If you’ve read enough superhero books you begin to get a sense that some books are ‘cosmic’ in orientation or ‘fantasy’ or ‘funny animal’ or ‘mainstream’.  Daredevil is my go-to book when I want to read ‘street’.  Street-level hero books are typically headlined by heroes on the lower end of the power  scale. Action is hand-to-hand or using guns, power projection is kept to a minimum if at all. This is a world populated by common criminals and organized crime gangs. Because of this, it has a more realistic feel to it.

Take Daredevil. Lawyer by day, Matthew Murdock was blinded in an accident but experienced increased sensitivity of all his other senses and a ‘radar’ sense.  He’s the self-styled protector of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. I find the blindness + radar sense absolutely fascinating.  Daredevil is an accomplished acrobat, this makes for some strong visual choices for the artist – there’s always the promise of some awesome action sequences in an issue of daredevil. And the gritty, realistic ‘feel’ of a street comic provides the perfect contrast for the slightly unreal visage of Daredevil – a shadowy hero, dressed in red from head to toe, sporting a billy club and able to hear a heartbeat, or read ink by feel. It’s just fascinating, and a lot of creators and creative teams have taken advantage of it.

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Daredevil : Born Again

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