— “With great power comes great responsibility!” – Ben Parker (Spider-man comics)
This period from around 1956 to 1970 was a huge shift in the world of comic books. Prior to this comics were in decline, mainly because of the Comics Code Authority banning all the awesome shit that was actually selling, because they were afraid it was going to create a generation of delinquents, you know like rap music and video games! Thanks to douchebag of the century, Fredric Wertham, many comic books and pulp magazines were burned in massive bonfires around the country.
So the Silver Age is considered the point at which comics were rejuvenated after a lame stint of pure camp in the Atomic Age of the 50’s. It was the beginning of many a Marvel hero and was marked by a much more sci-fi focus than ever before. This was also notably the introduction of some of the industry’s best talent to date, both artists and writers, including Neal Adams, Denny O Neal, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., and of course Stan Lee. Comics of this era are seen as an extension of the Atomic Age, and are often heavily influenced by B-rated Science Fiction films of the time where flying saucers, and giant radioactive monsters ran amok across the silver screen. One of the earliest instances of this was with the devious BRAINIAC first invading Action Comics in issue 242 (1958). Much like the Children of the Atom (the X-Men), Comics began to evolve.
In the last part I looked at Geoff Johns’ Avengers, and this part is somewhat similar, in that the writer is also a big name for other projects, and the character is pretty popular.
In the early part of the 2000’s, Marvel launched their Marvel Knights line, which was headlined by Kevin Smith writing Daredevil, with art by Marvel Knights editor/comic artist/eventual Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, which saw Bullseye, Daredevil’s longtime enemy, kill Karen Page, Daredevil’s longtime girlfriend. Following their run was the hugely popular, highly acclaimed run by Brian Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, which saw Daredevil get married to a blind girl named Mila, Daredevil ‘dethroning’ the Kingpin and getting both Kingpin and Bullseye arrested. Oh, it also had Daredevil’s secret identity as blind attorney Matt Murdock revealed to the world. Following up their run would take something special, and maybe just as importantly, someone willing to pick up where Bendis left off, namely having Matt Murdock disbarred and placed in prison for being Daredevil.
Enter: Ed Brubaker. His first arc, ‘The Devil in Cell Block D’, is as good a Daredevil story as you can find.