As long as there have been comic books, there have always been animated adaptations that have hit the small screen. You probably grew up on a few of them back in the day: If you’re old as sin, you may remember classic Jack Kirby art being reused in a weird way for various Marvel cartoons or that ancient Spider-Man series that gave rise to a catchy jingle.
Batman has had multiple times to shine, Superman’s animated series is the stuff of legend and Justice League Unlimited gave lesser-known DC characters their own moment in the spotlight during some of the best episodes of that three-series run. So why did Daredevil never get a cartoon series? If Spider-Man and his amazing pals could hog the limelight, what was stopping ol’ hornhead from dispensing some animated justice in HIFL’s Kitchen? Answer: Frank Miller. Or to be more precise, one of his comic book covers.
Way back in the early 1980s, the ABC network actually did want to make a Daredevil animated series, that would have seen Matt Murdock fight crime alongside his trusty seeing eye German Shepherd dog and sidekick Lightning. Listen, if Batman had to share the screen with fifth-dimensional imp Bat-Mite, then Daredevil got off lucky by only having a wacky dog tailing his every move. I wonder if Frank Welker was going to voice Lightning?
We’ll never know, because ABC and rival network NBC passed on the pitch. The reason why? Artist and writer Frank Miller’s cover to Daredevil #184:
According to Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, that cover pretty much killed the cartoon pitch (cheers Newsarama):
Brevoort did update his original tweet, with a few storyboards that were drawn for the cartoon by none other than John Romita Sr.:
What a shame. Daredevil did have a few television appearances after that failed pitch though! In 1983, he had his first television appearance in a 1983 episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, went live-action in 1989’s Trial of the Incredible Hulk, had a proper guest spot in a 1994 episode of The Fantastic Four and gave Spider-Man a run for his money in a 1996 episode of the webhead’s own animated series. Fox took a gamble on creating a new Daredevil series in 1999, but once again that project was doomed before it began.
Oh well, at least we got that fantastic 2003 film (I know Kervyn is going to be spurting his coffee all over his screen when he reads that line) and the brilliant Netflix show. Now, on to the best comic book covers of the week!
Comic book covers of the week
- Batman #92 by Yasmine Putri
- Justice League #44 by Nicola Scott
- Daredevil #20 by Julian Totino Tedesco
- Harley Quinn #72 by Frank Cho
- Excalibur #10 by Mahmud Asrar
- Strange Adventures #2 by Mitch Gerads
- Birthright #43 by Adriano Lucas
- Doctor Doom #7 by Miguel Mercado
- Strange Academy #2 by Humberto Ramos
- The Dreaming #20 by Yanick Paquette
- Dr. Strange #5 by Luke Ross
- Spider-Man Noir #2 by Dave Rapoza
- Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 by Valentina Remenar
- Taskmaster #1 by Valerio Giangiordano
- Red Sonja #15 by Jae Lee
- Sword Master #10 by Gunji
- Exorsisters #6 by Gisele Lagace
- The Ludocrats #1 by Jeff Stokely
- The Boys: Dear Becky #1 by Darick Robertson
- Vengeance of Vampirella #7 by Lucio Parrillo
- Mountainhead #4 by Joe Mulvey and Doug Garbark
- Year Zero #1 by Kaare Andrews
- Spy Island #1 by Lia Miternique
- Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim #5 by Walt Simonson
- Finger Guns #2 by Val Halvorson
- Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Something Wicked #1 by Veronica Fish
- gen:LOCK #6 by Dan Mora
- Rogue Planet #1 by Andy MacDonald
- Kill Whitey Donovan #5 by Natalie Barahona
- Red Agent: Island of Dr Moreau #4 by Igor Vitorino
Last Updated: March 30, 2020