Sister Maggie in Daredevil season three

Someone who must be sister Maggie in episode two of Daredevil, season two

In this post, I will once again speculate on what we might see coming up in season three, based on available interviews and other tidbits of information. If this sounds a bit too spoilery for you, read no further!

Yesterday, we finally saw the Collider interview with Joanne Whalley that had been teased ever since all those set visit stories and interviews were published last week (I have yet to see an extensive interview with Whalley anywhere else). As with everything else we’ve seen over the last week, including the two trailers, you have to wonder about the amount of information they’re giving away, either explicitly or in the form of disparate details that anyone who so wishes can piece together into what are possibly major plot developments.

Before reading the Whalley interview, we had already been teased that Matt’s relationship with Sister Maggie might not be exactly what comics fans would expect. This could mean that they do not share the biological bond we know from the comics, where Maggie turns out to Matt’s mother. At the time, this was a clever retcon by Frank Miller from the Born Again storyline, pencilled by David Mazzucchelli, since Matt’s mother had been presumed dead up until that point. While little is known about Maggie’s own story, another pice of the puzzle was added quite recently, in a story by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez, which gave us a pretty satisfactory explanation for why Maggie felt compelled to leave her family.

Jack and Grace "Maggie" Murdock, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 4) by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez
In the “Original Sin” storyline from Daredevil #6 and #7 (vol 4), by Mark Waid and Javier Rodríguez, we learn that Maggie left the family for fear of hurting young Matt after she developed a serious case of post-partum depression (or even psychosis).

In the interview linked above, we learn that Matt actually grew up in Maggie’s care since she runs the home (I refuse to use the outdated term orphanage…) where he grew up after Jack’s death. This means that Maggie is known to him, and that she, regardless of their biological relationship, has been a mother figure to him. Since the choice to have Jack die while Matt is still young raises all kinds of questions about what happened in Matt’s life between Stick’s abandonment and his meeting Foggy in law school, I find it comforting to know that he had people in his life that were some kind of steady presence.

We also learn all kinds of other things that I know many of us had been wondering about, such as the role (if any) Father Lantom would play in this coming season. It turns out that he’s instrumental in getting Matt to Sister Maggie (though who delivered Matt to Father Lantom remains unknown to the many of us who don’t belong to the lucky few who have seen the first few episodes. (Lest you forget, the review embargo lifts on Friday, so expect an additional onslaught of information, even though early reviewers are usually instructed to not give away too much.) What seems clear is that both Father Lantom and Sister Maggie will be important this season, beyond their ties to Matt.

Matt and Maggie in a promo still from season three. This particular image was “borrowed” from ManWithotFear.com’s excellent page collecting all the news on season three.

One thing you have to wonder about going into season three is whether the glimpses into Matt’s history that were introduced in seasons one and two will be addressed in the story we’re about to see. One scene that stood out to me right off the bat was the one in the second episode of season one, when Jack is making arrangements for Matt in case he ends up dead after his final match. He calls a woman, presumably Matt’s mother, and leaves a message on her answering machine. The only thing is, the outgoing message on the machine doesn’t sound like what you’d expect from a nun living in a convent. If Matt’s mom is someone other than Maggie (and this has been planned since season one somehow), then what is the connection between her and the convent? And what exactly have they been planning?

There’s also a scene from the third episode of season two (see the teaser image) where Matt, knocked unconscious by Frank Castle, seems to remember being cared for by a nun that we all figured had to be Sister Maggie. What is interesting about the environment in which this seems to take place is that it looks a lot more like the images we’ve been teased from season three than the hospital Matt landed in after his accident. You might wonder why this matters, especially if you’ve discovered the character through the Netflix show, as opposed to the comics. In Born Again, it’s clear that Matt receives a visit from Sister Maggie while he’s still in the hospital. She also, somewhat mysteriously, seems to know what Matt is going through, and that he’s developed some kind of new gift.

Looking at the show, it is clear that the scene from season two takes place some time later, presumably after he came to live with her and the other nuns. You can always hope that the clues they leave over the course of a show like this line up in the end, but I’m always impressed when they actually do. Especially since something as basic as how much time has passed since Matt and Foggy finished law school is completely different between seasons one and two. 

Well, I’m going to hand over all the speculating to you guys now. For those of you who are curious to learn even more about Matt and Maggie’s relationship on the show, a scene from season one featuring the two was among the clips shown to attendees at NYCC. You can read descriptions of it here (Bleeding Cool) and here (Comicbook.com).

Will these elements from the Daredevil comic make it into Netflix’s third season?

I don’t necessarily go looking for every last potential spoiler or piece of set footage, especially the more obscure stuff. I will, however, discuss information that been covered by the major comic book news sites. If even this is too much information for you, you may want to stay away from this post. If, on the other hand, you are someone who does go looking for every last nugget of information available, please think twice about sharing that in the comments. Everything that’s been covered by at least 2-3 news site is fair game, as far as I’m concerned, but please err on the side of caution.

It was really hard to come up with a snappy title for this post that wasn’t a total mouthful. And, as you can tell, I pretty much failed at it. Either way, it’s high time we got to this item on the agenda, especially as the filming of the third season wrapped last week, incidentally while I happened to be in New York myself. I wish I could say that these two events were connected. Alas, they were not. 😉

With this post, I’d like to discuss some of what we know already, and also toss some ideas around for which elements from the comic might make their way into the third season. People seem to be clamoring for two things in particular: Bullseye and Born Again. The inclusion of Bullseye has all but been confirmed, so that ticks one box, and plenty of seeds have been planted for at least some elements of Frank Miller’s most famous storyline, beautifully illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, to make it into the show.

Not quite Born Again

What seems obvious to me, though, is that we won’t see the same exact story we know from the comics adapted for the Netflix show. First of all, the previous two seasons have taken plenty of liberties with the source material, drawing inspiration from events and well-known themes rather than copying them outright. We have no reason to expect anything else – or should I say less? – from this season.

Secondly, some of the things that have already happened thus far in Daredevil, and the Defenders, precludes an exact retelling of the Born Again arc from the comics in season three. The Defenders ended with Matt beginning to regain consciousness while being nursed back to health in a convent. There is mention of Sister Maggie, whom we know to be Matt’s mother, and the entire scene is staged to look very much like a panel from the comics. But, it’s taken from a scene that happens over two issues into the the Born Again arc (in Daredevil #230, as seen below next to the corresponding scene from the final episode of The Defenders), after Matt has already had his life destroyed by the Kingpin. In the Netflix take on this scene, the events leading up to his meeting with his mother has already been altered completely compared to the comic.

Matt seen injured on a bad in a convent. Scene comparison between the final episode of The Defenders and a simliar panel from Daredevil #230, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

It is also highly unlikely that we will be dealing with any kind of scenario in which Karen becomes a drug addict and betrays Matt. It certainly looks as if we’re finally getting some insight into Karen’s background, and her dark secrets, and there’s no reason to make her character even darker by having her develop an addiction to hard drugs in the current timeline. Especially since there’s no need for her to turn Matt over to the Kingpin, when the latter has already declared that he’s going to destroy him. As you might recall, this happened in the second season of Daredevil after Matt went to visit Fisk in jail, and ended up threatening Vanessa, for which he also took a severe beating.

I actually think it’s a very interesting twist that Fisk’s initial motivation to go after Matt in his civilian identity has nothing to do with Daredevil. Somewhere along the line, he’s going to have to connect Matt and Daredevil, but this can just as easily come about as a result of careful research. The fact that Matt and Daredevil both vanish from the scene at the same time is another obvious clue. I’ve seen some people suggest that Matt making any attempt to fight back during his encounter with Fisk would get the latter thinking that Matt may not be blind in the “traditional” sense, but that makes little sense to me unless you set your expectations for real life blind people at the level of Mr. Magoo. Whatever the case may be, we don’t actually need Karen to spark Fisk’s interest in going after Matt Murdock. He’s already looking to do just that.

How long will Matt have been away?

Let us now turn to the things we can’t really know much about. It seems reasonable that the entire first season of The Punisher takes place after the events of The Defenders, if only because of the publishing schedule. The second season of Jessica Jones definitely does. We’ll get more to go on when the second season of Luke Cage comes out in June since Matt’s “death” very neatly coincides with Misty getting her arm cut off. At the very least, we’re probably looking at something like several months of absence on Matt’s part. I’m guessing that as many as six to eight weeks can realistically be spent on his recovery (not that we’ll necessarily be privy to that information), but my guess is that we’re still going to be left with a rather big gap for the writers to try to address in terms of why he’s not announcing to even his closest allies that he’s alive. I honestly wouldn’t put it past the creators to throw some amnesia into the mix.

Matt has suffered amnesia on more than one occasion in the comic, and the may draw some kind of inspiration from this. There’s the storyline which begins in Daredevil #284, by Ann Nocenti and Lee Weeks, when Daredevil returns to New York after traveling around upstate – and literally going to hell – where he suffers a gradual mental breakdown that causes him to forget about Daredevil, and most of his previous life. He believes his name is Jack Murdock, takes up boxing, and forms a relationship with a woman named Nyla. He also does an interesting role reversal with Bullseye who steals his Daredevil costume early in the story, which goes on for several issues. Matt also has something that looks like some kind of psychosis in the Inferno storyline (Daredevil #345-347, by J.M. DeMatteis, and Ron Wagner), following a long period of living under the name Jack Batlin after having faked his own death. This breakdown, which is partially brought about by the death of his former girlfriend Glorianna O’Breen, also includes elements of amnesia, and famously ends with Foggy finding out about Matt being Daredevil. Amnesia storylines are quite difficult to pull off, but there’s obviously some less extreme takes on the topic that might make more sense.

Foggy discovers Matt's secret, as seen in Daredevil #347, by J.M. DeMatteis and Ron Wagner

Even if Matt fully remembers his past and has a smooth(ish) recovery, there might be other reasons why he’d be hesitant to declare to the world that he’s back. We all know that he can get really self-destructive and might actually believe that his friends are better off with him dead. He may also want to try to engineer his return – in and out of costume – so that Daredevil (now apparently back in the old black costume) and Matt Murdock don’t reappear at the same time. There’s some genuine concern that it may take a long time for the gang to get back together, and that Matt may stay “hidden” for several episodes, and I think those concerns may be valid. I wouldn’t give it more than, say, the first third of the season though, since Wilson Fisk is not going to be spending much time on destroying the life of someone he believes to be dead. And, considering that there has to be some kind of quality life for Wilson Fisk to destroy, you’d have to assume that Matt will at least be lulled into some sense of getting his life back on track, before things start unraveling again.

Much of the point of Born Again, if you want get down to the essence of the story, is that it’s Matt’s life that’s being attacked, more so than Daredevil’s. I can see them taking their time with this, but spending too much time on the big return seems counterproductive. For instance, what point is there to Karen getting to tell her story, and Matt not even being there to find out? But maybe I’m overly optimistic.

Will there be a subway scene?

Daredevil strains and fails to find Bullseye in the subway in Daredevil #169, by Frank Miller

I would be willing to put some serious money on there being a subway scene in this season. Specifically one that involves Bullseye, because that battle is one of the most iconic in the history of these two characters. One thing that might affect how it plays out though is that the Netflix version of the character doesn’t appear to be very sensitive to noise, the way he is in the comics, and that’s kind of an important element of the scene. Any other famous Bullseye moments you’re counting on seeing in the show?

Though, while we’re on the topic of Bullseye, I’m not at all counting on anyone very close to Matt (i.e. Karen or Foggy) being killed off this season. Not because I think that the creators don’t have it in them to break people’s hearts, but because I suspect there will be additional seasons of the show and Daredevil’s supportive cast is already small enough to fit in a utility closet. I know people are saying that Bullseye has to do something to make it really personal for Matt, but we’re also talking about a character who literally feels he’s responsible for everyone. Hurt people in Hell’s Kitchen and you’ll be hurting Matt. Though if you want to make it really painful, maybe have Bullseye kill off Sister Maggie? Yup, I went there.

Will Vanessa be kidnapped?

Okay, this may sound like an odd one, but as soon as we got confirmation, sort of, that Vanessa was returning, my thoughts went immediately to her really creepy disappearance during the Frank Miller run where she’s kidnapped by “mole people” who live underground. I’m not expecting anything of the sort, but with Vanessa back in the picture, I do expect some kind of threatening situation for her to be in. I realize that the whole damsel in distress thing is old and tired, but there has to be some kind of pressure applied to Wilson Fisk as well, for maximum tension, and I’m sure the writers can come up with something. I really like Ayelet Zurer as an actor, so I’m happy to see her back, whatever her story brings.

What exactly is Karen hiding?

As mentioned, I don’t think that Karen will develop a drug addiction during the course of this season, but she will most definitely deal with some pretty dark stuff. I’m actually very excited to find out what she’s been hiding all this time. And I can’t wait to go to Fagan Corners, Vermont! Of course, the last time we visited that place in the comics was decades ago, and involved a rather convoluted storyline in which Karen’s father was the inventor of something called the “cobalt bomb,” and also the villain Death’s Head.

I don’t expect there to be a literal Death’s Head, but would squeal with joy if there were at least a background shot of a pub by that name or something similar. If there isn’t, you’ve dropped the ball Netflix people! If you want a refresher on this crazy story, go to this post, where I mention it among my “seeing goofs.” It also comes up in this Wacky Powers post. Below are panels from Daredevil #56, by Roy Thomas, and Gene Colan.

Karen gets off the train in her home town of Fagan Corner.

Everything else

I really meant to cover a lot more stuff in this post, but it’s getting late, and I really want to get it out there so we can cover the rest in the comment section. And I know I haven’t been great at contributing in the comment sections lately, but I promise to catch up. 😉

However, before clicking on the “publish” button, let me mention some of these things briefly:

  • Foggy’s career – It appears as if Foggy may find reason to reassess his career goals in light of Jeri Hogarth getting the boot from her own firm. I doubt he’d be anxious to go with her, but staying behind with the mean partners may not be such a sweet deal either. And, if there’s ever going to be a Nelson & Murdock to go back to, things need to change. I would love the chance to see Hogarth getting involved in legally raising Matt from the “dead” though, as she has some experience in that field (see Iron Fist).
  • Sister Maggie – What kind of liberties will they take with her? Are they going for something more traditional or the kick-ass nun version from the Daredevil, volume four? What will her reasons be for walking out on Jack and Matt?
  • Marci Stahl – I like Marci. She’s irreverent, and this kind of show needs that. I’m guessing we might see more of her, especially if, they’re looking for way to “pad” the story (not necessarily in a bad way) before getting everyone reunited. Also, the cast needs to grow, and giving a bigger role to characters that have already been introduced is a way to to do that.
  • Will Claire make an appearance? – My guess is no.
  • Other characters – Will anyone interesting emerge as a new Wesley type character? Will we see Josie? What about Blake Towers? (My guess is yes). Will there be a police officer (I can’t imagine it would be Brett), who will sell out in some way when it comes to Matt/Daredevil, along the lines of what happens in Born Again in the comic?

Well, the list could obviously go on, but I think I’ll hand the reins over to you, my esteemed readership. Take it away!

Recommended stand-alone issues of Daredevil

For my first proper countdown post – as we await the release of all thirteen episodes of Daredevil on April 10 – I wanted to take a look at some of my favorite stand-alone issues of Daredevil. Not all of these are perfectly self-contained, of course, but they stand well enough on their own that you don’t need to know much going in, and you get a full story with each issue. The issues I chose for this list also meet the criteria of being reasonably friendly to new readers and at least minimally relevant to the Netflix series.

That last bit would really only exclude stand-alone issues like Daredevil #92 (vol 2) which is told from the perspective of Milla Donovan and deals with her and Matt’s relationship. It wouldn’t make my list anyway, but since Milla isn’t going to be in the Netflix series, I wouldn’t even consider it.

Having said that, I should also mention that while technical quality is certainly an important consideration, I’ve put greater emphasis on whether these issues have important things to say about Daredevil and/or other characters or can serve as a good introduction to Matt Murdock and his world. Let’s get started! All issues are listed in chronological order, not by individual merit.

Exposé (Daredevil #164, vol 1)

This issue, written by Roger McKenzie, and penciled by a very young Frank Miller does require some background information going in, namely that Ben Urich is a journalist who, over several issues, has begun to piece together that Matt Murdock and Daredevil may be one and the same. Daredevil is in the hospital after a recent bout with the Hulk, but that’s not really relevant to what happens next, which is that Urich confronts Daredevil with his findings. After Daredevil fails to identify a photograph of his father, he confesses and begins to tell the journalist about his life.

Ben Urich confronts Daredevil in Daredevil #164 by Roger McKenzie and Frank Miller

This issue marks the beginning of the close relationship between Matt and Ben, and is important to the continued stories of both characters. Ben Urich gradually uncovering Daredevil’s true identity was an important plot element in the 2003 Daredevil movie, and we can likely expect elements of the same in the coming Netflix series where Ben Urich – played by Vondie Curtis-Hall – is a central character. If you want to know how it all began, and get a bonus recap of Daredevil’s origin, this is a good place to start. I’ve also written extensively about this issue and the ones leading up to it in the post “Meet Ben Urich” from 2008.

Where can I find it? This issue is included in the first volume of the Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller trade paperback, as well as other collections that cover the same era. It is also available on the Marvel Unlimited digital platform.

Roulette (Daredevil #191, vol 1)

Daredevil #191, written and penciled by Frank Miller (with inks by Terry Austin) may be my very favorite single issue of Daredevil. It is the perfect stand-alone story in that, while it certainly helps to know who Daredevil and his nemesis Bullseye are, it’s not crucial to appreciating the story. The artwork, with generous amount of negative space, interesting panel layouts and elegant simplicity, is the perfect match for a story that does a perfect job of nailing down, defining and explaining Matt Murdock.

Daredevil and Bullseye, as seen in Daredevil #191 by Frank Miller

This issue showcases his fears and weaknesses through the torment he suffers, not just in the wake of Elektra’s death, but in the way he feels complicit in the shooting of a young boy by being, not just a hero, but a role model for violence. I have nothing negative to say about this issue, it’s as close to perfection as they come, and it’s truly innovative in its approach. See also my previous post on this very issue.

Where can I find it? This issue is also easy to find in the many collection that cover this era. Of course, it’s also available on the Marvel Unlimited digital platform.

Promises (Daredevil #192, vol 1)

Another great one-shot is writer Alan Brennert’s sole contribution to the Daredevil archives, with art provided by Klaus Janson. It’s just a nice little slice-of-life story focusing on Ben Urich (more so than Exposé above, which is really more about Daredevil’s own story), but also featuring plenty of insight into Daredevil, as well as the Kingpin who also makes an appearance. You also get a great sense of Daredevil’s world and the corruption that runs rampant in it. The story revolves around good people doing good, good people doing bad, and the many shades of gray in between. It also reminds us never to presume to know what anyone else is going through, and doing the best with what we have. It is a tale which is both tragic and optimistic, and surprisingly moving.

Daredevil and Ben Urich talking, from Daredevil #192 by Alan Brennert and Klaus Janson

Where can I find it? This issue hasn’t never been collected and isn’t available through Marvel’s online channels so look for it in back issue bins.

The Price (Daredevil #223, vol 1)

On the surface, The Price, by Denny O’Neil and David Mazzucchelli, may appear a little campy. The Beyonder appears in Matt and Foggy’s office and asks them to argue his case, a case that is pretty much based on the alien visitor’s wish to own the entire world. It’s certainly a little out there. As is what happens to Daredevil during the course of the issue when the powerful Beyonder restores his sight.

Matt has his sight back in Daredevil #223 by Denny O'Neil and David Mazzucchelli

The outlandish aspects of the story aside, this issue is surprisingly moving. It’s really the first time that Matt has had his sight back and actually been able to enjoy it for any length of time. The experience is also pretty heartbreaking for out main character who has to deal with some delayed grief when he realizes exactly what it is he’s been missing all these years. In the end though, he decides that he cares about his principles even more than this new gift. It’s pretty powerful stuff and says a lot about the character. I’ve written about this issue before as well.

Where can I find it? This issue hasn’t never been collected and isn’t available through Marvel’s online channels so look for it in back issue bins.

34 Hours (Daredevil #304, vol 1)

On the title page, 34 Hours is introduced as “A story about New York.” This sums up the issue well, and also explains why I love it so much. I like this issue almost as much as Roulette, as they both do a fantastic job of stripping away the fuss and focusing on what makes Daredevil such a great character. Aside from that, the two issues really don’t have much in common though. Where Roulette is tragic, 34 Hours is brimming with optimism. The latter issue, by D.G. Chichester and Ron Garney, is also much more traditional in its format.

Panel from Daredevil #304, by D.G. Chichester and Ron Garney

I’ve written about this issue before as well so I recommend giving that post a read for more information on this tale of a day in the life of New York and the title character!

Where can I find it? Sadly, this issue hasn’t been collected either and also isn’t available through Marvel’s online channels so look for it in back issue bins.

Honorable mentions

Other issues that meet the above criteria, and can be found in collected editions and digitally through Marvel, are the following:

  • Daredevil #1, vol 1

    The very first issue of Daredevil, by Stan Lee and Bill Everett, is actually pretty good. It does a good job of introducing this brand new character, uses quite sophisticated storytelling techniques, and obviously managed to capture enough interest to make up for the very inconsistent quality of the first couple of years of the title.

  • Guts (Daredevil #185, vol 1)

    This is a clever Frank Miller issue (inks by Klaus Janson), that focuses almost entirely on Foggy Nelson, as he sets about doing his own crime fighting. While I like this issue, it has to be said that most modern readers have gotten used to seeing Foggy as a more serious character compared to how he appears here, but it’s still a good read. For another, more recent take on Foggy, see The Secret Life of Foggy Nelson (Daredevil #88, vol 2), by Ed Brubaker and David Aja

  • Return of the King: Prologue (Daredevil #116, vol 2)

    Also by Ed Brubaker and David Aja, this issue is all about the Kingpin, and his new life in Spain where he finds love again after the death of his wife Vanessa. It all comes to a tragic end, of course, but the story really highlights the complex nature of the Kingpin, something which appears to be a big part of the Netflix series.

  • Daredevil #7, vol 3

    This stand-alone Christmas issue by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera is another favorite of mine. Waid and Rivera skillfully take Matt out of his element as he goes on a school trip with a class of blind school children and they’re stranded in the woods after a bad bus accident. I like the idea of Matt doing volunteer work. It goes well with a character who’s always cared about his community, regardless of what costume he’s wearing.

Well, that’s it! What did you guys think of my choices and what are some other issues you’d like to add to the list? Let the rest of us know in the comment section!

Merry (Daredevil) Christmas!

Hello all! Since it’s Christmas, I’ll keep this post nice and short, but I still wanted to take the time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope you’re all having a great holiday! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then Happy Wednesday! (Of course, there are no comics today in most places, so if you take Christmas out of the equation, I guess it’s a worse than average Wednesday.) Oh, well. 😉

If you want to get a little spice of Daredevil to go with the treats, I recommend rereading Daredevil #7 (2011), by Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera, which sees Matt Murdock fight the elements after he and a group of blind children find themselves stranded after a bus crash, just before Christmas. That issue gets off to a nice enough start, however, with scenes from the Nelson & Murdock Christmas party. That’s more than can be said for the disastrous Christmas party Matt hosted at his house in Daredevil #206, which I wrote about a few years ago.

Speaking of bad Christmases, Matt had another one of those in Daredevil #229, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. The third installment of the landmark story arc Born Again sees Matt beaten up by regular lowlifes Turk and Grotto when he catches them stealing a Santa Claus costume from an unconscious man. This was after he dragged himself out of the river and almost lost his mind. See the key panels below!

Matt catches Turk and Grotto stealing a Santa Claus costume, from Daredevil #229 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
Matt is beaten up by Turk and Grotto, from Daredevil #229 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

Okay, so this post may not have succeeded in spreading holiday cheer, but if your Christmas wasn’t everything you’d hoped, I hope you will at least find some solace in knowing that there are probably worse ways to spend it!

Daredevil at the Eisner and Harvey Awards

Cover to Daredevil #16, by Chris Samnee

I hope you’re all doing well! I’ve been mostly “away from keyboard” for the week, busy helping my mother pack up her things for a big move. I will, however, be glued to my computer screen for the Superior Spider-Man panel at Comic Con International in San Diego which will get under way in less than an hour. The panel will also cover Daredevil, and Chris Samnee will be on it so if there is any Daredevil news to report, you can read about it on the Facebook page. Or possibly in a separate post tomorrow. 😉

In the meantime, I thought we’d just look at Daredevil’s award nominations heading into the Eisner Awards as the winners will be announced tomorrow night. As you might recall, Daredevil did really well last year with six nominations and three wins. This year, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Chris Samnee, who is nominated in the Best Penciller/Inker category. We also have David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition which has been nominated in two categories: Best Archival Collection/project and Best Publication Design.

Later this year, on September 7, the results of the Harvey Awards will be announced at the Baltimore Comic Con. Daredevil and/or its creators are nominated in several categories, such as:

  • Best Continuing or Limited Series
  • Best Writer (Mark Waid)
  • Best Artist (Chris Samnee)
  • Best Letterer (Joe Caramagna)
  • Best Domestic Reprint Project (David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition)
  • Special Award for Excellence in Presentation (David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition)

It’s great to see Daredevil make that kind of impact and I wish everyone nominated the best of luck! I will admit that it would have been great to see Javíer Rodriguez get a nod as well as his work has been spectacular as well.

I will check back with you guys as soon as there is news to report from San Diego!

And the mastermind is…

Wall of news clippings, from Daredevil #24 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Obviously, I don’t know any more about who the mastermind is than anyone else. But based on the discussion in the comment section of my Daredevil #24 revisited post, I think I’m ready to call it. I know, I know. I said in the follow-up post to Daredevil #25 that the most recent issue didn’t make me any wiser as far as the big secret villain was concerned, but that was because I hadn’t done my homework yet. After I decided to explore that lead from last month in light of Daredevil #25, it seems pretty convincing. If you don’t want to know where I’m going with this (and I may be dead wrong), don’t continue reading past the image below.

Wall of news clippings, from Daredevil #24 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

I hereby nominate… Death-Stalker!

First of all, credit where credit is due. While this set-up smells of classic villain and Death-Stalker is on a short list of classic villains who aren’t either laughable (Stilt-Man) or over-used (Kingpin), I didn’t initially think of Death-Stalker. I was leaning more toward Purple Man or Mister Fear. It was regular commenter Dan Without Fear – and what a great alias that is – who got the little gears in my head turning by making a really good case for Death-Stalker. His initial comment was this:

“I’m now wholly convinced that the mystery villain is Death-Stalker and his female assistant is actually the second iteration of the character! Exhibit A: The condition the original Death-Stalker was left in after his last fight with Daredevil would explain the need for the casket. Exhibit B: The silhoutte of the female assistant perfectly matches the outline of Death Stalker II without her hat and cloak. Exhibit C: The original Death-Stalker got his powers via a TIME displacement ray and for those of you really paying attention you’ll notice that the scene with the mystery villain in this issue takes place inside a CLOCK tower.”

You can read the rest of our back and forth here, but after doing my homework, I think I’ve found even more evidence that supports Dan’s (and others’) initial hunch. Here’s the full list:

  1. Death-Stalker really hates Daredevil

    In order to go to the trouble of orchestrating this plot, you have to carry a massive grudge. This isn’t some simple revenge plot against the guy who made you look back in last week’s battle. We are talking years of obsessive planning. Few characters from Daredevil’s rogues gallery actually have sufficient motive to go to these extremes. Death-Stalker, however, had tried to kill Daredevil repeatedly even before Daredevil made sure he made close contact with a tomb stone. In his own words, from Daredevil #158, by Roger McKenzie and Frank Miller:

    Death-Stalker, from Daredevil #158, by Roger McKenzie and Frank Miller

    Mister Fear probably feels that he already got his revenge on Daredevil during Brubaker’s run and I can’t honestly think of a reason why various other characters of interest would be this angry at Matt.

  2. Death-Stalker has a history of
    working with and through others

    One of the reasons I’ve been suspicious of the Bullseye hypothesis (aside from his being even more dead than Death-Stalker), is that he’s really not a team player. He’s worked on orders from others, but he’s not the big master plan type. If he wanted Daredevil dead, he might play with him a little, but not go to these extremes. He doesn’t really have the attention span for it.

    Death-Stalker, on the other hand, has a history of hiring henchmen to do some of his dirty work. He has teamed up with the Gladiator and the Unholy Three (never a wise choice, if you ask me). More importantly, if the current mystery villain is in fact Death-Stalker, this wouldn’t even be the first time he “created” a super-human. In Daredevil #138 (vol 1), by Marv Wolfman and John Byrne, Death-Stalker takes on the identity of Death’s Head and sends the suitably named Smasher to go after Daredevil.

    Another “Smasher” appears in Daredevil #149, by Jim Shooter and Klaus Janson (yeah, Death-Stalker killed the first one in Ghost Rider #20 which tied into Daredevil #138), talking about how the Death-Stalker gave him strength and that all he has to do to pay him back is kill Daredevil. Interestingly, this issue also contains a reference to rain messing with Daredevil’s radar sense.

    Daredevil and Smasher, from Daredevil #149 by Jim Shooter and Klaus Janson

  3. Craziness and elaborate death traps run in the family

    Daredevil #208 (vol 1), by Harlan Ellison and Arthur Byron Cover, with art by David Mazzucchelli, is a very entertaining issue. The story revolves around the Death-Stalker’s mother who has set up an intricate trap for Daredevil to be activated automatically after her death. The scope and insanity of this house of horrors suggest that the Death-Stalker himself wasn’t the first in the family to be more than a little nuts. And, if my working theory is correct, they both shared a flair for the ridiculously elaborate.

    It is also interesting to note that inducing fear seems to be a main objective of Mrs. Sterling. There is even a scene where Daredevil makes a comparison to Room 101 in George Orwell’s 1984 (and a reference to Stick!)

    Daredevil experiences fear, from Daredevil #208

  4. Death-Stalker is very wealthy

    Okay, so his mother blew up his childhood home and probably spent a great deal of the rest of the family estate on turning it into a deathtrap in order to avenge her son’s death. Still, the Sterling family likely had other assets and we can assume that Death-Stalker had some stashed away or invested in his own ventures prior to his apparent death. Whatever this mystery villain is up to, we can assume that he needed a lot of money to do it.

There are actually more things that stand out to me while re-reading Daredevil and Death-Stalker’s past encounters, but time won’t allow for me to recount them all. As Dan also pointed out, the Celtic cross pattern seen in Daredevil #24 might be highly significant. It was the type of tomb stone that Death-Stalker ended up in, but not before tying Matt Murdock himself to it, as seen below from Daredevil #158.

Matt tied to a tomb stone, from Daredevil #158

So, what do you guys think? Let further speculation begin! 🙂

The bespectacled Matt Murdock

A while back, when I wrote a post about Matt Murdock’s hair – because, apparently, no subject is too mundane for this blog – I got a request for a post about Matt’s sunglasses. Yes, I write weird posts about Daredevil minutiae and you surprise me by asking for more. So, let’s once again take a journey into the Daredevil archives and check out Matt’s shades.

Before getting to the show and tell part of this post, however, I wanted to talk a little bit about why he’s wearing them in the first place. While sunglasses are often associated with blindness (in people’s minds at least), not all blind people wear them. In fact, a majority do not and there are only two real reasons anyone would. The first is that many eye conditions make people light sensitive, meaning that bright light actually becomes painful or prevents the full use of whatever residual vision that person might have. The other reason is cosmetic. While some blind people have perfectly ordinary-looking eyes, some conditions or eye injuries obviously alter the appearance of the eyes. To save oneself and others from whatever discomfort this might presumably cause, some choose to cover their eyes. While I have no statistics to support this, I suspect wearing sunglasses solely to cover up some kind of eye deformity was much more common back in the days when Daredevil was first created (i.e. 1964), if only for the reason that society generally has become more aware and accepting of physical differences.

In the case of Daredevil, I don’t think any of the early creators even considered letting Matt go without dark glasses. In fact, the artists seemed to really go out of their way to hide them from the readers’ for the first few years (one notable exception being a scene in Daredevil #9 where he has his eyes examined by a doctor). One of the first times we get a good look att Matt’s exposed face that isn’t partly obscured by a shadow or at a strange angle is in Daredevil #51 (written by Roy Thomas and pencilled by Barry Smith, see panel below), and even in this case the eyes aren’t really visible. On a side note, isn’t this a fantastically dramatic couple of panels? Also, why does that barbell look all crooked, and is that an ashtray I see?

Matt's eyes are revealed (sort of) in Daredevil #51 (vol 1), by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith

Over time, it has become much more common for artists to draw Matt’s eyes, even in close-up panels, but how they are drawn differs quite a bit. I suspect a separate post could be devoted to this subject alone (wait a couple of years until I’ve really run out of things to write about…), but suffice it to say that some artists – David Mazzucchelli comes to mind – have drawn them looking completely normal whereas others (I suspect a majority) have drawn some version of what one would expect damage from a chemical spill to look like. In case you needed another reason to avoid getting nasty stuff anywhere near your face, high doses of radiation are actually known to cause cataracts (i.e. a clouding of the lense), so artists who choose to draw Matt’s eyes looking a bit pale and semi-opaque probably aren’t far off. Of course, cataracts would likely be only one of several signs that something is amiss and it’s pretty unrealistic that he could have made it through a chemical accident bad enough to blind him almost instantly and walk away without fairly obvious visible reminders of the ordeal.

Either way, Matt clearly wears sunglasses for cosmetic reasons. On the one hand, as a lawyer, it might be wise to eliminate any cause for distraction that would lead a client or jury to focus more on a physical peculiarity than on the case he’s trying to argue. On the other hand, there could be more to it than that. Matt has always struck me as relatively vain, or at least concerned about looking presentable (see my post The fashionable Mr Murdock), but it’s also quite telling that he only ever shows his eyes to people he knows extremely well, even in very private settings where professional considerations wouldn’t be necessary.

There are several recent examples that hint at what might be a genuine insecurity on Matt’s part. In Daredevil #107 (vol 2), by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, Dakota comes knocking on his door. Matt at this time is in a really bad place, having just lost his wife to insanity, and he isn’t even showing up to work. When Dakota decides to pay him a visit, he’s wearing nothing but the bottom half of his Daredevil costume, but when he gets to the door to let her in, he’s put his glasses on and thrown on a shirt, though not bothering to button it. Apparently, Dakota is a close enough friend at this point to get a good look at his chest, though not close enough to see his eyes. Four issues later, in Daredevil #111 (by Ed Brubaker and Clay Mann), their relationship reaches a new level of intimacy when the two train together in Matt’s private gym. Despite the fact that wearing glasses seems downright inconvenient in this kind of setting (especially when they don’t actually do anything for him), he keeps them on. Well, until we see him wake up next to her in bed the next morning, that is.

In stark contrast to the kind of modesty he seems to show around most people, Foggy is clearly a close enough friend that Matt won’t bother hiding anything from him. This distinction between Foggy and other people is evident in the 2003 Daredevil movie, but it’s something I’ve noticed many times in the comic as well, especially in the last several years. His choice to “hide” behind a pair of dark glasses does seem to be less about putting others at ease and more about what he feels comfortable with personally. The only instances that come to mind of Matt not bother to wear glasses for an extended period of time is during Born Again (in a story that saw him descend into madness) and during his time as Jack Batlin, an alter ego he assumed while pretending to be dead…

Well, enough psycho-analyzing for now. For whatever reason, Matt Murdock and his shades have seemed nearly inseparable for almost fifty years. Let’s take a look at some of the trends, as drawn by some of Daredevil’s artists through the years.

Wally Wood

Once upon a time, Matt was really attached to his shades. Or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that his shades were attached to him. Possibly with glue. Below, we see Matt work out in the pair of black aviator-style sunglasses he wore at the time. We also see him come to the odd conclusion that blind people shouldn’t get married… The scene is from Daredevil #8, written by Stan Lee.

Matt works out in his shades, Daredevil #8 by Stan Lee and Wally WoodA real world example of these glasses might look something like this.

Gene Colan

Whenever I think of classic Daredevil, I think of Gene Colan’s artwork, and I guess this is true for a lot of fans. In his hands, Matt’s eyewear got a little heavier and I suspect he was trying to emulate another the typical 60’s version of men’s horn-rimmed glasses. Below are panels from Daredevil #25, written by Stan Lee. As a small bonus, I also included a look at “Mike Murdock’s” decidedly crazier eyewear. 😉

Matt's glasses as drawn by Gene Colan, from Daredevil #25, written by Stan LeeReal-world example of the above look.

Mike Murdock, as seen in Daredevil #25, by Stan Lee and Gene ColanIn the event that you’d like to emulate this particular look, you can get your own here, fortunately more neutral in color and more modest in style.

It’s worth noting that Gene Colan pretty much stuck to this style for his work on Daredevil, which spanned decades. Here is an example from the 90’s, as seen in Daredevil #366, written by Joe Kelly.

Bob Brown

In Daredevil #115, written by Steve Gerber, we see Matt in a different look. More precisely, a flat top metal rim creation that I had a hard time finding a real-life example of (follow this link to see one of the closest matches I could find). In case you’re curious, Daredevil #115 came out in 1974.

Matt's glasses as seen in Daredevil #115, by Steve Gerber and Bob Brown

Frank Miller

Another classic look is the one from Frank Miller’s run, as seen below in Daredevil #173 (finished art by Klaus Janson). These aviator glasses are still fashionable today and don’t look too different from how Paolo Rivera would draw them.

Matt's glasses, as seen in Daredevil #173 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson

David Mazzucchelli

Mazzuccheli also stuck to the aviator look, even though these frames don’t look quite as light-weight as the ones seen above. Below are panels from Daredevil #210, written by Denny O’Neil.

Matt's glasses, as seen in Daredevil #210, by Denny O'Neil and David Mazzucchelli

John Romita Jr

John Romita Jr’s take on the shades is heavier yet and have a definite late 80’s feel to them. Maybe something like this? The panels below are from Daredvil #254, written by Ann Nocenti.

Matt's glasses as seen in Daredevil #254, by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr

Lee Weeks

Lee Weeks continued in the same vein as Romita Jr, though the lenses below (from Daredevil #292, written by D.G. Chichester) look slightly less opaque.

Matt's glasses, as seen in Daredevil #292, by D.G. Chichester and Lee Weeks

Cary Nord

We are now firmly into the 90’s, and Matt’s look has been updated a bit. As you might recall, rounder glasses were in fashion there for a while. The panels below are from Daredevil #254, written by Karl Kesel.

Matt's glasses as seen in Daredevil #354, by Karl Kesel and Cary Nord

Alex Maleev

Somewhere along the line, in 2003 to be precise, the Daredevil movie happened. In the movie, Matt Murdock wears red-tinted glasses and this was a trend that spread to the comic as well. I kind of like the red lenses myself, and Maleev obviously incorporated the look in his take on Matt. The panels below are from Daredevil #43 (vol 2), written by Brian Micahel Bendis.

Matt's glasses as seen in Daredevil #43 (vol 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Michael Lark

The red tint stayed during Ed Brubaker’s and Michael Lark’s run, though Lark’s take was a little less round and a little more like this. The panels below are from Daredevil #82 (vol 2).

Matt's glasses as seen in Daredevil #82 (vol 2), by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

Present day

Not going to say much about the current run since it’s ongoing and you can all check for yourselves (you’re not going to make me do all the work, are you?). What little I will say is that it’s interesting the Paolo Rivera abandoned the red tinted lenses in favor of the more classic Miller-esque look whereas Chris Samnee’s take is more of a Maleev meets a late Gene Colan. I like that each artist has his own take on this little detail. Besides, I would imagine that Matt owns more than one pair of glasses. Maybe he’s got a drawer somewhere of all the different pairs he’s worn through the years. 😉

Which look is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section!

Update 2018: This post now has a follow-up. Click here to read The other “mask.”

My cats reenact scenes from Daredevil

Matt fights Elektra in Daredevil #78 (volume 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

With less than two weeks to the heavily anticipated relaunch of Daredevil #1, set to hit stores in North America on July 20, it’s high time to start counting down the days. If you’ve noticed my being MIA in the last week or so, it’s because I’ve been away on vacation and mostly away from the keyboard. Now that I’m rested (and while I still have time off from work), you can look forward to daily posts in my little countdown series “Reasons to Look Forward to the Daredevil Relaunch.” In it, I will just focus briefly on various aspects of the information that has come out so far and each post will center around a particular piece of art, a quote from an interview etc.

The first post will go up in a few hours, but to satisfy a request for more cat pictures that was made on TOMP’s Facebook page, here is a list of scenes from the Daredevil comic featuring Daredevil and Elektra, reenacted by their feline namesakes, my now eight month old kittens Murdock and Elektra. Silly, I know, but aren’t they just adorable? 😉

From Daredevil #37 (vol 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Elektra perched on roof top with Matt in the background, from Daredevil #37
My cat Elektra peaking out from her box with her brother Murdock in the background

From Daredevil #228, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli

A distraught Matt under the covers in Daredevil #228, by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
Murdock the kitten under a fold in my bed spread

From Daredevil #78 (volume 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Matt fights Elektra in Daredevil #78 (volume 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Murdock the cat pins down his sister Elektra

From Daredevil #81 (volume 2), by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Matt and Elektra cuddle on the bed in Matt's day dream in Daredevil #81 (volume 2)
Kittens Murdock and Elektra holding paws

From Daredevil #21, by Stan Lee and Gene Colan

Daredevil captured by the Owl, from Daredevil #21, by Stan Lee and Gene Colan
Murdock riding in his cage on the day I picked the cats up

From Daredevil #81, by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

Daredevil passed out in the ocean, from Daredvil #81, by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan
Murdock stretched out on his back on my bed

From Daredevil #105 (volume 2), by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

Daredevil listens from a roof top, Daredevil #105 (volume 2), by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark
Murdock the cat looks down from the top of his scratching pole

From Daredevil: Battlin’ Jack Murdock #1, by Zeb Wells and Carmine di Giandomenico

Baby Matt, from Daredevil: Battlin' Jack Murdock #1, by Zeb Wells and Carmine di Giandomenico
Murdock at two weeks old

I hope you enjoyed this silly post! I will be back shortly for a cat-free entry. 😉

“Oh, the blind thing? It comes and goes…”

Matt bonding with the Uni-Power

One common element used a lot in superhero comics consists of the hero temporarily losing his (or her) powers. This has happened to Daredevil enough times – and may get its own post one of these days – but another thing that’s happened a few times in Daredevil is the opposite: Matt having his sight temporarily restored.

Within the first year of publication, Karen Page tried to talk Matt into seeing the appropriately named eye surgeon Dr Van Eyck and even intervening on his behalf (and in doing so broke a number of unwritten social rules about not sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong).

Matt leaving for Lichtenbad, Daredevil #9

Of course, with this being Silver Age comics, this little intervention goes south when it turns out that Dr Van Eyck is held against his will by a former law school classmate of Matt and Foggy’s turned despotic ruler of a medieval little hell hole called Lichtenbad. The good doctor is killed at the end of the issue, Daredevil #9, before he gets the chance to work his surgical magic.

Matt, who for some irrational reason is under the impression that having his sight restored might screw with his other senses isn’t particularly disappointed to see the opportunity pass him by. He will get another chance to see again soon enough, well about another thirty issues later, at least. This one involves another despotic ruler of a another fictional country…

Viewing the world through the eyes of Doctor Doom

We’ve covered the odd story told in Daredevil #37-38, in which Daredevil switches bodies with Doctor Doom, before (see “DD stands for Doctor Doom” and “Because I can’t just kill him – Part 7”). The premise itself is goofy enough and it only gets worse as we realize that Doctor Doom goes through an entire issue inside Daredevil’s body not even realizing that he’s blind. Sure, Matt Murdock may not be an ordinary blind guy, but you’d think that a supposed genius like Doom would notice the world suddenly turning pitch black.

Matt, meanwhile, is too busy trying to get back into his own body to even find the time to appreciate getting the chance to see again. At first he doesn’t seem to realize he’s actually seeing since the last panel of Daredevil #37 shows him reacting to wearing armor rather than reacting to having the “lights” switched on. This must have been an unintentional slip-up, because Stan Lee makes sure to address the issue first thing in Daredevil #38.

The story ends with Matt demonstrating his cunning by blackmailing Doom into giving him his body back. He does so by threatening to start a war with Latveria’s neighbors… Unlike the next issue on our list, the Doctor Doom body switch is more a case of Matt experiencing sight again than it is a case of having sight restored to his own eyes.

A sighted journey into space

The next time Matt gets to experience the world in color is in Daredevil #106, by Steve Gerber and Don Heck. And, it’s not even his own world. You see, in Daredevil #105, Matt was transported to Titan by Moon Dragon as her prisoner. When Moon Dragon realizes that she was mistaken in unleashing three villains on San Francisco and kidnapping Daredevil, the two become allies. In Daredevil #106, Moon Dragon is injured and needs Daredevil’s help. That’s when his blindness complicates things and Moon Dragon, who is a very powerful character, restores his vision in order to get them both out of a jam.

Daredevil admits his blindness, Daredevil #106

(Oh, and apparently, the magic extends to temporarily removing the dark lenses from Daredevil’s mask…)

Daredevil has his sight restored, Daredevil #106

Moon Dragon doesn’t just restore Daredevil’s vision, the transformation also leads to his radar sense disappearing. Not being used to fighting without it, he soon finds himself at a disadvantage and asks Moon Dragon to restore him to the way he was. As with the Doctor Doom body switch, Matt isn’t given much time to enjoy his sight and none of these issues offers much emotional depth. That’s all about to change with the next item on our list.

The Price

“The Price,” also known as Daredevil #223, has also been covered before on this site. In this case, it’s an enigmatic character called the Beyonder who gives Matt his sight back when looking to hire his legal services to take over the world(!). As usual, order is restored at the end of the issue and Matt goes back to his usual blind self. The main difference between this issue and the previous ones mentioned above is that Daredevil #223, by Denny O’Neil and David Mazzucchelli, actually takes the time to explore what Matt might want to do and experience if he were given his sight back and how this might affect him.

For most of Daredevil’s early history, it seemed creators had a tendency to downplay the magnitude of the loss that young Matt suffered in his fateful accident, suggesting that all his newfound powers were more than enough to tip the balance in favor of his new state of being. This is understandable. Having readers feel pity rather than awe for the main character was probably not something to strive for. However, a modern view of the character can accommodate a more complex take on Matt Murdock’s unique way of being. Having Matt acknowledge that his loss of sight occasionally puts him in the position of wishing he could have it back doesn’t preclude his enjoying and utilizing his other sensory enhancements. The Price touches on some of the things Matt actually does miss out on and doesn’t feel the need to apologize for doing so.

Through the confused eyes of Laurent Levasseur

The next time Matt finds himself sighted once again is the first time this is achieved by the means of medical technology. On the other hand, not only did Matt not seek out this treatment, he doesn’t know he’s Matt Murdock, doesn’t look like Matt Murdock and can’t remember being either blind or a superhero named Daredevil.

The four-part story Flying Blind, by Scott Lobdell and Cully Hamner, took place toward the very end of volume one, in Daredevil #376-379, and is a very strange story that sadly fails to impress on so many levels. The story begins when Matt, now with dark hair and different facial features (due to some superficial cosmetic surgery) wakes up in a hospital bed in France, where he has been sent on a top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. assignment. As it turns out, he has had his brain “rewired” and had new memories implanted. As far as he knows, he’s a French artist (yes, he apparently speaks French throughout the story), but from the very beginning he reacts to things and experiences feeling alien to him. The rewiring of his brain has also lead to his vision being restored. Naturally, this feels strange to him as well.

Laurent realizing he can see

After spending the better part of the first two issues of this story arc trying to figure out who he is, order is restored in the last issue when he suddenly remembers who he is again. As soon as his own memories return, his sight begins to fade. Apparently, the two are somehow linked. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either (also his eyes begin to get cloudy when the brain rewiring is reversed, how is this supposed to work exactly?). At least he gets a brief look at his best friend Foggy who has come all the way to Paris to pick him up before his sight is completely gone.

Laurent losing his sight again

This story is highly forgettable and I’m not sure I’d even consider it in continuity, it’s that strange. Heck, it’s the only story I can think of that actually features both ninjas and Stilt-Man – in Paris…

Everything’s more fun with the Uni-Power

The last item on our list is a relatively recent one-shot that ties into the 2005 series of one-shots featuring the Uni-Power (which transforms its host into Captain Universe). In the issue dedicated to Daredevil, by Jay Faerber and Juan Santacruz, Matt becomes a host for the Uni-Power and experiences a heightening of his already heightened senses as well as the restoration of his sight.

Matt bonding with the Uni-Power

In the end, having his senses of hearing and smell heightened even further becomes a liability for Daredevil and Matt asks the Uni-Power to leave his body. He has a hard time revealing this information to Foggy, however, who is thrilled that his best friend can now see again, and offers him to take a look at a photo of his wife Milla (why he wouldn’t take the time to seek her out in person is not revealed). Not wanting to disappoint his friend, Matt decides to play along a little longer.

Foggy shows Matt Milla's picture

Well, that puts the tally at five instances of Matt getting his sight back! Not too bad for a guy who should be blind permanently. Most of these cases involve magic (or body-switching), with only the nonsensical Flying Blind story suggesting that Matt’s sight can be restored through any kind of medical procedure (though apparently only as long as he doesn’t remember that he’s blind).

The problem with having a character like Matt Murdock live in the Marvel Universe is that one might easily suspect that he could just pay a visit to Reed Richards or Tony Stark and ask for robot eyes. Then again, one might wonder why not every hero asks for the same thing. It seems to me that all the spare parts people get usually work better than the real thing. Just ask Misty Knight. 😉

Daredevil #233: “The Price”

Hey there! Glad to see you made it into 2010. For my first post of the year, I thought I’d take a closer look at one of those issues that usually ranks pretty high on many people’s lists of memorable Daredevil issues. It’s cheesy, cute, not perfectly logical, but an uncommonly emotional read. What am I talking about? Daredevil #223, The Price, by Denny O’Neil and David Mazzucchelli.

Published in the fall of 1985, The Price was a tie-in to Secret Wars II, featuring the mysterious Beyonder, a character as well known for his jheri curls and distinctly 1980’s look as for his background story. To make a long story short, the Beyonder is a very powerful alien being who is visiting Earth in search of enlightenment. While it’s the Beyonder’s desire to find a legal means to own the entire world(!) that brings him to the law offices of Nelson & Murdock – and thus gets the story going – this issue is very much about the title character. Matt is taken on an emotional roller-coaster when the Beyonder gives him his sight back as a retainer to persuade him to take the case.

The Beyonder materializes in Foggy's office
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