Examining the 10 greatest creative runs with the Man Without Fear
5: Karl Kesel and Cary Nord with Larry Hama
"Daredevil" Vol. 1 #352-357, #358-364 (1996-1997)
After almost a decade of writers trying and failing to ape Frank Miller's run, Karl Kesel brought Matt Murdock back to his freewheeling, swashbuckling roots in 1996. The mid-'90s were not a good time for Marvel, which was dealing with creative upheaval, gross editorial interference and fans greeting each major event with weary apathy. The '90s were a particularly trying time for Daredevil, who spent a befuddling amount of time running around in high tech armor rehashing old stories. During the era of countless X-events and Spider-Man's Clone Saga, Kesel and Nord's run on "Daredevil" was a breath of fresh air. Amidst a swath of joyless heroes, Kesel's Daredevil was not afraid to be fun. There was a sense of old school Marvel joy to the proceedings, but also a sense of danger as Daredevil took on Mr. Hyde, the Enforcers, Pyro and the Eel, the book was never weighed down by its own self-importance. The lighter adventures were a precursor to Mark Waid's current run, and in an era where most Marvel titles were collapsing under their own excess, "Daredevil," for an all too brief period of time, was a rare shining example of just how awesome comics could be.