for your own topics
|Readers in USA click here|
|Elsewhere click here|
Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination 1998 - 2003
Better the devil you know…
The Man Without Fear is coming to the cinema screen in the form of Ben Affleck. We reveal the tangled history of Spider-Man’s rival as New York’s greatest crime-fighter, Daredevil…
A young man with an alliterative name is involved in a radioactive accident, which grants him supernormal powers. The death of a father figure inspires him to don a red mask and a skin-tight costume as he patrols the streets of New York City dispensing vigilante justice. He creates a device that allows him to swing between rooftops, and uses his incredible agility and uncanny sixth sense to combat an array of colourful super-criminals. Does that sound at all familiar?
After the smash success of last year’s long-awaited big screen version of Spider-Man, Daredevil – set for a Valentine’s Day opening on both sides of the Atlantic – is well-placed to cash in on the similarities between the two characters. However, working with a comparatively modest budget, writer/director Mark Steven Johnson and star Ben Affleck may find it difficult to shine in the wall-crawler’s shadow. While Spider-Man is the star of about a gazillion comic books, and has conquered all manner of other media, his horn-headed friend has been happy to plod along in a single monthly title, his only notable wider exposure being in a disappointing Incredible Hulk TV movie. Still, with almost 40 years of continual publication under his belt, Daredevil has demonstrated impressive staying power in an industry littered with also-rans and has-beens.
Like Spider-Man, Daredevil, dubbed ‘The Man Without Fear’, was created for Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, and made his début just 20 months after his more famous stable-mate. Spidey even appeared on the cover of Daredevil #1 (1964) to reassure comic book readers that this new superhero was cast from the same mould as his illustrious predecessor.
There were some differences, of course. With Spider-Man, Lee had set the comic book world on its head by bestowing amazing powers upon a neurotic teenager. Daredevil’s alter-ego, Matt Murdock, had devoted years to studying and training after his accident, and was thus a mature professional – specifically, a lawyer – in the vein of more established heroes like Superman and Batman. Nevertheless, Daredevil had a gimmick of his own, one that made him unique in the superhero pantheon. He was blind.
by Steve Lyons
Get the full feature when you buy
Photo © 20th Century Fox
You can order any of
USA $ order
To SUBSCRIBE to
USA $ subs