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The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil Paperback – February 19, 2013
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Introduction by Ralph Macchio
--A Different Daredevil by Will Murray
This essay looks at the origins of Daredevil as a Marvel character and his ties to a previous Golden Age character also known as Daredevil.
--Grabbing the Devil by the Horns: Daredevil and His Early Rogues Gallery by Matt Duarte
Duarte takes a look at early Daredevil villains, which he rightly assesses were comprised of misfire after baffling misfire.
--Being Mike Murdock by Timothy Callahan
This highly entertaining essay gives us a retrospective on one of Daredevil's most ridiculous and memorable plot developments, Matt's other secret identity, Mike Murdock.
--Daredevil and the Missing Father: Why Fathers Matter in Super-Hero Origins by Forrest C. Helvie
Helvie gives us an excellent essay on the role Matt Murdock's father and his later murder has had on Daredevil's crimefighting career.
--There Will Be Blood: Daredevil's Violent Tendencies by Henry Northmore
Northmore gives us an interesting trajectory from Daredevil's first appearance through his most recent on the level of violence in the book.
--Science Fact! by Stephane Gueret, Marie-Laure Saulnier, Manuella Hyvard, and Nicolas Labarre
By far one of the standout essays in this collection is this examination of the scientific plausibility of Daredevil's powers. What surprised me here is just how lucidly the authors make their points.
--Daredevil: Not Ready for Primetime? by M.S. Wilson
Here we have a reflection on why Daredevil doesn't really work in a team setting or in a cosmic story, something that may have to do with some of the more critically-praised, character-focused stories.
--The Life and Times of Foggy Nelson by Christine Hanefalk
The essay is what is says, a close look at the character of Foggy Nelson in the larger Daredevil narrative.
--Blind Dates and Broken Hearts: The Tragic Loves of Matthew Murdock by Ryan K. Lindsay
The longest essay in the bunch, the book's editor takes a look at the five major loves of Matt's life--Karen Page, Black Widow, Elektra Natchios, Typhoid Mary, and Milla Donovan.
--Daredevil and Spider-Man: Dark Alleys and Bright Lights by Vinny Murphy
Murphy takes a close look at the parallels in these two characters' stories, positing that Daredevil is Spider-Man's darker reflection.
--Daredevil and Punisher: Polar Opposites? by M.S. Wilson
Wilson's second essay in this collection looks at the similarities and differences between Matt and Frank, looking at how their methodologies and philosophies set them apart.
--What Fall from Grace? Reappraising the Chichester Years by Julian Darius
Darius reevaluates the oft-maligned D.G. Chichester and Scott McDaniel run, arguing its merits in Daredevil history. Not to detract from the other wonderful essays, but this is my favorite, and it has convinced me to revisit the discussed issues.
--.22 Caliber, a Girl's Gun: Vanessa Fisk and Freedom of Action by Kevin Thurman
Surprisingly existential, this is an examination of agency and power through the actions of a standout character.
--When Things Fall Apart in Hell's Kitchen: Postcolonialism in Bendis's Daredevil by Jon Cormier
Perhaps the closest to academic writing, this essay looks at Daredevil and the Kingpin's attempts to control Hell's Kitchen through the lens of postcolonialism and the subaltern.
--Daredevil: Intermediate Superhero Filmmaking by Geoff Klock
Klock takes a look at the character's film and its influence on superhero cinema.
--The Only Way is Down: Brubaker's Saga as '70s Cinematic Noir by Ryan K. Lindsay
Lindsay closes out the book by examining Brubaker's run as a three-part noir epic inspired by Scorcese, Polanski, and Peckinpah.
This book will remain on my shelf, as it is an indispensable resource on most things Daredevil. If you want a deeper understanding of why this character has endured, pick up this book. Also, hats off to Sequart and Mr. Lindsay. I hope to see more of these character-focused books in the future.