Seeing things #12

So, this site turns five years old this week! Though I have to admit, I actually missed my own anniversary since I kept thinking that my very first post was dated December 7, 2007 when it was, in fact, from December 3. Either way, I was going to post a big-ass anniversary post for this weekend but have decided to wait until the end of next week when I’ll have a little more time. There are some technical things I need to straighten out first and this is/has been a very busy weekend for me so I haven’t had the time. By waiting a couple of more posts, I can also get it to coincide with post number 600. Sounds like a plan? Good!

In the meantime, here’s a return to one of my very favorite series: Seeing things! You know, in which we catch Daredevil in the act of seeing something he really shouldn’t be able to. The situation we’re looking at today is a modern example. In fact, it comes from this week’s X-Men #39, by Seth Peck, Paul Azaceta and Matthew Southworth, the final issue of Domino’s two-part team up with our very own Daredevil.

Now this case may not be obvious right away since we’re not actually catching Daredevil seeing something in this scene. It’s more a case of him making a very sighted reference to something that makes little sense when you start thinking about it some more. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Daredevil references Hoarders in X-Men #39, by Seth Peck, Paul Azaceta and Matthew Southworth

First of all, I love whatever Daredevil does with his hands. It looks kinda cute, like a drummer boy who got spooked and dropped his drum. The real problem though is – you guessed it – Daredevil making a reference to the television show Hoarders. As a general rule, there’s really no situation in which Matt should be saying “Oh, my current situation X looks like Y!” in which Y is something that can only be seen on TV. Emphasis on seen.

Yes, blind people watch TV. We already know Matt himself is a fan of Law & Order. But, the whole watching part is limited to only hearing the sound track. So, we can be pretty sure that Matt has never seen an episode of Hoarders. Sure, he knows it’s about hoarding, but it’s not the most natural reference for a blind guy to make.

Am I being a bit picky here? Maybe, but the things about Hoarders is that it’s really one of those shows you have to see to believe. I’ve watched Hoarders myself a few times, but I can’t imagine that Matt would get very much out of it or even fully understand just how unimaginably bad these hoarders get. This is not a major goof – some might argue it’s not a goof at all – but I would be surprised to see someone like Mark Waid have Matt make such a “sight-heavy” reference.

With that piece of nit-picking out of the way, I wish you all an excellent weekend! πŸ˜€

Seeing things #11

Panels from Daredevil #77 in which Daredevil notices a light on the horizon

Let’s add another entry to the old series “Seeing things“! But first, here’s a hot off the presses press release from Marvel about how Daredevil is the best new series of the year. It also features some Daredevil #9 preview art!

Now to the seeing portion of our programming. This little piece of he’s-not-supposed-to-be-doing-that Daredevil action comes from Daredevil #77 (volume 1), by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan.

“Heads up, hero. Unless your radar senses are “seeing” things — that’s some sort of light filling the dusky horizon… perhaps a power line’s down — or something worse.”

Panels from Daredevil #77 in which Daredevil notices a light on the horizon

So Matt, care to tell us which one of your “radar senses” told you there was a light in the sky? Daredevil can’t see light – plain and simple – and he’s too far away to realistically (and I’m using the term loosely) pick up any other sign of a light source near by, such as heat. But apparently, he also notices that the horizon is dusky! How about that? πŸ˜‰

Nope, I call seeing goof on this scenario!

Seeing things #10

Daredevil points out the color of someone's clothing, Daredevil #126

Yes, it’s time for the next chapter in the series “Seeing things” in which we catch Daredevil, well, seeing things. While we know that Daredevil’s senses can be tuned up or down to suit the writer and/or story, what these incidents have in common is that they clearly appear to be writer (or, more rarely) artist goofs.

For those who’ve missed this series in the past, I particularly recommend the mother of all seeing goofs in which Daredevil sees a painting of the Deathstalker’s mother from clear across the room.

The example below is from Daredevil #126 by Marv Wolfman with art by Bob Brown and Klaus Janson. This is the issue which sees Daredevil fight the Torpedo and it also marks the first appearance of Heather Glenn. In these panels, we see Daredevil interrupt Brock Jones in his attempt to rescue a young boy. Matt is such a glory hog. That bastard.

Daredevil points out the color of someone's clothing, Daredevil #126

Interestingly for the purposes of this series, Daredevil also sees fit to describe Brock as “the man in the gray flannels.” Well, how would he know that? He wouldn’t. On the other hand, to complicate things even further, Brock isn’t even wearing gray, he’s clearly dressed in green throughout the issue. This begs the question of who messed up or even if Wolfman deliberately had Matt call out the wrong color (and has thus made a fool of yours truly). On the other hand, this could be another example of the process that made the originally gray Hulk turn that lovely shade of green.

EDIT: “I’ve since learned this is a literary reference (see the comments) and thus not a seeing goof at all. Aw shucks!”

Either way, I think we can assume that it’s safer for Daredevil to not be shouting out colors at random. Later in the issue, he again proves his blindness by putting on the absolutely hideous pajamas pictured below. Yes, I know this issue was written in the 70’s but that’s really no excuse. Taking advantage of someone’s blindness to sell such a hideous clothing item should really be a crime.

Matt puts on his hideous pajamas, Daredevil #126

Another example of Daredevil seeing things comes from his first encounter with Klaw. Since we know that Klaw will be making a return to Daredevil during Mark Waid’s run, you may want to take a look at it.

Seeing things #9

Longtime readers may know about my “Seeing things” series, in which I poke gentle fun at Daredevil, well, seeing things. In some cases, we’re talking about obvious goofs, and in others – usually more recent ones – it might just be a scene that comes across as a little odd (see, for example, Seeing things #4 from the Brubaker/Lark run).

Here’s another first, in that it’s from an issue that hasn’t hit the shelves yet. Yes, while not an obvious goof like some of the older examples, the first page from the Daredevil #504 review did make me raise an eyebrow (is Matt actually looking at those sketches on the ground before him?). And, just because I couldn’t resist, I did my own take on the dialogue… Look at both below, the original is the top one. πŸ˜‰

Daredevil pondering some blueprints, as seen in Daredevil #504
Parody version of a page from Daredevil #504 where Daredevils assumes he's being made fun of.

Seeing things #8

Update: This example is probably a misunderstanding on my part. But, I’m leaving it up anyway.

Okay, I admit it. This one is sort of minor. I guess I’m just taking the opportunity to pick on Kevin Smith. Not a big Smith fan… Anyway, below, in the very beginning of issue #4 (vol 2) we see DD talking to Natasha about his recent incarceration (which happened in issue #3) where he was held prisoner in a very spooky white room with even spookier sound effects. Considering what happened to him in that room, it’s a little surprising to see him describe to room by its color.

First of all, would he even know that the room was white? I wouldn’t have found it odd had he referred to it as “bright,” but I don’t really buy that he can sense colors. And, even if he could, something like that would probably be very far down the list of things that would have stood out to him about that room. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to have described the room as “the room with hellish synthetic angel shrieks which messed up my head for an hour”?

Daredevil meets Natasha and tells her he's been held in a white room, as seen in Daredevil #4 (vol 2).

But I guess compared to some other goofs we’ve seen in this category, this one wasn’t that bad. So, to smooth things over with you my dear readers, I offer you a second goof from this arc, taken from issue #3.

Just after Foggy’s arrest for murder, Matt storms into his office and asks for a paralegal. The guy below, Reggie apparently, comes to his aid. Or does he? Is this a case of the staff playing mean tricks on the blind guy or just a simple case of Joe Quesada (who supplied the art for this arc) confusing his own left with Matt’s?

Although this Reggie guy must think Matt’s hearing is screwy too, because most people, whether blind or sighted, have no problem determining where someone’s voice is coming from. Whatever happened to Reggie, I wonder. He might still work for Razor Sharpe. Who knows?

A paralegal, Reggie, tells Matt he's on his left, when he's actually on his right. As seen in Daredevil #4 (vol 2).

Seeing things #7

From Daredevil #141, co-written by Marv Wolfman (plot) and Jim Shooter (script), with art by Gil Kane and Bob Brown. The glaze over his eyes? Need I say more? I think not…

Oh, and as a Swede, I’m simply stunned by DD’s prejudices against the Vikings.* I’ll have you know that most of them were peaceful merchants. Though I guess a significant percentage raped, pillaged and… Okay, never mind. πŸ˜‰

*Bonus Viking trivia: Did you know that historians generally consider the Viking Age to have lasted from 793 AD (with the Norse attack on the monestary on the Scottish island of Lindesfarne) until just before the battle of Hastings in 1066 when Harald III of Norway attempted an invasion of England, only to be defeated by Harold Godwinson (Harold II), who in turn lost the throne to William the Conqueror. That’s right, I’m not just a science geek I do history too!

Seeing things #6

This is another little gem from issue #128 (see the previous post) featuring Daredevil versus the enigmatic figure known only as the Sky Walker – though I prefer to think of him as the Stair Master myself – a character that made vague threats of a possible return on the last page, but was never to be heard from again. The big fight in this issue is primarily between Daredevil and the Death Stalker, but this little guy gets in on the action too. Aside from Sky Walker’s general goofiness, his inclusion in the Seeing Things series is due to his miraculous Jesusesque ability to restore sight to the blind, as can be seen below…

First of all, isn’t that little dance in the first panel kind of cute? Love those jazz hands, dude! But let’s look at what Matty boy is saying here:

“Unless my radar sense has gone totally bananas — there’s a clown up there creating steps out of light. And what’s even nuttier — he’s walking on them!”

Eh, I hate to break this to you, Matt, but the nuttiest thing about all of this is that you’re seeing them! Remember, light has no solid form so he shouldn’t be picking them up at all except possibly as some kind of vague heat. But it’s like with the bumble bee and flying, I suppose. As long as we don’t say anything, he can see that light just fine…

Seeing things #5

Death's Head's horse in all its fake skeletal grandeur

This goof is a real nice one since it comes back to an inconsistency in the storyline, and the storyline in question is a big heaping pile of goofy in and of itself. Nutty early Daredevil at its best, in other words. The panels here are from Daredevil #56 and #57 (the former was also referenced in the Wacky power post below).

These issues are something of a landmark since they feature Daredevil following Karen to her home in Vermont and revealing to her that Daredevil and Matt Murdock are one and the same. This marks the first time that Matt willingly revealed his secret to anyone in the comic. In terms of continuity, he “came out” to Elektra first, but she hadn’t been invented yet as Frank Miller was still in grade school when this issue hit the stands.

Just to give a brief background here, I’ve included a nice little picture of Death’s-Head, the villain of this story. I just wanted you to get a good look at him, as that sort of relates to the whole seeing goof I’ll get to below. Now, Death’s-Head is a figure Karen Page remembers from a childhood dream and who has recently taken up haunting the Page estate.

As Daredevil follows her to her childhood home, he has numerous encounters with this scary-looking foe while also looking for Karen’s missing father, Paxton Page, a former scientist. The way the story ends, Death’s-Head is revealed to be none other than Karen’s father himself, who has been driven insane by exposure to cobalt radiation.

He took on the Death’s-Head persona after hearing about Karen’s dream as a child and then twisting that around in ways not even Freud can begin to figure out. Suddenly, her eventually becoming a heroin addict doesn’t seem all that surprising. Anyway, the appearance of Death’s-Head (and his horse) are important, so get a good look at their skeletal appearance, before we go on…

Now, note what Daredevil is actually saying in this first panel above, taken from issue #56. There is no doubt that the horse in question appears to be skeletal in shape to him. And, remember, if he perceives it as skeletal, it should be skeletal. He picks up on the shapes of things and cannot fall for optical illusions.

The problem with all of this is that an optical illusion is exactly what it is revealed to be in the next issue, as you see in the panel below it, from issue #57. Apparently, as we learn later on, the horse was treated with a serum that rendered its flesh transparent.

We also learn that this treatment ended up actually killing the horse. Poor thing… I wonder what PETA would say about that. Anyway, the horse should have looked like a regular horse to DD, thus making this a clear seeing goof, not to mention a rather striking plot hole.

As for how the issue ends, Paxton Page dies while saving his daughter’s life in a final moment of his long-gone sanity shining through. Matt, meanwhile, has the poor taste of telling her his secret right after Paxton’s funeral. For crying out loud, DD, would you at least wait until you guys leave the cemetary to dump another big shocker on the poor girl! Murdock and gang had the social skills of five-year-olds back in the day.

I won’t even go into the fact that the revelation in question also meant Karen finding out that Matt was even still alive, since he had faked his own death not long before this issue. Geez, these guys all needed therapy…

Seeing things #4?

Seeing goof again? Well, not quite, hence the question mark. This scene, from the most recent issue (DD vol 2, #108) got picked as a comic book moment of the week last week on Kirk Warren’s The Weekly Crisis because it featured Matt commenting on Dakota’s apartment.

I didn’t actually find that to be all that odd, since he’s not really commenting on the look of it, just his overall impression. I can think of many reasons why he’d get a positive impression. Maybe it struck him as being organized and free of clutter. Maybe Dakota went straight home after being beaten and made a batch of cinnamon rolls (that’s what people do when they’re putting a house up for sale and are showing it to people, I bet Matt would go all ga-ga over the smell of cinnamon rolls) or maybe she just has really nice plants. Or an ultra-silent refrigerator.

What does strike me as a little odd in these two panels is the art, however, as Matt appears to be looking around in the first panel (he doesn’t have to turn his head to “look” at things, he doesn’t see with his eyes and the radar is presumably 360 degrees), and specifically seems to be checking out Dakota’s Vogue covers in the second panel. Ah, those Vogue covers… Maybe not seeing them actually heightened his appreciation of her apartment. So this isn’t really a seeing goof perhaps, but it is a borderline art goof.

Seeing things #3

This panel from Daredevil #64 (vol 1), by Roy Thomas isn’t strictly a “seeing” goof, so it doesn’t really belong in this category. But it’s kind of a funny panel and I haven’t updated much this week. I’m blaming that on a bad cold and a screwy Internet connection. And in a pinch, this one will just have to do.

This is actually an example of one of those cool DD tricks that consists of feeling the indentations left by a pen on the pages underneath. It’s kind of neat, and yes, it is very “spy movie.” And he may even have picked this one up from a spy movie.

But, when does he find the time to watch 2000 spy movies? That’s the equivalent of one spy movie per night for almost five and a half years. And if he’s doing it to pick up certain tricks, I’m not sure all of them are referenced in the audio portion. So yeah, this one might be a stretch, but it does make me smile.

Also note Roy Thomas’s hilarious habit of using the word “brother” when Matt is talking about himself in the third person. The careful reader will see that one a few times during his run.

Anyway, I shall return soon, and by the end of the week there should be a review of DD #107 up as well!