Freddy: “What makes you think Matt Murdock’s brother would be welcome here, you idiot?”
Mike: “Easy, buddy. I just wanted to go somewhere in this damn town where everyone isn’t talkin’ about how great my brother is. Matt Murdock’s a bastard! Can I get an amen, people? Now, if you’ll excuse me… I believe I was attempting to sleep with your wife.”
Mike Murdock becomes a real boy, from Daredevil vol. 5 #606 by Charles Soule and Phil Noto
These comics will join the already in-progress Cloak and Dagger and Jessica Jones ongoing series as part of Marvel’s new Marvel Digital Originals line. These are digital-first comics and– though they take place in the normal 616 universe– they seem to be aimed, in subject matter and format, at fans of Marvel’s TV properties.
“MDOs are double-sized digital issues (40 pages) that are released once per month, with every three issues forming a complete story. While they don’t come out all at once like a Netflix show, the accelerated pace of release is meant to cater to those who discovered these Marvel heroes on TV and want to binge their comics in big chunks. After completing a story arc, each series will be printed and sold in comic shops.”
With Harlem in the grips of an unprecedented heat wave, the people look to their hero—the unbreakable man, Luke Cage! But the heat wave turns out to be the least of Harlem’s worries. Someone has their sights set on the city’s 1%, and the rich and powerful are dropping dead from mysterious illnesses. It’s up to Luke Cage to stop the killer—but he’s just received a grim diagnosis of his own…
Written by Anthony Del Col
Art by Jahnoy Lindsay and Ian Herring
Cover art by Declan Shalvey
A darkness is spreading through New York – something evil that preys on those who believe in the supernatural and the occult. And when palm readers and fortune tellers start turning up dead, the situation catches the attention of Danny Rand, aka the Iron Fist! But this might be one paranormal problem too great for even Danny to take on alone…
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman
Art by Guillermo Sanna Bauza and Lee Loughridge
Cover art by Khoi Pham
Misty Knight and Colleen Wing have been fighting crime as the Daughters of the Dragon for years but with Misty’s new job with the FBI, does this mean the two are splitzies? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! A crazy adventure that Colleen initiates puts comics’ two greatest ass-kickers on a collision course with a weird and scary side of the Marvel Universe that will have you on the edge of your seat.
BLIND SPOT Part 1! Jessica Jones was once the costumed super hero known as Jewel. She sucked at it. Now she’s a private investigator at her own firm, Alias Investigations. She sucks less at that. With the Purple Man gone, her relationship with her husband, Luke Cage, and their daughter, Danielle, is better than ever. But her past always comes knocking, and when a woman whose case she fumbled winds up dead on her office floor, Jessica goes from private investigator to prime suspect. Can she find the real killer and clear her name? A DOUBLE-SIZED Marvel Digital Original you don’t want to miss!
Marvel Digital Originals, a new line of digital-first comics, is kicking off with a new Jessica Jones mini-series by Kelly Thompson and Mattia de Lulis! The first issue is already available, right here.
At long last, MCU Misty Knight is getting her sweet bionic arm! This is essentially her origin story, and as such, it will have huge consequences for her life moving forward. Here’s a brief look at her disarming, recovery, and powers in the comics.
To celebrate the first season of Luke Cage, we compiled a list of our favorite Luke comics. Now, with Danny crossing over into the show this season, here are a few of our favorite comics featuring one of Marvel’s greatest dynamic duos! (For the history of this legendary friendship, look here.)
Power Man #48-49: The beginning! Mob boss Bushmaster blackmails Luke into kidnapping his old nemesis, Misty Knight. Unfortunately, Misty’s partner Colleen and boyfriend Danny take issue with this. Fights ensue, buildings are destroyed, and lifelong friendships are forged.
Power Man and Iron Fist vol. 1 #50-125: One fateful day, Marvel’s editorial team decided to take two doomed comics and squish them together. The result was the ultimate wacky powerhouse buddy book. Danny joins Luke’s Heroes for Hire business, and the two friends face down every kind of threat imaginable (for a fee, of course). This series directly follows Power Man #48-49 (above), which is why it starts with #50. The best approach for this wild ride of a comic is just to hop on and take it as far as you want to go!
Daredevil vol. 1 #178: And be sure to not miss this first half of the crossover with PMIF vol. 1 #77! Foggy hires Luke and Danny to be bodyguards for Matt (much to Matt’s annoyance), and the three heroes end up creating investigating drama at a local ballet performance.
Cage vol. 1 #11-13: Following the tragic events of the final issue of PMIF vol. 1, Luke leaves New York and starts over in Chicago. In this arc, he discovers that Danny isn’t dead after all.
Heroes for Hire vol. 1 #1-19: Danny re-starts Heroes for Hire with Luke’s blessing and an expanded line-up. Shenanigans ensue. This series is irreverent, over-the-top, and a whole lot of fun– everything a Heroes for Hire comic should be. We recommend the whole series, but if you only read one issue, make it this one:
Heroes for Hire vol. 1 #13: Danny siphons all of his chi into Luke to save his life, and then Luke, Misty, Colleen, and White Tiger return the favor.
Iron Fist/Wolverine #1-4: Danny decides to pull K’un-Lun onto the earthly plane permanently, then immediately regrets it when the Hand steal the chi of Shou-Lao and attempt to use the city for their own purposes. A fun story about the power of family, which suffers from having a few too many guest-stars.
Black Panther (1998) #17: This is a great series, but this issue is particularly relevant because it features a giant superhero/supervillain brawl with some great Luke and Danny banter.
Cable & Deadpool (2004) #21: There is plot going on here, and it’s perfectly good plot, but the main feature of this issue is Luke and Danny fighting another of Marvel’s great partnerships: Cable and Deadpool.
New Avengers vol. 1 #34: Both New Avengers runs are fairly PMIF-heavy, since it’s Luke’s team, but this issue is particularly important. Luke and Jessica reveal that they have named their baby after Danny.
Immortal Iron Fist #16: Danny sets about transforming Rand Corp. into a not-for-profit operation, and invites Luke to join him.
Immortal Iron Fist #27: After Misty reveals that she’s pregnant, Luke gives Danny some vital parenting advice. Immortal Iron Fist is a phenomenal comic, and Luke pops up throughout, so we recommend reading the whole thing.
Thunderbolts (2006) #137: Want to be sad and then heart-warmed? Read this issue! Danny gets kidnapped, tortured, and brainwashed by Norman Osborn, and then is sent to kill Luke.
Shadowland: Power Man #1-4: Luke and Danny encounter Victor Alvarez– a teenage boy with Iron Fist-style powers and ties to Luke’s past– and try to figure out how to deal with him.
Power Man and Iron Fist vol. 3 #1-15: Danny and Luke try to recreate their Heroes for Hire glory days in a world in which everything has changed. Equal parts humor, introspection, and butt-kicking. And of course, don’t miss:
Deadpool (2015) #13: This wild thing is four issues in one– a massive self-contained crossover between the Deadpool series, Daredevil vol. 5, and Power Man and Iron Fist vol. 3. It’s a lot of fun.
Defenders (2017) #1-10: While dealing with a temporary setback with their new Heroes for Hire operation (it… blows up), Luke and Danny co-start a new Defenders team with Jessica and Matt. The writing in this series varies in quality, but the art is fantastic and the PMIF love is real.
So… Marvel just released their August solicitations. Check them out if you haven’t yet, because August is clearly going to be the Month of Daredevil (well… actually, it seems to be the Month of the Fantastic Four– and they’ve earned it. But we’re getting a ton of DD too)! All of it looks great, but the reason I’m feverishly writing a post about these issues three whole months before they even go on sale is:
DAREDEVIL #606 Spinning out of the events of THE HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: WEAPON LOST, a nightmare Matt Murdock never knew he’d have has come true — MIKE MURDOCK IS FLESH AND BLOOD IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! Now, there’s someone running around with Matt Murdock’s face, which can only spell trouble for the Mayor Without Fear!
DAREDEVIL #607 Once Matt Murdock’s alter-alter ego and fake twin brother, Mike Murdock has been made flesh and blood thanks to the Inhuman Reader. But Mike Murdock has motivations of his own, and all the cunning and skill of his “brother” Matt at his disposal to make them come to fruition. And things only get worse as Mike zeroes in on the people Matt cares about most!
I’ve been pretty vocal around these parts about my adoration of the entire concept of Mike Murdock, both as a hilarious Silver Age joke and a surprisingly compelling examination of Matt’s psyche. He’s a chunk of Daredevil history that– thankfully– just won’t die, and echoes of his presence can be found in all of the subsequent volumes… and even, for one glorious moment, in the dark-and-gritty depths of the Netflix show. Mike persists as an easy gag, a personification of Matt’s id, and– as much as Matt would hate to admit it– one of his most memorable alter egos. The guise of Mike was so enticing to 1960s Matt that he even toyed with the idea of making him his main identity! That’s a persona with power, part of the reason I find him so interesting, and why these solicits are 100% dead-center right up my alley.
This isn’t going to be Matt’s first close encounter with his other alter egos. A few writers have taken great, mind-bending advantage of his plethora of personalities, bringing them together en-masse to give him a little psychological jolt. But I’ve always been sad that these multi-Matt get-togethers never included Mike.
Daredevil vol. 5 #19 by Charles Soule, Marc Laming, Miroslav Mrva, and Matt Milla
Stick: “Y’know, I could fill this whole cemetery with the people you’ve been. The lives you’ve discarded. The masks you’ve worn. Remember Mike Murdock? Now that was a good one. But what say we limit this to a study of your major incarnations.”
Daredevil vol. 1 #349 by J.M. DeMatteis, Cary Nord, and Christie Scheele
This tantalizing concept of giving “life” to Matt’s various alter egos has always been extra appealing to me in regards to Mike, just because he’s so out-there and fun, and because the idea of Matt coming face-to-face with him is so entertaining. (If I had written Shadowland, it would have ended with Mike emerging from the depths of Matt’s subconscious and one punch K.O.ing the Beast, but hey, maybe that’s just me…) The closest we’ve come so far was in DeMatteis’s run, when a mysterious yellow-suited DD started swinging around town, claiming to be the “original” Daredevil. This was eventually revealed to be Matt, who’d reverted back to his loudmouth, swashbuckly 60′s persona… and while he’s never identified as such in the text, I’ve always wishful-thinking-ly taken that to mean Mike.
Matt: “So tell me, Fogster– why do you keep sabotaging yourself?”
Foggy: “Wh-who are you?!”
Matt: “Who do I look like?”
Daredevil vol. 1 #345 by J.M. DeMatteis, Ron Wagner, and Christie Scheele
But while Mike’s memory has stuck around to annoy his “twin brother”…
Reporter: “Now, wait– I thought you were the second Daredevil. Wasn’t there another who preceded you–? The brother of that blind lawyer, Matt Murdock?”
Matt: “(Caught again in the ‘big lie’! […] I wonder– will that one insane idea of creating a third identity for myself ever stop plaguing me?)”
Daredevil vol. 1 #100 by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, and Stan G.
…he’s never officially physically manifested… until now! (Well, August.)
There are a few details that make me extra excited about this arc (beyond the obvious). One is that the artist will be Phil Noto, who is brilliant. I never imagined I’d ever get to see him draw Mike Murdock. Another is the cameo by Reader, a character Soule introduced during his Inhuman (2014) run. Reader is blind, and has the power to cause anything he reads to physically manifest. He’s a great character, and it will be fun to see him interact with Matt– though it’s doubtful Matt will be too happy with him, given the circumstances. And finally, there’s the idea of Mike as not just an annoyance, but as an actual threat. Obviously, I don’t want a full-on evil Mike. That’s not his personality. But he is self-serving above almost all else, and this could easily put him at odds with Matt. And who knows what his attitude will be regarding the nature of his existence? The situation is full-on Frankenstein-esque: Matt created this thing, gave it certain characteristics, and now it is being unleashed on his world and he’s going to have to actually deal with it.
Mike is, in many ways, the perfect adversary for Matt, and as such, has the potential to be highly dangerous. He has Matt’s combat skills, his intelligence (if not necessarily his attention span or motivation), and he’s not blind. And there’s the added factor (and it will be curious to see if Soule delves into this) of Mike literally being a facet of Matt’s personality. Everything that made Mike who he was– possibly minus the nutty sunglasses– came from Matt. Mike was a Matt free from secret identity concerns and societal restraints. He was an embodiment of a lifestyle that Matt, on some level, longed for. Since Matt has loosened up quite a bit since the 60s, this it probably no longer true. But it will be wild to see how he and Mike react to each other. I’ve been really enjoying Soule’s run, especially lately, but it’s been a while since I was quite this jump-up-and-down excited for an issue. I can’t believe that Mike Murdock: Born Again is happening in my lifetime. Expect more essays on the topic when August arrives.