Daredevil Writer Reveals His Brutal Original Pitch for Matt Murdock’s Final Fate


  • Chip Zdarsky pitched the world-shattering Daredevil storyline using hilarious stick figure drawings as a medium.
  • Surprisingly, much of Zdarsky’s initial pitch actually made it onto the final page of the comic series.
  • Despite his sense of humor, Zdarsky takes his work seriously and has a passion for telling fearless comic book stories.

Daredevil’s “Red Fist Saga” was a world-shattering event for Matt Murdock, literally sending him to Hell to save the world. Now, Chip Zdarsky, the writer of the storyline, has revealed his initial, brutal pitch that he presented to Marvel. This peek behind the scenes of the comic book industry is informative…and also very funny.

Chip Zdarsky shared the behind-the-scenes story of how he pitched this arc’s conclusion on his Substack newsletter. Zdarsky says he was unable to attend the yearly Marvel Summit to pitch his final Daredevil arc, and didn’t want to just send a text summary of his plans. So, he shared it via the medium everyone worked in: as a comic. However, instead of Marco Checchetto’s breathtaking illustrations, everyone was treated to a hilariously cartoonish break-down of some of the arc’s most intense moments. Moments like Daredevil stabbing out his own eyes or brutally beating a foe hit differently when it’s shown through stick figure drawings.

While he’s been more known for his writing recently, leading the charge on Daredevil, Batman, and the Avengers, it’s worth remembering Chip Zdarsky is also an accomplished artist. While the doodles in his pitch aren’t his highest-caliber work, they remind everyone that he’s still very good at conveying narrative through pictures.


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Zdarsky’s Daredevil Pitch Is Close to What Actually Happened

The actual Daredevil arc is very serious, which makes this pitch even funnier. Matt and Elektra, now married, try to destroy the Hand once and for all with their own ninja army: the Fist. Upon destroying a relic that allows the Hand to resurrect and control the dead, they learn that they are out of their depth: many world leadersaere undead puppets, as are their friends Foggy and Stick. Matt dies and journeys to Hell, saving their souls, but Daredevil’s soul remains trapped below. When the new Daredevil, Elektra, sees Matt again, he’s a priest with no memory of his heroics.

“A lot of what I envisioned made it onto the page, which is a miracle in monthly comics.”

The doodles actually reflect how the storyline went to print, including the heart-pounding final page of Matt taking on thugs in a dark alley, his body moving on an instinct he doesn’t yet understand. The Marvel Summit is a meeting for all the creative teams to come together and align their ideas, locking in crossover events, character redesigns, and continuities. No one expects to enter and leave with the exact same bullet points, so even Zdarsky was surprised that his plans survived: “A lot of what I envisioned made it onto the page, which is a miracle in monthly comics.”

The Planning Was Silly, But The Creators Took Their Jobs Seriously

Zdarsky Checchetto Daredevil redesign

While Zdarsky is known for his sense of humor, he takes the work seriously. This is shown in another of Chip Zdarsky’s Substack posts where he shares additional images of his and artist Marco Checchetto’s plans to redesign Daredevil’s look. They incorporated elements of Elektra’s Daredevil outfit, and turned his sticks into extendable katanas, to give Matt a deadlier feel as leader of the Fist. As both a writer and illustrator, Zdarsky has great ideas, but also recognized how annoying it is when someone gives comments on your art. That self-awareness, nose for comedy, and passion for telling world-changing comic book stories are what made his Daredevil run so fearless.

Source: Chip Zdarsky’sSubstack

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    Daredevil: Born Again

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    Release Date:

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    Streaming Service(s):

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