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NewsThe Blip and Matt Murdock's Second Rebirth

The Blip and Matt Murdock’s Second Rebirth


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The recently announced Disney+ TV series Daredevil: Born Again shares its title with a now-classic comic book storyline by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli. While this could mean that the new series is an adaptation of Miller and Mazzucchelli’s work, it seems unlikely. Season 3 of Netflix’s Daredevil borrowed several elements from “Born Again.” For Marvel to do the same thing on Disney+, especially with Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio reprising their roles from the Netflix series, wouldn’t make sense. Regardless of quality, the new adaptation would feel like a copy of the previous one. If the Netflix series remains canon in the MCU, Matt Murdock has already completed the emotional arc of hitting rock bottom and rising again.

However, this does not mean that Daredevil: Born Again can’t tell a different story of rebirth. Season 3 of Daredevil concluded with Matt Murdock triumphing over Wilson Fisk and reforming Nelson, Murdock, and Page with Foggy and Karen, all while displaying a new sense of purpose. It was a happy ending, to be sure, but no happy ending is safe from the biggest event to hit the MCU thus far: The Blip.

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In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos used the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of all life in existence. The Avengers eventually undid this act, but the intervening five years would have had a major impact on everyone, blipped and unblipped alike. As yet, Daredevil’s whereabouts for this time period are unclear. Maybe he struggled to keep things together in a community collapsing in the face of an unprecedented tragedy, or maybe he rematerialized in a world he didn’t recognize after five years away. Either event would be more than enough to break the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen down to his core and force him to rebuild.

If Daredevil remained after Thanos’s snap, he would, no doubt, feel extreme guilt over surviving while so many others did not. That guilt would only increase if Karen or Foggy were among those who disappeared. The weight of this remorse, combined with a sense of helplessness in the face of a threat that dwarfs Manhattan street crime, could have pushed Murdock to hang up his uniform and give up his fight. In this case, Daredevil: Born Again could follow his attempts to overcome these doubts and become Daredevil once more.

If Daredevil disappeared along with half of the universe, he would have been understandably confused upon his return. For him, the world would have jumped ahead five years in the blink of eye and left him behind. After so long away, he would lack much of the context he would need in order to effectively protect Hell’s Kitchen. He would be unfamiliar with the new power structures within the various criminal organizations and would have no knowledge of how the world has changed during his absence. In this case, Daredevil: Born Again could be about his attempts to figure out this new world and his place within it.

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No matter what else happens in Daredevil: Born Again, the central conflict is likely to revolve around Wilson Fisk. Sometime between Daredevil Season 3 and Hawkeye, the Kingpin regained his freedom. However this happened, possibly because of The Blip or its fallout, Murdock will be set on undoing it, which won’t be easy. Daredevil’s previous victories over Fisk were hard won. Going for a third, especially if Murdock is coming off a period of inactivity, will be almost impossible. Perhaps the rebirth in the show’s title refers to Daredevil’s quest to once again become the person who can take down the Kingpin of Crime.

In the three years since Avengers: Endgame, Marvel has only just begun to explore the far-reaching implications of The Blip. Daredevil: Born Again could provide the opportunity to do so through the lens of a beloved character. Seeing Matt Murdock claw his life back from the wreckage of both the MCU’s greatest tragedy and greatest triumph would make the consequences of The Blip more real and more personal. If Daredevil: Born Again can pull that off, it will have earned the right to share its title with a comic book classic.

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