Earlier today, I promised to return with some panels that see Daredevil’s head go *poof*. That may have been a little inaccurate; it’s more a case of his head going SWAP!, SKUD! and SPIF!

For the sake of speed and efficiency, many of the artists of yesteryear had a knack for finding angles (and yes, the occasional sound effect) to obscure a character’s face. Looking back through the Daredevil archives, you find a ton of examples like this during Marv Wolfman’s run, particularly while Bob Brown was the main artist on the book.

It was well known even at the time that Bob Brown was gravely ill during his later work on Daredevil – he passed away from leukemia in 1977 – and his illness may have well contributed to his taking certain shortcuts. Even so, many of these shortcuts provide wonderful humorous gems for us Daredevil fans more than thirty years later. Let’s have a look.

Man-Bull’s fist vs Daredevil’s head

Man-Bull swats Daredevil's head into oblivion, Daredevil #129
Man-Bull swats Daredevil's head into oblivion, Daredevil #129

Issue: Daredevil #129
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Bob Brown & Klaus Janson

This is a great panel, not only because Daredevil gets his head reduced to a god-knows-what, but because he’s got that cute helpless look about him. This is what happens when a horned supervillain is looking for a door to slam shut in frustration, but has to settle for your face.

Is that the sun? No, it’s a paper plane

Daredevil has his head blown up by a paper plane, Daredevil #141
Daredevil has his head blown up by a paper plane, Daredevil #141

Issue: Daredevil #141
Writers: Marv Wolfman (plot) & Jim Shooter (script)
Artists: Gil Kane & Bob Brown (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks)

This hilarious panel is actually part of a longer scene during which Bullseye very nearly kills Daredevil with a paper plane. You can read more about it in the aptly named post “Now that’s an embarrassing way to go…”. Luckily, both of these players picked up their game a little since their early days (Wolfman actually created Bullseye).

It’s the conjoined triplets!

Conjoined triplets, panel from Daredevil #136
Conjoined triplets, panel from Daredevil #136

Issue: Daredevil #136
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: John Buscema (pencils) & Jim Mooney (inks)

Bob Brown is completely innocent in this case, and it’s not even real a clear cut case of the hero’s head going conspicuously missing. Actually, it’s much worse than that. Can anyone match these people’s various body parts and come up with a nice even number? What the hell happened here?

Sound effect all over my face…

Kick on the head, Daredevil #133
Kick on the head, Daredevil #133

Issue: Daredevil #133
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Bob Brown & Jim Mooney

This one is more of a classic sound effect to the face panel, but I’ve included it here for it’s simple elegance. Oh yes, in case you’re wondering, this list is merely scratching the surface when it comes to panels just like this one.

This issue is the same one that famously featured an appearance by Uri Geller, whose “origin story” you can read more about here. Together, Uri and Daredevil fought the villain Mind-Wave who’s proudly showing off his moves in this panels.

Seriously, necks don’t bend that way

Bullseye loses his head, Daredevil #132
Bullseye loses his head, Daredevil #132

Issue: Daredevil #132
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Bob Brown & Klaus Janson

This panel doesn’t actually feature Daredevil, but I had to include it on the list anyway. You know how Daredevil once broke Bullseye’s neck, paralyzing him? Yeah, this wasn’t that time.

I know you can sort of see something that looks like a flattened head popping up behind his body, but this pose must violate virtually every law of anatomy there is.

No, this isn’t what it looks like!

Daredevil getting a face full of rosin, Daredevil #132
Daredevil getting a face full of rosin, Daredevil #132

Here’s another panel from Daredevil #132, and it’s still Daredevil versus Bullseye. At least here we have something physical covering Daredevil’s face an not something vague and intangible like just an impact or a sound effect.

At least Matt learned not to sniff white powder up his nose. If only Karen Page had had the same level of insight. Fine, I know she was a heroin addict, but I’m guessing she didn’t go directly from pot to smack.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey through the archives, back to a time when Daredevil wasn’t quite as serious as it is today.

Before I go, I also want to remind people to check out the Legion of Dude’s podcast Speak of the Devil which I first mentioned back in March. They just did a show focusing on Shadowland #1, so have a listen!

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. Very funny post, Christine – some nice examples of ‘Exploding Head Syndrome’.

    PS I also love Bullseye’s innovative use of the humble paper plane

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