In the Name of the Father: Quesada talks "Daredevil: Father"

Wed, July 20th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

Last year, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada gave readers the first chapter of "Daredevil: Father," a five issue mini-series which he wrote and drew that had the champion of Hell's Kitchen battling a serial killer, a record heat wave and wrestling with family secrets. That was the last readers saw of the series. After a number of delays, the series is now back on track and issue 2 of "Daredevil: Father" finally hits stores this August with the rest of the series guaranteed to ship the following months. CBR News spoke to Quesada about the project, who promised that the long delay has not changed one word of "Daredevil: Father."

Issue two of "Daredevil: Father" was actually finished some time ago, explains Quesada. "Issue two was already done when I started to fall behind on issue #3. It was Dan Buckley who had just come in as the new Publisher who suggested that we hold off on soliciting until more of the project was done," Quesada told CBR News. "Then what happened is this little thing called being EiC. Once the sense of urgency was gone, stuff got in the way of the actual work."

For readers that need a refresher or that may have missed issue 1 the first time around, a special "Director's Cut" edition of "Daredevil: Father" issue 1 also hits stores in August. The issue contains many DVD style bonuses. "I make it a point of saving every little doodle that I produce when working on a series," Quesada said. 'The Director's Cut' will chock a block with all sorts of sketches and the actual pencils for the series."

Quesada sees Daredevil as a man of opposites and extremes. "He is the comic's character who most strongly displays the dual nature of man. This is a guy who practices law by day and vigilante justice at night, that makes for a heck of an interesting character," he explained. "Also, everything in Matt's life is very Shakespearean in nature, bigger than life. His romances are deeper more intense, they never end well. There is no middle in Daredevil's life, there are only extremes."

Quesada described the tone of "Daredevil: Father" as dark and claustrophobic, where Matt Murdoch finds his already complex life plunged into chaos by a bout of nightmares and a bloodthirsty predator stalking the streets of NYC. "At it's core, it's a murder mystery as a serial killer is loose in NYC and DD is completely disinterested in catching him because he's worrying about the Kitchen, let the other heroes worry about their neighborhoods," Quesada stated. "Also, underneath the surface it's a father and son story as Matt is having bouts with nightmares and daydreams abut his dad and his childhood and he can't figure out why. Is his subconscious trying to tell him something?"

One of the great mysteries of "Daredevil: Father" is the serial killer's identity, who Quesada naturally wants to keep details of which under wraps. Readers will learn whom the killer targets in issue 2.

In "Daredevil: Father," our title character has to contend not only with an oppressive heat wave, a climate of fear, family secrets and a serial killer, but the appearance of a new vigilante group made up of all new characters within the Marvel Universe that have a grudge against him. "What I can tell you about the group is that I had found an interesting angle and back-story for some super powered people that I haven't seen before, so I'm really proud of them."

The supporting cast of "Daredevil: Father" is a mix of old and new faces. Quesada said characters that make an appearance include Matt's dad, Foggy, Maggie and Sean Farrel, NeRo (a new character) and a hanful of other surprises.

To take on the various threats he faces in "Father," Daredevil adopts a new look, which Quesada designed specifically for the series. "The new look appears at the end of issue #3 and it's strictly a one time mission specific costume DD constructs to deal with some business," Quesada explained. "Brian Bendis and I have had this discussion often. If you were a super hero and you knew that tonight you were going to bust the heads of some lowly drug dealers, you would dress and prepare a certain way. If the next day you were going after a gang of twenty armed goons, you would most likely dress differently, yet we never really see this in comics. Sort of like the police when they get into anti-riot gear."

There were a number of influences and inspirations for "Daredevil: Father," one of which was very personal for Quesada. "Having lived in NYC during the Son of Sam killings, that was definitely an inspiration, but the entirety of the five issues was written at my father's bedside as he was passing away from emphysema," Quesada stated. "It was a very trying time and as he laid there in the hospital I just typed and typed, cried a bit, but mostly smiled as I was reliving our time together in my mind's eye all the while. From childhood to adult, I was flooded with memories and how instrumental my father was in where I was today. All these things found themselves into 'Father.'"

Writing is something Quesada isn't normally known for, but he does enjoy crafting stories. "I'm never going to be someone who writes three or four titles at a time," he said. "I'm really meticulous about it, so I only like writing when I really feel like I have a good story to tell that's more than just a super hero blow out. With 'Mask in the Iron Man' there was a singular theme that I was able to explore through several plot points, 'NYX' is similar and 'Father' is very much like that. It's tough for me to explain, you'll just have to read it."

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