Top 10 Tuesday: Daredevil Creative Teams

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By John Coughlin

The Man without fear might have the greatest archive of creators in the history of comics! Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, the blind swashbuckler was never a top tier hero at Marvel. Ironically his lack of status is probably the reason he’s had such a stellar run of creators. Writing Daredevil came with a freedom to follow their vision without being interrupted by the latest event.

Honorable Mentions: D.G.Chichester and Lee Weeks, Andy Diggle and Phillip Tan, David Mack.

10. Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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When: Vol. 1 #5-10

Why: Though short lived, their DD run was as influential as can be. Stan invented the character, and Wally gave him the classic red costume. Their stories were classic silver age tales that gave the character a strong backbone to build upon in the years to come.

9. Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

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When: Vol. 2 #82-119, #500

Why: Taking the reigns from Bendis and Maleev was no easy task. Daredevil was in jail when they took over, and instead of getting him out right away, Brubaker’s story and Lark’ ‘s moody pencils made it work. Among other things, we have them to thank for Lady Bullseye.

8. Carl Kessel and Cary Nord

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When: Vol. 1 #353-364

Why: The most underrated duo on the list, they were Mark Waid before Mark Waid was Mark Waid. Kessel’s light tone and silver age villains paired perfectly with Nord’s realistic, but clean pencil work. Matt Murdock was finally back practicing law and fighting super-villains like Mr.Hyde.

7. Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

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When: Vol. 1 #72-100

Why: During this legendary run we see Daredevil teamed with the Black Widow and living in San Francisco. Gene Colan’s art was so active, it almost made you dizzy, but yet it was easy to follow. Together they gave us classic bronze age Daredevil tales filled with politics, espionage, and real world issues.

6. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

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When: Daredevil Yellow #1-6

Why: The first of Sale and Loeb’s “Color” series, it would be followed by Spider-Man Blue, Hulk Gray and Captain America White. This series does a remarkable job of revisiting Daredevil’s earliest costumed adventures.

5. Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada

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When: Vol.2 # 1-8

Why: At a time when Daredevil was falling off the radar, these two swooped in and made him the flagship character of the Marvel Knights line. Quesada’s fluid pencils collided with Smiths wit for a heartfelt story that changed Daredevil’s life forever.

4. Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr.

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When: Vol.1 #250-282

Why: Nocenti and Romita kept the dark tone set by Frank Miller, while introducing new characters like Typhoid Mary and Bullet. JR Jr. found his style during this run and it worked perfectly with Ann Nocenti’s gritty stories.

3. Mark Waid, Paulo Rivera and Chris Samnee

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When: Volume 3 and Volume 4

Why: Mark Waid came along and brought joy back into Daredevil’s life. Chris Samnee and Paulo Rivera were rotating artists during Waid’s run, and their pencils conveyed the lighthearted tone perfectly. They moved horn head back to the west coast, had him fight a plethora of interesting villains, and kept his stories emotional without being overly dark.

2. Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

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When: Vol 2 #26-81

Why: Maleev’s moody story telling and Bendis’ realistic dialogue was a blend of artist and writer that was perfect for Daredevil. Bendis is a great crime writer and Maleev’s art is the definition of grim and gritty. Remarkably, this duo put out fantastic comics over the course of fifty plus issues. Together they outed Daredevil, had him get married and finally, sent him to jail.

1. Frank Miller

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When: Vol. 1 # 168-191, 227-233 (w/ Mazzuchelli) Man Without Fear 1-4 (w/ Romita Jr.)

Why: Frank Miller is the end all be all when It comes to Daredevil. Almost everything you know about Daredevil didn’t happen until Frank Miller took over the book. The Kingpin, Elektra, Stick, The Hand, and The Punisher were all characters that Frank Miller brought into Daredevil’s world. Thirty-five years after he started writing and drawing Daredevil comics, he still influences every writer and artist making DD comics, and with good reason. Frank Miller brought film noir to Marvel Comics. He took the ridiculous and made it believable. It was dark because it was realistic.Frank Miller is not only the greatest Daredevil creator, but he is the father of the entire era of comics that followed his Daredevil run.