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Daredevil: Love Without Fear

Love can beautiful and love can be hard work. Often both at the same time.

When it comes to loving Matt Murdock, though, love can be downright deadly. Or worse.

As ol’ Hornhead prepares to start a brand new storyline—“Purple”—on February 15 in DAREDEVIL #17, we peek inside the attorney’s little black book to take stock of his past affairs of the heart.

Elektra
The first amongst equals, Elektra has always acted as a warning, a—usually—living testament to what could have happened to the Man Without Fear with a few more missteps along the way. Her father died, she embraced chaos; Matt’s died and he embraced the law. She took her Chaste training and became one of the world’s most dangerous assassins; Murdock used his to become one of the Marvel Universe’s most dogged vigilantes.

Though their passion has arguably burned more intensely than any other relationship on this list—or perhaps because of that—the two cannot seem to stop hurting one another, physically and emotionally. However, not even deaths and resurrections have managed to severe their deep bond.

Karen Page
Karen stepped into the life of Daredevil as the secretary to Nelson & Murdock. Love quickly blossomed but, eventually, she had to strike out west to try and realize her dreams of stardom. Instead, she ended up exploited, slipping so far away from herself that she ended up selling the truth of DD’s identity for a moment’s relief from the pain of withdrawal.

And the pain did not even end there.

While she and Matt reconciled and she became a crusader against the forces that derailed her—drugs and exploitative pornography—her romance with Murdock remained rocky. Typhoid Mary, madness, seeming death, and his life as a vigilante all but decimated their hopes of making a relationship work.

Unfortunately, we can never know if they might have found a way to persevere despite all that as Bullseye ended Karen’s life in a church as she fought to protect Matt and an innocent child.

Black Widow
His partner, his lover, his friend; Black Widow acts as kind of a counterpoint to the likes of Elektra indicating that yes, Matt can have a relationship with a highly talented and driven member of the costumed community without it all being a disaster.

In fact, despite it ending, their relationship stands as probably the closest to a truly successful one. Yes, her independence and fear of vulnerability and his anger and, well, fear of vulnerability led to their uncoupling, but it did not lead to either of them dying or repeatedly kicking the stuffing out of one another. Instead, they act like so many exes, stuck in the same industry together—by turns friendly, loving, flirtatious, and awkward.

Heather Glenn
In so many way, Heather seemed like the perfect tonic for Daredevil: a rich young woman with a love of fun and frivolity. Even if it did not last, certainly the relationship would brighten Matt’s life for a time.

Well…

Unfortunately, Glenn’s glittering surface hid some fairly dark issues. For one, her father had shady dealings that Matt, as the Man Without Fear, had to expose. This led to the elder Glenn’s suicide to avoid prosecution and Heather ascending to head a corrupt business she felt obligated to protect from her lover’s alter ego despite having no real interest in running it.

In time, her love of partying quickly became revealed as less of an enjoyable pursuit and more of an unshakeable dependence on alcohol. The relationship shattered in short order and Murdock distanced himself from Heather. Alas, in his attempts to establish healthy boundaries, he failed to hear her cry for help and she ended her own life, by hanging, while intoxicated.

Glorianna O’Breen
Their romance began when, essentially, Glorianna began to crash at Matt’s place after escaping the Troubles in Ireland. While they seemed to have a genuine sweet chemistry with one another, Matt’s frequent absences and seeming lack of care about their relationship sunk them quick. To make matters worse, she took up with Foggy Nelson—who also happened to be her aunt’s ex-husband—just as Murdock’s life spun out of control at the start of “Born Again.”

While her story should have ended there—a failed romance with Matt and a failed relationship with Foggy—O’Breen returned only to be thrown out a window by Kruel during one of the darkest times in DD’s life.

Typhoid Mary
With his life back on track and his relationship with Karen blossoming once again, Matthew Murdock looked to be heading for a period of relative calm and stability. So, in true DD style, he acted against his own self-interest and messed it all up.

In fairness, he can share some of the blame with Mary. Dissociative Identity Disorder, super powers, and Kingpin manipulations combined to make her both the most attractive and most dangerous woman Daredevil had ever encountered. Battering his body as Typhoid and capturing his heart as sweet, quiet Mary, she forced him to flee New York, his second chance with Karen reduced to ash, his body a mess of bruises and scars, and his psyche lacerated.

In the years since, they have continued to square off but Matt, now wise to her powers, no longer seems to be under her sway. She can beat him physically, but the days of her being able to wage psychological warfare seem largely past. On the other hand, Hornhead has successfully used her mental illness to break her on a few different occasions, an experience that leaves the reader and Murdock feeling queasy.

Echo
Gifted with the ability to match the physical activities of nearly anyone, Maya Lopez became a physical dynamo and incredible concert pianist. She also captured Matt Murdock’s heart—and gave him hers—with the quickness.

Unfortunately, she had been raised by Kingpin since Fisk killed her father. Over the years, he had not only hidden the fact that he made her an orphan but also placed the blame firmly on Daredevil. Thus, despite their burgeoning romance, the relationship could not flourish. Even after the truth became revealed Lopez simply could not move past what had transpired.

Milla Donovan
Smart, funny, and wildly compassionate, Milla seemed to promise Matt a non-costumed equal; a partner who need not get in dustups every now and then. Matt knew it too and so he made the leap for the first time, marrying Donovan and revealing his identity. Unafraid, she jumped in along with him.

Unfortunately, her fearlessness dissipated as she, secretly, became the pawn of Mr. Fear. With the villain using her to break down Daredevil, Milla eventually snapped under the rogue’s manipulations, committed manslaughter, and ended up in an institution. She remains there today, paid for by her now ex-husband, one Matthew Murdock.

Dakota North
Before the divorce, however, Matt reached out to new friend Dakota North and one thing led to another. It proved a short-lived affair and, truth be told, understandable given Milla’s seemingly un-addressable mental state and the pain that caused Matt. Nonetheless, when Kingpin leaked photos of the North and Murdock that made it clear the Man Without Fear had sought physical comfort with another, both parties ended up dragged in the dirt with what might have been quickly dissipated into mist.

Kirsten McDuffie
More than Matt’s equal in the courtroom, McDuffie delighted in using his not-so-secret identity against him to prevent his ability to practice law effectively. Somewhere along the way, the love of parrying him in court became an enjoyment of one-upping flirtation became a full blown relationship. She even followed him to San Francisco to help him practice law and get Foggy the cancer treatment he needed.

Now, however, she does not seem to be anywhere. Has something bad happened? Well, we shall see, won’t we?

The next chapter in Matt Murdock’s love life gets written with DAREDEVIL #17, available on February 15!

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Captain America: Mastering Evil

In CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #12 by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz—arriving February 22—Baron Zemo prepares a new Masters of Evil to plague our hero!

The Masters of Evil first debuted in AVENGERS #6 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1964. Under the guidance of Baron Heinrich Zemo, the team included the likes of The Melter, Radioactive Man and The Black Knight. Since then a Zemo has typically led the group, with some notable exceptions—including Egghead, Ultron, Doctor Octopus, and even Lightmaster. But under Zemo’s rule they’ve come the closest to success numerous times—until those pesky heroes interfere with their plans.

Before the new group makes their debut, we help Baron Zemo choose his underlings by offering up our suggestions for a Masters of Evil “dream team.”

1
Baron Zemo
Helmut Zemo, son of the original Baron Heinrich Zemo, has headed up the most incarnations of the team—and arguably the most successful versions. For instance, he gathered not just a team, but an army of villains to decimate the Avengers, taking over Avengers Mansion and almost killing Hercules and Jarvis. He also spearheaded the Thunderbolts when the Avengers disappeared, pretending to be the heroic Citizen V as he won the hearts and minds of the public. No matter what he has planned this time, you can bet it spells trouble for Captain America and the rest of the Marvel Universe!

2
Madame Masque
Masque served as Zemo’s right hand in the pages of AVENGERS UNDERCOVER and has proved her worth as a formidable foe against some of Marvel’s greatest heroes. Her latest exploits saw her fall to Iron Man and Doctor Doom, leaving her in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s custody, but no doubt the Baron could find a way to liberate her.

3Radioactive Man
Chen Lu has appeared with several incarnations of the Masters of Evil, even going so far as to join the Thunderbolts when he wanted to reform. But most recently the powerhouse faced off with the All-New Avengers in Marvel’s 2015 Free Comic Book Day release, suggesting Radioactive Man has returned to his villainous ways.

4
Graviton
Last seen in Avengers Standoff! as chef Howie Howardson, Graviton no doubt has a score to settle with the establishment, so why not join up to cook up something dastardly? Graviton brings a level of power that few former Masters of Evil can match, and while normally he wouldn’t subjugate himself to anyone’s command, the chance for revenge could make serving Zemo palatable.

5
Abomination

One of the Hulk’s greatest enemies, the super-strong Abomination last saw action in 2014, when a group called the Ancient Order of the Shield resurrected and controlled him in their mad quest to capture the Green Goliath. Iron Man teleported him into outer space, where he orbits Jupiter, and waits for someone like Zemo to figure out how to bring him back to Earth.

6
Steve Rogers
Wait, what? Past confrontations between Captain America and the Masters of Evil usually ended with the hero victorious and the villains in jail. But last year brought us a new Captain America, one loyal to Hydra and not afraid to get his hands dirty. So having Steve Rogers take over the team rather than sending them to prison doesn’t seem too far-fetched!

Find out who will join Zemo’s new Masters of Evil in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #12 by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz on February 22!

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Marvel Future Fight: Monster Smash

Alongside the new Marvel NOW! content in this month’s “Marvel Future Fight” update, Marvel’s Publishing and Games teams collaborated with developer Netmarble to craft an exclusive set of Monsters Unleashed-inspired armors for a select group of the game’s heroes. However, instead of keeping these outfit designs limited to “Marvel Future Fight,” the game’s lead artist Jee-Hyung Lee created a set of connecting MONSTERS UNLEASHED variant covers showing off the heroes in their new gear!

Players can check back throughout the Monsters Unleashed event to grab the new armors as each new issue hits shelves. To get the lowdown on this monstrous team-up, we spoke with Bill Rosemann, Creative Director of Marvel Games, and Jee-Hyung Lee, Netmarble’s artist for “Marvel Future Fight.”

Marvel.com: How did this collaboration come about?

Bill Rosemann: Months ago, as soon as our Publishing pals Senior Editor Mark Paniccia and Assistant Editor Christina Harrington shared their Monsters Unleashed goodies with us, Senior Producer Danny Koo reached out to our partners at Netmarble, who immediately wanted in on the fun. Speaking of fun, we thought the time was right to once again create something new and exclusive to the game, much like we did when we teamed to introduce the patriotic powerhouse Sharon Rogers during our Captain America 75th Anniversary event back in July. They worked together to forge all-new armored looks for Amadeus Cho [as] Hulk, Medusa, Elsa Bloodstone, Moon-Girl & Devil Dinosaur, and new superstar Kid Kaiju. Together with the five MONSTERS UNLEASHED variant covers by “Marvel Future Fight” artist supreme Jee-Hyung Lee, these exclusive additions show yet again how our Publishing and Games teams consistently unite to deliver the latest excitement that readers and gamers deserve!

Marvel.com: Why armor? Did you discuss any other kinds of unique uniforms to implement?

Bill Rosemann: When you’re marching forth to battle behemoths like knights of old facing dragons, what better to wear than armor? But in true Marvel fashion we wanted to give each character’s Monsters Unleashed armor a modern twist to reflect our characters’ sci-fi roots.

Marvel.com: How did you go about choosing which heroes would suit up in this Monsters Unleashed armor?

Bill Rosemann: I don’t want to ruin the fun by giving any spoilers, but I can say that as True Believers read the Monsters Unleashed event, they’ll discover that each of these five characters have key roles in the [plot]. So rather than just selecting our most popular characters, we felt that choosing heroes central to the story would add that extra layer of authenticity that “Marvel Future Fight” players respect.

Marvel.com: What was the design process like for the new uniforms?

Bill Rosemann: Because Jee-Hyung Lee is so phenomenally talented, the creation period was swift and energizing. Once we agreed on the high concept, it just took a few back-and-forth exchanges about specific character elements and detailing to nail each final image. Every day Danny and I would open our email, hoping for the arrival of a new sketch or updated colors, and each time Jee-Hyung blew us away with his creativity, design sense and character knowledge.

Totally Awesome Hulk
Totally Awesome Hulk “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress
Totally Awesome Hulk
Totally Awesome Hulk “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress
Totally Awesome Hulk
Totally Awesome Hulk “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress

Totally Awesome Hulk
Totally Awesome Hulk “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee
Medusa
Medusa “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress
Medusa
Medusa “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover in progress

Medusa
Medusa “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee
Elsa Bloodstone
Elsa Bloodstone “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress
Elsa Bloodstone
Elsa Bloodstone “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress

Elsa Bloodstone
Elsa Bloodstone “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee
Kid Kaiju
Kid Kaiju “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaure
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaure “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee in progress

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaure
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaure “Marvel Future Fight” Monsters Unleashed variant cover by Jee-Hyung Lee

Marvel.com: When did the variant covers come into the mix?

Bill Rosemann: The teams at Marvel Games and Netmarble always aim to over-deliver, so we just kept piling on the ideas. Hey, what if we spotlight and introduce characters with key roles in the event? Hey, what if we design all-new, exclusive uniforms for them? Hey, what if Jee-Hyung creates new in-game art of each character? Hey, what if we ask Editorial if they want to publish Jee-Hyung’s art as variant covers for each issue of MONSTERS UNLEASHED? It’s all about having fun, stretching those creative muscles, and delivering the ultimate gaming experience to True Believers.

Marvel.com: Jee-Hyung, were you excited to bring your “Marvel Future Fight” style to these covers?

Jee-Hyung Lee: As a concept artist, it is especially exciting to be able to design costumes because it is an opportunity for me to clothe characters I am a fan of.  I was delighted to be creative without straying too far off their original concepts of course.

Marvel.com: What was your inspiration for each hero’s look in the cover art?

Jee-Hyung Lee: I wanted to divide the five connected illustrations by color. Each hero has a key color that represents them. In my design, I displayed certain colors on certain areas of their body to really emphasize those areas. I wanted the characters to express their personalities through their facial expressions. This is why the viewer will be able to see eye-to-eye with the six characters including Devil Dinosaur and even Kid Kaiju’s summoned monsters.

Enjoy new armor in “Marvel Future Fight” and be sure to pick up MONSTERS UNLEASHED, issue #1 on sale now and issue #2 coming next week on February 1!

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