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Daredevil Storylines We Want To See Adapted In The MCU

Is "Daredevil" about to emerge from the trash heap of Netflix cancellation, and swing into the glowing future of upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) projects? 

Early on in the recently aired third episode of the Disney+ series "Hawkeye," there's a shot that emphasizes a large hand implied to be attached to an authority figure in New York City's criminal underground. Could that figure be Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), the ruthless crime boss last seen in 2018's final season of Netflix's "Daredevil"?

D'Onofrio's Twitter activity indicates a strong willingness to publicly discuss his old TV supervillain gig. Even more tellingly, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige recently told the press that if and when Matt Murdock ever joins the current era of the MCU, Charlie Cox will resume the blind vigilante role he once played for Netflix. 

These are certainly encouraging omens for folks who thought Netflix's slate of Marvel shows got the shaft when the streaming giant pulled them out of production between 2018 and 2019. Then again, if "Hawkeye" reveals D'Onofrio is playing a character named Ralph who Agatha Harkness brainwashed into thinking he's a famous mobster ...Well, it wouldn't be the first time Marvel strung us along with something like this, would it? 

For now, with The Man Without Fear's live-action return looking like a possibility, let's discuss some comics storylines that Netflix never got around to adapting — and which remain available for MCU source material.

Born Again

From 2015 to 2018, Netflix aired 39 episodes of "Daredevil." Back in 2003, Ben Affleck starred in a poorly received film based on the same character. That means more than 40 hours of live-action Daredevil content has been produced since the turn of the millennium, and somehow, none of it is a "Born Again" adaptation. Basically, this situation is like if X-Men movies tried to adapt "The Dark Phoenix Saga" never instead of twice.

Granted, seasons 2 and 3 of the series include the introduction of Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley), plus a few other nods to Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's character-redefining 1986 arc. But we've still never seen Wilson Fisk learn Daredevil's secret identity and wreck Matt Murdock's legal career. We've never seen Matt take a job as a short order cook after utterly losing his marbles. We've never seen Daredevil defend Hell's Kitchen against a U.S. military helicopter. "Born Again" has yet to be fully realized on any type of screen.

Of course, the circumstances surrounding the discovery that launches the story — if transposed totally unchanged from the comic — clash with Disney's family-friendly orientation. If the MCU also brings Netflix's Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) into the fold, then an exact "Born Again" recreation wouldn't make any sense at all. Still, c'mon — who doesn't want to watch Daredevil punch a helicopter?      

Wake Up

One of the best Daredevil stories of all time doesn't have a ton of Daredevil in it, oddly enough. The Crimson Crusader mostly shows up in flashbacks, dream sequences, and at the conclusion of "Wake Up" — written by Brian Michael Bendis in his first credited work with Marvel, illustrated by dynamic artist David Mack. 

The story centers on Timmy — a young boy who's been shocked into a catatonic state and is unable to stop repeating the story of a presumably imaginary fight between Daredevil and another superhero called The Fury. Upon learning the boy's father is D-list super-criminal Leap-Frog, Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich — played by Vondie Curtis-Hall in the Netflix series — takes a particular interest in discovering the reason for Timmy's condition.    

Nobody can accuse the current MCU of being overly interested in the helpless civilians caught in the crossfire of its planetary battles between the forces of moral polarities. But not only would an MCU version of "Wake Up" pay homage to one of the best superhero stories of the early '00s, it could investigate the impact of people in costumes blowing stuff up every day on the fragile psyche of average folks ... for a change.    


Matt Murdock finds his cover blown to shambles on the front page of The Daily Globe in Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's "Out." Events set in motion during prior stories coalesce into the front-page publication of Daredevil's secret identity; consequently, The Man Without Fear is forced to do quite a bit more worrying than his nickname would imply.   

If that scenario reminds of you of the end of "Spider-Man: Far From Home," note that "Out" begins with "Daredevil" #32 (Vol. 2), published in 2002. Not only is it almost 20 years ahead of Spider-Man's alias becoming public knowledge in the MCU — it also predates "Civil War," the 2006 event in which Peter Parker lets the ordinary people of the Marvel Comics world know his real name.

Up until Spider-Man's debut, the MCU never seemed overly concerned with maintaining the superhero genre's signature secret identity trope. Tony Stark outs himself to the media in the last scene of his first movie, after all. 

Meanwhile, Matt Murdock cannot guarantee the safety of his friends and coworkers as easily as Iron Man — with his billions of dollars and instantly accessible weapons of mass destruction — can. What happens to a superhero who loses his secret identity against his will? Especially if he asks Doctor Strange to magic the information back into secrecy, and Strange says "Not this time"? 

Guardian Devil

By the late '90s, the white-hot relevance Daredevil enjoyed during the '80s had considerably diminished. Fortunately, "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy" director Kevin Smith infused a bit of his still-viable street cred into ol' Hornhead with 1999's "Guardian Devil," drawn by Joe Quesada. 

"Guardian Devil" was controversial upon its release, and some elements have aged terribly. But regardless of the story's relative merits, had the brain behind Jay and Silent Bob never formally introduced his then-considerable audience to The Man Without Fear, Daredevil might have never regained his prominence. Netflix could have ended up premiering its line of 2015 Marvel content with something like a Moon Knight series instead. 

While certain parts of "Guardian Devil" should be kept as far away from live-action "Daredevil" as possible, we wouldn't mind seeing the MCU adapt its conclusion, in which [spoiler] is revealed as the Big Bad clandestinely pulling the strings throughout the story. 

The "Guardian Devil" ending would allow for the reintroduction of a villain who, as we know, could certainly be utilized in more than one project. In addition, it would associate Charlie Cox's Daredevil with a major figure from what's probably the MCU's most important current film series — quickly annihilating any confusion regarding this Daredevil's status as MCU canon. 

We'd even be okay with Smith finally making his debut as an actor in the MCU, as long as his character only exists for Karen Page to immediately and mercilessly murder him.

Basically the entire Chip Zdarsky run

Writer Chip Zdarsky's tenure on Daredevil began in early 2019, roughly four months after the final season of Netflix's "Daredevil" aired in late 2018. This was stupendous timing. 

If fans of the TV show were willing to make the jump to comics, they could hop on board with quasi-realistic street level conflicts that absolutely carry on the spirit of "Daredevil" on Netflix. The biggest difference is that on Netflix, Spider-Man can't do anything unless 50 lawyers from Disney and Sony sign off on it years in advance. In the comics, Spider-Man can just show up whenever.      

It so happens that Zdarsky, along with a team of artists including Marco Checchetto and Mike Hawthorne, turned "Daredevil" into one of its era's most acclaimed ongoing superhero titles. If Disney+ opts to revive Netflix's take on the character, they could basically just directly adapt the Zdarsky books. They've got enough story to last at least two or three seasons. 

For instance, in "Know Fear," it looks like Daredevil accidentally kills a man while thwarting a liquor store robbery. Later, while Matt Murdock serves time in prison during the arcs "Doing Time" and "Lockdown," a new Daredevil emerges on Hell's Kitchen rooftops. Who is this mysterious crime buster? This Daredevil appears to be a woman with curly dark hair, a high-level specialty in fighting with ninjutsu-style Sais, and some connection to Matt Murdock. Who could it be?!

You're probably thinking, "Ah ha! It's definitely Galactus!" But you're wrong. 

Shadowland and/or Hardcore

"Shadowland" was an event Marvel cranked out in 2010, in which Daredevil becomes the new leader of The Hand. A few years earlier, comics readers saw Matt Murdock slap Wilson Fisk absolutely sideways and proclaim himself the new Kingpin at the conclusion of the 2003 arc "Hardcore" by Brian Michael Bendis, with most of the illustrations by Alex Maleev. 

In general, Matt Murdock obviously tries to do the right thing, but he's certainly not a paragon of emotional or ethical stability. Comics scribes have walked Daredevil right up to the line of super-villainy at least twice. If the MCU aims to introduce Matt Murdock into its current slate of projects in a way that feels fresh and nothing like a retread of a show a lot of us watched already, why not just turn him into the boss of organized crime or a ninja cult, commit to the heel turn, and run with it for a few years?  

Ask yourself, who would make a more compelling primary antagonist for a season of "Moon Knight"? Broken Bad Daredevil, or literally any Marvel Comics villain primarily associated with Moon Knight? Can you even name a villain primarily associated with Moon Knight? Honestly, we can't. Ditto for She-Hulk. 

Furthermore, just imagine an extended, city-wide fight sequence between Daredevil and one or both Hawkeyes. It's a thrilling prospect, isn't it?    

Daredevil #7 (2011)

Would you believe one of the best single issues of "Daredevil" of all time is a Christmas story? 

In 2011, Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera sent Matt Murdock on a volunteer mission to chaperone a field trip for blind schoolchildren. A surprise blizzard causes their bus to crash, leaving Matt injured and stranded with roughly 10 or 12 kiddos in a dense forest. Our hero must guide his charges back to civilization despite the onslaught of snow that greatly diminishes his radar senses. Finally, it all comes together with a tactfully heartwarming twist.

A story about a superhero rescuing little kids during late December sounds like it should be the most cornball thing ever, but Waid pulls it off without drifting into sentimentality. Assuming Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock turns into a Disney+ mainstay, it doesn't exactly take a supernatural leap of imagination to envision this untitled story converted into a Christmas special. 

It even might cost a few dollars less to produce than, let's say, something like a Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas holiday extravaganza. In #7, Daredevil basically just fights snow, which is much easier to CG than moon-destroying space worms and creatures of that nature. 

Typhoid Mary

If we're assuming that all the events that transpire on Netflix Marvel shows carry over to the canonical MCU timeline, that means Typhoid Mary — Daredevil's other occasional love interest who is also an assassin and sometimes his arch adversary — makes her debut in the second season of "Iron Fist," played by Alice Eve. But "Iron Fist" is generally considered kind of bad – even if it provided the public a formal introduction to one-time "Game of Thrones" background fighter Jessica Henwick — and the take on Mary that Eve doles out in "Iron Fist" hardly does a potential all-time Daredevil villain justice. 

It's hard to say whether the half-baked iteration of Mary seen on "Iron Fist" is Eve's fault, or can be linked to any number of other issues with "Iron Fist" in general. However — especially considering the character's heightened version of a split personality disorder that's probably not as sensitive to people with real psychological disorders as it could be — there's no reason why she can't resurface in the current MCU. With her memories of the events depicted in Season 2 of "Iron Fist" stuffed somewhere in the back of her psyche, Mary could get a second chance in the MCU, with a whole new perspective on life and homicidal tendencies. 

The Purple Children

David Tennant's performance as Kilgrave easily stands as one of the highlights of "Jessica Jones," and perhaps one of the brighter spots in Netflix's entire run of Marvel characters. Keep in mind, this was during the pre-Thanos and Killmonger days, when memorable MCU film villains were limited to Loki and...ah...well, basically just Loki. With so few movie Big Bads worth mentioning, Netflix Marvel picked up the slack with Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin and Tennant's disturbingly Doctor-ish iteration of The Purple Man.

For reasons we can't reveal without spoiling Season 1 of "Jessica Jones," it might be difficult to bring Tennant's Kilgrave into the current MCU in a way that audiences find plausible. Fortunately, that's not the case for his terrifying children. Thanks to creators Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, the comics version of Kilgrave sired several offspring who inherit his mind control abilities.  

As we know from such films as "The Shining," "The Exorcist" and "Poltergeist," little kids are inherently and intensely frightening.  The MCU is occasionally criticized for pitting its protagonists against ne'er-do-wells who might as well be their dopplegangers — Iron Monger, Killmonger, Yellowjacket, etc. There are a lot of different ways to describe Daredevil, but nobody can accuse him of being several purple-skinned children who can impose their will upon whoever they feel like. They would be a departure from typical MCU villains, to be sure.    

Wilson Fisk: Mayor of New York City

Wilson Fisk delivered the victory speech for his New York City mayoral campaign in "Daredevil" #595, by Charles Soule and Stefano Landini, published in 2017. As of comics published in late 2021, The Kingpin remains in office and at the center of the prominent "Devil's Reign" event. If creators continue to find Wilson's political career a fertile source of ideas four years after it was implemented, it stands to reason the MCU could squeeze a bit of mileage out of it. 

Obviously, a hypothetical Mayor Fisk could provide a menace for numerous current and upcoming MCU heroes based in New York, including Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel. The MCU could also explore the culture shock that Mayor Fisk encounters socializing with New York elites who are in no way intimidated by the badly kept secret of his ongoing endeavors in the underworld. 

Back in the day, Wilson could murder whoever he wanted in the middle of a fancy dinner party. Now he can barely kill anybody without worrying about someone finding out and using the info to leverage him into signing off on their condo development plan, endorsing their city council candidacy, or diminishing him in some other way.  

Anything With Stilt-Man

At a glance, Stilt-Man seems like one of the dumbest supervillains in the Marvel Universe, and there have been some whoppers. The metal monstrosity who first appears in "Daredevil #8" from 1965 looks goofy and has a silly name. But the ability to become very tall very quickly does, in fact, sound like a practical superpower for a criminal aiming to burglarize tall buildings and/or murder people by dropping them from high altitudes.

Despite this, there is still no sign of Stilt-Man in the MCU. New Daredevil content could resolve this problem immediately. With his lifestyle and skillset well suited to handle street-level threats, Daredevil in the comics gets stuck dealing with aspiring super-criminals The Avengers can't be troubled to waste their lightning bolts and repulsor rays on. Stilt-Man, Leap-Frog, and Angar the Screamer are just three examples of absurd morons Daredevil has to beat up on a routine basis. 

The tastefully grimdark tone of the Netflix series prevented any of the aforementioned representatives of the lighter side of homicidal costumed villainy from making it on screen — but if there's going to be a Disney+ Daredevil series, it's got to dial down the grimdark and dial up the fun, right? And as the old saying goes, when you dial up the fun, it's time to switch on the stilts.