Issue(s): Daredevil #223
The Beyonder wants the lawyers to find a legal way for him to legally own the world. Since the firm is having money troubles, and the Beyonder is able to summon up a million dollars from a sunken ship "by right of salvage, according to your laws"...
...Foggy is very willing to take the case, but Matt is less sure. So while, as Daredevil, he's hunting down a thief that stole Glorianna O'Breen's camera, the Beyonder gives him his sight back (actually, the Beyonder waits until Matt, who is debating the decision in his head, comes to the inclusion that he should take it, so that it doesn't count as a bribe).
The immediate restoration of his sight causes Daredevil to lose his balance and fall in a vat of bug spray...
...but i have no doubt that DD could have retrained himself to use his skills while still being sighted.
I do love that once he's sighted, his eyeslots are suddenly white. Do other people notice?
The rest of the book explores the implications of someone blind since childhood suddenly regaining sight.
The story does a great job establishing the value of the "payment", which makes it all the more poignant when Murdock realizes (or should i say decides?) that he has to ultimately refuse it.
You could argue that Matt should have kept his "gift" but it's a nice moment for the justice-driven character.
It turns out Foggy wasn't having any luck on the case anyway.
This was really a great use of the Beyonder. He's a way to do a major shake-up on the status quo of the book so that we can see how characters react, creating the possibility for some nice character-driven moments. In this case the status quo is restored in the end, but that doesn't diminish the impact (although it therefore doesn't move the needle on my Historical Significance Rating). It's probably not what everyone that wrote in asking why Daredevil wasn't in the first Secret Wars was expecting, but it's a genuinely good story.
Jim Shooter is included with Denny O'Neil for a "Writers" credit. It's possible O'Neil just inherited the "Beyonder hires Nelson & Murdock" idea and Shooter got a writer cred for it or maybe there was more to it. I'm fairly confident that O'Neil scripted this. But se Michael's comment and link below.
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Crossover: Secret Wars II
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
A very underrated run by O'Neil on this title, which had the misfortune of falling between Miller I and II.
Posted by: Todd | June 29, 2012 5:33 PM
Shooter discussed this issue in an interview here:
Posted by: Michael | June 29, 2012 7:42 PM
Well...only they know for sure. Some of what I see above (such as the final confrontation between DD and Beyonder) "sounds" more like O'Neil than Shooter to me. If Shooter largely rewrote the issue, it's one of his best published efforts, and I wish he had tapped these creative resources more often.
Posted by: Todd | June 30, 2012 2:07 AM
Definitely don't see why this story gets respect. [Hah! Did you see what I did there? Hah! I did it again!] Matt gets what every blind person on Earth wishes they could have, thanks to a cosmic being that is truly above the American legal system, and he turns it down. *That* much I could understand, if not completely agree with. It's a bribe which compromises his sense of ethics. But the Beyonder thanks him for the lesson and offers fair payment, that's where I draw the line. I get that Matt's emotional at the moment, but "take it back or I'll sue" is not going to work on the Beyonder. Sue him for what? Changing the status quo of the title character?
Posted by: ChrisW | May 11, 2014 6:54 PM
I definitely see some Shooterisms in the writing here and I don't mean that as a compliment. I also agree with Shooter (per the interview Michael linked to) that O'Neill could write like a hack when he wasn't that into a story.
Posted by: Robert | May 13, 2014 10:49 AM
I agree with fnord that this is one of the better SW II issues. But I really didn't like the art in it until the end. Such a surprise when a few issues later Miller takes over again and it suddenly becomes the best comic in the known universe.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 31, 2015 12:55 PM
This issue should be required reading for anyone writing a crossover issue. It's absolutely a Secret Wars II issue, picking up the themes and character development from that and running with them in the necessary direction, but is also a great Daredevil comic and the two actually compliment each other.
For the first time we actually get a Secret Wars II crossover issue featuring the Beyonder which isn't just a regular issue with the Beyonder shoehorned in at the last minute.
The art is at times really really good, with some well chosen layouts and great contrasts, but at other points oddly shoddy and what the hell happenned in that early panel where Matt's ear is on his neck behind his jaw?!
I'm not being willfully perverse (and I missed the party by four years) but I was going to mention that the panel ending in "or I'll sue" is my favourite writing in the issue, just for how much it conveys and how simply. The Beyonder (or Frank as I like to call him) is at this point not really all-powerful, as he's limited and improved by his developing personality. This trick is often used by Marvel to provide an Achilles heel for otherwise unbeatable foes (see: Thanos) but this is a novel and rather good use of it, not just as a means to an end, but as one of the points of the story. Frank has infinite power, but then discovered that other people had 'desire'. He tried to find out what that was and in so doing found he had it through 'incompleteness'. He then ended up with a bunch of gangsters who taught him about the capitalist system and that he could be complete by winning at it, by taking everything he wanted. He did. It didn't work, but along the way he did enjoy someone else being grateful to him and it made him happy. He tried to help other people but screwed up so he had a think and decided that how you play the game is more important than winning.
The issue establishes at the start that this is about playing the game. The whole gratitude thing seems to be forgotten and is never expicitly mentioned. Also Matt Murdock is selected foe totally logical reasons.
Then that one panel blows it away. "Why should you suffer such incompleteness?" For me at least, that shifts things drastically and turns it from an abstract game into something more personal for Mr.B. He's defined by being incomplete and it makes me think that in Matt Murdock he saw a kindred spirit and tried to help him. The two seemingly random paths which spring out of Secret Wars II#3 are elegantly reconciled in a way that adds to this story and the larger whole. He's playing the game, but part of the game involves empathy for other people, rather than just soulless aquisition.
For the rest of the panel they argue, but in legal terms with the emotions as subtext and that neatly encapsulates this entire issue and Frank's state of mind at the moment. In that context "I'll sue" is the cleverest comics code dodging euphemism for '#!@* off' I've seen and at the same time it conveys to Frank that he has failed on every level, legally, morally and as a human being. It isn't fair, but that's the point. Neither could ever win here.
All done in one panel.
Posted by: Benway | March 22, 2016 10:53 PM
@Benway: I agree that this is a good issue, but I disagree with your assertion that Beyonder "failed [...] morally and as a human being." What were his moral and humanistic failings here? (I also agree with ChrisW that there was no real reason for DD to turn down the gift of sight once Beyonder was no longer his client)
Posted by: Thanos6 | March 23, 2016 6:29 AM
Marvel writers once sought to explain what it was like to be blind (Daredevil) or a monster (The Thing); now they stuggle to explain why, in a world teaming with super-science, magic and casual miracles, the blind must remain blind and monsters monsters. Such is the decadent edifice a half-century of corporate continuity has become.
Posted by: Oliver_C | March 23, 2016 9:41 AM
There's a lot going on in this issue, and I certainly won't condemn anyone who thinks it's really good. Never mind the blindness stuff, the worst part is Foggy taking on a job that involves "legally" conquering the world in exchange for a ton of gold. Hell, I'd be willing to research why North Korea, Iran and Latveria are the Beyonder's legal property as long as he keeps paying me. I just hope he doesn't expect any results. Keep that gold coming, I'll work on it until my dying day. Also, party at my place tonight. I get that Foggy's life isn't going as well as he thought it would, but is this what he's been reduced to?
And Matt can suddenly see? Nobody even comments how weird this is, or how weird it is that he goes back to being blind? The best part of this issue came a couple issues later, when Glori is ranting to Foggy about how Matt just barged in, he could suddenly see, no explanation, started looking at her photographs, and then dragged her out on a tour of the city, and adds "It's not like I didn't have other things to do."
It was the issue before "Born Again" started, credited to O'Neill/Miller, with heavy rewriting through the issue, but it's one of my favorite single superhero comics, because Glori behaves like a believable person, who had things she needed to do before going to sleep that night, and suddenly Matt walks in without any explanation and wastes her entire day, then ditches her. And then he's blind again.
In context, it makes sense and works. Matt picks her up and they have a whirlwind romantic day. Glori even says "I'm half expecting him to ask for my hand in marriage, he's so sweet." [Quotes are from memory, by the way.] Still in context, it makes sense that Matt was just rebounding from Heather Glenn's suicide. But still, this killed the romance. Glori did have things she needed to do that day, and Matt didn't care. He wanted to be with her, wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer, and the fact that he suddenly wasn't blind confused her to the point where she went along, and then he ditched her.
This actually puts him more in line with the Beyonder's way of doing things, and makes his rejection of the Beyonder's "gift" more poignant (or poignant at all, instead of ridiculous and over-dramatic.)
I don't think I have an actual point to make here, but as horrible as I think this issue is, there's a lot going on and I could easily see why someone would think differently.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 24, 2016 3:07 AM
And I do agree with Todd up above, whoever gets the credit for writing that final confrontation, I think it's really good. Might not make for a good story overall, but the writing for that scene is really good. Even "Take it back or I'll sue." Senseless in context, but a very good line in and of itself.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 24, 2016 3:09 AM
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