Daredevil Born Again was a story written by Frank Miller and drawn by David Mazzucchelli. The comic book story took place during Daredevil issues 227-233. This central theme of the story is overcoming adversity. Trials before triumph, if you will.
The Daredevil Born Again plot picks up with Karen Page. The once girlfriend of Matt Murdock has completely fallen off course and has become a heroin addict. Worse yet, to feed her addiction, she has taken to shooting porn videos. In an act of desperation and when at her weakest, Karen reveals that Matt Murdock is actually the masked vigilante, Daredevil. With this information now into the public, Matt begins his uncontrollable fall from grace.
Things go for bad to worse for Matt when the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk comes into contact with the information. With the information under his control, Fisk begins his systematic assault on Matt’s life. First, Matt is instructed that he can no longer practice law. Second, a “hit” is placed on his best friends, Foggy and Karen. Third, the Kingpin has Matt’s house blown up.
These three things force Matt into a state of isolation and he begins to distance himself from those closest to him.
The wraith of the Kingpin
Now living a fragment of the life he had, Matt is forced to live his life as Darwin wanted…Survival of the Fittest. Without anything left to try, Matt confronts the man responsible, the Kingpin. Unfortunately for Matt, at this point, he is in no shape to take on the Kingpin and he is easily bested in combat. At the conclusion of the encounter, he is shoved into a taxi, strapped down so that he can’t escape, and shoved into the East River.
Luckily, Matt breaks free and escapes the death trap by shattering the windshield of the taxi. Now back on land, Matt makes his way to his father’s old gym. Unbeknownst to him, a visitor was also on her way to the gym.
Just who was the visitor?
His long-lost mother and now a nun, Maggie. Maggie, seeing the disrepair that her son is in, quickly nurtures him back to health.
While Matt’s estranged mother, Maggie was busy caring for him, the Kingpin was unleashing his next scheme. As mentioned, Kingpin sought to murder Karen Page and Foggy Nelson because he knew how important they were to Matt. Remember, Kingpin looked to make Matt’s life a living Hell. While the scheming was going on the Daily Bugle Reporter, Ben Urich had also found him on the list of targets after he printed an article exposing Kingpin for who he was. Luckily, Matt now healed, found a way to put a stop on the attempted murder of Karen and Foggy.
Resorting to his Plan B, Kingpin hired a mental patient named Nuke to disguise himself as the man without fear.
Who is Nuke?
After his hiring, Nuke attacked New York City, killing dozens of people. He did this so that he may draw out Daredevil. Just as Daredevil approaches Nuke, The Avengers show up to capture him. As it turns out, Nuke was another failed Super Soldier experiment who was destined to be the next Captain America. As Steve Rogers looked to unravel the mystery of Nuke, the Kingpin had Nuke killed.
Sources revealed that it was the Kingpin who had Nuke killed and he was prosecuted for it. As almost always the case, he is able to avoid jail-time. Unfortunately, the trial coupled with the article printed by Ben Urich left Kingpin’s reputation in a bad place.
He was left to pick up the fractured pieces of his life.
Daredevil Born Again is widely considered the best story ever told in comics. It digs deep into the human element of being a hero. It reminds the reader that under the mask, each hero is no different than the reader who reads the story. If you ever get a chance, pick up Daredevil Born Again. You won’t be disappointed.