Okay, so let’s check in with Karen again, shall we? Or rather, Karen, Matt and Foggy, since everything Karen does for the next fifteen issues is tied up in what I jokingly dubbed the Love Triangle of Doom a few posts ago. While Dr. Doom was in no way involved, the love triangle itself was indeed doomed. Karen would end up choosing Matt over Foggy, despite Foggy’s every effort. Foggy actively pursued Karen – to the point of pretending to be Daredevil (but there’s enough goofiness in that storyline to warrant its own post somewhere down the line) – whereas Matt pined for her from a distance. Karen, meanwhile, had her eyes set on Matt. Well, except for slight jealousy she felt toward Debbie Harris when she was seeing Foggy. Apparently, Stan Lee didn’t picture women as the kind of bunch who would easily make up their minds about something. Matt, on the other hand, is convinced that all Karen feels for him is pity for a “sightless” man. Yes, Stan’s complete infatuation with the word “sightless” is becoming more and more apparent as it begins to pop up about three or four times every issue in all its corny glory.

Let’s look at the soap opera that was early Daredevil through the lens of some twenty panels from issues #6 through #17. After that, a new chapter begins in issue #25 as the triangle turns into a square – or perhaps even a pentagon, depending on how you look at it – as Matt is forced to make up a fictional twin brother when his secret identity is compromised for the first time. The Mike Murdock subplot would go on for an amazing sixteen issues, and we’ll look at Karen’s part in all of it in “Oh Karen! #3.” Now on to the task at hand!

First, we have three panels from Daredevil #6:

Karen in a panel from Daredevil #6, by Stan Lee and Wally Wood
Karen in a panel from Daredevil #6, by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

Okay, does anyone want to count the exclamation points in these two panels? And I wonder if Stan Lee knows the meaning of the word dictate, but that’s another story. Let’s see what happens when Ox lands Foggy in the hospital in the wake of an appearance by the first Mr. Fear…

A second panel of Karen from Daredevil #6
A second panel of Karen from Daredevil #6

Karen rushes off to the hospital, perhaps wondering why oh why Matt hasn’t proposed yet when it’s been a full five and half issues since their first encounter. Some guys sure like to take their time, don’t they?

Third panel of Karen from Daredevil #6
Third panel of Karen from Daredevil #6

Wow, this is all starting to get pretty complicated. If only people could learn how to communicate! Am I right? 😉 The below panel is from Daredevil #9. The surprise Karen is talking about is that Klaus Kruger, “hereditary ruler of the Principality of Lichtenbad” (and former classmate of Matt and Foggy’s in law school) has promised to take Matt back with him to have an eye operation performed by the appropriately named Dr. van Eyck. The doctor has just relocated to Lichtenbad, and that’s what they were discussing in the preceding panel.

Karen and Matt in Daredevil #9, by Stan Lee, Wally Wood and Bob Powell
Karen and Matt in Daredevil #9, by Stan Lee, Wally Wood and Bob Powell

Why don’t you two talk it out already?! Okay (taking deep breath), moving on… Below is another panel from Daredevil #9, which lets us check in on Karen and Foggy while Matt is living it up in Lichtenbad.

Foggy and Karen alone in the office in Daredevil #9
Foggy and Karen alone in the office in Daredevil #9

Hmm… I’m suddenly wondering if those seven years of bad luck you get for breaking a mirror were accidentally transferred to Matt. Looking at the last thirty years of the comic, it would certainly appear so. Below, in issue #10, we have Karen once again questioning her true feelings. Foggy is running for D.A. and he’s been seeing Debbie Harris.

Yeah, Karen… Why don’t you make up your mind already? Then again, having one of your love interests go missing in a shipwreck can make you see things more clearly. Below we see Karen mourn Matt’s apparent death in Daredevil #13. This first panel is on the same page as the one I posted in Bad Foggy! and he doesn’t come across as a whole lot more sympathetic here. He wisens up at the end though.

Karen breaks down at the news that Matt is missing, Daredevil #13
Karen breaks down at the news that Matt is missing, Daredevil #13

Of course, Matt is very much alive (otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it), as shown below…

Karen and Foggy find out Matt is alive, Daredevil #14
Karen and Foggy find out Matt is alive, Daredevil #14

Below are two additional panels from #14 where Foggy is something of a jerk once again, and Karen is finally reunited with Matt.

Foggy is being a jerk again, Daredevil #14
Foggy is being a jerk again, Daredevil #14
The law firm is reunited, Daredevil #14
The law firm is reunited, Daredevil #14

Wow! If only that would have been enough. Instead, here we find them having the same problems in issue #16.

Karen leaves Matt at the office, disappointed, from Daredevil #16
Karen leaves Matt at the office, disappointed, from Daredevil #16

Before moving on to the next two panels, from issue #17, some explanation is required: Spider-man has tracked Daredevil to the offices of Nelson and Murdock, and assumes that Foggy must be Daredevil. Spidey is quite paranoid about the whole thing too since the Masked Marauder has sent a number of Daredevil look-alikes after him, and actually dangles poor Foggy from the office window in an attempt to get him to confess. This plants the seed for Foggy’s brilliant idea to pretend to be Daredevil to win Karen’s love. No one ever said being a guy in love was easy. Though I guess I wouldn’t know. Being a girl and all…

Matt laments not being able to help against Spider-Man, Daredevil #17
Matt laments not being able to help against Spider-Man, Daredevil #17

Oh no, Foggy! Don’t go there, it ends badly. Believe me! Poor guy, now he’s even jealous of Spider-man. Below is a panel with some kind of record-breaking seven thought balloons. This was apparently enough for a self-congratulatory statement from Stan the Man himself.

Stan Lee goes overboard in the thought balloon department, Daredevil #17
Stan Lee goes overboard in the thought balloon department, Daredevil #17

“Chalk up another no-prize award for our Batty Bullpen! Seven thought balloons in one panel… Undoubtedly a new world record! — Sensation-monger Stan!” Okay, I think everyone has had about enough panels for one day (and for some reason, placing all these images behind a cut didn’t work this time…). In the next installment of this series, we’ll look at what happened when Mike Murdock was thrown into the mix!

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

1 comment

  1. Yes, the early Matt-Karen relationship was so-o-o complicated: One feels things would have been a lot easier if Matt had acquired telepathy instead of radar.

    The Debbie Harris issues were sort of fun, relationship-wise: I always wondered why Karen felt jealous of Debbie… I mean, maybe she liked to have the attention of both partners, after all 😉

    Incidentally, If we forget issue 1, early foggy is quite lean: he seems to put on some weight after Matt returns from England… Wonder if he tried to consle himself with food at realizing that Karen much preferred Matt.

    P.S.: The Foggy as DD issue does indeed merit an essay of his own, LOL, I wonder why the matter went unmentioned in the recent Brubaker arch, for Foggy helped to trigger Melvin’s criminal career, in a way.

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