I’ve alluded to a certain “secret project” of mine before. I won’t divulge any more information here, except to say that it pretty much requires my having to go through every issue of Daredevil in detail along the way. Which can hardly be considered a chore, really. 😉
Anyway, while I’m doing this, it also gives me ideas for various posts, and one post in particular that I’ve been wanting to write for a while has to do with Daredevil’s habit of ending up badly injured. Which shouldn’t be surprising given his lack of supernatural physical strength and his characteristic fearlessness.
Rather than put every instance of Daredevil being injured into a single absolutely massive post, I thought I’d just work my way through Daredevil canon and report in at regular intervals. So, for this post, we’ll be looking at panels from Daredevil #7 and #9 (volume 1, both by Stan Lee and Wally Wood).
I should add that just being punched in the face or getting a bruise or two up doesn’t count as far as this series of posts i concerned. Matt gets beat up all the time. We’re talking about more serious stuff, such as being knocked unconscious (as in Daredevil #7) and being shot (as in Daredevil #9). Now, with no further ado, let’s travel back in Daredevil history!
Daredevil #7 – Daredevil succumbs to the Sub-Mariner
Daredevil #7 is something of a classic. The third issue drawn by Wally Wood, it is the first to feature the red costume and has Daredevil squaring off against Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Namor ends up in the law offices of Nelson & Murdock after deciding to sue the human race. Since this turns out to be pretty much impossible, he ends up spending most of the issue in a state of rage after being repeatedly misunderstood by the legal system.
Matt, as Daredevil, takes it upon himself to talk some sense into Namor while trying to protect innocent people. He’s in for a world of hurt. In his first attempt to engage Namor, the former pulls him into the water…
Fortunately for Daredevil, Namor isn’t really trying to kill him. When he notices that Daredevil isn’t breathing, he shoots him up through the water toward the surface. As seen below, Daredevil fortunately regains consciousness.
Later in the issue, Namor seems to have temporarily forgotten that he doesn’t really want to kill Daredevil. Breaking off a lamp post and playing a nice game of baseball, with Daredevil playing the part of the ball, hardly looks like an act of peace, or even restraint.
True to from, Daredevil struggles to regain his composure. It is clear that his never give up spirit goes back to the very beginning of the Daredevil title.
It’s at this point that Namor takes the opportunity to electrocute Daredevil. Considering that Namor didn’t want Daredevil dead, we can only assume that he knew what he was doing. Poor Matt, that has got to hurt. As seen below, Daredevil appears to be down for the count.
Incidentally, the series of panels above is a favorite of mine from early Daredevil. Not only does it show us Daredevil’s grit and fighting spirit, Wally Wood’s art has him looking like an adorable toy figure.
Fortunately for Matt, there is an upside to being beaten to a pulp. Next day at the office, Karen goes into full Florence Nightingale mode when she sees Matt banged up, sitting at his desk. If he had played his cards right, he probably could have gotten a sponge bath out of the ordeal…
Daredevil #9 – Daredevil is shot at
Daredevil #9 opens to Daredevil hunting down a gang of boat hijackers. The evening ends on a painful note, when one of the bad guys fires at Daredevil, the bullet apparently grazing his arm.
It is interesting to note, that at this point in his “career,” Matt was very concerned about his brand image and how Daredevil would fare in the public eye if defeated. With more than just ego bruised, Daredevil stumbles home and offers some interesting introspection on the way:
“Sometimes I wonder… Do I really do this to help mankind… or am I just a showoff who never grew up?!!”
Back home, while tending to his wounds, Matt delivers another classic nugget of wisdom:
“Show me a superhero without a first aid kit, and I’ll show you a nut!”
Later in the issue, Matt goes on a crazy journey to Lichtenbad, ostensibly for eye surgery, where he has to combat his former law school classmate turned despotic ruler. His feats as a fighter and acrobat is made even more impressive by the fact that his arm is apparently still numb!
Well that’s it! Now, next time you stub your toe or hit your funny bone (which really isn’t funny, or a bone), ask yourself: What would Daredevil do? That’s right, keep it together and go fight crime!