Daredevil takes a beating

Oct 12, 2013

Daredevil takes a beating

Oct 12, 2013

I’ve alluded to a certain “secret project” of mine before. I won’t divulge any more information here, except to say that it pretty much requires my having to go through every issue of Daredevil in detail along the way. Which can hardly be considered a chore, really. 😉

Anyway, while I’m doing this, it also gives me ideas for various posts, and one post in particular that I’ve been wanting to write for a while has to do with Daredevil’s habit of ending up badly injured. Which shouldn’t be surprising given his lack of supernatural physical strength and his characteristic fearlessness.

Rather than put every instance of Daredevil being injured into a single absolutely massive post, I thought I’d just work my way through Daredevil canon and report in at regular intervals. So, for this post, we’ll be looking at panels from Daredevil #7 and #9 (volume 1, both by Stan Lee and Wally Wood).

I should add that just being punched in the face or getting a bruise or two up doesn’t count as far as this series of posts i concerned. Matt gets beat up all the time. We’re talking about more serious stuff, such as being knocked unconscious (as in Daredevil #7) and being shot (as in Daredevil #9). Now, with no further ado, let’s travel back in Daredevil history!

Daredevil #7 – Daredevil succumbs to the Sub-Mariner

Daredevil #7 is something of a classic. The third issue drawn by Wally Wood, it is the first to feature the red costume and has Daredevil squaring off against Namor the Sub-Mariner.

Namor ends up in the law offices of Nelson & Murdock after deciding to sue the human race. Since this turns out to be pretty much impossible, he ends up spending most of the issue in a state of rage after being repeatedly misunderstood by the legal system.

Matt, as Daredevil, takes it upon himself to talk some sense into Namor while trying to protect innocent people. He’s in for a world of hurt. In his first attempt to engage Namor, the former pulls him into the water…

Daredevil and Namor beneath the surface, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

Fortunately for Daredevil, Namor isn’t really trying to kill him. When he notices that Daredevil isn’t breathing, he shoots him up through the water toward the surface. As seen below, Daredevil fortunately regains consciousness.

Daredevil climbs up on the dock after fighting Namor, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

Later in the issue, Namor seems to have temporarily forgotten that he doesn’t really want to kill Daredevil. Breaking off a lamp post and playing a nice game of baseball, with Daredevil playing the part of the ball, hardly looks like an act of peace, or even restraint.

Namor hits Daredevil with a lamp post, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

True to from, Daredevil struggles to regain his composure. It is clear that his never give up spirit goes back to the very beginning of the Daredevil title.

Daredevil regains his composure in the middle of his battle with Namor, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

It’s at this point that Namor takes the opportunity to electrocute Daredevil. Considering that Namor didn’t want Daredevil dead, we can only assume that he knew what he was doing. Poor Matt, that has got to hurt. As seen below, Daredevil appears to be down for the count.

Daredevil gets himself electrocuted, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood
Daredevil is down for the count, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

Incidentally, the series of panels above is a favorite of mine from early Daredevil. Not only does it show us Daredevil’s grit and fighting spirit, Wally Wood’s art has him looking like an adorable toy figure.

Fortunately for Matt, there is an upside to being beaten to a pulp. Next day at the office, Karen goes into full Florence Nightingale mode when she sees Matt banged up, sitting at his desk. If he had played his cards right, he probably could have gotten a sponge bath out of the ordeal…

Karen falls into Matt's arms, as seen in Daredevil #7 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

Daredevil #9 – Daredevil is shot at

Daredevil #9 opens to Daredevil hunting down a gang of boat hijackers. The evening ends on a painful note, when one of the bad guys fires at Daredevil, the bullet apparently grazing his arm.

Daredevil is grazed by a bullet, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood
Daredevil returns to shore wounded, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

It is interesting to note, that at this point in his “career,” Matt was very concerned about his brand image and how Daredevil would fare in the public eye if defeated. With more than just ego bruised, Daredevil stumbles home and offers some interesting introspection on the way:

“Sometimes I wonder… Do I really do this to help mankind… or am I just a showoff who never grew up?!!”

Daredevil stumbles home and patches himself up, as seen in Daredevil #9 (vol 1), by Stan Lee and Wally Wood

Back home, while tending to his wounds, Matt delivers another classic nugget of wisdom:

“Show me a superhero without a first aid kit, and I’ll show you a nut!”

Later in the issue, Matt goes on a crazy journey to Lichtenbad, ostensibly for eye surgery, where he has to combat his former law school classmate turned despotic ruler. His feats as a fighter and acrobat is made even more impressive by the fact that his arm is apparently still numb!

Well that’s it! Now, next time you stub your toe or hit your funny bone (which really isn’t funny, or a bone), ask yourself: What would Daredevil do? That’s right, keep it together and go fight crime!


  1. Bill

    It’s not how many times you get nocked down, but how many times you get up. To be equitable, can we also look at fights he has won outside his weight class?

  2. Matt Ingrouille

    Great write up. Are you working on a Daredevil Encyclopedia? I’ve not always been a fan of some of the older, original comics from the 60s but the artwork here looks superb. I may have to throw some more money at Comixology for these 2 issues.

  3. Patricio

    Interesting post, the fight with the Submariner reminds me of the one DD had with Hulk during the Miller era. If i had to pick one beating above all it would be DD 260, were many enemies led by Typhoid Mary beat Daredevil and nearly killed him. Be well.

  4. Isaac

    … just to be strangled after that by a spider-like vacuum cleaner, if I recall it correctly…

  5. Patricio

    Yes you are coorect, it was a demonic Vacuum from the Inferno Storyline.

  6. J David Spurlock

    Daredevil #7 was Wallace Wood’s third issue (not 2nd) and, as both Wood and Marvel publications confirmed, Wood PLOTTED his issues as well as drew them. Beyond creating the red costume, the gadgets & the villains; via his plotting, Wallace Wood created the true ESSENCE of Daredevil: his tenacity and perseverance to fight against all odds — which Frank Miller, Netflix, and others have continued all these years. In their book, Stan Lee’s Amazing Universe, Stan Lee & Roy Thomas called, Wood’s DD #7 a ‘defining moment of the Marvel Universe.’ It is absolutely THE defining moment for the Hell’s Kitchen vigilante attorney character.”

  7. Christine Hanefalk

    @J David Spurlock: Thank you for catching my error! I’ve updated the post to correctly identify Daredevil #7 as Wood’s third issue.

  8. geb

    indeed.. wally was an idea-logical genius.. all said above by Spurlock, and then some.. the ever so ingenious double D (DD) crest that appeared in #6 was most unique.. and the even more important between 1/2-1/3 the length of the forearm glove and same to the shin boot.. and the straight-cut (usually) trunks.. common combat practice but separates in comics.. all most unique and distinguishing features solidifying mwf as a more street-reality type hero..

    (the double DD later off-centered a bit left toward his heart was more off of the trodden path and I always thought it could be a perfect server as armor around that vital.. the chinstrap’s made a comeback in the comic.. good move.. think ironman displayed it about 5mn before DD, but about 5mn later ironman began a new look modeled somewhat after mwf with color-separation of chest from lower upper body and kneepads and other small cues)

    but Wood, in my mind, was always mwf’s creator

  9. geb

    it’s difficult determining where to post what..to armor or to not armor.. we already have the full armored monty in ironman.. he’s encompassed just about every angle of the theme.

    MWF is the exception.. he’s not ironman… though some feel, as this post has so conclusively determined, is that mattman gets the living $h1t thrashed outta him often enough to warrant an exclusive..

    mnot sure what i should write.

    am not sure what i wish to recommend.. i’ve mentioned that the offset emblem could be used to deflect lethal projectiles from his heart.. and having seen pictorials from the netflix vantage point, it appears that some form of protection is something of a concern with these creators..

    a question that arises is that in pertaining to the dAREdEVIL’s capacity in fulfilling his objective as a last line of defense between those kiddies (bad) who didn’t learn their lessons and as a result are ready, willing, and able to resort to throwing the most inconceivably extreme measures of offence upon the unwary public..

    from what i gather from viewing the web is that the netflix designer of his combat schematics had had a degree of repellent in mind when constructing this here gear..

    which brings us again to the beginning.. Q:is MM, aka DD, endowed with the ability/ies to excel in the capacity required of such a hero?.. hero? yes.. but still a mere man.. mortal.. is this ability directly analogous to a question of strength? of speed? of endurance? most importantly, wit?

    or are there instances where a man can only do as much as he’s physically and mentally able to and then, well, he would undisputedly needs that little bit of extra umph.. where in he would most assuredly require a southern cross..

    the fleer cards we would see floating about as kids would generally describe these sort of heros as of average plus height weight build, with Olympic champion capability… by no means no mean thing in itself.. it’s handed down vocally generation to generation that within all races there are a few people in each generation that excel even the imagination in terms physical prowess. franks bodyguard for instance (not to mention mental ability)..

    but then, who is who?

    so i guess the Q: remains.. and since there will always be a blind side tackle boiling up from way behind.. i regress to the chichesterMcDaniels attempt from ’93. (although visuals aside) the attempt at calypting the vitals around the frontal steroidmastoid muscle of neck, apple, and along with extension rearward rising along the trapz chords embracining the cervical curve was sort of thought out// and in addition the red band happens to encompass vertebrae c7+th1 connection at the beginning of the convexing spine and also, interestingly, the middle chevron in the middle back spans vertebrae th12+l1 at the connection of the concaving arch of spinne.. two most crucial joints.. (neck and back breakage)..

    how this would translate in efficiency is debatable depending on the technohow.. but it was a start. and didn’t stick out (too much anyway.. even if a bit too christmas tree). if he’s going to get kicked around as much as he sets himself up for..

    in a way it sort of relates to my problem with kingpin..opposite of conan.. who was 6ft summin at 13yrs of age and could crush godzilla’s godather if he REALLY tried and was also learned in many medicinal ways and natural philosophies and dead languages and and and.. invincible…just the opposite with kingpin, only he’s the bad guy ..

    they should go all the way and get the best talent to complete this fashion unfashion buisness


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