Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Time with “The Man Without Fear”

I remember this Daredevil quite vividly. In 2001, on impulse, my father took the family to see the first Spider-Man. I enjoyed it, though I thought the action scenes were a bit too silly at the time. I was, maybe,14 at the time. Not old enough to really appreciate that fine film (especially in light of the more recent not-so-amazing ones), I brushed it off and went on my merry way. Of course, I went back and read the first seven massive books of the Amazing Spider-Man by Stan Lee, and fell in love with Peter Parker. Then, this Daredevil movie popped up on my dad’s radar and he took me to see it.

I had never heard of this dude, not seen a trailer or anything. So I sat down and from the first thirty seconds, I was hooked. All cheesy pretenses went out the window and I was transfixed by this ‘man without fear.’ I devoured the Frank Miller saga and the Born Again novel like they were crack. As I recall those times, I am left to ponder what drew me to this Daredevil.

I think, first, that he was more than an outsider. He didn’t have geekish tendencies nor was he a terrible killer. He was a loner and burdened by his religious upbringing. I identified with that, and found his struggles to be both potent and personable.

Second, and probably more importantly, I saw him as some sort of Christ figure. I wouldn’t have said this at the time, but I saw him as someone who was a true under dog, who gave of himself for others, and saw very little in return. At the time, the darkness mingled with brutality and necessity; he did whatever it took to achieve an honorable end.

Third, and more tangentially, he taught me to not have fear. Of course, that feeling hasn’t always stuck, but the fearless way he interacted in the world was a great model.

Fourth, he had a badass costume. That sold me so hard.

—Nick

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