March 20, 2009

Daredevil is a fictional character, an American comic book superhero that starred in popular comics from Lev Gleason Publications during the 1930s-1940s period historians and fans call the Golden Age of comic books. The character is a separate and unrelated entity from Marvel Comics' Daredevil. Although the original Daredevil ceased to appear in original stories by the end of the decade, the character nonetheless had an enduring impact on generations of comics creators influenced by the gritty, anything-goes storytelling[citation needed] of its most prominent writer-artist, Charles Biro.

Lev Gleason Publications This original Daredevil was created by Jack Binder for an eight-page backup feature in Lev Gleason Publications' Silver Streak #6 (Sept. 1940). Editor Jack Cole, who would create the classic Plastic Man a year later, revamped the character in the next issue and pitted him against Silver Streak's lead character, the villainous Claw, for a five-issue battle that made Daredevil a star. The final installment was written by Don Rico, who would write the character through Silver Streak #17 (Dec. 1941).

Daredevil Battles Hitler (July 1941), the premiere issue of Daredevil Comics. Art by Charles Biro and Bob Wood.By this time, publisher Lev Gleason had already launched Daredevil's own comic with Daredevil Battles Hitler #1 (July 1941), in which Daredevil and other Silver Streak heroes fought Der Fuehrer. As with Captain America #1 (March 1941), in which Hitler gets an ignominious sock in the jaw, the comic anticipated U.S. involvement in World War II. It was written and partially drawn by Charles Biro, who continued on the book when its title changed to Daredevil Comics with issue #2, and who in his 16-year run would make the character one of the most acclaimed of the Golden Age. Biro rewrote Daredevil's origin in #18 (August 1943), now depicting Daredevil's real identity, Bart Hill as having been raised by aborigines in the Australian Outback.

Biro introduced popular supporting characters the Little Wise Guys in Daredevil #13 (Oct. 1942). A "kid gang" similar to DC Comics' Newsboy Legion and many others, the group consisted of Curly, Jocko, Peewee, Scarecrow and Meatball the last of whom, with remarkable daring, was killed two issues later. By the late 1940s, with superheroes going out of fashion, the Little Wise Guys took center stage, edging out Daredevil altogether with issue #70 (Jan. 1950). The series lasted through #134 (Sept. 1956).

Other publishers In the late 1980s, AC Comics revived Daredevil as part of that publisher's superhero universe. Renamed Reddevil,[1][2] he appeared as a guest character in Femforce #45 & #50[3][4] before starring in the one-shot title Reddevil #1 (1991).[5]

Daredevil is one of several public domain Golden Age characters set to appear in Image Comics' Next Issue Project spearheaded by Image's publisher Erik Larsen.

A variation on Daredevil appeared in the comic-book series Project Superpowers, by writer Jim Krueger and artist Alex Ross.[6] In this series, he's billed as The Death-Defying 'Devil.[7] In 2008, Dynamite Entertainment spun off a solo miniseries for the character, written by Joe Casey with art by Edgar Salazar.[8] In this series, someone from 'Devil's past wearing a green version of 'Devil's costume and calling himself "Dragon" believes that the returned hero is an impostor, and is determined to expose him.

Daredevil also appears in Legends of the Golden Age, an anthology featuring prose tales of Daredevil and the Black Terror. Barry Reese contributed one of the stories in this anthology, which was released in January, 2009 by Wild Cat Books.

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