Death's Head's horse in all its fake skeletal grandeur

This goof is a real nice one since it comes back to an inconsistency in the storyline, and the storyline in question is a big heaping pile of goofy in and of itself. Nutty early Daredevil at its best, in other words. The panels here are from Daredevil #56 and #57 (the former was also referenced in the Wacky power post below).

These issues are something of a landmark since they feature Daredevil following Karen to her home in Vermont and revealing to her that Daredevil and Matt Murdock are one and the same. This marks the first time that Matt willingly revealed his secret to anyone in the comic. In terms of continuity, he “came out” to Elektra first, but she hadn’t been invented yet as Frank Miller was still in grade school when this issue hit the stands.

Just to give a brief background here, I’ve included a nice little picture of Death’s-Head, the villain of this story. I just wanted you to get a good look at him, as that sort of relates to the whole seeing goof I’ll get to below. Now, Death’s-Head is a figure Karen Page remembers from a childhood dream and who has recently taken up haunting the Page estate.

As Daredevil follows her to her childhood home, he has numerous encounters with this scary-looking foe while also looking for Karen’s missing father, Paxton Page, a former scientist. The way the story ends, Death’s-Head is revealed to be none other than Karen’s father himself, who has been driven insane by exposure to cobalt radiation.

He took on the Death’s-Head persona after hearing about Karen’s dream as a child and then twisting that around in ways not even Freud can begin to figure out. Suddenly, her eventually becoming a heroin addict doesn’t seem all that surprising. Anyway, the appearance of Death’s-Head (and his horse) are important, so get a good look at their skeletal appearance, before we go on…

Now, note what Daredevil is actually saying in this first panel above, taken from issue #56. There is no doubt that the horse in question appears to be skeletal in shape to him. And, remember, if he perceives it as skeletal, it should be skeletal. He picks up on the shapes of things and cannot fall for optical illusions.

The problem with all of this is that an optical illusion is exactly what it is revealed to be in the next issue, as you see in the panel below it, from issue #57. Apparently, as we learn later on, the horse was treated with a serum that rendered its flesh transparent.

We also learn that this treatment ended up actually killing the horse. Poor thing… I wonder what PETA would say about that. Anyway, the horse should have looked like a regular horse to DD, thus making this a clear seeing goof, not to mention a rather striking plot hole.

As for how the issue ends, Paxton Page dies while saving his daughter’s life in a final moment of his long-gone sanity shining through. Matt, meanwhile, has the poor taste of telling her his secret right after Paxton’s funeral. For crying out loud, DD, would you at least wait until you guys leave the cemetary to dump another big shocker on the poor girl! Murdock and gang had the social skills of five-year-olds back in the day.

I won’t even go into the fact that the revelation in question also meant Karen finding out that Matt was even still alive, since he had faked his own death not long before this issue. Geez, these guys all needed therapy…

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. Heh, brilliant comment about PETA!

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