What really happened when Daredevil met Hawkeye

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.)

Daredevil punches Hawkeye through a window, as seen in Daredevil #11 by Mark Waid and Chris SamneeDaredevil swings Hawkeye through a window, as seen in Daredevil #99 by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin

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.”

Matt remembers Hawkeye's trick arrow, as seen in Daredevil #11 by Mark Waid and Chris SamneeDaredevil shields his eyes from one of Hawkeye's trick arrows, as seen in Daredevil #99 by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin

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.”

Daredevil ponders his encounter with Hawkeye, as seen in Daredevil #99 by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin

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.

Daredevil and Hawkeye decide to call it a draw, in Daredevil #99 by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin

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

Daredevil does a sexy pose on the stairs, in Daredevil #99 by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin

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).

Hawkeye yells at the Avengers, in Daredevil #99 by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin

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! 😉

Female features and muddy shoes

Hey gang! Don’t worry, I’ll let you in on what’s hiding behind that mysterious title in a little bit, but first I just wanted to let you know that I made another (two!) guest appearances on the Fantasticast podcast with Steve and Andy. The Fantasticast is all about the Fantastic Four, as you might imagine, but since the Marvel Universe is all kinds of connected, I’ve had the great honor of being invited whenever the FF and Daredevil collide.

In the first of the two episodes I was in, we devote the entire 90 minutes to four issues of Daredevil (#36-39) that lead feature the FF and leads into Fantastic Four #73. The second episode is devoted to that very issue, which also features Daredevil. So check those out!

Let’s get back on schedule. Today I’m looking at two scenes from Daredevil #93 (vol 1), by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, for no other reason than that they are different kinds of hilarious. For some background information, this issue takes place when Daredevil and the Black Widow were sharing both the title and a rented house in San Francisco. At the start of the issue, Natasha attacks Daredevil after having been hypnotized (along with old associate Danny French with whom she cooperated on the mysterious Project Four) by madman Damon Dran.

In a rather startling case of Daredevil being jumped from behind and not immediately recognizing Natasha – for some reason, he doesn’t use her heartbeat, and it would be another few years before Frank Miller came along and started actually using Matt’s nose – he attempts to figure out his attacker’s identity. This includes feeling the features of her face to make sure he’s really dealing with a woman. I don’t know about you, but I could think of others for him gather that kind of information. 😉 Either way, there’s something rather amusing about these two pages.

Daredevil is attacked by the Black Widow, as seen in Daredevil #93 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan
Daredevil feels the Black Widow's face, as seen in Daredevil #93 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Later in the same issue, Daredevil has managed to subdue his girlfriend and carry her back to their house. This is when he goes into full C.S.I. mode. You see, there’s mud underneath Natasha’s shoes. Mud! And it hasn’t rained in San Francisco in a really long time. And it’s not as if there are any sprinklers, lakes, fountains or any other sources of water within the city limits that might translate into local deposits of wet dirt. Obviously, she must have been in Oakland. Where it rains, apparently.

Next, Matt calls fellow attorney Sloan to check if he knows any creepy, and possible deranged, rich people who live in Oakland. And of course he does! Ah, don’t you wish all crimes were this easy to solve? 😉

Daredevil does some quick detective work, as seen in Daredevil #93 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Well, that’s it for now! See you later in the week for a review of Daredevil #4. Now, you didn’t miss the preview, did you?

This time, it’s a cop!

As previously demonstrated, early Daredevil made a habit of assaulting innocent people. One reader even joked that this behavior is clearly still an issue after he gave a similar treatment to the little girl he had just rescued in Daredevil #1. In his defense, there are situations where the ends not only justify the means but are even in the best interest of the “victim” in question. On the other hand, the scenes where he stole a man’s coat and left his law partner unconscious in an alley in a fictional country in South America are just jerk moves. Necessary? Maybe. I still say Matt got a little slap happy there for a while. 😉

In the panels below, a page and a half of Daredevil #90 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, is another case of Daredevil doing exactly what he pleases. What’s odd about this scene is that his “victim” in this case is A) a cop, and B) someone who clearly doesn’t mind getting punched in the face. I’m sure people could write entire essays about the view of masculinity that’s on display in this scene. I’m more confused by how a case of property damage (which Daredevil has clearly confessed to and seems more like a civil matter in this particular instance) would lead to his arrest. And why does he have to hit friendly Paul with such a heavy punch? You’d think a simple shove would and some turned-over furniture would do the trick in facitlitating his escape.

And for those who are curious about how Matt ended up screaming at the “sight” of an old lady, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Mister Fear!

Daredevil having coffee with his cop friend Paul, from Daredevil #90 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan
Daredevil hits his cop friend Paul, as seen in Daredevil #90 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

While Lieutenant Paul Carson seems just a little too happy to have a superhero punch him in the face, I wouldn’t mind a little cameo appearance from this guy in the near future, now that Matt is back in San Francisco where this story takes place. Make it happen, team Daredevil! 😉

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.

Oops, he did it again!

Today was one of those days I could have used some sweet Daredevil: Road Warrior #3 happening on my iPad. Sadly, it looks like Marvel has pushed up the publication until tomorrow. Oh well, what are you going to do? How about another look at Matt Murdock being an absolute jerk!

You may recall my post from a couple of months ago, “He did what, now?!” which revolved around a scene from Daredevil #45, by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, in which Matt beats an innocent man unconscious and steals his coat. It was all very heroic.

This time around, we’re going to watch him do the same thing to his very best friend. Yes, Matt is that much of an asshole. And it wasn’t even an emergency. He just needed to “get away.” Below, I give you this scene from Daredevil #75, by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, in which Matt hits Foggy over the head while they’re on a fact-finding mission in the made up South American country of Delvadia.

Matt beats Foggy unconscious with a blow to the head, from Daredevil #75 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Foggy eventually comes to, and is helped by a young local boy whose lines are written in the kind of deliberately broken English that you just can’t get away with these days. Matt, meanwhile, goes on to berate himself over this little incident in the following issue (by the same creators). Not because of the brain damage his friend may or may not have sustained, but because he actually feels guilty about it. Oh Matt, you should count yourself lucky that I still like you and will continue to chronicle your adventures…

”You’re even sorry that you had to knock out Foggy… Sorry, regardless of the need for you to get away from him and change to Daredevil.”

Daredevil berates himself for feeling guilty about hitting Foggy, from Daredevil #76 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Speaking of liking Matt Murdock, despite his shortcomings, I suggest you read new Daredevil editor (former assistant editor) Ellie Pyle’s recent tweet, seen below, and write to Marvel to tell them what Daredevil has meant to you! I intend to myself.

I will see you back here shortly, as soon as Daredevil: Road Warrior #3 finally comes out!

Never stop for an Orange Julius

I have to admit, I love it when the bad guys start bickering like an old married couple. The two fellows below have planned to rob the box office of a major movie theater right after an evening screening of a successful movie. Why only one of them would have the information about a sensitive deadline is beyond me. Why the one who does have that information would decide to put the entire operation at risk by stopping for an Orange Julius is even more perplexing. The only way it makes any sense is if Marvel had some kind of endorsement deal with Orange Julius at the time and this was literally the only way they could work that into the story.

We shouldn't have stopped for an Orange Julius, from Daredevil #62 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan

The scene above is from Daredevil #62, published in 1970, and is far from the only one that’s a little odd. The issue as a whole is not particularly good. There are pacing problems where some aspects of the story are left running too long while others are dealt with “yada yada” style, in a panel or two. The plot, by writer Roy Thomas, doesn’t hold up to closer inspection of the seams which just barely hold it together. Even the artwork looks a little rushed, which is unusual for the always excellent Gene Colan. Luckily for us, this translates into scenes and pieces of dialogue that are nothing less than mockworthy. Aside from the delighful Orange Julius reference, there is also…

Daredevil hogs a phone booth

After Daredevil deals with the Orange Julius guys (who incidentally also ran into parking trouble before they made it to the scene of the crime), he has a run-in with Nighthawk, who had just been introduced in the pages of The Avengers #69. Nighthawk initially comes across as a hero, but it turns out that he only wants fame for himself. Daredevil, suspicious of Nighthawk’s intentions, decides to dig up as much information as he can on this new character. It ends up costing him a lot of pocket change. Daredevil apparently makes so many phone calls that he has to get more change. Ah, the days before there were cell phones. And for those who, like me, are curious about how far you’d have to go back to make a phone call for just one dime in New York, the answer is apparently 1984. 😉

Daredevil makes phone calls, as seen in Daredevil #62 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan

Daredevil wears the creepiest mask ever

After he gets to the bottom of Nighthawk’s shady operation, Daredevil decides to set a trap for him by disguising himself as a really shady-looking dude. Love the moustache! (Another thing: What the heck is a sensitized microphone?)

Daredevil in disguise, from Daredevil #62 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan

Daredevil must have a secret lab we don’t know about

When I mentioned that the plot this issue was a little shaky, this is the kind of thing I was thinking of. There is nothing more deus ex machina than the handy antidote against whatever chemicals and potions your adversaries are using on you. During their first encounter, Nighthawk gives Daredevil a small dose of something that makes him dizzy. Based on this, we are supposed to believe that Daredevil was somehow able to draw his own blood, analyze it for traces of foreign substances, purify the substance, figure out its chemical properties and cook up an antidote for it based on his presumably extensive knowledge of chemistry. I’d say that’s a pretty tall order for a blind lawyer. 😉 (That doesn’t prevent him from doing it again in Daredevil #91.)

Antidote62

Well, that’s enough with the nutty stuff for today. Later, gang!

He did what, now?!

Every now and then, you read something in a Daredevil comic that shocks you for one reason or another. It could be something like a very violent sparring match with Natasha, or the notion that Matt carries around a vial of acid so that he can easily dispose of his clothes.

And then, there’s this page below, from Daredevil #45 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. To give you some background information: Daredevil is being chased by all the cops in town after having been framed for murder by the Jester. Desperate for a disguise, he is clearly ready to do just about anything. As in knocking an innocent man unconscious and stealing his coat! What the hell, DD? Will that money you stashed in his pocket pay for the therapy this guy is going to need to get over the trauma? What if someone else mugs him while he lies motionless on the platform? What if it’s just plain wrong to hurt people? Hmmm…

Daredevil renders a man unconscious and steals his coat, as seen in Daredevil #45 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

Over the next couple of pages, we also learn that a rain coat will not cover your ass if you’re stupid. Or rather, it will cover your ass. It just won’t cover your red boots. Or the gloves you forgot to take off! Though I suppose a guy who hasn’t seen himself in a mirror for years can be forgiven for not realizing which part of his look might seem striking to others. Hitting people though? That’s still unforgivable! Tsk, tsk. 😉

Still just a nomameter into the new year!

The aliens first mention the nomameter, from Daredevil #28 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

Daredevil #28 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Gene Colan has already been a source of ridicule on this blog. In fact, we even saw Matt Murdock himself joke about it just a few months ago when he’s visited by an alien in Daredevil #30. It was his trip to Carter College to lecture about the legal status of aliens that caused his more modern incarnation to comment “I can’t swear I was entirely sober, even.” That would really explain a thing or two, as this issue is set at the beginning of the infamous Mike Murdock era which sees Matt pretending to be his own purely fictional identical twin in order to cover up at secret identity snafu.

As already mentioned, I’ve had reason to poke fun at this issue before (see the first link above for more references), but it continues to be a fantastic source of Silver Age madness. One that recently got my attention was the aliens’ use of a seemingly nonsensical unit of measurement: the “nomameter.”

The aliens first mention the nomameter, from Daredevil #28 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

The first time the aliens use the term, above, I didn’t think much of it though. Different worlds, different customs, different units of measurement. That kind of thing. Sure, it was odd to see something ending in “meter” refer to a unit of time, but hey, maybe it’s like the opposite of “lightyear” (which sounds like a unit of time, but actually measures distance). Perhaps a nomameter is the time it takes a “noma” (whatever that might be) to travel one meter? Where I really started scratching my head was when reading the panel below.

“So sensitive is the machine, that… once frozen… it will take a thousand thousand nomameters to defrost it! And we cannot spare the time!”

The aliens have a defrosting problem, from Daredevil #28 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

How long is a nomameter anyway? And how come, if you’re sophisticated enough to succeed at intergalactic travel and building sight-stealing rays, your language has no concept of “one million”? And why can’t you spare the time? Are you running late to conquering some other planet?

The biggest plot hole of all, however, is that Daredevil himself was shot with the very same weapon earlier, and was frozen solid. He thawed out onboard the aliens’ space craft within the span of two pages! How about that? 😉

Just to let you know, I just put together a brief survey aimed at TOMP readers. If you have a few minutes to spare and want to help me improve this site, please fill it out!

Daredevil takes a beating

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…

Daredevil and Namor beneath the surface, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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.

Daredevil climbs up on the dock after fighting Namor, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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.

Namor hits Daredevil with a lamp post, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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.

Daredevil regains his composure in the middle of his battle with Namor, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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.

Daredevil gets himself electrocuted, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood
Daredevil is down for the count, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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…

Karen falls into Matt's arms, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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.

Daredevil is grazed by a bullet, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood
Daredevil returns to shore wounded, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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?!!”

Daredevil stumbles home and patches himself up, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

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!

Matt Murdock on the legal status of aliens

Matt remembers his lecture at Carter College, from Daredevil #30 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

So, Daredevil #30 comes out next week and the preview for the issue was posted just a few hours ago. While it doesn’t give anything away regarding who will be Matt’s new law partner (something I will have reason to return to), Matt does make another very unusual acquaintance. What made me chuckle as I browsed these pages (specifically, this one) was the not at all subtle nod to an event in Matt’s life that took place a very long time ago.

You see, in Daredevil #28, set in the middle of the Mike Murdock era, Matt decides to accept an invitation from a Professor Brewster to lecture at Carter College on the rather unusual topic of aliens on Earth. Specifically, how these would-be visitors would be protected by the legal system. Despite the fact that Matt doesn’t seem all that well-prepared, he manages to impress with his skills as well as his good looks!

Matt Murdock arrives at Carter College, as seen in Daredevil #28 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

“I’ve spent hardly any time working on my speech..! But I’m sure I’ll think of something!”

The ladies are clearly smitten…

“That must be the guest lecturer from New York! I didn’t think he’d be so young.. or handsome!”

Young college students admire Matt, from Daredevil #28, by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

Finally, we see Matt giving the actual lecture, a scene that is very faithfully rendered by Chris Samnee and Javier Rodríguez in the Daredevil #30 preview. Seeing them pay homage to these original panels by Gene Colan was a real treat! Both versions have Matt look as if he shares more than an ancestral home with the Kennedy clan, and he looks decidedly presidential behind that podium.

Matt gives his lecture at Carter College, from Daredevil #28 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

As you might imagine, the aliens this issue turn out to be very real indeed and Matt, as Daredevil, gets a change to battle them later on. Of course, the aliens’ decision to use a blinding ray to take over planet Earth proves to be their downfall. It’s really quite remarkable how often Daredevil comes across villains with blinding rays. 😉

If you want to see more panels from Daredevil #28, I also suggest you check out these two previous posts: “What have the kapitalists done to us?” and “Wacky power #8 – Daredevil “senses” something (again)”.

From what we’ve seen on Daredevil #30 so far, I really liked what Mark Waid and the rest of the team have done to bring what is really one goofy Silver Age romp of a story into current continuity in a way that works (especially in an issue that actually features aliens). This is how it should be done. It’s a fantastic treat for completist fans while also poking some gentle fun at the original story by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. Though in Stan Lee’s defense, even the original story has Matt viewing the topic of his lecture with a sense of humor. I can’t wait to see how this one plays out!