Daredevil is officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he's getting his own show (again) to prove it.
Even if the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again streaming series isn't a direct adaptation from one of the best Daredevil stories of all time, Marvel Studios has plenty of material to choose from for the Disney Plus show, which will debut in 2024.
Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio from the Netflix Daredevil series will return for Daredevil: Born Again, meaning Matt Murdock and Kingpin will at the very least be back in action and likely at each other's throats. Cox has been through the wringer as Daredevil a few times in three seasons of his Netflix series and in the Defenders crossover series, but there are tons of classic Daredevil comic book tales that are still ripe for adaptation in the MCU - including the ones on this list of the best Daredevil stories ever.
10. Wake Up (Daredevil vol. 2 #16-19 Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, and Mark Morales)
'Wake Up' picks up in the proverbial wake arising from the trial of Wilson Fisk. While most of The Daily Bugle is focused on that expected trial coverage, reporter Ben Urich is chasing a different story: the disappearance of a relatively C-list villain named Leap-Frog, and the obsession with Daredevil that consumes Leap-Frog's son.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist David Mack, and inker Mark Morales deliver a thrilling comic-within-a-comic story that elevates this beyond the standard superhero fare and gives us an early example of Bendis' ability to tap into the humanity behind the capes and cowls.
The writer uses this story as an exploration of childhood grief - something Leap-Frog's son and Daredevil, the son of boxer 'Battlin' Jack Murdock, have in common.
9. Typhoid Mary (Daredevil vol. 1 #254-263 by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr.)
As the title suggests, this one-off Daredevil story introduces the mutant assassin, Typhoid Mary. She simultaneously sparks up a relationship with Matt Murdock while kicking off an assassination attempt on his alter-ego. Typhoid Mary is introduced not as just another love interest for Murdock, but as a credible threat to Daredevil.
Thanks to her martial prowess, telekinetic powers, and overall instability due to her dissociative identity disorder, Mary Walker would shift from her more passive state to the more dangerous Typhoid Mary and outright sadistic Bloody Mary, leaving heroes and villains alike to stay on their toes when she arrived on the scene then, just as she does now.
8. The Purple Children (Daredevil vol. 4 #8-10 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matt Wilson)
Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matt Wilson tell the story of what happened in the wake of Zebediah Killgrave's (The Purple Man) many years of sexually abusing women and impregnating them.
'The Purple Children' storyline not only provides a means of retconning the fact the world knew of Daredevil's secret identity as Matt Murdock but also tells a difficult story where the children of the Purple Man try to come to grips with their parentage.
7. Roulette (Daredevil vol. 1 #191 by Frank Miller, Terry Austin, and Lynn Varley)
'Roulette' provides readers with the bookend to Frank Miller's historic run on Daredevil. Pairing with legendary artists Terry Austin and Lynn Varley, Miller pushes Daredevil to the brink as he faces a hospitalized Bullseye in a game of Russian Roulette.
Interestingly, this only provides a backdrop for the real conflict. Daredevil confronts the long-lasting implications of his choice to serve justice through force, as he sees the son of a client follow in the hero's footsteps by using lethal force to right the wrongs in his life.
In a world where problems are solved with fists, Miller challenges his scarlet-clad superhero to consider if he might be contributing to the problems rather than solving them.
6. Underboss (Daredevil vol. 2 #26 by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Matt Hollingsworth)
Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, and Matt Hollingsworth tell a modern classic through Silke's attempted coup of the New York crime syndicate by trying to assassinate Wilson Fisk. With Fisk seemingly out of the way, Silke removes the gag order on discussing Daredevil's secret identity along with the immunity clause Fisk enforced. Facing an open bounty on his head, Matt Murdock sees his rogues' gallery show up in droves to score the hit as Fisk struggles to regain his health and influence.
Ultimately, this Julius Caesar assassination revamp not only unsettles the status quo in Hell's Kitchen but sets the stage for the eventual public outing of Daredevil as Matt Murdock.
5. Guardian Devil (Daredevil vol. 2 #1-8 by Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada, and Jimmy Palmiotti)
Many readers will remember this story for not only helping to kick off the Marvel Knights line but for introducing film director and long-time comic aficionado Kevin Smith to writing for the House of Ideas.
The eight-issue story arc introduces both Karen Page as being HIV positive and dying from suicide. This leaves Daredevil in a state of mental anguish and uncertainty as he also juggles caring for an infant who may or may not be the antichrist, alongside combating a terminally-diagnosed Mysterio in search for one last hurrah with an NYC hero.
4. The Last Hand (Daredevil vol. 1 #178-182 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson)
Daredevil #181 sets up one of the best single storylines in the Daredevil mythos as we see the rise of Elektra as a hired assassin for the Kingpin, only to watch her fall at the hands of one of Daredevil's greatest foes: Bullseye.
Frank Miller and Klaus Janson first introduced Elektra Natchios only a year earlier, as a past love of Murdock's life before his fateful accident, which would see him become a hero while she would become a deadly Hand assassin.
Like any pair of star-crossed lovers, these two eventually find themselves faced with tragedy and death - one that would haunt the hero for years after their last rooftop dance and drive the desire for revenge upon Bullseye to levels beyond where even heroes dare to tread.
3. The Man Without Fear (Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5 by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.)
When it comes to definitive artists on Daredevil, John Romita Jr. is no doubt at the top, and his work alongside Frank Miller's writing on 'The Man Without Fear' offers what many consider to be the best origin story of Matt Murdock and his becoming Daredevil.
Miller and Romita Jr. take a decompressed approach to exploring Murdock's earliest years before and shortly after the accident that both blinded and empowered Matt. What fans often fail to recognize, however, is the nuanced and careful storytelling in this limited series that stands in stark contrast to many other comics from the early 1990s, where bombast ruled the spinner racks.
Even years later, comic creators, television series, and films all continue to lift aspects of Daredevil's earliest years on the streets from this acclaimed story.
2. Daredevil: Yellow (Daredevil: Yellow #1-6 by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale)
In the early aughts, Joeb Loeb and Tim Sale teamed up for several limited series that retold origin stories for popular Marvel heroes. Each one was associated with a specific color and dealt with a major relationship. In Daredevil: Yellow, Loeb, and Sale weave a poignant and melancholic story told from the framework of Matt Murdock writing a letter to his long-lost love, Karen Page, looking back on his earliest adventures and their initial meeting.
Where this limited series stands head and shoulders above so many other Daredevil stories is the succinct and graceful way Loeb and Sale weave this tale of loss and life. They not only introduce new readers to the emotional and spiritual core of the main cast but breathe new life into the street-level hero.
1. Born Again (Daredevil vol. 1 #227-31 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli)
'Born Again' may very well be the Mount Everest of Daredevil stories. This story arc brings Frank Miller back to the series after his celebrated initial run where he was joined by regular Daredevil artist David Mazzucchelli.
As the name implies, one can only be born again after they've suffered death, and Miller's story is all about bringing Matt Murdock to the lowest of lows as we witness the return of Karen Page, now a heroin-addicted pornography actress, who has sold out Matt's identity for her next hit.
With Kingpin eventually discovering his identity, we see Murdock's personal and professional lives implode, leaving broken relationships, careers, and bodies in the wake. One could argue that the themes of faith and redemption that are a signature of the Daredevil line found their footing in this critically-acclaimed story arc where Matt Murdock must rebuild himself and be born again after suffering continued loss and failure as a man and hero.