Once again, here is an excerpt from my book, which I’ve been working on pretty diligently over the last two-three months. I’m having so much fun with it! Just like my first excerpt, this one is also from the first chapter and looks at the case of Mole-Man and why characters with partial sight are so rare in fiction. My next post will focus on something else entirely, and be a review of sorts of what I consider to be one of the strangest issues of Daredevil ever published: Daredevil #162!
Attentive readers – especially those of you with a knowledge of the Marvel Universe exceeding my own – may have noticed the absence of a certain character from the preceeding list of blind heroes and villains. He is a short, homely sort of guy who surrounds himself with monsters – most of his own making – and has made a home for himself far under ground. I am, of course, thinking of the Mole Man, also known as Harvey Rupert Elder, the first official villain of the Fantastic Four!
There are a couple of things that make Mole Man particularly noteworthy, and relevant to the the topic of this chapter. The first is that Mole Man is the first Marvel character to possess a “radar sense,” and the only such character besides Daredevil. Mole Man made his debut in Fantastic Four #1, which hit the stands in the fall of 1961, and thus predates Daredevil’s first appearance by over two years. With this timing of events, one can imagine that at least some of the thinking that went into the creation of Mole Man was repurposed for the creation of Daredevil.
According to his origin story, Harvey Rupert Elder was a man ostracized from his community on account of his hideous appearance. When he could stand this treatment no longer, he went in search of the center of the Earth. Yes, the literal center of the Earth. As one does. Finding at last a deep cavern on the aptly named Monster Isle, Elder fell to the bottom of the hole, and, upon regaining consciousness, discovered that he had lost most of his sight. Being trapped underground, “like a human mole!” he took up the Mole Man moniker and “carved out an underground empire!” When he meets Reed Richard and Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, Mole Man describes his newfound abilities as follows: