Issue(s): Daredevil #135, Daredevil #136, Daredevil #137
These issues are the conclusion of a long boiling plot in Daredevil. It started back when Foggy was running for District Attorney and a bunch of fake ads came out, ruining his campaign. After the election the broadcasts continued, now announcing weird news stories, like the discovery that the Kennedys are still alive and that the Vietnam War never really happened, with the CIA instead hypnotizing soldiers to fight illegal wars in South America. And it came to the forefront last issue, with a video release of Daredevil mowing down cops. The police themselves said it never happened but people are unsure what to believe.
The arc begins with a spread from the Daily Bugle reporting on all the stories (the art looks John Romita to me).
Daredevil finds that he can trace the fake broadcast signals with his radar sense, but the Jester knows that he can do that but it seems that Daredevil knows that he knows that he can do that so Daredevil and D.A. Tower arrange for Daredevil to get fake-arrested.
Police lieutenant Bert Rose is not in on the scheme, but he is given a gun with plastic bullets.
I thought this might all be going to some complex double-fakeout. The fake broadcasts are interesting, and Daredevil's scheme with Tower seemed like it would be interesting too and i was having fun trying to figure out what the end result would be. Like, do they put a guy in a fake Daredevil suit in prison so that the real DD can catch the Jester unawares? Or, when Tower arranges a meeting with Daredevil and other government agents, does DD give out fake information because they know they are being watched? But it turns out to be... nothing really. Whatever Daredevil and Tower planned doesn't really help DD get any closer to Jester.
With Daredevil not really having anything special to do, the Jester uses his broadcasts to instill paranoia in the people of New York City, sowing distrust for the police and super-heroes. This gets regular citizens out in the streets with guns, ready to shoot anyone in a uniform, while the Jester lets his co-opted partners in the Maggia run rampant.
Daredevil shows up in costume to stop them, and nearly gets lynched.
Luckily, it's a very fickle lynch mob ("I never thought of that"? Really!?).
When the regular people turn on the Jester, his whole big plan basically goes up in smoke and he's forced to flee. Then he tries the whole thing again in a different part of the city, and it's kind of pathetic.
Daredevil's humor isn't as revolting as "you're" grammar, Jester!
Of course, Daredevil is equally pathetic, so he actually falls for the old fake surrender routine...
...and gets dropped in the Jester's "Murder-Maze". I liked this panel, where Daredevil's blindness is actually acknowledged for once and causes him to react differently than a regular person...
...but the rest of the Maze's tricks and traps are a genuine threat for DD. But he does get out and manages to defeat the Jester, even forcing a good old fashioned "Bah!" out of him.
And that's the other problem with this arc; the Jester is played as a very campy and generic villain.
I know that's an odd complaint to have about the Jester, but his earlier appearances focused on him wanting to be a great actor, and turning to crime because he wasn't getting what he felt was the proper recognition. If someone could just re-dialogue the above panel so that he says something like "...the Jester's the Greatest Performer of All" i'd feel a little better.
Here's an explanation of the Jester's broadcast hijacking device.
The moral of this story is to always get your news from a variety of sources.
A subplot has Nelson & Murdock investigating corruption at Glenn Industries. Heather is worried that her father is involved. And i want to know where Heather's other leg is in this picture:
In addition to what she does with her legs, Matt likes Heather because she's very patient and not pushy about Matt's disappearances.
It seems the real threat at Glenn Industries is a guy named Stone.
In this arc is a "Killer" Croesus, who will later appear in the Punisher's first mini-series as a mob boss (in a montage scene showing a bunch of crooks the Punisher has killed). As Matthew notes in the comments, in this story he seems to just be a whino.
Issue #137 ends with Matt learning about the situation with Karen Page in Ghost Rider #19.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Very brief and context free Peter Parker appearance in issue #135 as a member of the press. Daredevil appears in Iron Man #89 on his way to the airport to help Karen before appearing in Daredevil #138.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBert Rose, Blake Tower, Daredevil, Foggy Nelson, Heather Glenn, Jester (Jonathan Powers), Killer Croesus, Maxwell Glenn, Spider-Man, Stone (Glenn Industries)
About 2 years later, Wolfman would stick another Stone in MTIO issues with Daredevil with no acknowledgement of this one.
I now wonder made me put "stick" and "stone" in the same sentence...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 25, 2013 5:36 PM
The "Killer Croesus" thing rang a bell (probably because it seemed so out of left field), so I just went back and checked. Sure enough, he's there in #135, page 15, panel 5, but he's not portrayed as a mob boss by Marv. When DD is attacked by three besotted bums while trying to track down the Jester's TV signal, one of them says, "I may be punch-drunk now, but I usedta be 'Killer Croesus,' the heavy-weight champ!" He has one more line in page 16, panel 1, and that's it.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 6, 2015 8:01 PM
Thanks Matthew. I guess his attack on Daredevil here earned him a promotion in the mob ranks. I've added scans of the two panels he appears in.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 6, 2015 8:58 PM
Yeah, reading these reviews make me remember what I hate about pre-Miller DD.
Seemingly interesting plot lines and ideas, that tend to drag forever end up with a terrible fight with an uninspired villain with a silly name and costume.
Posted by: Karel | May 20, 2017 3:25 PM
Comments are now closed.
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