Issue(s): Daredevil #3
Review/plot: The Owl (his legal name is "long since forgotten") is a businessman who is also a criminal mastermind. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, evidence of his illegal business dealings falls into the police's hands and the Owl arrogantly chooses a lawyer at random to represent him. The lawyer is of course Matt Murdock. Matt gets the Owl out of jail until the trial but the Owl abandons his civilian identity and heads out to a secret headquarters in Jersey. Although i don't know how you keep this thing a secret:
He recruits two thugs, Sad Sam...
...and Ape Horgan...
...and tries to acquire Matt Murdock as his permanent lawyer.
Meanwhile Daredevil is designing a backpack for himself so he can carry his civilian clothes around...
...which works better than his previous method, which is to roll up all his clothes into a ball, apparently tight enough to make it bounce-able.
He's also wondering if Karen Page could truly love a blind man.
The thugs attack and DD kicks their butts but Karen gets held hostage so he surrenders. DD escapes and defeats the Owl.
Ape Horgan and Sad Sam never appear again, which is surprising. They'd make fine second-tier Enforcers.
These early issues of Daredevil depict him as a jolly swashbuckler in his super-hero identity and a melodramatic milksop as a civilian. There's really nothing here yet to support the psychologically damaged character that Frank Miller introduced in the Man Without Fear miniseries. But of course Stan Lee was just beginning to find his way with this character at this time.
The Owl, Daredevil's first original super-villain, will become a mainstay villain in the Marvel Universe.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
I picked up the Daredevil Masterworks #1 TPB on a whim on Amazon (a mint copy was selling for like 3 bucks, had to do it) and this is the issue I haven't been able to get past. It's weird because I know how Stan Lee writes, and I loved it with the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man - but he's killing me in these opening Daredevil issues. It's just really not interesting. You can kind of understand, reading them, why the character was second (or third) tier before Miller's run. Just lackluster in all respects, and not interesting or fun reading. A new artist every couple of issues probably didn't help, either.
Paul, it's good evidence that Lee without Kirby or Ditko (or even Heck) wasn't exactly the House of Ideas.
The Owl is a lame version of the kingpin and Daredevil is a lame version
Daredevil is a lame version of Spiderman
The Owl actually came before the Kingpin. Regardless, sort of think he's a bit of an underrated villain, being more or less a crime boss who still feels like a super-villain than a crime boss and who could have either side played up. For the period he was created, he did fit in even if he wasn't something you could get Frank Miller behind. (maybe if he was someone at DC like a crime boss who faced the Flash...)
If he had fought the Flash back then, he would have been issued a poorly explained scientific super weapon, plus a better looking villain costume.
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