Characters Appearing: Andrea Strucker, Andreas Strucker, Baron Von Strucker, Bucky (Julia Winter), Daredevil, Foggy Nelson, Hammerhead, Izanami, Jonin, Justin Hammer, Kingpin, Nomad, Secret Empire Agent Number Six, Silvermane, Slug (Crimelord), Tatsu'o, Tombstone, Werner Von Strucker, Word (Red Skull minon)
Issue(s): Daredevil #307
Still, this is a fun crossover with lots of villains. It turns out to have zero impact, though, and there are some misfires along the way. So the best thing to do is enjoy it in the moment but not try to make any sense of it.
Daredevil and Nomad's involvement was established in their own books prior to these issues. Punisher of course wanders in from guest appearance to guest appearance without a care, so we won't see how he gets involved until his first issue. For Daredevil, Foggy Nelson was contacted by people in Las Vegas looking for a lawyer. What he wasn't aware of is that the people were in fact criminals looking to hire Foggy because he used to work for the Kingpin. So Foggy and Matt Murdock have taken the job, and the first we see of Matt in this issue, he's overwhelmed by the gaudy sensations of Vegas.
Before that, we see the Hand, still working for Baron Strucker, transform a random tourist into a resurrected Izanami thanks to the power of fung shui.
I really have to be more careful when i rearrange my furniture.
You would think that having a freak out as soon as you show up wouldn't impress your clients very much, but the mob guys that have hired Foggy don't seem to mind.
And they do get Matt some nice replacement glasses.
Nomad is also in town. As we saw in his own book, it's because the government has offered him a deal wherein he kills the Slug in return for getting all charges against him dropped. But in this story he bumps into Tombstone.
And just as Matt and Foggy are figuring out that their clients aren't exactly legit, Tombstone infiltrates the room and starts assassinating them. Nomad arrives, and Matt knocks out Foggy so that he can change into his Daredevil costume. Poor Foggy! How many concussions has Matt given him over the years?
I see that Nomad hasn't taken my advice about using spent uranium around the baby. Of course, he also hasn't taken anyone's advice to stop fighting villains like Tombstone with a baby on your back.
Not that Daredevil has a problem with it. He recognizes Nomad specifically because of the baby, and then immediately works the baby into the fight.
If you're going to wear a Bucky costume, Julia, we're expecting you to pull your weight.
Working together, Nomad and Daredevil manage to set Tombstone on fire and push him out a window. Tombstone lands in a showcase volcano (it's Vegas!) but survives. We next see Tombstone at the meeting that this storyline is all about.
We knew from the mobsters trying to hire Foggy that the purpose of this meeting is to divide up the Kingpin's former territories. So you'd think that the meeting would be primarily a meeting of mob bosses. And so, while they're more on the super-villain side of things than the kind of mob bosses you'd see in a Punisher comic, it makes sense that Hammerhead and the Slug and the Yakuza are here. A little odder are the Hand and the Secret Empire. This sort of thing seems beneath Justin Hammer as well. And we also have Werner Von Strucker, who claims to have Hydra behind him, and he's also got a mysterious #2 that calls himself Snakeskin. And then there is Fenris. These two Strucker twins have been so haphazardly developed that i completely forget that "Fenris" doesn't just describe them; they actually did have an organization of minions behind them on at least one occasion. Not that that is specifically mentioned in this story; instead they are claiming that they should be the rightful heirs of Hydra. So they seem to be here just representing themselves, and all they really do throughout this storyline is whine about the fact that their brother Werner gets treated better than they do.
Facilitating this meeting is a character called The Word (no relation to the She-Hulk villain), who represents the Red Skull. It's unclear how the Red Skull became the arbiter of who gets control over the Kingpin's former territories. I guess it's just based on rep. I'll also give it away that Snakeskin is really a disguised Baron von Strucker. I bring that up now because i know that the Red Skull and Strucker have a partnership, and the Red Skull is fully aware that Baron Strucker is running Hydra. So i wonder if he is in on the ruse that Baron Strucker is running here.
I think it's for the best that Tombstone managed to kill off the mob guys that wanted to hire Foggy. I mean, can you imagine them showing up with Foggy to negotiate with the cast of super-villains and super-terrorists here? No one else brought a lawyer.
Anyway, we don't see anything of the meeting in this issue because we instead go into the head of Tombstone, who fantasizes about killing everyone here. Tombstone is working for Hammerhead here, but he has a reason to hate the Hand, and he just seems bitter in general.
Also in this issue, Silvermane rolls into town.
We'll learn that he's upset to not have been invited to this meeting.
In all of the Daredevil portions of this crossover (only), we also check in on the Kingpin himself, back in New York. He's not doing so good.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Justin Hammer appears in this story with no reference to his appearances in the Hero Killers annual event or in Iron Man #280-283. I reasoned that Hero Killers should come before the Iron Man story since Hammer was possibly working with the same consortium in both, and he gets kicked out of the consortium in Iron Man. But there don't seem to be any dependencies for Hammer in relation to this storyline. He wasn't arrested after Iron Man #280-283, so there's no reason he can't appear here afterwards. Bushwacker will appear later in this crossover. As i noted in Daredevil annual #8, Daredevil is surprised to see Bushwacker alive in that story, so most likely this takes place after that. This is part one of Dead Man's Hand. Part two is in Nomad #4.
Crossover: Dead Man's Hand
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Fnord, there was a SHE-HULK villain named "The Word", but I think you might be thinking of the Hank Pym villain "The Voice" who also fought the West Coast Avengers and later joined the Red Skull's Skeleton Crew for a brief period.
Posted by: Dermie | March 17, 2016 5:09 PM
Yeah, thanks Dermie.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 17, 2016 5:31 PM
I can see Matt being disoriented by Vegas, but being reduced to a spasming wreck seems like too much. Has travel ever hit him so hard before?
Posted by: Mortificator | March 17, 2016 5:47 PM
I always assumed the Skull became the arbiter because it was his ally, Strucker, who was largely responsible for the Kingpin's loss of power.
Posted by: Michael | March 17, 2016 8:39 PM
It's amazing how ubiquitous Tombstone is in the Marvel Universe during this era. I didn't consider him to be a particularly "hot" or "fan favorite" character, but there must be some reason he's in so many books - the Spider-Man books, DD, Cage, Punisher, and Nomad FNORD12 lists 27 separate entries in a four year (1988-1992) time span (right now). That's a lot!
Posted by: Chris | March 17, 2016 10:41 PM
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