10 Marvel Graphic Novels You Must Read Before You Die

1. Daredevil: Born Again

Daredevil Born Again
Marvel Comics

As far as comics go, they don't get any better (or more definitive) than Born Again.

Released in 1986 (the same year Frank Miller would publish The Dark Knight Returns), Born Again details Matt Murdock's systematic destruction at the hands of Wilson Fisk, New York's self-anointed 'Kingpin of Crime'. Miller literally tears Daredevil down to build him back up again, sending him through the fires of Hell's Kitchen to emerge renewed, revitalised and of course, reborn.

Like later Daredevil tales, Born Again roots itself in the religious experience of Matt Murdock's life. Dave Mazzucchelli's panels pay direct homage to Catholic imagery throughout, and the narrative behind Matt Murdock's resurrection is, while set during the Holiday months, a blatant nod as any to Christ's return.

This isn't to say that Daredevil is Marvel's Jesus, so to speak, or indeed to say that Born Again's defining elements are its religious ones. What is important, however, is that Miller truly gets a feel for the character, as does Mazzucchelli who again, painstakingly layers the Man Without Fear's defining characteristics in panel after panel of sublime illustration.

It's thematically complex, character defining in so many ways and iconic in even more, and, while it's true you could fill up an entire list of 'must reads' with Daredevil comics, Born Again simply has to be the one everyone reads. It's too good not to be.

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Comics Editor
Comics Editor

WhatCulture's very own Comics Editor. Cats, comic books and spaghetti westerns are my thing. Rants about stuff @EwanRuinsThings