Daredevil Netflix 101
Before you hook to the Daredevil Netflix show tomorrow and disappear for (at least) a day, let's go over what Daredevil keys you should have in your collection, because, let's face it, the series looks good and it looks like it's going to be successful, which in these parts roughly translates as another season and hot issues for a while …
I am taking the character cast from IMDB and using that as a base, selecting the characters that appear in all the episodes and a couple other that are important in the Daredevil mythos, but this is before the series hits, so some might be missing … Let's do this!!!
1st Daredevil, Foggy Nelson & Karen Page
The issue that started it all! It has been hot for a while and it will only keep increasing. According to the data collected by our friends at gocollect.com, anything over a certified 9.0 gets you somewhere around $10K. Good news for some people, I am sure. Between 8.0 and 9.0 it moves anywhere in the $3K-$6K range, which is not bad at all.
Time to get a good-looking raw copy? The time might have passed, but good luck with that!!!
Amazing Spider-Man #50
1st Wilson Fisk AKA The Kingpin
It seems that the Kingpin will have as much protagonism as Mr. Murdock and this is clearly the issue to get. Not only is the first Kingpin appearance, but it's Amazing Spider-Man (one of those series every serious collector tries to get a full run of) AND has a classic Spider-Man cover, so the chances of the value of this ever going down are slim.
Value-wise, more than a 9.0 seems to get at least $2K, while if you don't mind settling for something below that, you might be getting a nice copy for a grand. Again, these are just the recorded sales and possibly the prices you will find starting tomorrow!
1st Wilson Fisk in Daredevil
Two issues after becoming the writer of the series, Frank Miller introduced the Kingpin to the title as the main nemesis of Daredevil, changing both character's history and making them inseparable from the on. Gone is Spider-Man's Kingpin with his fantastic devices, say hello to the ruthless Kingpin who feels more at home playing against Daredevil or the Punisher.
This issue's value seems to be eclipsed by Elektra's 1st appearance in #168, as a 9.4 sold for $30 just a couple of months ago. An interesting issue to own, according to its historical importance at least.
Hero for Hire #2
1st Claire Temple
Apparently a mix of two different characters (Claire Temple and the version of Night Nurse writer Brian Michael Bendis established), this could be a really interesting first appearance to own. A great actress (Rosario Dawson), a role that could well appear in all the 4 Netflix series and beyond (a nurse that patches up injured heroes) and a relationship with Luke Cage in his 70s comic series makes this a character to look out for. It wouldn't be the first time a character becomes more relevant after some media exposure.
9.8s below $500, 9.4s below $100 … sounds good to me!
Amazing Spider-Man #70
1st Vanessa Marianna
While I wouldn't expect this character to drive collectors insane, it has one of the most interesting arcs in the Frank Miller run (which, I am guessing, will be part of the base for this series). If you allow me the analogy, Vanessa is Dorian Grey's picture to the Kingpin's Dorian Grey. A character that's there to humanize the Kingpin, it's through her that we see how driven he is and how far he's ready to go. Hope they do her justice in the series.
In any case, pre-100 Spider-Mans, always a good buy and it seems like this one can be gotten in the low 9s for a couple hundred.
1st Ben Urich
Right before Frank Miller took over as penciller of Daredevil, Roger McKenzie introduced a journalist, which Miller would use to great effect in his run. While the noir tinted story Miller wrote took Daredevil to the next level (I mean, Bull-Man and Stilt-Man were among his recurring villains before that), it also moved Daredevil to a universe of ninjas and mysticism that needed a few relatable characters to still be able to sell itself as noir. Ben Urich is that kind of character and Daredevil's all the greater for that.
Wouldn't probably buy this as an investment, but definitely important in the Daredevil canon for this 1st appearance.
Another really important villain in Daredevil history. If they follow Bendis's and Brubaker's storylines, this character will be huge, too. Important villain + Daredevil single-digit issue number, equal serious investment!
The last graded sale records available at gocollect.com speak of 9.2s at less than $1000 and 9.6s anywhere between $2K and $3K. Those sales seem to be from last year, though. I am afraid that the price will not be quite the same these days!
… and then Frank Miller made ninjas seem completely normal in Daredevil! In a noir narrative! Guess it's a “you had to be there” kind of thing: for the new generations Daredevil and ninjas is the standard.
To make everything more reasonable, Miller retconned Daredevil's origin to include the figure of a mentor, Stick (the ninja master), who became an important character in the main storyline. People often argue about wether retcons are good or bad, this is one of the great ones, but it probably inspired many of the bad ones.
Copies of this in 9.6 and under have been selling for less than $100 … This is an important character! Played by Scott Glenn! I would get one of those for $30, as one lucky guy did a couple of months ago.
As for recommended reading, I think it's pretty safe to say that they are probably the same anybody would recommend to a friend who wants to get into Daredevil. Even though Daredevil has been published for more than 50 years now, there are only a couple of runs that are really movies or TV series waiting to be made:
Frank Miller's Run
Available in a really uncomfortable to read hardcover Omnibus (pictured right) or 3 easier to handle TPBs, this contains the initial Frank Miller run on Daredevil and the main reason people are even thinking about Daredevil as an interesting hero. Daredevil, Ninjas, Elektra and Bullseye, it's all here.
The other two times Miller came back to the character are equally interesting and readily available in TPB:
- Daredevil: The Man Without Fear contains the definitive Daredevil origin story and is probably the base for a lot in this Netflix season.
- Daredevil: Born Again is possibly the best Daredevil arc ever written in my opinion. Having Mazzucchelli doing the art doesn't hurt though.
Brian Michael Bendis's Run
After Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada relaunched the series in 1998, Brian Michael Bendis took over the writing of the series and quickly turned it into a noir masterpiece. Helped by Alex Maleev's art, Bendis turned realistic to 11 (or as realistic as comics about a blind lawyer who is a superhero can be) and delivered 60 issues of gritty greatness.
This run is available in 3 TPBs called Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Ultimate Collection and you should take a look at them if you haven't already.
While there are a few other runs that are good and interesting, I am assuming the Netflix series has been mostly based on those two runs and will have material in those for a couple more seasons.
So, there you go, your shopping list's all ready and you still have a few hours to make up a good excuse not to go to work tomorrow! I am personally really looking forward to the series, but anything that's more The Wire than Gotham will do it for me. How excited are you?