GM Recommended Reading: Born Again – A Daredevil Story Arc

When Marvel’s The Defenders was released on Netflix couple weeks ago, fans were not sure what to expect. From the death of some known characters to the disarming of another, viewers were left wondering where the future of the Marvel Netflix universe will take the surviving characters. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter days after the show’s release, actor Charlie Cox–who plays Matthew “Matt” Murdock/ Daredevil–teased a major storyline for Daredevil‘s third season. In this Geek Motivation Recommended Reading, we break down that storyline.

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Plot breakdown

The Born Again storyline, written by legendary Frank Miller, was released in February 1986 and ended in August of that year, and spans across Daredevil issues #227 to #233.

Issue #227 is titled Apocalypse, which entails the titular character’s secret life as a superhero being compromised. Karen Page had been an actress in Mexican adult films and had given Matt Murdock’s secret identity to someone in exchange for drugs. This was eventually brought to Wilson Fisk/ Kingpin, who then uses this information to ruin the man’s life. Matt loses his license to practice law, his girlfriend Glorianna breaks up with him, and Kingpin has his apartment building blown up. After this last event occurs, Matt discovers the person responsible for all this.

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The following issue, titled Purgatory, follows Matt–now homeless, broke, restless, and frustrated–living in a small hotel room. He has entered a state of paranoia with an increase in aggression. He is unknowingly followed by Kingpin’s men, who give him reported updates on Matt. A now mentally broken man, Matt is in a subway car fighting not just young thugs, but a cop as well. Realizing the situation he’s put himself in, he goes off to confront Kingpin. Unfortunately, he is beaten to a pulp. Fisk then disposes of the unconscious body into a river. However, Matt swims back to the surface. Meanwhile, Karen Page is trying to reach out to him while being followed by assassins, being that she dealt with Daredevil’s identity.

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In issue #229, Pariah, Matt Murdock is in great pain and depression and is seen sleeping amidst the cold winter weather in an alleyway with homeless men. He stumbles through the streets of Manhattan and comes across former Kingpin thugs Turk Barrett (yes, the foolish thug who appeared in every Marvel Netflix show with the exception of Jessica Jones and Iron Fist) and Grotto, who are mugging men dressed as Santa Claus. Matt confronts them, but is stabbed in the abdominal region by Turk. Bleeding, he makes his way to Fogwell’s Gym, where his father Jack trained as a boxer when he was still alive. He collapses and is found by a nun. In another part of New York, Wilson Fisk realizes that Matt is still alive. Meanwhile, Karen Page finds a way to get from Mexico to New York.

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Issue #230 is named after the storyline being discussed, Born Again. Matthew is being nursed back to health by a nun named Sister Maggie. Karen travels up to North America with the help of a local from Mexico named Paulo, who is a fan of her films. The Kingpin prepares for his next confrontation with Murdock. Matt eventually awakes in a church, only to be introduced by Maggie, and at the end, he learns that she is none other than his mother. After making it to New York, Karen makes an attempt to run from the abusive fan after speaking with Foggy Nelson.

The next issue is titled Saved. Matt–now recovered–makes efforts to get his life back, while Fisk is questioned by his inferiors about his personal vendetta against the man. Ben Urich pens a newspaper article about the situation and the Kingpin’s men are consequently sent to take care of Urich’s wife. Urich comes home and is attacked by the men, but Matt arrives to fight them off. Matt goes to Daredevil’s tailor, Melvin Potter, and asks to be made a new costume. He then fights off a man dressed as Daredevil. Meanwhile, Karen is followed by Paulo, who also gets in a fight with the cops. Paulo is arrested, and Karen is reunited with Matt.

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The aftermath:

Issue #232/ God and Country introduces the character Nuke, who (like the version of him from Jessica Jones Season 1) takes different colored pills that stimulate different body functions. He is called upon by the Kingpin to help take down Daredevil. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock gets a job at a diner, flipping burgers. Nuke appears, shooting at citizens and blowing up the diner. Matt has no other choice but to don the Daredevil costume once again in order to take the man down.

Issue #233, Armageddon, begins where the previous issue left off. Daredevil takes down the chopper Nuke is in. The Avengers–Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man–arrive to save the day. They take him into federal custody, and the Captain–having seen the American flag painted on Nuke’s face–looks into his background. He discovered that the US government has still been using the Super Soldier Program. He also finds Kingpin to be connected to the chaos. Fisk withstands the charges, but his reputation in the world of power and business is destroyed. He vows to get revenge on Matthew Murdock, who ends the storyline walking happily in the streets of New York with Karen Page.

Discussion

This storyline makes profound use of Christian symbols, mostly Roman Catholicism. For example, issue #230 shows Matt Murdock in a pose mirroring that of Jesus Christ on the cross. The titles of issues #227 to #231 are names of Biblical concepts. Frank Miller does an excellent job as usual in making a great story for comic book fans. This storyline will help Daredevil Season 3 move forward by helping Matthew Murdock get back on his feet as a lawyer and as the eponymous character.

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Are you excited for the next season? Daredevil Season 3 is said to premiere next year on Netflix with elements from the Born Again storyline.

For more Marvel Netflix show-related news and reviews, follow Geek Motivation on Twitter (@GEEKMOTIVATION) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Written by: John Tangalin

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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