Ivan the Terrible

Hey gang! I haven’t been as lazy as it seems, I swear. I’ve been working on a massive essay-type post that isn’t quite ready to post yet, so here’s a little something to entertain you (hopefully) in the mean time.

I went to see the new Captain America movie yesterday (I really liked it!), so at first I thought I’d post something Natasha-related. Then I realized that there are some delightful absurdities involving Matt’s first meeting with her chauffeur Ivan that needed to be ridiculed.

So, let’s go back to Daredevil #82 and #83, both written by Gerry Conway with art by Gene Colan and Alan Weiss, respectively. It starts something like this, on a page that follows the one discussed in another post, incidentally:

Matt finds a man in his home, from Daredevil #82, by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

The scene begins with just some minor absurdities, such as the fact that blind people don’t generally use a cane in their own homes and aren’t expected to (a common head-scratcher in early Daredevil), as well as the weird notion that Matt wouldn’t notice if there was someone in the room watching him. He can easily hear heartbeats, not to mention relatively louder breath sounds, and it’s unlikely that someone would have had the time to mount some kind of elaborate camera equipment for remote viewing.

I also have to wonder why Matt would study the man’s features just to fool somebody else if it actually takes touching his face to determine that he doesn’t know him. Hm, I probably think too much… I love the brillo pad description though! And there’s also the colorful and semi-offensive mention of ”harsh peasant features” (seen below). ;)

Matt finds a note about the Black Widow being kidnapped, from Daredevil #82, by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Matt now rushes off to save the Black Widow who has been kidnapped by the Scorpion. The trio end up fighting on the top of a tall building and just as the villain falls to his death while Natasha is trying to save him, the most annoying crime scene witness ever shows up in time to misunderstand the whole thing and accuse her of murder.

Which brings us to Daredevil #83 and Daredevil returning home to realize he forgot about Ivan lying unconscious on his floor. No Matt, you didn’t “almost forget,” you pretty much just left the guy there. But we understand, Natasha was more important. Anyway, this is where things start to get weirder…

Daredevil comes home to Ivan whom he left on the floor, from Daredevil #83, by Gerry Conway and Alan Weiss

Somewhere along the line – I forget where – Ivan entered the conversation between Matt and Natasha which means that Matt has put two and two together and figured out that the man in his home is Ivan. But, the two haven’t been formally introduced so it’s perfectly reasonable that Matt would ask Ivan who he is.

Oddly enough, this seems to confuse Ivan who concludes that the only reason Matt would ask who is is because he’s blind. Unless Ivan is a very well-known public figure, this makes absolutely no sense at all. Things go from weird to violent, however, when Ivan learns that Natasha has been arrested…

Ivan goes nuts in Daredevil #83, by Gerry Conway and Alan Weiss

Really, I don’t care how distraught Ivan is, this is not normal behavior. Ivan needs a psychiatric diagnosis or at the very least some serious anger management therapy.

At the realization that he’s hit a blind man, which I think is presumably more frowned upon that beating up a kid with glasses, he comes to his senses. Matt meanwhile, is amazingly forgiving.

Matt relates to crazy Ivan, as seen in Daredevil #83, by Gerry Conway and Alan Weiss

The scene ends with some odd ideas about manhood, and Matt going all wordy and overly dramatic on us, which was something he did quite a lot during Gerry Conway’s run. In his defense, I think Conway was still a teenager when he started writing Daredevil, so we’ll forgive him the lack of subtlety. ;)

That’s it for now! I will return shortly with something quite a bit more profound.

Comments

  1. says

    And as it turns out, Ivan DOES need a psychiatric diagnosis. (At least, he does if you believe the Black Widow series by Paul Cornell.)

    No spoilers on Cap 2, please! We poor peasants in the U.S. won’t get to see it until April 4. (And just why in the hell do we have to wait so long when it’s our blankety-blank movie about our blankety-blank superhero wearing our blankety-blank flag … *grumblemutter* *American entitlement* *seriously, though, it’s dumb*)

    I hope you enjoyed the movie, though. I’ll just sit here being quietly jealous of you and counting the hours until next Thursday’s midnight screening …

  2. says

    I did read that Paul Cornell series! It was awful! Aside from being just too stupid for words, it really cheapened the (albeit far from perfect) relationship Natasha had with him and completely ruined the Ivan character. Ugh. :(

  3. says

    Yeah, it did seem weird. I didn’t have much of an investment in Ivan, and I thought the rest of the series was fun … but yeah, weird. The main antagonist did rather put a crimp in the fun.

  4. Patrick says

    The movie version of Captain America: Winter Soldier lives up to the hype. Totally enjoyable and it’ll be a massive hit.

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