Well, this is not so much an example of a wacky power as just a case of Daredevil using his powers in wacky ways. You see, in Dardevil #2, our favorite hero finds himself in a bit of a predicament. Having been sent into space by Electro while unconscious, he has to figure out a way to land the rocket safely back on Earth.
Daredevil #2, as a whole, is not a good issue. It has that “make it up as one goes along” feel to it, and that applies to his powers as well. To quote from the review of this issue on (the now defunct) The Daredevil Companion website:
“There’s really no two ways about it: this story is a mess and a half. I wonder if it was a little more rushed than other issues of the period, because the plot seems built wholly on contrivances holier than the Pope–beginning with the rather baffling idea of sending the very blind Matt Murdock to do an assessment of the Baxter Building.
Now the reader knows that Matt has special senses, but it’s baffling how neither Foggy or Karen seem to find assigning Matt the task odd (this may be the source of the many, many years of writers treating Foggy as a goof of the first order).
There’s also the arbitrary use of Electro, in a role that could be filled by any one of (at that time) a dozen villains–in fact, probably should have, considering how the character was not portrayed as much of a big time schemer in his previous appearance. […] And there’s just the way Stan contorts logic, and Daredevil’s powers, in such a way that he’s not killed within the first half of the story.
Heck, there are moments like DD’s escape from the Pogo Plane where his powers are amped up and misrepresented to get him out of danger.”
Below is the actual scene of Daredevil landing the rocket:
“Imagine a blind man operating a space ship!! Not as impossible as it seems if that man can hear the levers move, feel the power needed, sense the direction of flight!!
Daredevil: “I’ve done it! I’ve reversed the missile’s course!!”
“And then, the most incredible task of all being… The task of landing the powerful spaceship back on Earth without injuring any hapless humans!”
Daredevil: “By hearing the slight movement of the astro-compass, I can gauge my direction perfectly! And by feeling the action of the radarscope I can pinpoint my landing! I’ll bring the ship down in the middle of Central Park in New York, finding an open spot where I hear no human heartbeats.”Daredevil #2, by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando
This begs another question: Even aside from the fact that hearing levers move is pretty useless if you don’t know which lever indicates which function, do they teach space navigation in law school? Sure, Matt is supposedly a self-trained engineer (he was in the old days at least), but this has wacky written all over it.
One thing I do find fascinating is the conflation of the word “sense,” in its biological and physical sense, with its more colloquial meaning. This is something that affects our understanding of the character of Daredevil to this day. In casual conversation, people use both “sense” and “feel” all the time to talk about things that they have come to understand or form an opinion about.
When used this way, sensing something comes awfully close to simple having a hunch about something. And, hunches don’t necessarily need to be explained. However, if we actually mean to use the word sense, as in “becoming aware of something that is being relayed to us through one or more of our sense organs,” then the explanations given in Daredevil #2 end up explaining nothing at all.
Thus, the colloquial usage of “sense” can be used to gloss over the fact that the relevant features of the craft’s navigation panel cannot be presented to Matt Murdock in a way that allows him to make adequate use of that information.
Though this is perhaps the worst example of them all, there have been many instances during the history of the book where the writers use Daredevil’s enhanced senses for solving problems that really cannot be solved that way. Some might just call it comic book logic. I just think it’s lazy writing. Still, it is kind of funny…