The son of Mephisto challenges his first heroic foil in Daredevil!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place, or object that made waves this week.

Sam Wilson just can’t seem to catch a break. First he had to deal with bigots and nuts during his tenure as Captain America, then he thought Steve Rogers turned evil during Secret Empire and now Blackheart’s trying to destroy him in Chicago. With Mephisto’s son causing all kinds of problems for the FALCON star, it’s time to look back at his first appearance in 1989’s DAREDEVIL #270 by writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita Jr.!

Blackheart sprang up in the modern era when a couple snuck onto the hill and the man attacked the woman. The newly formed demon lashed out, destroying both before a brief meeting with his father. Mephisto appeared to offer his offspring some advice after making him look more human: “You must walk among men in this form, for the eyes of men diminish evil. If too many see your true form, you lose power.” As the devilish dad disappeared, he offered one more pearl of wisdom: “When you see a worthy foe, you may reveal your true self.”

A few pages later, the humanized form of Blackheart laid eyes on Daredevil leaping around an abandoned amusement park. Sensing a worthy foe, the villain changed back to his real form and attacked ol’ Horn Head. Thanks to his advanced senses, our hero dodged the initial attack. Nearby, Peter Parker found himself sitting on a bus returning from a trip when he saw smoke rising from the old park. Spider Sense a-tingling, he swung into action, knocking the creature away from DD right before a potentially catastrophic blow. However, Blackheart’s physical attacks acted to mask his real intention of corrupting the goodness in Matt Murdock’s heart.

Daredevil (1964) #270

Daredevil (1964) #270

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The do-gooders used their combined might as well as the disposable roller coasters around them to try and stop Blackheart, but didn’t do much aside from draw a crowd. However, that proved exactly the right move as their foe remembered his father’s words about familiarity diminishing evil’s power and used a distraction to return to a more human form and escape—but not before Daredevil recognized the stink of Mephisto on the departing demon.

Blackheart returned in DAREDEVIL #278282, a story that found DD helping Black Bolt find his son, but ultimately lead into Hell and a confrontation with Mephisto. Since then, the villain has popped up in a variety of books ranging from GHOST RIDER and X-FORCE to WONDER MAN and now FALCON.

Flash Forward

For a character without a plethora of appearances in comics, Blackheart’s done a great job of getting his name out there in other formats. Many people first heard of him when he appeared as a playable character in 1995’s arcade-turned-console classic “Marvel Super Heroes.” Mephisto’s bouncing baby boy would go on to appear in crossover games like “Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter” and “Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.” You may have also seen him on the big screen portrayed by Wes Bentley in “Ghost Rider”!

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Charles Soule on Matt's new job for New York's new mayor.

With Wilson Fisk as the new mayor of New York, Matt Murdock finds himself between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, there’s a warrant out for Daredevil’s arrest. On the other hand, he just got an offer from Fisk to become the mayor’s personal lawyer. And here’s the craziest part: He accepted the job!

Is Matt trying to advance his law career or is he playing a two-faced game like the crooked mayor he just agreed to serve? We’ll learn more about it in DAREDEVIL #597 by Charles Soule and Stefano Landini on January 10, 2018. In the meantime, Marvel.com caught up with Charles to get a better grip of what Manhattan looks like under the control of Kingpin.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a quick rundown of the dynamic between Murdock and Fisk as lawyer and mayor?

Charles Soule: I’m trying to set things up in this story as closely as I can to the way things actually work in City Hall. The truth is, there aren’t a ton of checks on the power of the mayor in New York. More or less, if the mayor wants the city to shift in a certain direction, or has policies he or she wants implemented, then the city’s various departments and agencies tend to go that way. So, Fisk has all the power, and Matt Murdock has very little – at least in a political sense. However, he’s got his mind, and of course he’s got all the abilities of Daredevil… so he’s still got a fighting chance.

Marvel.com: Where can we expect this situation to go? Is Matt going to tolerate Fisk’s control of the city for much longer?

Charles Soule: Well, that would be telling. Let’s put it this way – from the moment Matt heard that Fisk had been elected mayor, he was convinced that Fisk was putting something sinister into motion, and he was resolved to stop it any way he could. He could approach it any number of ways – but he knows the one thing he probably can’t do is just go in fists-first. You can’t just beat up the Mayor and hope to achieve anything, even if it is Wilson Fisk.

DAREDEVIL #597

Marvel.com: Is there anyone else out in Manhattan who might be a useful ally in destabilizing the Fisk regime?

Charles Soule: Well, sure. Fisk didn’t win in a landslide. He won by like a percentage point – it was super close. So, that means about half the city didn’t want him in office. Beyond that, there are all the superheroes who run around Manhattan – street-level folks like Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Echo and of course, Matt’s buddies in the Defenders. The problem is that one of the first things Wilson did when he took office was to start building up evidence against New York’s vigilantes, in a move toward making them actual criminals. He’s already got a warrant out for Daredevil’s arrest, which makes things pretty tough too. The city’s changing quickly, no doubt about it.

Marvel.com: What do you think Mayor Fisk has done that greatly benefits the city?

Charles Soule: Well, it’s early days yet. In Marvel Universe time, he’s been in office for maybe like a week. He has plans, but the first thing he needs to do is start convincing people that they should listen to him and trust him – even with all the power of the mayor’s office, tons of people still think of Wilson Fisk as the Kingpin of Crime. If he wants to change the city for the better – and believe it or not, he thinks he does – the first thing he’ll need to do is get more of its citizens on his side.

Marvel.com: In Part 3 of the story, Matt has the chance to serve at the mercy of the mayor. What kind of internal struggle is he going through?

Charles Soule: That’s a lot of the story of Part 3, actually [in DAREDEVIL #597]. At the end of the previous chapter, Wilson Fisk came to Matt Murdock with an offer to actually leave the DA’s office and help him in his work as mayor. Matt accepted – which is completely crazy. It’s throwing himself into the lion’s den. Doing high-wire work without a net. But that’s Daredevil, right? No fear.

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Mayor of New York City Wilson Fisk addresses his people!

The following transcript covers a recent speech by Wilson Fisk, Mayor of New York City

I want to begin by confirming that reports that I’m sure many of you have heard today. I was, in fact, attacked by the vigilante Daredevil last night while doing some late night work in my office. My security team was able to arrive before the so-called “crime fighter” could do much more than threaten me, and he ran away. I am glad to report to you today that I am fine.

[pause]

No. No that’s not accurate. I am not fine. And I will not pretend to be—because I do not want you to have to pretend either. You, the scores of New Yorkers who have been threatened, assaulted, and otherwise victimized every day by these costumed bullies, self-deputized and self-righteous, inflated by their own twisted sense of self regard.

That is why I call upon the City Council to take on the issue of these arrogant lawless thugs who have decided that they somehow know how to enforce the law better than the best-trained police force in the world; than the most passionate and competent set of District Attorneys in any city. The time is now to say, “No more!” The time is now to say we do not accept protection rackets dressed up as super heroics. The time is now to say vigilantism must be driven from this city so that we all may truly be safe once more.

And know this: My opponents will try to twist my words. They will try to tell you that I am against selflessness, against true heroes. But the scourge I speak of is not the Avengers who protect us from terrorists, alien invasions, and time-traveling tin pot dictators. I stand with true heroes like The Falcon, like Ms. Marvel, like the true Captain America who has returned to us. I stand with them and say, “We will not allow these false heroes, these pretenders, to sully your good name any longer. We, in the greatest city on Earth, recognize true heroism, and we will no longer allow those who do not represent sacrifice, honor, and justice to slip in under your shadows. We will not let them use your good names to enact their petty grudges.”

No, the violent costumed menaces I speak of are the likes of The Punisher—little more than a maniac with an arsenal to rival the armory of a small country on our city streets. I speak of the likes of Moon Knight—a religious zealot who perverts the rule of law and soaks his costume in the blood of our fellow citizens. I speak of Spider-Man—who has the nerve to make jokes as he destroys property and endangers innocent people in broad daylight through reckless behavior. And yes, I speak of Daredevil. Erratic. Unreasonable. Sadistic. The kind of man who would proudly call himself a devil and delight in spreading fear into a neighborhood he insists he “owns.”

As your mayor, I confess, I too have been guilty of being complacent, of looking the other way, of mumbling, “well, they do some good.” But I will do that no longer. No one should have to live their lives in fear of the bullet, the blade, the billy club. No one should have a person in a Halloween costume decide they are a criminal. No one should have their very rights trampled by men and women who decided their desire to harm takes precedence over the very laws of this great city, this great state, this great nation.

So City Council, I reiterate. The time is now. Let us be inspired by the acts of true heroes and use our skills and our tools, all legal and provided by the people themselves, to cease this covert costumed reign of terror.

I thank all of you here today. I thank all of you who consider themselves New Yorkers. And most of all I thank the real heroes—the NYPD, the FDNY, the Avengers, the Office of the District Attorney, and the elected officials of New York City. We must unite now to ensure a brighter safer future for us all.

Good night, and bless you all.

Fisk’s campaign continues in the pages of DAREDEVIL!

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Frank Miller sends The Punisher on a Daredevil date with destiny!

Get fired up for the November 17 debut of “Marvel’s The Punisher” on Netflix by exploring some of Frank Castle’s darkest, deadliest moments.

Having started his legendary DAREDEVIL run with issue #158, Frank Miller first introduced The Punisher to the Man Without Fear in issues #181-#184. Joined by creative duo Klaus Janson and Roger McKenzie, Frank Castle only appeared on one page of DAREDEVIL #181 before jumping into the story in earnest with issue #182.

Daredevil (1964) #181

Daredevil (1964) #181

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Both he and Bullseye sat behind bars on Ryker’s Island, though Bullseye managed to break out—and ended up killing Elektra in the same issue. By the time issue #182 rolled around, Castle had an escape arranged so that he could disrupt a major narcotics shipment on Long Island. In an operation that now seems commonplace to PUNISHER readers, he brutally—and systematically—took out the drug runner’s guards, tossing out lines like, “This is war. I don’t take prisoners.”

The script, however, got flipped on Frank when he realized that his targets actually enlisted children to do their dirty work—and that his supposed liberator wanted to either kill him or send him back to jail.

Daredevil (1964) #182

Daredevil (1964) #182

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Later, as Castle hunted down another drug ring, Daredevil appeared—and stopped The Punisher from killing an accomplice. Face-to-face at last, they ran their separate ways when gunshots rang out. Castle’s penchant for killing didn’t sit well with Matt Murdock, who began searching for the assassin.

Daredevil tracked The Punisher down on a rooftop as the former military man tortured a junkie for information on a drug dealer. Frank attempted to make an ally of the sightless her, but his efforts failed and they quickly leapt into battle. During the fight, Punisher shot the Horn Head with a tranquilizer dart…and then proceeded to kill the junkie. Castle’s continued search for the dealer led him to another fight with Murdock, this time resulting in Daredevil shooting Frank in the shoulder! One win each.

Daredevil (1964) #183

Daredevil (1964) #183

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Daredevil and The Punisher, two very different sides of the same coin, have teamed-up, toiled, and tussled with each other ever since.

War Journal

More recently, in writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark’s run on DAREDEVIL, Frank Castle found himself in prison thanks to Matt Murdock—though not for the reasons one might think.

Murdock himself had been locked up because everyone thought he was Daredevil, and—aware that the streets would always be safer if the Man Without Fear patrolled them, The Punisher allowed himself to be captured and sent to the same jail. Once inside, the duo made it look like Castle took Murdock captive before they escaped together in a helicopter.

Next week, check back for a look at the 1986 PUNISHER five issue limited series by Steven Grant, Mike Zeck, Jo Duffy, and Mike Vos!

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Erik Oleson joins the Netflix original series as showrunner and executive producer.

True Believers, the battle for Hell’s Kitchen wages on.

Today, Marvel Television and Netflix announced that award-winning actor Vincent D’Onofrio will return to the highly-anticipated and critically-acclaimed Netflix original series “Marvel’s Daredevil,” reprising his role as Wilson Fisk, the powerful businessman whose interest in the future of Hell’s Kitchen brings him into conflict with attorney Matt Murdock and his alter ego Daredevil.

Vincent D’Onofrio returns as Wilson Fisk on ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’

D’Onofrio is joined by returning cast including, Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), and Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson).

Additionally, Erik Oleson has joined “Marvel’s Daredevil” as showrunner and executive producer. Oleson was most recently head writer and Executive Producer of “Man In The High Castle.”

Erik Oleson joins ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’ as showrunner and executive producer

“Vincent is an exceptional actor who returns with the incredible gravitas he brings to Fisk,” said executive producer, Jeph Loeb, adding, “we’re very excited how Marvel’s Daredevil develops through the creative lens and guidance of our new showrunner, Erik Oleson.”

The third season of “Marvel’s Daredevil” is Executive Produced by series showrunner Erik Oleson (“Man In The High Castle” and Drew Goddard (“Cabin in the Woods”), along with Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage”) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage”). “Marvel’s Daredevil” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

All episodes of the first and second seasons of “Marvel’s Daredevil” are currently streaming on Netflix, with season three slated for release in 2018.

In the meantime, make sure to follow @Daredevil on Twitter and like “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Facebook for all the news on the Man Without Fear.

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Jack lends a hand and some layouts to a newcomer named John Romita!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

For its first year, DAREDEVIL featured a true who’s who of comic book art talent working off of writer Stan Lee’s scripts. Bill Everett launched the series with Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, and Bob Powell following. Then in issue #12, everything changed. That’s the first time an artist by the name of John Romita drew ol’ Horn Head, but he didn’t tackle the Man Without Fear alone. He had help in the form of layouts from none other than Jack Kirby!

“The King” had provided a number of covers for the book, but only worked on interiors for #12 and #13. In those issues, Lee and Kirby introduced Matt Murdock to a character they debuted over in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #10, Ka-Zar!

The blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen needed some time away from Karen Page and Foggy Nelson, so he booked a cruise, but lost track of time and needed to zip across town as Daredevil to catch the ship! Once on board, Matt heard a fellow passenger ask about a pirate called The Plunderer who, as you probably guessed, attacked the vessel not long after. Daredevil sprang into action, but ultimately got captured by the villain whose operation proved far more sophisticated than expected.

Meanwhile, Ka-Zar found himself a bit bored and lonely in the Savage Land after enjoying the X-Men’s recent visit. However, a group of Swamp Men sailing downriver towards Skull Island quickly garnered his attention. As it happened, Plunderer intended to visit Skull Island as well, which brought all of our players onto the same stage. A battle quickly broke out as Ka-Zar attacked the interlopers. Though they fought, the lord of the Savage Land decided to save the unconscious man in red because he struggled so valiantly.

Daredevil (1964) #12

Daredevil (1964) #12

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Ka-Zar searched for aid for Daredevil while the latter rested in a cave. However, his recuperation process came to a quick halt when an Ape Man attacked. Around that same time, The Plunderer and his crew found DD, and Ka-Zar returned. With everyone together, Plunderer revealed a shocking truth: he and Ka-Zar both had pieces of a medallion which marked them as brothers! With Ka-Zar distracted, Plunderer’s men captured him. Later, the pirate told Daredevil that their dad, Lord Plunder, discovered Vibranium and built a huge vault out of the metal that could only be opened by the combined medallions.

Plunderer then dropped DD down into Ka-Zar’s cell and tried pitting the two fighters against each other once again. They didn’t fall for it and soon broke out, carrying on into the next issue, which Romita handled on his own. Romita would go on to draw several more issues of DAREDEVIL before moving over to another little title called AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. His Man Without Fear replacement proved another legend-in-the-making: Gene Colan!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Charles Soule addresses Kingpin’s campaign for Mayor of New York City!

Talk about your eye-opening moments: Wilson Fisk—the infamous Kingpin—wins the office of Mayor of New York City and Daredevil’s powerless from stopping his old enemy from running roughshod over the town he loves…right? We checked in with writer Charles Soule to see if good things truly can happen to bad people in DAREDEVIL #595—coming November 8—or if Mayor Fisk has to be blind not to see what problems the Man Without Fear can cause him.

Marvel.com: So, Charles, can you fight City Hall in the Marvel Universe?

Charles Soule: If anyone might have a chance, it’s Daredevil, aka New York District Attorney Matt Murdock. After all, he’s armed with more than just his incredible fighting skills and enhanced senses—he has what might be the strongest power of all: a thorough understanding of the legal system. That’s not to say it’ll be easy, of course—the Mayor’s office is incredibly powerful in New York City, with city agencies at its beck and call—including, of course, the NYPD. Should be a hell of a fight.

Marvel.com: To say the least! But where’s Matt’s head at as he goes into this storyline? What’s he dealing with that might complicate his approach to the Fisk administration?

Charles Soule: Matt feels, to a degree, like his city has gone insane. Either that, or much more likely, Kingpin pulled one of his trademark shenanigans and rigged the system somehow. In either case, the place he’s sworn to protect has turned against him in some ways, and he’s having a hard time understanding or dealing with it. Plus, of course, Wilson Fisk knows that the costumed heroes are a huge threat to his plans, and he’ll take immediate steps to shut them down. Should be amazing.

Beyond that, we’ll have the return of a new character I introduced back in DAREDEVIL#11,  Muse, the serial killer artist who made Murdock’s life—and that of his apprentice Sam Chung, aka the young hero Blindspot—extremely complicated a little while back. Muse alone is almost impossible to handle, and when you add the Kingpin on top of it…it’ll be something.

Marvel.com: What exactly is Fisk’s single greatest qualification for being mayor of a major metropolitan city?

Charles Soule: As he tells the city in his campaign: he loves New York as much as anyone can, and he has a clear vision for improving it. Now, the question is whether the Kingpin’s city is the city New Yorkers would want. We know it’s definitely not what Daredevil wants.

Marvel.com: So, you’re sort of saying if he weren’t a criminal, Fisk might in reality become a good mayor?

Charles Soule: That’s something we’ll definitely be exploring. Just because The Kingpin is a crime lord doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to run a city. In fact, it might be exactly the opposite. It’ll be fun to explore.

Marvel.com: What are Matt’s greatest risks in opposing Fisk right now? Does he care what anyone in the city actually thinks of him?

Charles Soule: The biggest issue, really, is that to fight Fisk, Daredevil will have to fight the city itself, a place he loves and thought he understood. Not anymore. It’s very complicated for him morally and logistically, and he’ll have to figure out how he fits into this new puzzle. Things he took for granted, like the cops turning a blind eye—heh—to his activities, might not be so easily assumed anymore.

Marvel.com: What will New York’s criminal element do with this new status quo, in general?

Charles Soule: I’d say they’re pretty excited. One of their own has ascended to the big chair, you know? New York City’s their playground.

Marvel.com: Lastly, how its feel for you to go back to the original numbering with this issue?

Charles Soule: It’s always felt amazing to be part of the incredible Daredevil legacy, and returning to the original numbering with DAREDEVIL #595 cements that for me even more. Not only that, but I get to write DAREDEVIL #600! That will be an incredible issue; the culmination of the “Mayor Fisk story, with twists and turns I’ve been building to forever. I’m very excited for everyone to see where this is all going.

Hop on the campaign trail with Charles Soule and artist Stefano Landini with DAREDEVIL #595, arriving November 8!

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Artist Stefando Landini helps inaugurate Kingpin for Marvel Legacy!

Marvel Legacy promises to get hallmark characters back to their roots. For Matt Murdock that means a familiar red costume drawn by new DAREDEVIL artist Stefano Landini and a plot by The Kingpin to become mayor of New York City developed by series writer Charles Soule, all kicking off with issue #595 on November 8.

The Man Without Fear races around the Big Apple trying to figure out the best way to discredit the man he knows to be a scheming murderer, even as the public can’t seem to get enough of Wilson Fisk after all the good he did during Secret Empire. Even worse? DD’s wanted by the law!

We talked with Landini about working with Soule, keeping Daredevil’s look classic, and his particular inspirations for Kingpin.

Marvel.com: How has it been getting to work with Charles on this series he’s been helming for a while now?

Stefano Landini: When Marvel offered me to work on DAREDEVIL, I was very excited, but when I found out that Charles was going to write it, I was dumbstruck! I admire his work and love his writing, so for me, working with him is much more than a beautiful experience, it’s more like a little dream come true.

Marvel.com: Daredevil has a classic and sleek costume. Is it difficult putting your own spin on a look like that?

Stefano Landini: Concerning Daredevil’s costume, I wanted to do something traditional. I didn’t add anything. I love the original costumes of super heroes and when I read in the script that the costume had to be the old one, I immediately decided to avoid any personal addition. I hope people will like it. For me, this old version of Daredevil is among my favorites.

Marvel.com: Kingpin’s always been interesting from a physical perspective because he’s so large, but also so strong and fast. How has it been conveying his physicality so far?

Stefano Landini: For Kingpin, as a reference I used [Vincent] D’Onofrio, the actor portraying him in the [Netflix “Marvel’s Daredevil” TV] series, because I think he’s perfect for the part. I only changed the proportions of his body. As you say, he’s a giant in the comics, so I preferred to make him bigger, but still with realistic proportions.

Marvel.com: How do you enjoy working on the scenes of Matt outside of his hero identity, including the ones in the courtroom?

Stefano Landini: As for now I haven’t done many scenes in the court yet—I’m starting with the third [issue] right now—but drawing Matt is really great. I want to characterize him in a cool way, studying his behavior as well as his movements, and anything else that distinguishes him from other heroes. These are the things I enjoy the most while drawing him.

Stefano Landini helps Charles Soule put Matt Murdock to the test in DAREDEVIL #595 on November 8!

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Feast your eyes on some SECRET EMPIRE OMEGA pages courtesy of Tom Brevoort!

Good golly, True Believers! It’s that time again. We’re back with a brand new episode of This Week in Marvel, the official Marvel podcast!

Catch upon all the latest comics news and info as Ryan, Ben and Tucker give you the rundown on all of this week’s greatest comics releases including CAPTAIN PHASMA, HAWKEYE, CHAMPIONS, GENERATIONS: IRON MAN AND IRON HEART, and so much more! Meanwhile, Ryan sits down with Tom Brevoort for the final word on Secret Empire (1:18:43).

Head on over to the West Coast where Christine and Eric give you the scoop on everything Film, TV, and Themed Entertainment (1:58:52). They talk the Marvel Games Inhuman event with Tim Hernandez and Danny Koo. Christine and Eric close out the show with a celebration of the acclaimed Daredevil run of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee for #TWIMURC (2:28:48)!

Download episode #306 of This Week in Marvel from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes, so you never miss an episode! We are now also on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to the full run of This Week in Marvel!

This Week in Marvel will focus on delivering all the Marvel info on news and new releases–from comics to video games to toys to TV to film and beyond! New episodes will be released every Thursday (or so) and TWiM is co-hosted by Marvel VP & Executive Editor of Digital Media Ryan “Agent M” Penagos and Marvel Editorial Director of Digital Media Ben Morse, along with Marvel.com Editor Marc Strom, Marvel.com Assistant Editor Christine Dinh, and Manager of Video & Content Production Blake Garris. We also want your feedback, as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes!  Tweet your questions, comments and thoughts about TWiM to @AgentM@BenJMorse@chrissypedia or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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The Man Without Fear and the Hand's ultimate assassin return once more!

Have you checked out “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix yet? If not, what are you waiting for? If so, D3 Go! has more Defenders action for ya, with an all-new Daredevil and Elektra available in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We talk about the Man Without Fear and the Hand’s ultimate assassin and get the lowdown on just what they’re capable of.

Marvel.com: I’m really excited to see a new Daredevil coming down the pipe, but why make him a 5-star as opposed to a 4? What kind of things does the team look for in making a new 5-Star character? Or in making a new 3-star, like Elektra (Assassin) for that matter?

Josh Austin: Daredevil is an amazing character and the powers that were designed for the Matt Murdock version are more in line with 5-Star characters. And with the release of “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix, we are excited to have our first 5-star Defender in the game. And the new 3-star Elektra is a great addition too.  We know many players are very interested in acquiring new 3-star characters so it seems like a good fit to have the combination of both these characters available at the same time.

Marvel.com: Daredevil (Man Without Fear) was one of my first PvE mainstays for his pure utility, getting rid of pesky enemy special tiles and with stuns for days. What’s different about this Matt Murdock?

Josh Austin: The 5-star Daredevil uses his sonar and his ability to damage multiple foes, but he does so with a lot more precision and really wrecks his opponents damage-wise. He also has an ability to gain health back based on each friendly strike tile on the board.

Marvel.com: Can you break down his kit for us?

Josh Austin: His first ability is called Fighting Spirit and it’s a passive yellow. When Daredevil gets below a certain health, he creates a strength 1,270 Yellow Strike tile that restores health for each friendly strike tile on the board (Max 5 tiles).

His second ability is called Hand-to-Hand and it costs 11 Green AP. This one can be devastating because it creates a countdown tile that deals damage each turn and if it’s matched away the player’s team gains 8 Green AP. However, if the tile is destroyed in any way other than being matched away, at level 5 it deals 15,525 damage and creates another Hand-To-Hand tile if one does not exist.

His last power is called Sonar Strike and it costs 9 Purple AP. Daredevil’s sonar vision helps him avoid enemy attacks and strike back by converting random enemy Strike, Protect, or Attack tiles to friendly Strike tiles and then stun the target. There is a Passive that while the enemy is Stunned, any damage dealt to that stunned enemy Daredevil deals extra damage on top of it.

Marvel.com: It seems like you’d want to pair Daredevil up with a teammate who can stun opponents, to get that juicy Sonar Strike passive damage, and someone who can easily get rid of his Hand-to-Hand tile. Anybody you have in mind?

Josh Austin: Depends on the strategy the player would like to utilize. Having characters that stun opponents to dish out the extra damage, heroes like some of the variations of Spider-Man, Thanos (The Mad Titan), Doctor Strange, Iceman, etc. Also if the player wants to use a character that fortifies the tile, that insures that the 5-Turn countdown tile will continuously damage the enemy team.

The player could benefit from using characters that create Strike tiles if they are worried about Daredevil receiving too much damage like The Punisher (Max), Rocket & Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2), Blade (Modern). I know I’d personally use Grey Suit Black Widow for the Green AP generation and her abilities to help destroy the Hand-to-Hand tile for that extra damage.

Marvel.com: And Elektra looks like she’s keeping some of her old Unkillable tricks and learning a new one, Crippling Blow. What’s changed in this 3-Star variation?

Josh Austin: Elektra has some of the same abilities as her 4-Star counterpoint with the exception of Crippling Blow, which focuses on damage first, then leaves a 4-Turn Countdown tile on the board that deals damage to the enemy each time it counts down.

Marvel.com: How does Elektra (Assassin) fit on a team? Finding someone who can help her fire Crippling Blow seems like it would be a legit strategy.

Josh Austin: Finding someone gives her Black AP or fortifies her Countdown tile definitely works well. She’s also great with heroes that convert or destroy enemy tiles into friendly tiles like Loki, Bullseye (Classic), Daredevil (Man Without Fear) and She-Hulk (Modern).

Marvel.com: And when can we take these two ninja-trained fighters to the streets?

Josh Austin: They will debut in the Galactus Hungers event that starts today. Elektra is given out as round rewards while Daredevil can be earned in a special store called Hornhead with Legendary Tokens that can be purchased or earned as rewards given from the event. The Hornhead store runs from August 24 through August 28. There will also be a featured Elektra event called The Hunt that starts on August 27.

Be sure to check out all the Defender related Versus Tournaments including Assassin For Hire that is going on now, Cage Match that starts on August 24, and Blind Justice that starts on August 27. We are excited to share that those that earn 300+ points in these events will earn 10,000 Insider points at Marvel Insider. Visit Marvel Insider for all the opportunities to earn and redeem rewards for Marvel Puzzle Quest.

Pick up Daredevil (Man Without Fear) and Elektra (Assassin) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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