Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
I’m currently rereading “Born Again,” Frank Miller & David Mazzuchelli’s classic Daredevil story in which The Kingpin first learns that The Man Without Fear is in fact blind attorney Matt Murdock, and then begins a campaign to take apart his life and his sanity.
One of the linchpins of this attack is to have Murdock framed for bribery and other malfeasance, leading to his disgrace and disbarment. The key source of these false allegations is one Det. Nick Manolis, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD with an unimpeachable record–who has, for the only time in his career, sold himself out to organized crime.
I hadn’t fully internalized, until this reading, that the reason Manolis compromises his integrity is not simply that The Kingpin has offered to help pay for the medical procedure that might save the life of his young son–a procedure that the police department’s medical insurance refused to cover.
I don’t know if or when the Marvel / Netflix Daredevil might choose to explore the consequences of Daredevil’s most vital secret being discovered by his nemesis, but if they choose to adapt this plot point wholesale they might be accused of making some kind of topical political statement.
“Born Again” was published in 1986. We’ve spent 30 years since then understanding and imagining all the ways our profit-driven healthcare system can lead to disaster and corruption, and still we insist that this is the best system America can come up with to keep its own citizens alive.