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I have long loved Daredevil, the blind, Catholic lawyer/superhero. I was excited about the new Netflix series featuring the character and ready to love it for just being better than the Mark Steven Johnson movie. I was not prepared for it to become a commercial and critical hit, but it’s now Netflix’s most popular show and the second most pirated show behind Game of Thrones . Reviews have been very positive, and it’s inspired a lot of great writing about gentrification and urban development. It’s a great time to be a fan of Daredevil.
I’m not one to quibble, but I’m lying I am one to quibble. Quibbling is what I spend most of my free time doing. This whole piece is born of quibbling. There is one type of inevitable blog post that springs up around a successful comic book adaptation and I have found all the ones for Daredevil lacking: the recommended reading list. There isn’t a website around that hasn’t posted a list of Daredevil comics it thinks you should read. These lists are wrong. They are merely a compilation of google searches for well-regarded Daredevil stories. A character with a fifty-plus year history has tons of stories and not all of them will be relevant to fans of the TV show, even if they are critically acclaimed. I love the current Daredevil series written by Mark Waid, but it so tonally different from the show it could be a different character. Why would I put an origin story on the list when Matt Murdoch’s origin has been retold countless times and the show has maybe the best one?
Below I’ve put together a list of stories that embody different aspects of the show’s take on the Daredevil mythos and should appeal to people who watched it without feeling like it’s just drawings of what they just saw. Even this list is imperfect as I can’t find the better stories that highlight Karen Page as a solo character in print anywhere.
You can find most of these stories digitally either on Comixology or through Marvel’s great Unlimited subscription service, but I’m posting amazon affiliate links where available because it’s time we cashed in on how much I care about Daredevil.
So without further ado, the comics you will actually want to read if liked watching Daredevil on Netfilx: