Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2015 has been treating you well so far. One of the first things on my agenda this year, as far as the blog is concerned, is to put together a longer post about Daredevil on Netflix. That’s something that might take a few hours, however, and I didn’t want to put off my first post of the year for much longer.
So, for this first post, I thought it might be fun to look at the fight scene between Daredevil and Hawkeye that was referenced in Daredevil #11.
The first meeting between the two heroes took place in Daredevil #99 (vol 1), written by Steve Gerber with Sam Kweskin and Syd Shores listed as designer and embellisher, respectively. First we’ll look at how Chris Samnee’s take on the events compares to the original, and then we’ll cover some other gems from the issue! (As always, click the image to zoom in, click again to “pop” it back down.)
The perspectives are a little different. The more recent issue has a clearer focus on Daredevil, which seems apt under the circumstances, and the angle brings the Black Widow into the scene. Daredevil #11 also leaves out the part about the Black Widow bemoaning the destruction of her beautiful windows. Probably a wise decision.
More importantly, in the original version Daredevil uses his billy club to grab Haweye and then swing him out the window. When Matt retells the event in the present, he lets his fist do the talking instead. Though to be fair, there was some punching action earlier in the issue. Except Daredevil was on the receiving end of it. I guess this is what present-day Matt boils down to “embellishment.”
Well, this part happens pretty much the way Foggy tell its, but the original unsurprisingly offers a longer, and even more hilarious scene. In my head, I’m going to imagine that “Archer, you’ve flipped” is now something Matt works into conversations when he meets Clint Barton, as an inside joke reminding the two of their first, spectacularly absurd meeting.
As for what happens on the very next page, right after the phosphorous arrow business, I decided to just include the whole page. There’s no other way to do this scene justice. It has a wonderful mix of melodrama and awareness of that very same melodrama. Matt pretty much nails it with:
“This has to be the most bizarre, ridiculous battle I’ve ever fought. Not to mention the least gratifying.”
Interestingly, this isn’t even remotely the most quotable line of the issue. Daredevil #99 is full of them. First off though, let’s just cut to who actually won the fight:
After Hawkeye leaves the scene, he runs into a gang of street thugs to do battle with (because, why not?) when Daredevil shows up. The latter is then attacked by an arrow that releases a gas which does a real number on Matt’s senses. This is followed by a sonic arrow that really has him begging for mercy. I guess Clint just got really lucky choosing among his trick arrows because they seem perfectly suited to Daredevil’s weaknesses, which he knew nothing about at the time. Daredevil then rebounds, breaks Hawkeye’s bow – and makes it look way too easy, by the way – before they both get to play with Daredevil’s billy club. Finally, the two settle things and call it a draw.
So, the encounter ends amicably enough. But what prompted it in the first place? Well, call it a take on the age old tale of two men doing battle over the same woman while she watches – and rolls her eyes – from the sidelines. Hawkeye simply shows up, as Daredevil and the Black Widow return to their San Francisco home following the events of the previous issue, to tell his ex-girlfriend what she means to him. Yup, he traveled across the country on a whim just to do that. Though in his defense, this issue predates the invention of email and “sexting.”
On the second page, Clint delivers a juicy comeback for the people expressing their disapproval of his impromptu visit:
“I’ve been perched like a partridge in that pear tree over yonder… for two hours and 38 minutes — just waiting for you clowns to get home!”
There are many things to like about this quote. The play on the lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas, the use of the word “yonder”, the suggestion that Clint keeps immaculate track of time, and the juicy clown insult at the very end.
As you can imagine though, things go downhill from here. Both Daredevil and Hawkeye act like jerks, while the Black Widow – the only reasonable person for most of the issue – tries unsuccessfully to get across that she is capable of choosing her own boyfriend. Here are some highlights.
The blind joke
Daredevil: “Cool it, William Tell. Can’t you see you’re upsetting the lady?”
Hawkeyes: “My eye are as good as yours, fearless.”
Daredevil: “I’ll just bet they are.”
Daredevil’s pose in this panel
Hawkeye insults the Vision
At the very end of the issue, the two combatants return to the home of Matt and Natasha, and find some of the Avengers. They are there to ask Daredevil to join them on a mission – he later accepts – but the self-proclaimed ex-avenger Hawkeye is not happy to see his old team mates, especially not the Vision, with whom he’s had a falling out (in Avengers #109).
And I think “Stuff it, synthozoid! The Avengers ’n me are thru!” is about as good a place as any to round off this little trip through the often hilarious archives of Daredevil canon. And thanks to Mark Waid and Chris Samnee for the slice of nostalgia! 😉