Issue(s): Daredevil #168, Daredevil #169, Daredevil #170, Daredevil #171, Daredevil #172, Daredevil #173, Daredevil #174, Daredevil #175, Daredevil #176, Daredevil #177, Daredevil #178, Daredevil #179, Daredevil #180, Daredevil #181, Daredevil #182
I have all these issues bundled in one Visionaries trade. Luckily Daredevil is pretty self-contained at this point and DD's few appearances in other titles are relatively context free, so it's ok if they're all put together here. It's a lot to review at once, though, so i'll just put the summaries below.
Here are the high points:
This run contains both the introduction of Elektra and what was for the longest time her permanent death. Eventually Marvel will bring her back and put her in her own series a couple of times. For now it's a self-contained tragic story about a love that Matt Murdock once had that went bad.
This run also does a lot to build up the importance and stature of the Kingpin. Prior to this, his super-strength was generally given more attention than his criminal empire. Miller goes a long way to establishing the Kingpin's more insidious power of organized crime.
These issues also do a lot to make Bullseye and the Punisher more interesting. Bullseye was previously kind of goofy, and the Punisher was kind of neutered, always using mercy bullets and stuff. Miller makes Bullseye truly psychotic and very dangerous and makes the Punisher a lot more of a true vigilante.
These issues also introduce the Hand, a group of ninja assassins.
Generally, Miller's art and writing are fantastic. The series has a very nice look, with a great use of shadow, interesting panel layouts, interesting perspectives. Nothing totally mind-blowing like a Kirby or a Steranko. A lot more gritty and naturalistic. The same is essentially true with the writing, which is pretty much down to earth, although it indulges in a few jokey noir cliches like DD constantly showing up at a particular diner to beat information out of stool pigeons.
There's a lot of attention paid to people's emotions and interactions with each other, but it never gets over-the-top melodramatic. Despite the use of super-ninjas and things like that, it's a very maturely written comic.
One complaint that i have is that Miller depicts a world where there's a gang of oddly multi-racial criminals lurking around every corner waiting to kill you for your suit for no reason other than they'd like some money and they're evil enough to do anything for it.
It's not very realistic. In the 60s and 70s Spider-Man and others would occasionally fight bank robbers. In the 80s, in a large part to Miller's influence, the streets of New York are suddenly a jungle where wild gangs are constantly mugging, killing, and raping. It's a reflection about attitudes about crime that was prevalent in the 80s and were eventually proved to be unfounded, statistically. But it has a major impact in the comic book world, especially for the "street level" heroes, and it starts here. Indeed Miller's ultimate influence over comics is more the "grim and gritty" aspect rather than the realistic, mature dialogue and plotting that should have been his legacy.
#168 - Daredevil hunts down a thief named Alarich Wallenquist, who is a material witness in a case. He's hired Eric Slaughter to protect him from Daredevil. While knocking the heads of some thugs, Daredevil is attacked by a female ninja with sais.
As Daredevil is passing out, he recognizes her as Elektra, a woman that he was in love with in law school.
Back then he shared the knowledge of his abilities with her. The relationship ended when her father, an ambassador, was assassinated.
She's now herself become a hired assassin. Later, they're together able to capture Wallenquist...
...and they become briefly re-acquainted but despite their previous love Matt can't stay with her because of her current profession.
#169 - Bullseye escapes from prison, and he's completely psychotic, seeing Daredevil everywhere.
This is due in part to a tumor. Daredevil hunts him down, and in the end saves Bullseye from being crushed by a subway train.
Police lieutenant Nick Manolis says that this means that all future crimes committed by Bullseye are on Daredevil's head. Meanwhile Elektra snoops around in Matt's apartment and discovers that he's sleeping with Heather Glenn.
#170-172 - The Kingpin is negotiating the release of his records to the US government. He's been living in Japan...
...and trying to reform for his wife, Vanessa. They hire Nelson & Murdock to handle the negotiations. A group of the Kingpin's former lieutenants hire Bullseye, released from prison after a successful removal of his brain tumor, to kill the Kingpin (but Daredevil is on his case, especially since he feels responsible for him after saving his life in the subway).
Vanessa is kidnapped by the lieutenants. The Kingpin pretends to agree to turn over their records in exchange for Vanessa, but he's actually booby-trapped the case with a sonic device that disables them and Bullseye. However, Kingpin's current righthand man, who has been itching to get the Kingpin back into crime, takes the opportunity to cause an explosion, which seemingly kills Vanessa...
...although in truth she is left amnesiac and wandering the sewers.
Plenty of fights, too.
This is the first meeting of Daredevil and the Kingpin.
#173 - The Gladiator has been making some progress with his mental problems, but this issue he escapes. Meanwhile, another guy with a similar mode of dress (more of an S&M outfit, though)...
... has been committing brutal crimes, and Gladiator is blamed for it...
...until Daredevil sorts it out. It turns out that Becky Blake had been paralyzed by the S&M guy. Before the revelation, she'd been blaming Gladiator. And she and Matt have a bad fight where he condemns her for never reporting her attack to the police, and later realizes how un-empathetic he'd been.
He does get her to testify against the S&M guy, though.
#174 - Elektra learns that Murdock and Gladiator have been targeted for assassination.
The assassins are the Hand, a group of ninja assassins that are just now expanding their operations to Europe and America. Elektra helps Daredevil and Gladiator defend themselves (Daredevil isn't aware of Elektra's help until after she leaves).
#175 - Because of her interference, Elektra herself is now targeted by the Hand. An immortal master assassin named Kirgi is sent after her. Meanwhile the Kingpin sends a fake ninja to fake an assassination attempt on Foggy. The purpose of this is to get Daredevil to take out the Hand for him. DD recognizes it as a plant, but Elektra doesn't. She heads to the Hand's base...
...and with Daredevil's help...
...is able to defeat all of the ninjas. It is Elektra who single-handedly defeats Kirgi...
...although he escapes before being killed. DD tries to apprehend Elektra but he passes out due to his own battle injuries.
Meanwhile, Foggy wins Gladiator's case despite an absentee partner.
#176-177 - Daredevil has been having trouble with his radar sense and it's getting worse. He decides to seek out his old mentor, Stick. Elektra also has the same idea. And Turk has acquired the MAULER armor from Cord Industries. There's a comical scene where Daredevil, Elektra, Heather Glenn, and Turk all show up at a local stool pigeon's place one by one, each demanding to know where to find Stick.
Turk catches up with Daredevil as he finds Stick, but even with the armor, Turk is easily defeated.
Meanwhile Kirgi returns to attack Elektra...
...but she is able to once again defeat him, this time burning him to death and slicing him with her sword. Stick agrees to help Daredevil, and essentially helps him re-find his radar sense.
It seems that Daredevil has lost his "super-power" radar sense and Stick has helped him replace it with an inner radar sense that all people potentially have but only true ninjas are able to discover. Stick oddly just disappears from the story again.
#178-179 - The Kingpin recruits Elektra as his assassin.
J. Jonah Jameson hires Nelson & Murdock to defend them against a libel suit by a politician that Ben Urich has exposed as corrupt in the Daily Bugle. Foggy Nelson hired Power Man & Iron Fist to protect them.
Murdock fakes a kidnapping so he can act as Daredevil but as DD he winds up in a fight with PM & IF...
...and they lose the evidence they needed to defend the Bugle. (The evidence was originally held by a young kid who had been blackmailing people to raise money for an operation for his sister, who is a ballet dancer whose boss wouldn't pay for her medical insurance; there's a follow-up to this in Power Man & Iron Fist #77).
Urich tries to get more evidence by meeting a man in a theater, but Elektra kills that man and warns Urich off the story.
Urich sticks with the story and Daredevil tries to protect him...
...but Elektra is able to trick and trap him, and she runs her sai through Urich.
#180 - Two weeks later, Urich is alive and just out of the hospital. Going through some pictures he had taken, he recognizes a homeless person that had been watching the Kingpin. It's Vanessa.
Urich informs Daredevil and he hunts her down in the sewers. She's become a slave of a fat crazy person who runs a territory of homeless sewer dwellers like a barbarian kingdom.
DD, his foot still injured after his last fight with Elektra, defeats the sewer king and brings Vanessa to the Kingpin. In exchange, the Kingpin allows his corrupt politician to go to jail.
#181 - This is a double-sized issue (it contains enough plot for about a year's worth of decompressed stories today, and yet it has great pacing). The Kingpin has a weird sense of honor. Because he was forced to give up his corrupt politician, he needs to kill someone. He knows that Daredevil has ties to Matt Murdock. But he doesn't want to cause a conflict with Daredevil, so he decides that he'll kill Foggy Nelson. Somehow he thinks that won't cause a conflict. He orders Elektra to kill Foggy. In jail, Bullseye runs into the Punisher. The Punisher tells him that the Kingpin has replaced him with Elektra. Bullseye had previously been waiting patiently in jail for the Kingpin to have him released.
Bullseye breaks out of jail and heads to Eric Slaughter for info, and learns about the hit on Nelson.
Bullseye does a little research and puts it together that Daredevil is probably Matt Murdock. Elektra shows up to assassinate Foggy, but Foggy recognizes her from law school and she balks and lets him go.
In an extended fight, Bullseye attacks and mortally wounds Elektra.
She crawls to Matt's doorstep before she dies.
At the morgue, Bullseye confirms his belief about DD's ID by throwing a spike at Murdock, which he blocks with his cane.
Bullseye approaches the Kingpin about DD's secret identity. The Kingpin doesn't believe it, but orders Daredevil dead. Daredevil uses a dummy to convince Bullseye that he's not really Matt Murdock, something that seems a bit odd considering he's supposed to be distraught over Elektra's death.
In the fight, DD drops Bullseye off a building.
His spine is smashed, leaving him paralyzed in a full body cast.
#182 - Matt comes to grips with Elektra's death, at first going a little crazy and believing that she's still alive somehow.
Meanwhile, the Punisher is approached by a Federal officer and unofficially let free in return for him stopping a drug shipment.
Also meanwhile, Matt's living girlfriend, Heather, is getting swindled out of her father's company.
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: Fantastic Four #233 references the release of the Kingpin's files, so it takes place after these issues. The Punisher appears here in jail, after Amazing Spider-Man annual #15. He knows about the fact that the Kingpin has hired Elektra as an assassin. So it's probably more accurate to say that the Punisher was captured and put in prison sometime in the middle of this story. So we can say that this runs concurrently with Amazing Spider-Man annual #15. Amazing Spider-Man #219 takes place after Daredevil #173.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller vol. 2
Inbound References (26): show
Another unfortunate repercussion from Miller's influence was that ninjas began popping up all over the place during 1980s Marvel until they became truly irritating. This played a part in Doug Moench angrily quitting Marvel until after Shooter left as EIC.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 11, 2011 5:55 PM
"It's a reflection about attitudes about crime that was prevalent in the 80s and were eventually proved to be unfounded, statistically."
Posted by: Paul | September 8, 2012 6:42 PM
To be fair to Miller, Watchmen and V For Vendetta were reflective of leftist fears that Reagan was leading the world into nuclear war (even after Gorbachev came to power) and Thatcherism was leading the UK into fascism. Both of these were eventually proved to be unfounded and yet nobody considers Moore a leftist dimwit.
Posted by: Michael | September 8, 2012 8:47 PM
I don't think either of those stories (especially Watchmen) was as specifically intended as you seem to suggest there, or was meant to be taken exactly seriously - V for Vendetta is basically Orwell. The whole point of a work like that is to take a problem or possibility and take it to its extreme worst case scenario, exaggerate it, and caution against it that way. Significantly, those stories both take places in alternate timelines/futures/universes. No one could possibly read them and get the impression Moore was trying to depict modern real world reality, realistically.
Your comment was rather disingenuous, IMO, which is pretty much par for the course when most anyone today feels his "side" has been attacked.
Most importantly, tho, even if what Moore did WERE the same (tho, as I said, it wasn't), it would have no bearing on Miller's being or not being a right-wing dimwit.
Posted by: Paul | September 9, 2012 1:10 AM
Moore has specifically stated in interviews that he felt that Britain was going fascist in the 80's and that he wrote Watchmen because he felt that people in America were insufficiently concerned about nuclear war.
Posted by: Michael | September 9, 2012 9:26 AM
At the risk setting this off again, i wanted to cop to the fact that my assertion that started this about crime rates isn't as clearly supported as i'd like. Here's a chart i stole from Wikipedia. I've found similar data elsewhere.
As much as i don't like some of Frank Miller's recent statements i don't think he was pursuing a right-wing agenda with his crime comics at this time. I do think media depictions like these comics as well as movies like the Dirty Harry and Death Wish series helped feed a perception that didn't go away even after crime rates really did go way down and that's closer to the point i was originally trying to make.
More importantly, I really do want comments here to be civil. There was nothing disingenuous about Michael's comment. Paul, you are a Fighter and i have no problem with your forceful disagreements with me or the other commentors but you seem to assume the worst when people disagree with you and it gets taken personally. I suspect you're just here for a good debate and i welcome that but please try to dial it back a notch.
And Michael, if you don't quit pursuing your crypto-reactionary agenda via comparative comic literature, i will be forced to take action.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 10, 2012 11:12 AM
So the one guy in the presumed disagreement should take a chill pill and a chamomile tea, but other guy, you will be "forced to take action" on. Ho-kay.
Posted by: effinord12 | September 13, 2012 8:28 PM
He politely (but seriously) warned me, while he made a joke towards the other fellow. A little reading comprehension can go a long way.
As to the argument, I don't think Miller was pursuing any political agenda with his comics at this time, I was just taking a cheap shot at him. And I'd do it again!
And maybe disingenuous wasn't the right word, but Michael's reply there was pretty much a non sequitur. It's like showing up at a trial and saying the accused should be let off because some other person who committed the same crime wasn't arrested as well by that particular cop.
I considered my comment relatively civil (but with an edge to it), but as this is your site I respect your opinion that it was not, and will try to do better - so long as no right-wing sophistry is ever thrown at me again.
Posted by: Paul | September 14, 2012 1:50 AM
I consider Moore a leftist dimwit.
Posted by: Jack | May 22, 2013 11:29 PM
Fortunately your opinion means fuck-all to anyone.
Posted by: Paul | May 26, 2013 9:35 PM
And I know that'll probably get me a warning, but when you see a nasty argument from a year ago between people who are not you, you probably shouldn't wade into it and resurrect it, especially not with an idiotic one-liner.
Posted by: Paul | May 26, 2013 9:37 PM
All day long, for some reason, i've been getting spam comments on the blog, so i've been deleting them, re-calibrating my spam filters, etc.. Then i get a notification about some legitimate comments... and it's THIS.
Paul's kinda right, though. There's no reason to resurrect this old argument. Please let it die.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 26, 2013 10:35 PM
If you were reading Marvel in mid-1983 and noticed a strange item in the checklist called "Marvel Retread Funnies", that was supposed to be a reprinting of DD#181 with funny dialogue replacing the original. This was an extension of something that happened in the last issues of Crazy magazine; funny dialogue was added to Kree/Skrull War pages, X-Men #137, and several Lee/Kirby Atlas monster stories. The new dialogue was by Jim Owsley and the cover was shown in Amazing Heroes #30 and Comics Journal #84. The book got killed when distributors in general and Frank Miller in particular objected to it(Peter David at the time stated that Miller's objection by itself wouldn't have stopped the book). The book was actually completed, so somewhere in Marvel's vaults is an unpublished funny Death of Elektra.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 20, 2013 7:11 PM
I personally don't like Kingpin as a Daredevil villan, but more as a Spider-Man villan.
Posted by: doomsday | October 17, 2013 10:08 PM
I wish you'd included more details about #182. I am not someone who is easily creeped-out by fictional works, especially when they star guys and gals in tights, but Matt's descent into madness by his conviction that Elektra is still alive was utterly gripping when I first read it.
I'd been waiting for ages for Marvel to produce their long-promised collection of Miller's DD, and when I realized they'd never get around to it, finally sprung for the back issues. [I believe Marvel's collection came out less than a year later. Shows what I know.]
Anyway, having known for years that Bullseye killed Elektra, her death wasn't that big a deal for me. But #182 was engrossing for its deconstruction of death in comics. The funny scene where Foggy Nelson brings in a Margaret Dumont-type client who hears Matt's obsessing over Elektra's death report, the way he beats up thugs and breaks into the Kingpin's office, demanding to know what Elektra's up to now, waking up a judge in the middle of the night to sign an exhumation order, and finally digging up the corpse by himself is extremely disturbing and masterfully-written.
If I were making a list of the best single issues of superhero comics I'd ever read, "Daredevil" #182 would definitely be on it.
Posted by: ChrisW | April 27, 2014 7:01 PM
There is a panel in 182 that I found just bone-chilling as a young reader. It comes shortly before the ones fnord reproduces above, when Matt is digging Elektra up, still expecting to find her alive. He looks deranged, unhinged, "gone." That one panel was as scary to me at the time as a Stephen King novel. Great work by Miller and Janson.
Posted by: Todd | April 29, 2014 1:47 AM
The splash page for 182 ("She's alive!") is an homage to the penultimate scene in the great '80s noir film Body Heat. Definitely worth renting if you haven't seen it.
Please take down the left/right rant comments. They're annoying.
Posted by: Andrew | January 4, 2015 6:03 AM
Much of what Miller did with these issues, which were really quite remarkable, he would revisit in Wolverine, which is interesting since Miller didn't write those. I think it's kind of a shame that he's become much more of a writer than an artist. I think his writing has, how shall we say, stagnated over the years. But that doesn't diminish this storyline, and especially the massive impact of that moment where Elektra gets stabbed. Daredevil had been a very bad book for a long time and had been gradually improving for quite a while, but still, this first stretch with Miller as writer and artist still stands as one of the great runs in Marvel history. With this coming just after the Byrne / Claremont run on X-Men and just before Byrne on FF and not that long before Simonson on Thor, this was really a great time for Marvel.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 30, 2015 7:47 PM
Since no one has mentioned it here, just thought I'd note that the Elektra story is deeply indebted to a two-part Eisner Spirit tale from 1950: "Sand Saref" and "Bring in Sand Saref ...." There has been a lot of talk of "decompression" in comics for a while now. Eisner's story is a masterpiece of compression.
Posted by: Instantiation | July 26, 2015 10:51 AM
And yeah, Miller (and Ed Hannigan even moreso) are both very, very indebted to Eisner at this point in their careers. The newspaper headlines in ASM Annual #15 also strike me as a very Eisner sort of graphical device, and the writing here -- especially the turns from gritty crime noir to human interest comedy like "Guts" Nelson -- are very much the sort of thing Eisner did week to week in his Spirit stories.
I find it interesting how much continuity Miller uses here, which perhaps reflects editorial policy of the time more than Miller's own preferences. The Kingpin's story picks up pretty directly from his appearance in Marv Wolfman's Amazing Spider-Man run, and the Kingpin still has his "super-heavy door" from his 1960s appearances. More generally, Miller always portrays the Kingpin and both physically and intellectually "stronger" than Matt Murdock; it's only the Kingpin's emotional weaknesses that allow Matt to triumph in Miler's stories. Later writers just have Matt able to beat Fisk up whenever Fisk makes him angry and reckless enough. (This is pretty much the exact opposite of what "Born Again" will tell us about their conflict.)
And I wonder how many people who have "memories" or "received ideas" about MIller's first DD run based on his later work and their reputation would be shocked to learn that the run contains a goofy Stilt-Man story and a goofy Power Man and Iron Fist appearance, along with . It's not like Mller has ever really abandoned humor; Sin City has stuff like Schlump and Klubb and even The Dark Knight Returns's satire has some elements of plain old lampooning in it. (That's arguably another Eisner influence, what with the Spirit meeting characters like the egomaniac actor "Awesome Bells.")
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 10:08 AM
Personally I think both Miller and Moore are dimwits who tend to bring out the worst in political opinions for some odd reason.
Posted by: Dragolord09 | January 10, 2016 8:52 PM
Chris Claremont was interviewed for the documentary dvd Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont. In the extras made available for download, he stated for Wolverine #1, he submitted a plot to Frank Miller to draw. It was ignored by Miller. By issue #4, Claremont was phoning Miller about what he should draw in that issue. So Miller might not have scripted Wolverine, but Claremont was basically backseat driving the plot.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 14, 2016 4:28 AM
Daredevil #170 is the very first time the Kingpin's real name, Wilson Fisk, is revealed. It is also the first time he refers to himself as a "humble dealer of spices." Of course, he does so right when he's in the middle of beating the crap out of an underling who accidentally offended him.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 20, 2016 4:24 PM
Ah, grim and gritty. Or "dim and shitty", one of the two.
God, I so hated Elektra the Mary Sue. Complete retcon on DD's backstory and all of a sudden what had been, in many ways, Marvel's most realistic book (as still seen in Matt's lecturing of Becky Blake, for example) is over-run with fucking NINJAS, of all things. Not to mention Kirigi the Super-Ninja, who is responsible for some of the worst "get the bad guy over" scenes in Marvel history. The first of which being in his intro here, where he kills "three of us" "with but a" "single stroke".
Yeah…because I always complete not one, but two other persons' sentences. While I've been sliced to death. FFS. Maybe Kirigi was able to kill the third guy because Guy 3 was too busy waiting for Guy 2 to gurgle out "with but a" to defend himself?
(I also completely never believe the trope of multiple kills with a single sword attack, no matter how sharp the blade or how strong the arm…the human body has too much resistance to just be sliced completely through. Although, to be fair, IIRC Kirigi just cuts their throats here, so that's a lot more possible.)
My brother and I parodied the "three of us" sequence by imagining how far Miller could stretch it. You could have eight kills, each only getting in one word apiece. Or nine, if you broke "single" into its two component syllables. And to think that Kirigi's upcoming resurrection will be even more laughable/annoying.
Posted by: Dan Spector | September 1, 2016 6:50 PM
The cover of #181 proclaimed "Bullseye vs. Elektra: One Lives, One Dies!" or the equivalent. I cannot tell you how unutterably PISSED I was, thinking that Marvel was going to sacrifice a pretty decent villain just to prop this (IMO) character-destroying bitch in some "redemption" story. Nor can I describe the exaltations of joy that came forth when she bit it, instead.
Well, okay, it was probably nothing more than "Yes! Wooo! Thank you, God! Goodbye, ninja crap!" and such, but still.
Ruined, of course, by the fact that they bring her back. "She is pure." Pure garbage, you mean. What a whitewash. Why don't you make DD's "lost love" the Punisher, while you're at it? Sigh.
Looking at the art again, I see that Miller's figures are still pretty uninspiring. And the Kingpin is ridiculously disproportionate; Imus Champion isn't that much bulkier than his opponents and he's 8' tall!
The facial work is very nice, however. Especially some of the eyes in the close-ups. (That may be mostly Janson, though.)
Posted by: Dan Spector | September 1, 2016 6:57 PM
At the risk of revealing that I haven't actually read these issues (except 181, reprinted in a "Greatest Marvels" series a decade or so ago), or a whole lot of Daredevil in general, I have to ask: Is this run the first time Kingpin appears as a Daredevil villain? I read the HSR comment, and it blows my mind to realize that he's basically just a boss of two-bit thugs in most of his earlier Spider-Man appearances.
Posted by: J-Rod | May 2, 2017 2:29 PM
Yeah, it's the first time the Kingpin is directly a Daredevil villain.
Posted by: Enchlore | May 2, 2017 3:56 PM
Thanks, I knew it was around this time but I wasn't certain exactly when he became Daredevil's main villain.
Posted by: J-Rod | May 3, 2017 9:47 AM
This is just so good.
Miller in his prime. Daredevil in his prime (well here, and later in Bendis series).
I like the two Miller runs on Daredevil more than anything he did. He takes a character that nobody knows what to do with - ok, there were good ideas pre-Miller and reading the older issues, I like his San Francisco stories - but the execution always lacked, and Daredevil really has no definition.
Here comes Miller and makes this super successful run, directly influencing next 20 years of comics and Daredevil in general, creating essentially arch rivals to Matt out of nowhere.
I kind of dislike, however, how little time is being spent, at least in the reviewed issues, with the old guard - with Foggy, and the wheelchair lady, and Heather Glenn. We have more pages with Turk than we have pages with Glenn.
Still a great run.
Posted by: Karel | May 20, 2017 10:13 AM
It seems weird to me that Lt. Manolis, a cop, would chastise Daredevil, a costumed vigilante, for not killing Bullseye. Wonder how Manolis would feel about the Punisher?
Posted by: mikrolik | July 6, 2017 6:01 PM
In a similar (but probably more coincidental than what I think about She-Hulk) connection to the 1978 Spider-Man tokusatsu, an episode of that series seemed to foreshadow the eventual "redsign" Miller does of the Kingpin in this arc of stories. In the 34th episode, the main threat isn't a MotW but a "legitimate businessman of a large set", who appears to be good to the people around him and even a member of the PTA, but is actually a criminal mastermind who is helping out the villains of the series. Even Spider-Man sort of discovers he is a normal human who just has sympathies and the interests to work with the "evil villain" group of the series...but he ultimately dies due to this gas he helped developed rotting him down to bones. (but it's a toku of the 1970s; they can't have someone not associated with the main villains be that important sadly) It probably was coincidental but considering Miller did have some influences in Japanese popular culture at a time where it was still widely unknown, it does make me wonder if he knew of the show or saw that episode before revising Kingpin here.
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 30, 2017 7:53 PM
I agree that Moore is a dim bulb
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 31, 2017 4:09 PM
It's probably worth noting that ninjas weren't nearly such a common or overused comic book trope in United States comics until well after Miller started using them in Daredevil, and that they then became so popular in DD that other people started overusing the idea, arguably to the point of ridiculousness. We wouldn't have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without them.8) Miller made no secret of his Japanese influences, and helped lead the way in popularizing Manga and Anime in the US, much like Eric Clapton helped lead the way in popularizing reggae in the US.
Daredevil by Miller probably used more cinematic elements, more successfully, than any other US comic book since Will Eisner's Spirit. It's example helped raise the quality of the comics which came after it in immeasurable ways. It's maybe an uneven comparison to compare Miller's Daredevil with any of the later comic books which took his examples, copied them, and maybe even tried to improve on them, afterwards.
Alan Moore has often made the argument that later comics creators took only the worst, grimiest, and darkest elements, from the examples of his comics and Miller's comics, and ran with them. I think he has a point, but he's overstating it, and overlooking a lot of the finer elements of cinematic pacing, style, and structured storytelling that he and Miller injected into mainstream comic books, mostly just by setting good examples.
Posted by: Holt | December 31, 2017 7:24 PM
I was reading Miller's Daredevil as it came out and I thought it was awesome. I'm annoyed by Ninjas now, but at the time is a revelation. This book really was something in its day.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 31, 2017 7:35 PM
Disposable ciphers in robes getting beaten up by Daredevil or killed by Wolverine.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 31, 2017 7:47 PM
I hated the Wolverine ninja connection. I liked Wolverine as b e s e r k e r not a samurai master.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 31, 2017 7:57 PM
Comments are now closed.
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