Whose Daredevil will we see in ‘Born Again,’ Stan Lee’s or Frank Miller’s?

Daredevil in Marvel Comics
Image via Marvel Comics

In early 2022, Charlie Cox, who plays Matt Murdock in the Netflix/Disney Plus series Daredevil, discussed rebooting the character with SlashFilm, saying: “A few years have passed. It’s Daredevil but it’s re-imagined, it’s slightly different. Do you know what I texted my friends when I found out this was all happening? ‘Born again.'” Given Marvel’s newfound love for branching multiverses, there’s no end to the possibilities for Matt Murdock, even if Daredevil: Born Again deviates entirely from the original Netflix series — which it almost certainly will. There are two iterations of Daredevil that exist within Marvel Comics; the one crafted by Stan Lee himself, and the other reinvented by Frank Miller, author of the Born Again comic series.

But as we draw nearer to the beginning of the Born Again shoot, it’s worth knowing whether Stan Lee’s or Frank Miller’s Daredevil will be the focus of the series, and it’s an important distinction. Just to clarify, Stan Lee created Daredevil — as in the character — but didn’t exclusively write all the stories, as with many Marvel characters. Although Lee takes full credit for their conception, Marvel hired all sorts of writers to adapt the source material, allowing them to have a certain creative freedom when developing these stories. That’s precisely what Frank Miller did.

Perhaps his most famous works, Miller earned recognition for his contribution to the Daredevil comic series, specifically the Born Again story arc, which he alone conceived. Aside from Born Again, Miller worked on other publications such as DC’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, the neo-noir Sin City, and the historical 300. Additionally, Miller wrote the screenplay for the ’90s science fiction films RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3.

Image via Marvel Comics

Born Again is widely considered to be the “definitive” Daredevil storyline and the arc that shaped his overall character most effectively. Miller teamed up with artist David Mazzucchelli to bring the tale to life in 1986, which was originally published as Daredevil #227 through #231. What made Born Again so significant is its dark and gritty elements, such as Karen Page’s drug addiction, which is openly discussed. Wilson Fisk, quite cruelly, exploits Page’s addiction to lure out Daredevil, his archenemy. There’s a whole lot of backstabbing, blackmailing, and betrayal.

There’s yet to be an official synopsis released for Born Again, but we’ll rightly assume it will adapt Miller’s work quite closely, which is far more promising considering the fact that neither Karen nor Foggy will be appearing.

In summary, it will be Frank Miller’s iteration of Daredevil who will be “Born Again” next year, but Stan Lee laid the foundations for Matt Murdock so that Miller might interpret him differently for a more niche audience. We’ll have to wait and see how Daredevil: Born Again fits into the grander, overarching MCU, but if it’s any bit as grisly as Jessica Jones — a huge hit for its mature themes — then Marvel is headed in the right direction.