Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Daredevil #159

Next up for this weird Batman month is a character that’s pretty cool: Daredevil. While I like the character, he’s not one of my favorite characters. I always thought he was cool though. He is also a Marvel mainstay and has been around since the 60’s. He’s also the reason Frank Miller is/was a name. For those who don’t know, young Matt Murdock went blind when his eyes were doused by chemicals in an accident. While he can’t see, the chemicals strengthened his other senses in a major way. He learned to hone his abilities and body to do awesome things. As an adult, he’s a defense attorney during the day. At night, he is Daredevil, a red-wearing vigilante who delivers a certain sort of justice to evil!

His similarities to Batman are few but they are there. They both lost a parent to crime, they experienced tragedy at a young age (going blind isn’t fun), they honed their bodies into fighting machines, and they dress in tights… or armor. Take your pick. They also try to do some good in their civilian lives. While Bruce puts his money towards his fight against crime, he does try to use his money to better the city. He is a philanthropist playboy after all. Their lives also tend to be very crappy though Daredevil takes the cake. One wonders how he has made it this far. The only major difference is that Matt has powers.

Today’s issue is Daredevil #159. I had gotten the first volume to Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller a long while back and this is one the issues in it. I was curious on Frank Miller’s start on the title and I was listening to Dave’s Daredevil Podcast at the time (I need to catch up with that). The writer is Robert Mckenzie. Pencils are provided by Frank Miller. This was actually his second issue on the title. Klaus Janson provided the inks, Glynis Oliver Wein does the colors, and Jim Novak provided the lettering.

Daredevil #159
Writer: Robert McKenzie
Pencils: Frank Miller
Inks: Klaus Janson
Colors: Glynis Oliver Wein
Letters: Jim Novak
Editors: Mary Jo Duffy and Allen Milgrom

“Marked for Murder!”
The issue starts out as someone named Mr. Pondexter hires some goons to go kill Daredevil. He shows them some film reel in order to show how Daredevil does his stuff. He even tells them to rough up Matt Murdock since Daredevil has done work for Matt. Eric Slaughter, the goons’ boss, lets Pondexter know that they’ll do the job and they then leave. We then switch scenes to the courthouse where the media is trying to interview Matt and Foggy about some earlier incident involving Daredevil. Matt shoos them off and heads to court. While he’s doing that, reporter Ben Urich is studying Matt and trying to figure out the connection between Matt and Daredevil.
Hmm... Matt has red hair... I wonder...

In the courtroom, Matt asks the judge to postpone a trial. While the judge is against it (you have to see his sneer), he agrees to it. After their courtroom drama is finished, Matt and Foggy head out to get something to eat. Suddenly, Slaughter’s goons manhandle the two and tell Matt to ask Daredevil to come out to the docks at midnight. After they leave, Matt sneaks off Batman-style and leaves Foggy a bit befuddled.
You know, there's something about that guy that makes me think he's of ill intent. I don't know what it is though...

We then cut to Daredevil as he is staking out the docks at midnight. He uses his powers to sense how many men are at the docks. He then confronts them in a sneaky way but it does become a shootout. Still, Matt does take them all down. He does find one person left and after Daredevil deflects the dude’s bullet (dang), he tries to get information out of the guy. Unfortunately, the last goon gets a nicely placed buoy to the neck by a hidden Pondexter and dies. This leaves Daredevil befuddled. The issue ends with Pondexter being revealed to be Bullseye and he decides to strike at Daredevil next by targeting the Black Widow.
Man, I actally feel sorry for that guy. He got punked twice in one night.


I thought that this was a fine issue for the most part. It’s not particularly great but it is still a good read. The writing was nice and it was a bit of a shock to see who sent those thugs after Daredevil. The story was handled pretty well. The fight at the end was really good in dialogue and art. The artwork in general is pretty good. This is the Frank Miller I like, not the later one of the 2000’s. The only negative I can really give it is that it felt pretty sparse. This is actually part one of a three-part storyline, so that may be why it feels a bit short. Still, it was a nice read.

Overall, it was good. I actually had to read the rest of the arc since this one was good and it didn’t disappoint. The character has been touched by some big talent since Frank Miller left. There have been people like Ann Nocenti, Kevin Smith, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Mark Waid, Karl Kesel, and now Charles Soule. Most of them apparently did some good stuff with him. He’s had a movie which was alright. Then, there’s the 2015 Netflix TV series. That’s something I’ll get to next time because I’m not done with Hell’s Kitchen yet! Until then, Peace and God bless.

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