8 Comics The Disney+ Show Should Be Influenced By
With the news that Charlie Cox is set to return as Daredevil in the MCU with his own TV series, fans are rejoicing that beloved live-action Man Without Fear will once again have its time in the sun.
The (former) Netflix series has won acclaim for drawing on the essence of writers Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis’ transformative superhero series, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Daredevil reintroduced into the MCU on Disney+ is going a different direction. Luckily, there are still several other famous comics in the character’s mythos worth taking inspiration from, including Mark Waid’s beloved rendition.
Devil at bay
Frank Miller and Brian Bendis’ dark crime grit is rightly hailed as some of the best work the character has ever presented among longtime fans. That’s saying a lot considering Daredevil is also often considered one of the best-written superheroes. Even still, writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee’s run on the series has earned praise for its inventive tonal balance. Starting with Devil at Baythe devil of Hell’s Kitchen becomes the devil of San Francisco as he takes on a revolving door of bad guys – including longtime nemesis the owl.
Overall, Waid’s run was praised for recalling Daredevil’s early swashbuckling days in the comics, while simultaneously retaining the character drama and grounded subject matter that made the aforementioned gritty runs so convincing. Considering the new series will be on Disney+, this might be the best-case scenario for the character and the vibe in the world. Likewise, it could also introduce Leland Owlsey’s son from the original series as the baddest “owl” comic book fans have come to know.
A touch of typhoid
Ann Nocenti is another of Daredevil’s best writers, and she’s thankfully received more retroactive praise from fans in recent years. She’s responsible for creating one of Daredevil’s most chaotic and memorable villains in the form of Typhoid Mary, and it’s time she got a live-action role opposite Charlie Cox’s Daredevil.
In A touch of typhoid, Mary will seduce the hero before turning against him and going to kill him. Typhoid Mary is an exciting and unpredictable villain due to her aggressive dissociative identity disorder mixed with low-level pyrokinetic powers, creating a “wild card” threat that could also create a tense dynamic with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin.
Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s current run on the hero is both one of the best runs yet and ideal starting points for new Daredevil fans. It’s certainly dark, but it doesn’t get as dark as the work of Miller or Bendis. This run arguably strikes the right balance of a PG-13 Daredevil story that embraces the savagery of what the comics can portray and doesn’t get too dark or too light.
through hell (despite its name) could arguably provide inspiration for the Disney+ series for a thrilling clash of Daredevil Rogues in a tense atmosphere. In this arc, the Man Without Fear makes a triumphant return after seeing what Daredevil means to the community as a symbol while also providing some well-deserved crossover from some of his villains. It would be best left to a later season, but after Season 3 of the original series, it could be great to see Matt use his renewed confidence and sense of self in the same way.
Whereas Last hand is one of Miller’s luscious works on daredevil from the 80s, its premise could serve as a good transition to bring Elektra back – and ideally with Élodie Yung again to portray her. Season 2 of the original show was a solid undertaking on its own, even if it was misplaced between the acclaimed giants that Seasons 1 and 3 turned out to be.
It is also used loosely Last hand for inspiration, only he used Elektra’s “death” as a consequence of The Hand rather than Bullseye. While she doesn’t need to be killed by the villain, the next Daredevil series should eventually consider turning their bitter comic book rivalry into live-action.
Daredevil by Mark Waid, Vol. 5
Daredevil has had terrible things happen to him through the mediums, and while there’s been plenty of that in the comics in particular, the Waid run has made things even more intimate with Foggy. Matt Murdock’s longtime best friend and legal partner, Foggy Nelson, has been there with him since their college days, and their long history in the comics has made his cancer diagnosis a powerful plot point.
Matt must face a shadowy enemy who has chained his recent misfortunes – Ikari – while trying to support Foggy at this dark time in his life. Elden Henson’s performance as Foggy made for a charming and faithful take on the dynamics of the comic’s source material. It would be a powerfully emotional story arc in a live-action series.
While Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale are widely known for their landmark Batman work with The Long Halloween and dark victorythe duo teamed up for an intimate, sweeter story in the life of Matt Murdock. Yellow sees Matt crying in the tragic aftermath of Karen Page’s murder by the hand of Bullseye, with the story also returning to chronicle Daredevil’s early career in the titular yellow suit and the budding romance between Matt and Karen.
It’s one of Daredevil’s most underrated comics, striking a tasteful balance between the aforementioned swashbuckling atmosphere and bittersweet character drama. Sure, Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen isn’t dead in the MCU, but using a combination of the lighter but still true to Daredevil tone with a plot revolving around Elektra’s disappearance could be executed in a way just as effective.
Bringing Elektra into her role as Daredevil is surely too soon, but Chip Zdarsky Confinement arc provides another interesting premise to put her front and center in Bullseye’s dynamic. With the original Daredevil absent while serving a prison sentence, Elektra fills the void and is quick to drop a dangerous Bullseye on Hell’s Kitchen by Kingpin.
Her bloody rampage forces a city-wide quarantine and a race against time for Elektra before her death toll rises further. After a hypothetical season setting up Elektra and Bullseye’s respective returns to the MCU, taking a page from this comic book arc could create a hopefully more grounded storyline.
Daredevil by Mark Waid, Vol. 3
Much of Mark Waid’s time on daredevil can and should provide high-quality source material for Disney+. Flight. 3 continues the hero’s colorful exploits while keeping Matt Murdock’s darker internal conflicts at the heart of his character development. This storyline follows Daredevil as he and Spider-Man attempt to thwart the Punisher and his vigilante-in-training atop a tangled web of organized crime groups.
Since Daredevil will soon be much more closely tied to the beats of the MCU’s main story, crossovers are now inevitable. However, bringing in characters like Spider-Man and the Punisher fits into the comics, and it could be a good reference for how to naturally fit other heroes, anti-heroes, and villains into supporting roles for a new Daredevil TV series.
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