Daredevil Resource Daredevil Resource


Series Proposal
Mark Waid
First Draft/October 30, 1995

Becoming a hero was just exactly the punishment he needed.

Raised as a privileged and wealthy child, Eric Nelson--spoiled, pampered,
insulated--was blind from a very early age to the horrors of the real world
of 2099.  Pedigreed upper class, Nelson guarded and guaranteed his position
and status by playing life safe.  From the time he was a boy, he never took
a risk...never threw himself to chance...never bucked the system.  Even in
his tidy and secure job as a corporate lawyer, Nelson took only the easiest
cases, the ones that were a lock...

...until a spiteful ex-client decided to teach him a lesson about
justice...and opened Eric's eyes for the very first time.

Now, by day, Eric continues to play the part of the tame, aristocratic,
effete lawyer, all the while using his new insight to gather information on
those who would flout the law.

By night, he exercises his unique brand of justice...as Daredevil.
Eric Nelson's father was the last of the big-time gamblers.  A
get-rich-quick wheeler-dealer.  A daredevil.  By the time Eric was twelve,
Dad had come close to bankrupting the Nelson family fortune through a
dizzying combination of reckless investments and sucker sports bets.

Desperate to maintain her place in society, Mom remarried within her class
and raised Eric to never, never, never be like his dad.  Social position
and security uber alles; one does not risk one's status for anything.

Following in his new stepfather's footsteps, Eric Nelson (he kept his
father's last name) became a corporate lawyer.  After all, what's a safer
bet in the world of 2099 than to choose a pro-corporate vocation?  Soon,
Eric's on the fast track.  He's engaged to the daughter of one of
Alchemax's head honchos, he's maintained his wealth, and so what if he's
never heard the words pro bono?  Three cheers for Corporate America.  Only
a sucker would stick his neck out for the little guy.

If pressed, of course, he'd phrase that a lot more diplomatically.  In
fact, he has his chance the day a seedy old man carrying a big carton under
his arm wanders into Eric's office.

Dr. Gunderson has a story.  In this advanced all-corporate age, he's one
of the last true pioneers--a downtown research scientist who works on his
own.  Thus far, he's survived by patenting his small, low-profile
breakthroughs and selling his patents to the corporations.  He doesn't live
high, but he gets by.

Years of non-interference had made Gunderson just a shade too cocky when
it came to avoiding the "attention" of the corporations.  Bad move.  Once
Gunderson filed a patent application for his ultimate discovery--a device
developed to enhance the human senses--Alchemax came knocking, boom, boom,
boom.  Their electronic mole in the patent office flagged them to something
potentially very interesting, and they'll get it from Gunderson one way or

A real lab rat, Gunderson has few close friends and fewer
acquaintances--but one of them is Eric Nelson's fly-by-night father, who
has recommended his son's services to Gunderson.  In desperation, Gunderson
pulls a crude helmet--his sensory-enhancement prototype--out of its big box
and almost forces Eric to try it out before pleading with Eric to take his
case and protect him.

Feh.  Sure, Eric's impressed.  He's even a little moved by the old man,
who reminds him of Dad, and doesn't that make his head ache.  But Gunderson
might as well have asked Eric to swing from the rafters in his underwear.
In order to take Gunderson seriously, Eric would have to fall for his tall
tales of Alchemax's strongarm tactics.  He doesn't.  The corporations are a
little faceless sometimes, sure, but they play by the rules, by the laws.

Clearly, Gunderson's exaggerating his plight.  Eric advises the old man to
accept Alchemax's I'm-sure-it's-fair bid and relinquish the tech.
Gunderson, tempted to spit on Eric's shoes, mutters, "Thanks a million,
daredevil," and leaves.

The next day, two things happen.

First, Eric hears the news of Gunderson's sudden suicide.  An odd way to
go, thinks Eric, for a man who still seemed to have plenty of vinegar in

Second, a big package arrives for Eric.  He opens it in the privacy of his
office.  It's empty...except for a taunting note from Gunderson promising
to teach Eric that the safe life isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Not only
does Eric get the creeps from this dead man's gift, he even pricks his
finger nastily on a sharp corner inside the empty box.

And that was the last normal day Eric Nelson ever had.

Suddenly, Eric begins experiencing intermittent dizzy, almost
hallucinatory spells.  That's not much good for helping him fend off the
flurry of Alchemax corporate goons who have begun to crawl all over his
life.   Surprise.  Eric's under full Alchemax surveillance.  After all, he
received a box big enough to carry Gunderson's now-missing prototype--so
where'd he hide the thing?

Eric's no dummy.  He knows that the weird symptoms he's experiencing have
something to do with the doc's sensory enhancements.  And as Alchemax
closes in on him, endangering him and everything he's worked for, trashing
his personal and professional life--"How can they get AWAY with
that?"--Eric goes probing and finds out just how much he's been physically

Trolling the downtown area, Eric meets Gunderson's fairly hostile, fairly
stunning former lab assistant, Carol Takagawa.  Carol's actually amused
that Alchemax is looking for a big, clunky prototype.  That was a blind.
The true tech is microscopic--nanomite technology that flows through the
bloodstream to the brain, permanently enhancing the sensory nodes.
Specifically, Eric's sensory nodes.  That's right.  They're bucking his
system in a big, big way.

Last laugh.  Gunderson hid his tech in a place no one would ever look, and
in doing so, stripped the safe life away from Eric.  Sure, he could go to
Alchemax and confess all...if he doesn't mind them ripping his nanoteched
brain out of his head for study.  And they'll do that.  Thanks to
Gunderson, Eric now knows that.

Temporarily refuged in the downtown area, his senses mutating,
Eric--through Carol--is introduced to the Maverick Underground, a downtown
network of scientists and free thinkers just like Gunderson.  Eric's brief
journey through their lives, through their personal tales of being Crushed
By The System, opens his eyes for the first time to the villainy of the
corporations that plague the world of 2099.  Now, using his new sensory
abilities...dubbed, mockingly, "Daredevil" by Carol...Eric rises from the
underworld of downtown to bedevil the megacorps and impose justice where
the law fails.

In bringing Gunderson's killers to justice, Eric manages to restore his
professional life...even though it's one he no longer always believes in.
Still, maintaining it as a "front" will allow him to stay plugged in to the
system and be increasingly vigilant to the crimes of the megacorps.  He
devoted the first half of his life to defending them...now he'll spend the
rest of it bringing them down.

Frankly, Eric Nelson probably didn't have much of a personality before
this.  He certainly wasn't the most fun guy to hang around with, unless you
really enjoy the company of college-jocks-turned-yuppies who play lots of
racquetball and drink a lot of Evian.

That's changed.  He laughs a lot more than he ever did.  To his friends,
he seems more...dare we say it?...devil-may-care.  Nothing seems to scare
him anymore.  Frankly, what becoming Daredevil has taught him is that the
things he feared most are the things that liberate him.  Much to his
surprise, now that he's felt the adrenaline rush of gambling his life and
winning...tasted the confidence of solving life-and-death problems on the
fly...he finds his Daredevil persona thrilling, exhilarating.  Maybe he's
his more his Dad's boy than he realized.

In fact, Eric Nelson will become increasingly addicted to living life on
the edge...which, as we will see, is a Heroic Trait in serious danger of
becoming a Critical Character Flaw.

As a dilettante college jock, he certainly has some degree of athletic
skill (gymnastics?).  Add to that a not-too-intense interest in the martial
arts--logical, given his loner nature and his pre-Daredevil need to focus
on the calm inner self--and Eric is probably not to be messed with in a
fight.  In fact, the more daring he gets, the more formidable he'll become.

Additionally, he now has a full range of enhanced senses to play with:
touch, taste, hearing, smell...and though he lacks the radar sense of his
1996 counterpart, his vision is uncanny.  X-ray vision is out of the
question, but rudimentary telescopic (and microscopic!) visions wouldn't
seem to be.

It's also worth noting that, unlike DD 1996, we're with DD 2099 from the
moment he gains these enhanced senses.  Consequently, we'll have the fun of
watching him gradually learn how they work and how they can be advantageous.

The Hollywood Paragraph is this:  Repent, Harlequin meets Brazil meets
Robin Hood.

Daredevil 2099 is an agent of chaos in a world of order...a radical
stirring up the pot in order to expose any and all forces that work to
oppress the common man.  He drags into the light the dark, corrupt systems,
exposing them to all who were as blind as he once was.  Like Robin Hood,
he's reactive when the system comes after him and proactive when he takes
it upon himself to spread a little justice.

Certainly, the Maverick Underground will often send the downtrodden and
disenfranchised to Eric for help, which will involve him in a wide variety
of cases and circumstances.  Eric runs a severe career risk by suddenly
handling such pro bono work, and if the corporations ever get wind of his
ties to the Maverick Underground, he's screwed, but again...Eric is getting
accustomed to this razor's-edge lifestyle.

He knows how powerful the corporations are in the world of 2099. He knows
he can't get CEOs carted off in chains and convicted.  That doesn't keep
him from fighting to take the blinders off the world.  Ordinary people need
to know which drugs not to take, which companies not to support, which
corporate lies not to believe.  Given time enough and anger, even the
people of 2099 will eventually rebel against their corporate overlords.

Surely corporate crimes are a lot more flamboyant in 2099, and Daredevil
will delight in exposing such crimes to the public.  Naturally, this will
take DD up against all manner of costumed enforcers and super-powered
strongarms.  Moreover, the more public Daredevil's crusade becomes, the
tougher the opposition will get.  In time, warring corporations will
volunteer to join forces and pool their resources in order to stamp out
this meddling Daredevil.  Good luck to them.

Let's check 'em off.

LINDSAY KILLIAN is Eric's fiancee.  A spoiled socialite, she has no clue
as to why her Eric has suddenly undergone a personality transplant.  She's
not sure she likes the new Eric.  (She also has something interesting going
on in her head--see below.)

LAIRD KILLIAN, corporate head of Alchemax Acquisitions, is Eric's future
father-in-law and a Really Scary Man.  Sharp as a razor, Killian (think
Lawrence Tierney) will soon become Daredevil's chief adversary.

CAROL TAKAGAWA, Gunderson's former assistant, serves reluctantly as Eric's
tie to the Maverick Underground.  Smart, sexy, and tough, she'd be the
perfect love interest for Daredevil.  Too bad she blames him for
Gunderson's death.

RENATA ROSS is Daredevil's press contact.  A young outlaw journalist who
spreads the news on the censorship-free electronic web, she owes much of
the name she's making for herself to the exposes Daredevil provides her.
He investigates, she disseminates--they're a good team.

STUART CROMWELL is the legal assistant who runs Eric's office.  Ever watch
The Larry Sanders Show?  Stuart is Hank Kingsley.  Great at his job but
utterly self-absorbed, everything's Always About Him.  Really, what better
personality type to have around when you're trying to maintain a secret
identity?  Hell...(Example!  Not a real situation!)...even if he were to
find Eric changing into his costume, Stuart would just assume that Eric's
planning to throw him a costume birthday party.  Stuart's dense, but hey,
he's an administrative pro.
   Neither he nor Eric, however, have every jot and tittle of the law
committed to memory.  That's why part of Stuart's job is to keep Eric
modemlinked at all times to the files of the FRANKLIN W. NELSON MEMORIAL
LAW LIBRARY.  Eric's great-great- grandfather was a genius when it came to
case law.

Framed by current-action, in-costume heroics as DD solves Gunderson's
murder and reclaims his life, we should be able to cover the origin in the
first two issues.  By the end of that brief arc, we've established Eric's
new status quo.

In issues three and four:
   we (and Eric) further explore Eric's new powers;
   Eric begins to fall out of love with fiancee Lindsay, but wrestles with
the moral crawliness of playing contented lover for no other reason than to
maintain his close ties to--and view of--her father;
   and Daredevil meets TALLOW, the Phantom of the Corporation, an
anti-corporate terrorist who shares many of DD's philosophies, but whose
destructive deeds force Daredevil to examine once and for all how far he
himself will go to in his crusade.

Later on:
   Daredevil will battle the FELLOWSHIP OF FEAR, the ultimate extortion
ring--a clandestine organization that successfully intimidates and
blackmails the richest and most powerful.  Again, Daredevil's found a
seeming ally who, in a way, is fighting the same fight he fights.  At
first, frankly, he may really only be interested in swapping notes with
them--damn, they're good--but once they come after Laird Killian and his
daughter, DD has to decide which side to take...and as he learns more about
the Fellowship, it becomes a tough call.

   Daredevil will have to defend downtown from a criminal group called the
SHADOW BRIGADE.  Taking advantage of the low scrutiny the downtown area
receives, the Brigade has there staked out a hole-in-the-wall hideout that
the corporations have sworn to uncover...no matter how many downtowners
they have to plow through to find it.

   Eric's father will come back into his life with danger nipping at his heels.

   The corporations will pool their resources against Daredevil and hire the
INTERNAUT, a spying A.I. consciousness that travels like a wraith from
innocent mind to innocent mind, completely undetectable to Daredevil's
enhanced senses.

   Eric will pay the price for sticking with Lindsay when she (a) discovers
the secret of his dual identity, and (b) turns shrewd.  Eric expects her to
turn him in to daddy.  Imagine his surprise when she confesses that she's
attracted to this new, rebel side of him and wants to be involved.  Now
he's really stuck with her....

   And month to month, Eric's newfound interest in representing the common
man by day and night threatens to expose him totally.  He doesn't care.
The thrill of his crusade, of keeping secrets, has him totally wired--and
blind to the reality that the more reckless he becomes, the greater the
odds that his new life will come crashing down on top of him.

   Which, in time, it will.

The Daredevil Resource ©1996,2004 Kevin Hall.     Corner DD graphic courtesy Piekos Arts.
Daredevil TM & ©2004 is the property of Marvel Characters, Inc. - all rights reserved.