Early Daredevil put all kinds of strange contraptions into his billy club. We saw a couple of the more bizarre examples of this in a recent post about when Daredevil guest-starred in the Fantastic Four. Below is another chuckle-worthy case from Daredevil #4, by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando, which saw Daredevil go up against the Purple Man.
When Matt figures out that it is exposure to the villain’s skin that causes people to become spellbound – an effect experienced even by him, though to a lesser degree – he decides to come up with a way to nullify the effect. Enter the chemically treated plastic sheet, which “snaps open and closed within my cane by means of a taut spring, like a modified window shade!” Well, that and a miniature tape recorder. All in one evening! You master engineer you…
Interestingly, this isn’t the only exciting thing to happen to the billy club this issue. With the plastic sheet and the tape recorder already in place, we also learn that the billy club can transform into a boomerang. Apparently, having a bunch of stuff inside the billy club does nothing to hinder its ability to bend and twist!
When it comes to putting the sheet to the test, it is clear that it performs admirably! Exactly what kind of chemical it was treated with is unknown, as is just how Daredevil would know which chemical coating might be best suited to counteract the (also) unknown chemical released by Purple Man’s skin.
But, the biggest mystery here isn’t really the chemical coating, but how the bath towel-sized sheet managed to grow large enough to cover Purple Man completely. In the panel above, on the right, it looks significantly larger than anything that would fit inside a billy club!
Oh well, this is early Daredevil and stuff just happens. Sometimes for no reason and through what seems like pure magic. Over time, Matt Murdock’s supposed engineering skills have faded into the background, along with his knowledge of chemistry and tailoring. Personally, I find his acrobatic and legal prowess to be more than enough for one man. 😉