come to be known as the Elektra Saga, the run of issues which feature Elektra Natchios (pronounced Nachoooos – but not really) starting with her introduction in DD #168, but really kicking off from #174-182. It’s a classic Daredevil run, and I won’t get spoilery on it. It introduces Elektra as an old flame of Matt’s from college, a bad-ass femme-fatale ninja assassin. She teams up with Daredevil to fight the hand which looks from the trailers to be exactly what we have in store for season two so I’m sure there’ll be more than a few shared plot details between this run and the show. Secondly I’d recommend Miller’s Born Again (DD #227-233). The basic story is that Karen Page – now a tragic prostitute heroin junkie all around garbage person– sells out Daredevil’s secret identity to pay for drugs and it reaches the Kingpin, who systematically f(rick)s with Matt’s life until he’s homeless and has completely lost his mind. Whilst I doubt they’ll be visiting the secret identity parts of the story line just yet, Born Again is a good insight into the messed up side of Karen Page, and it introduces us to the character of Sister Maggie who I won’t get too into for fear of spoilers, but there’s a good chance she’ll pop up at one point or another this season.
 
#3 Welcome Back Frank
 
If you haven’t read much of the Punisher but want to – this is the one. The 2004 film was heavily based on this (the source material is much better than the movie) but there is still plenty left to tap from Garth Ennis’ 12 issue bloodbath. Basically it’s just a good ol’ Punisher rampage where he kills a lot of bad dudes and gives no f(rick)s. Whilst systematically working his way through New York’s biggest crime family, he comes across Daredevil. He bests the Man Without Fear, chain’s him up to a rooftop and gives him one of the most thought provoking ultimatums in comic book history. It is the quintessential Daredevil/Punisher interaction and one of the most engaging sets of panels I’ve ever read in a comic book. It’s a must read and again if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like we will be seeing an almost direct adaptation of this scene in season 2. I won’t spoil anything more of this one – just read it. If you don’t your stupid.




 
Honourable Mentions:
 
Guardian Devil – Kevin Smith’s awesome intro to DD volume #2 is largely a rehash of Born Again, but in a good way (in the way the Force Awakens was a good rehash of A New Hope) and could provide some insight into what’s in store for Karen Page as the series progresses. Along with the Elektra Saga, this is one of what I would consider the two most important Bullseye stories, and although I’d wager Bullseye won’t be showing up this season – if he does then reading Guardian Devil should help prepare you.

Mark Waid’s run – Waid’s 2 volume run has only just finished up and it marked a slight shift away from the gritty dark tone of writers like Bendis, Brubaker and Miller, and put a bit of a spring back in Matt Murdochs step and a bit of sunny in his disposition. Though there are some standout stories, this is one that I would recommend going from the start and reading all the way through. What I love most about Waid’s run is his Matt Murdoch. I think he really nails the Nelson & Murdoch legal due side of the story and there are definitely some courtroom stories in there worthy of an episode of The Practice (I’ve never actually watched the practice so I’m just gonna assume its good in the interest of this analogy).

If you like the attorney side of the Daredevil stories (which I do) then I’d also highly recommend Brian Michael Bendis’ run The Trial of the Century where Matt Murdoch has to defend the White Tiger in a criminal trial after he is found at the scene of a cop-killing and a robbery (that he of course was trying to stop – but no one believes him *sad face)
If you get through even half of these titles in time for tonight’s release of Season 2 then you will be well equipped to be the unbearable no it all that all your friends will regret inviting over to watch Netflix with. Sound off below with your criticisms and trollings and let me know if there’s anything you think I’ve missed. Attacks on both my manhood and mother’s weight are not only accepted, they are encouraged.

Happy reading and happy watching!

Next up in Superhero Bootcamp: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

DISCLAIMER: Comic Book Movie is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
DAREDEVIL Actor Vincent D'Onofrio Congratulates Charlie Cox On Matt Murdock MCU Return

DAREDEVIL Actor Vincent D'Onofrio Congratulates Charlie Cox On Matt Murdock MCU Return

Kevin Feige has confirmed that Charlie Cox will reprise the role of Matt Murdock in the MCU, and Daredevil costar Vincent D'Onofrio has now taken to Twitter to offer his congratulations.
DAREDEVIL: 10 Things We Need To See Now Charlie Cox's Man Without Fear Is Officially Part Of The MCU

DAREDEVIL: 10 Things We Need To See Now Charlie Cox's Man Without Fear Is Officially Part Of The MCU

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has confirmed Charlie Cox will be the MCU's Daredevil, so what direction should they take the Man Without Fear in following his possible Spider-Man: No Way Home debut?
DAREDEVIL: Kevin Feige Finally Confirms That Charlie Cox Will Be The MCU's Man Without Fear

DAREDEVIL: Kevin Feige Finally Confirms That Charlie Cox Will Be The MCU's Man Without Fear

At long last, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige himself has confirmed that Charlie Cox will indeed reprise his role as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in a future project set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Marvel Studios Stepped In To Stop Hulu's HIT-MONKEY Using Classic DAREDEVIL Villain Bullseye

Marvel Studios Stepped In To Stop Hulu's HIT-MONKEY Using Classic DAREDEVIL Villain Bullseye

Marvel Studios frequently stopped the now-defunct Marvel Television from using key characters they have plans for, and it turns out the team working on Hit-Monkey were unable to use Daredevil's Bullseye.
DAREDEVIL Star Vincent D'Onofrio Is Still Hoping His Kingpin Of Crime Will Battle MCU's Spider-Man

DAREDEVIL Star Vincent D'Onofrio Is Still Hoping His Kingpin Of Crime Will Battle MCU's Spider-Man

While rumours continue to persist about what the future holds in store for Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, the Daredevil alum is still hoping to cross paths with Tom Holland's Spider-Man...
Latest Headlines
[Everything] You Say Is Always Misconstrued: Tom Holland Clarifies His Comments About Retiring As Spider-Man

"[Everything] You Say Is Always Misconstrued": Tom Holland Clarifies His Comments About Retiring As Spider-Man

Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland has now clarified recent comments he made to GQ that appeared to suggest he was ready to leave Peter Parker behind. Find out what he had to say here.
THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT: Temuera Morrison's Legendary Bounty Hunter Takes Aim In New Still

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT: Temuera Morrison's Legendary Bounty Hunter Takes Aim In New Still

The Book of Boba Fett is fast approaching, and Total Film has debuted a new official still from The Mandalorian spinoff featuring Temuera Morrison as the legendary bounty hunter of the title.
DAREDEVIL: 5 Team-Ups We Desperately Need To See In The Marvel Cinematic Universe

DAREDEVIL: 5 Team-Ups We Desperately Need To See In The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has confirmed Charlie Cox is the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Matt Murdock/Daredevil, but which heroes are we most exciting to see this Man Without Fear team-up with?
THE BOYS: First Official Look At Nick Wechsler As New Season 3 Supe Blue Hawk Released

THE BOYS: First Official Look At Nick Wechsler As New Season 3 Supe Blue Hawk Released

The upcoming third season of Amazon's The Boys will introduce several new supes, and we now have a first look at Nick Wechsler (Roswell High, Revenge) as the patriotic jingoistic Blue Hawk.
HALO: New Teaser For Paramount+ TV Series Released; First Trailer Arrives This Thursday

HALO: New Teaser For Paramount+ TV Series Released; First Trailer Arrives This Thursday

A new teaser for Halo has been released that features more footage from Paramount+'s upcoming small screen adaptation, while the full trailer has been confirmed for Thursday. Check it out after the jump...
SHANG-CHI Star Simu Liu Responds To Sequel Announcement With Another Little Dig At YouTube Trolls

SHANG-CHI Star Simu Liu Responds To Sequel Announcement With Another Little Dig At YouTube Trolls

Yesterday, news broke that Marvel Studios is officially moving forward with a sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and star Simu Liu has now Tweeted out his response...
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME - 5 Intriguing New Reveals From Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, And Jamie Foxx

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME - 5 Intriguing New Reveals From Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, And Jamie Foxx

Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin), Alfred Molina (Doctor Octopus), and Jamie Foxx (Electro) open up on their villainous roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home, teasing their updated costumes and sinister motivations!
MAN OF STEEL Star Henry Cavill Says He's Just Waiting For The Phone Call To Return As Superman

MAN OF STEEL Star Henry Cavill Says He's Just "Waiting For The Phone Call" To Return As Superman

We still don't know if we'll ever see Henry Cavill back in the iconic red and blue suit, but the Man of Steel actor has reiterated that he is more than willing to reprise the role of Superman in the DCEU.