This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on February 5, 2017.
For a very long time Daredevil has had just one title: Daredevil. It has been a book loaded with history and an expansive array or heroes, villains, and everything in between. The quality and consistency of Daredevil can stack up against the absolute best franchise starters throughout Marvel Comics. Compare it to Avengers or Amazing Spider-Man or X-Men and you’ll find a comic and cast that absolutely deserves the comparison. But Daredevil has never really had his own franchise like so many other teams and solo heroes. At least that was true until now.
This month sees the release of three new series tied into Daredevil all featuring some of his most interesting and consistent cast members. Kingpin, Bullseye, and Elektra are all appearing as part of a new event and the apparent launch of a full Daredevil-centric franchise. It’s a very exciting time for ol’ hornhead and all of his fans. While many of these characters have possessed a fair number of mini-series or short ongoings, they’ve never been part of a concentrated launch. Now Hell’s Kitchen and all of its greatest hits are receiving their own Marvel lineup.
Fans of the comics and television show know that the response to this announcement ought to be “It’s about time.” Assuming the rest of comics readers react the same way and make these series a success, there’s still a lot of room for growth. Where can a Daredevil franchise grow? Who else can it include? We at ComicBook.Com have a few ideas on that subject.
Foggy Nelson, Attorney-At-Law
You probably read the title of this idea and developed a skeptical look on your face. That’s entirely fair. Foggy Nelson is the most human part of Daredevil. He doesn’t possess any superpowers and can hardly throw a punch. The guy isn’t even a great dresser. However, he is a great lawyer and Marvel Comics has a proud tradition of producing some incredible superhero comics inside the courtroom. Just consider She-Hulk and Daredevil itself if you need some examples.
Foggy provides a human perspective on the madness of the Marvel universe. He’s the man on the street who is forever connected to the high-falutin acts and dramas of the heroes. That’s a point of view worth exploring. This is a concept that could explore what it’s like to live in the world of Marvel, much like the classic Marvels. At the same time it could detail all of the excitement and lore through the lens of Foggy who must understand and defend it inside of a courtroom. There’s plenty of space in this idea for big battles and crazy ideas, but it will come with a view unlike any other.
Melvin Potter must be one of the most interesting villains in all of Daredevil’s history. He is a tormented man who has done terrible things, but never really wanted any of it. Unlike many antagonists, he really is misunderstood just like Lenny from Of Mice & Men. His path to recovery and struggles to do the right thing have often provided Daredevil with dramatic stories, and they would be great on their own as well.
As Gladiator, Melvin Potter becomes a powerful combatant and cunning engineer. His weapons are fierce and his dedication to any task even more frightening. Using his physical strength and technical prowess, Gladiator could be a great force for good on the streets of New York City. Balancing that act with his internal struggles also creates a story rife with conflict and darkness, the sorts of which have fueled Daredevil for years.
If you think Gladiator is a conflicted character, then you haven’t seen anything yet. Typhoid Mary formed the heart of the very underrated run on Daredevil from writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita, Jr. Together they took the series into an examination of violence and its consequences, expected or otherwise. Mary’s multiple personalities and her varying relationships with Daredevil formed the core of that theme. She became a character filled with potential both for high-flying action and complex stories.
Typhoid Mary doesn’t just work as a villain or in relation to heroes like Daredevil though. Her various careers in villainy and anti-heroism offer someone capable of driving a criminal enterprise or acting as a dark vigilante. In short, she’s perfect for the streets of Marvel Comics’ Manhattan. She’s unlike anyone else there too. You might try to compare her conflicting personalities to Moon Knight, but they are much better defined and come with a unique set of powers. If that dude in white deserves his own comic, then Typhoid Mary certainly does too.
Ikari is the newest character on this list, but he was the biggest discovery of Samnee and Waid’s run on Daredevil (besides possibly their reinvention of The Spot). Ikari is the dark inverse of Daredevil, given his powers through similar chemical exposure without losing his sight. He has that one slight edge and uses it to his full advantage in order to maim and kill. But in the wake of Bullseye’s literal collapse at the end of that story, Ikari is left without a purpose or leader.
The chemicals both gave him powers and drove him somewhat mad. Without someone steering his directions, what could Ikari become? Is there potential to become an anti-hero or will he rise to become the next great villain in Daredevil? There are a lot of unanswered questions swirling around this hooded figure, and they form the potential for a great story. This is one character who deserves more time on the page and could absolutely hold down his own series.
Hold on one second before you laugh and walk away. Stilt-Man is a guy who robs banks while wearing hyper-advanced stilts. You have to ask what drives a person to do that, right? Why develop that sort of technology to employ it this way and to do that? That’s the hook for a C-list villain like Stilt-Man and any creators able to come up with a good answer deserve to tell the story.
This isn’t necessarily just a pitch for Stilt-Man though. Daredevil’s rogues gallery is chock-full of villains with bizarre gimmicks who keep coming back to be put down. An anthology examining their lives or origins is rife with potential for both writers and artists. This may not be the best collection of bad guys on the planet, but it’s certainly one of the most interesting. We’re interested to learn more about them all.