When you envision Daredevil what do you see? Do you see the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen with bloody knuckles in an alley or do you see him diving off a building with his nunchucks out? There are certain covers that are iconic and powerful so much that they are imprinted in our minds. Or more scientifically, a cluster of neurons in our brains stored that image in our visual cortex for safe keeping. Sorry for going all Stephen Hawking. The interesting thing is that some of the most common covers aren’t what you imagine.
Daredevil in the Rain Covers
There is something gritty and dark about Daredevil so having him trudge through a miserable rainstorm fits him. The most iconic of these covers is #168 which is the first appearance of Elektra.
Daredevil in a Boxing Ring
His father’s boxing past has been a common theme throughout Daredevil but shockingly there are only 4 covers that feature Daredevil in a boxing ring. All four covers are from the first series and would make Battlin’ Jack Murdock proud of his son, except for the one where he is holding his Dad’s body.
Daredevil’s Insanely Elaborate Crazy String-like Nunchucks (Nunchaku)
From the beginning of Daredevil, his nunchucks had the ability to extend for grappling purposes. Usually, they were a normal looking pair of nunchaku but in the late 90’s they grew to something more like a manrikigusari or kusari-fundo. (long chain with weights at both ends) Most often this change is attributed to stylistic art from Joe Quesada but Ariel Olivetti had the first cover to show the very long nunchuck cord in January 1998.
Daredevil Holding Someone’s Shirt While They are Down
When you’re a back alley fighter smashing criminal’s faces with bare knuckles you expect to be standing over them like Muhammad Ali in his prime. For a more current reference, how about Steve and Jonathan’s fight from Stranger Things. Not surprisingly, Daredevil is sometimes shown holding someone by the shirt with one hand and readying a punch with the other hand.
This is one of those great superhero fears from the 60’s and 70’s. Each of the big name superheroes had a cover with a similar story. “Kill me, just don’t unmask me!” Batman, Spider-man, Daredevil, and others received the same treatment regarding their secret identity. Daredevil was unmasked several times over the years, the best story was in the second series written by Brian Michael Bendis.
Daredevil in a Graveyard or Hanging on a Tombstone
One of the indelible images of Daredevil was from Frank Miller in May 1982. The ground and Elektra’s tombstone are white while Daredevil’s exposed eyes are black. He is on his knees clinging to the cold stone that marks her grave. All other graveyard issues kneel before the emotional smack of issue 182.
Overshadowing figure behind Daredevil
This particular cover is surprisingly common. There are variations on this cover, sometimes the person is physically behind Daredevil while other times it’s used to show their influence. Sometimes the oversized figure interacts with the background, like a hand resting on a building and at other times the figure is independent. Typically it is a criminal mastermind like Kingpin exerting their influence from behind the scenes.
It should be obvious but the most common Daredevil cover shows him jumping off or falling off a building. There will be no attempt to list the massive avalanche of those covers. Did I miss any reoccurring covers that you love?
To fully understand this post you need to know about the different volumes of Daredevil comic. There are currently 6 volumes of Daredevil comics if you combine them altogether series 6 is on the correct number.
Series 1 – 1-380, 500-512
Series 2 – 1-119
Series 3 – 1 -36
Series 4 – 1-18
Series 5 – 1-28
Series 6 – 595 – 600
by Ron C.
(All covers are linked to Comics Price Guide so that you can see the cover, issue facts, and current prices.)