Wellinton Alves Gives The Devil His Due In DAREDEVIL: SEASON ONE

It takes a thrill-seeker to go into the fundamental origin story of one of comics’ greats and find a new narrative to tell. Luckily for Marvel, they’ve got more than a few on-staff waiting for just such an opportunity.

Brazilian artist Wellinton Alves has worked the past three years at Marvel in space (Nova, War Of Kings: Ascension) and the streets (Shadowland: Blood In the Streets, Power Man & Iron Fist), but working on 2012’s Daredevil: Season One is bar-none his biggest and most high-profile book yet. Working with writer (and previous collaborator) Antony Johnston, Alves is revisiting Matt Murdock’s formative first year in the Daredevil suit and providing new insight into what makes a man become Daredevil. And speaking of the suit, Johnston and Alves are keeping true to Stan Lee and Bill Everett’s original first issues and doing it in the yellow-and-brown boxing-inspired outfit that predated the red suit that became Daredevil’s trademark later in life.

Alves spoke with us here at iFanboy about working on the series, and provided a first look at the early layout pages that set the tone for the series as it developed.

iFanboy: Let’s start this off with an easy one, Wellinton; what’s on your drawing board this week?

Wellinton Alves: Well, I’m starting the fourth chapter of Daredevil: Season One, I’m doing the layouts for an entire chapter before I start the pencils. I just finished the layouts for the first 10 pages, and I have 10 more to go. Doing the entire issue’s (or in this case, chapter’s) layout at once allows me to keep up the speed when I’m doing the actual pencils.

iFanboy: This is the single biggest project of your career, considering the size and the content of the book. What was it like signing up to do a graphic novel when you’re used to monthly comics?

Wellinton: This is a really big project, but I haven’t had any problems because the deadlines are the same as monthly comics for me. There are some pages with some great action moment that I’d like to have more time to do a really great panel, but I need to keep on pace with the deadline to make the book work.

iFanboy: For this you’re re-teaming with Antony Johnston, who worked with you on Shadowland: Blood In The Streets. What’s it like re-teaming with him, and what were some of the high points of the previous work with him?

Wellinton: I like to work with Antony a lot. He’s a great writer, always giving me his notes and ideas at the layout stage and that makes a big difference. On Shadowland: Blood In The Streets it focused on real people and real city environments, and that’s helped me a lot now coming onto Daredevil: Season One.

iFanboy: Early on in your career you did a lot of space stories with Nova , but you’ve been doing street-level work the past year with the Shadowland mini and then the Power Man & Iron Fist book. How do you vary up your style, and how are you tuning your style specifically for Daredevil: Season One?

Wellinton: On Nova we told many of the issues on other worlds where I could create everything from the ground-up, literally: cities, monsters, people, etc. Looking back, Nova was easier than doing the more realistic urban settings with Shadowland and now Daredevil. In Daredevil: Season One,Marvel wanted a modern look for the character but also in keeping with our original costume. Our Matt Murdock is happy here at this point in time.

I have to confess that Daredevil: Season One wasn’t an easy job. Daredevil lives in the big city of New York, and works in an office. Drawing big creatures and aliens is quicker than doing real people.

iFanboy: You mentioned the fact that this book shows Daredevil in his original yellow-and-brown costume, which was replaced early on in his career with the familiar red tights. What’s it like drawing the character in those duds, and making it work?

Wellinton: I think the secret to make this book is that we kept true to the feeling and emotion that Matt had as Daredevil early on in his career. That was lost as he spent more time as a hero, but by placing him in his first costume it really defined the moment in time. We’re also able to draw him in a more realistic manner, giving a modern look for both new readers and old.

iFanboy: How are you getting adjusted to drawing a hero who can’t see anything? Have you had any particular moments where you had to draw it different because Matt Murdock doesn’t look around but rather hears?

Wellinton: This wasn’t easy. I need to be careful with Matt’s poses; when he walks, talks or feels the things around him. The goal is to give the readers a true feeling in these scenes, and not just draw him like any other hero who can see everything around.

iFanboy: The Season One books show the heroes in their first years as a crime-fighter. What’s that like drawing Daredevil in his most inexperienced days?

Wellinton: As I said earlier,at this point in life Matt is always smiling; happy and without concerns. But that is a problem because he doesn’t know his enemies or their powers, and that gives him difficulty. As the story progresses he’ll need to change some of his irresponsible attitudes and get a better sense of this new world.

iFanboy: Since the 80s, the Daredevil character has been a far more shadowy figure than in his early days with Stan Lee & Bill Everett. How are you working with that to create something realistic and unique?

Wellinton: We are trying to keep to the idea from his early days as seen in those stories by Lee and Everett, but in a modern way so new readers can latch onto him. At this point Daredevil is far from the type of hero he would later become; he’s fighting crime and saving the girls, while later on in Daredevil’s life he becomes more morose. It’s these early days of Daredevil and how they’re so different than what he become that makes him unique.

iFanboy: Readers, see six pages of layouts by Wellinton, including an alternate version of page two! Click each image to enlarge.


  1. Wasn’t this done in the “Man Without Fear” mini that had art by Romita Jr.?

  2. As much as I’ve enjoyed DD over the past few years, I don’t think we need this origin again. Even great reviews from the iFanboy crew probably won’t convince me to drop the $. No slight against the creators though. I hope it does well for them.

  3. These season one direct to graphic novel format books are gonna be the biz, on board w a smile over here!

  4. Love DD in the brown n yellow w red D to offset the color scheme, bought Daredevil: Yellow in SC a few weeks back for that reason and love the idea, I had the mini in issues years ago and thought it made a great softcover plus I don’t think I ever had all 6 of em and wanted read it now, dig Leph Loeb and Tim Sales color titled books, they must’ve did about 5 of em.

  5. Cannot get enough origin retelling OGNs, flood the market with these, Marvel, we’ll all lap them up!