Well, after talking about my own thoughts on realism in comics, I thought I’d post this lovely tale of absurd make-believe. Sure, it’s not as “unrealistic” as people bending time, shooting bursts of energy from their eyes or coming back from the dead. It’s just goofy. Maybe I should have listed this as a wacky power, but something tells me it would be a better fit for Francesco’s series of preposterous plot points.

The below sequence is from Daredevil #68 by Roy Thomas, Stan Lee’s immediate successor on the book (art by Gene Colan). The goofiness level actually went down a bit toward the end of Lee’s run, but some absurdities seemed to creep back in when he left the writing duties.

I won’t go into the backstory too much here. Suffice it to say that Matt happens to know that a young, up-and-coming boxer named Kid Gawaine is about to be defeated in a boxing match by the illicit use of a blinding ray. Yes, there are a lot of blinding rays and potions in Daredevil history.

Since he is already blind, Daredevil can’t be blinded and decides to take the young boxer’s place by temporarily knocking him out and doing an extreme make-over. We already know that Matt is good at disguises, he even pulled off a Thor back during the heyday of the Mike Murdock era, but here he shows his skills at something rather unexpected: applying makeup. Let’s have a look.

Matt pulls out a box of theatrical make-up, as seen in Daredevil #68 (vol 1)

Yes, even a superhero must come prepared. Forget the first-aid kit. What you should always keep handy is theatrical makeup. Especially if you’re a blind superhero because… well because that just makes no sense. It’s true that Matt didn’t just happen to bring the makeup, he actually prepared for this moment, as seen below…

Daredevil applies make-up, as seen in Daredevil #68 (vol 1)

“Swift, skillful fingers race thru a ritual they have practiced many times during the days just past, until…”

Okay… *sound of tires screeching to a halt* Wait a minute here. Am I the only one who finds the idea of Matt actually practicing applying makeup outrageously funny? And here’s another thing, how does he even know he’s any good at it? For all his powers, he can’t actually use a mirror. Even at their most absurd, his senses have never allowed him to see his own reflection. When he’s doing all that practicing, how does he gauge the outcome? And for that matter, even when getting a good “look” at Kid Gawaine’s face in this panel, how on Earth does he recreate the bone structure, hair color and even skin tone?

Matt now presumably looks like "The Kid," after applying make-up and dyeing his hair, as seen in Daredevil #68 (vol 1)

“I can pass for the Kid’s twin! But only as long as I keep Slugger Sloan from mussing my makeup!”

Dude, you don’t know that! And you’re going into a boxing match; that’s pretty much going to mess up your face. Well, realistically it would. Except this isn’t very realistic. Not any of it. But it is funny. But know this, Murdock… All that cakey goo is totally going to clog your pores. It’s not going to be pretty.

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.

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