Best Cover EVER? time again, where comikers far and wide tell us what they reckon qualifies for the accolade of the best cover there’s ever been. This time we’re turning it over to Robert Hagan, who runs “The Matt Murdoch Chronicles” website, a great resource on all things Daredevil, news, information, reviews, overviews…. everything.
Robert left a simple comment on a previous Best Cover EVER? entry …. “Daredevil 182. Nuff said”.
Now, I wasn’t about to let that go, so got in touch and asked Robert if he fancied telling us a little more….
Daredevil Issue 182, Marvel Comics, 1982. Art by Frank Miller
Here’s why I adore Daredevil 182 above all else…
This cover jumped out at me the first time I saw it, which was in the late 80s some time after it was published. What struck me was both how unusual it was and also how it captured what was distinctive about Daredevil back in the Frank Miller era.
Here it seems was a comic that did not revel in heroics and good conquering evil but rather in pathos, misery and real human emotion. Daredevil’s despair at losing his soulmate is immediately apparent. He isn’t just clinging to her gravestone – he’s been stuck to it so long that he’s oblivious to the thatch of snow that covers his head and shoulders. Indeed, the winter landscape is a metaphor for how Matt Murdock is frozen. But that’s not all. Our hero is wearing his superhero costume but he’s maskless. It’s like he no longer cares who knows who he is – that which has given him drive and passion has left him and why bother to play at hero any longer. In addition, the cover carries a Shakespearean quote, from Hamlet, that, perhaps pretentiously, adds to the tragedy.
In summary, this is a cover about a lost and pathetic man, not a hero. It’s what makes is so striking and why I love it.
Thanks to Robert for that one. And if you want to read his thoughts on the inside of this great issue, it’s over at The Matt Murdoch Chronicles. Including this great splash page…. poor Matt, poor, poor Matt….