Issue(s): Daredevil #39, Daredevil #40, Daredevil #41
They've got a new boss called the Exterminator.
The Exterminator has developed a device called the T-Ray.
The device displaces someone from time, putting them into a limbo state.
Foggy Nelson is mad at Daredevil for pushing Debbie Harris yesterday (it was really Dr. Doom in Daredevil's body). Matt suggests that Foggy's real issue is that he's keeping his relationship with Debbie a secret because he's running for office, and convinces Foggy to go public with the fact that he's dating her.
Foggy and Debbie go out on a double-date with Matt and Karen, but the Ani-Men attack the club and Debbie gets hit by the T-Ray.
In a rematch fight, Daredevil gets hit by the T-Ray as well and winds up in the psychedelic limbo where all the Ani-Men's other victims are held.
Daredevil escapes via the rather dubious method of latching on to a car from the real world and having it pull him out.
In the final fight, Daredevil short-circuits the T-Ray device. The Exterminator is caught in the blast, and Daredevil makes it seem that he was as well, so that people think that Daredevil is killed.
Matt has been getting closer with Karen Page, and i guess he makes the decision to retire his secret identity so he can be with her. That won't last, of course, but the upside of this is that his ridiculous Mike Murdock persona is also killed off. When Daredevil returns, Matt will say it's a new Daredevil, and not his "brother", so that crazy plotline is finally wrapped up.
The Exterminator has a cool design, but we'll never see him again in this form.
He will, however, return years later as the Death-Stalker.
Gene Colan's art is very nice in these issues. However, the panels are very large, with lots of splashes and it's a quick read even though it takes three whole issues to tell the story.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue (Daredevil #42) takes place concurrently with Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1. And Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1 takes place during Amazing Spider-Man #59. So i've pushed this arc back in publication time to accommodate all of that.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showApe Man, Bird Man, Cat Man, Daredevil, Death-Stalker, Debbie Harris, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page
Mark Gruenwald has a letter in #40, as well as #42 and #44.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 27, 2013 5:26 PM
My favorite DD villain is the Death-Stalker, so when I found out he was the Eliminator, I hunted these issues down and enjoyed them. I like the Ani-Men, too. He must have been a bit miffed when he discovered they were dead, killed in IRON MAN #116,forcing him to outfit another gang. Birdman is the only one who outlasted them all and is still around,thanks to being resurrected by the Hood. He's more bird than man now.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | August 29, 2016 4:47 PM
You mean the Exterminator. I liked him too and when he returned as the Death-Stalker he seemed to be making a bid to be DD's arch-foe but no that finally fell to the Kingpin. I was also glad to see the Mike Murdock plotline die as it had gone on too long.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 13, 2016 8:37 PM
Oddly, issue #40 has Foggy Nelson discover that the Exterminator is probably a scientist who worked for the Organizer behind the scenes, but the idea is dropped completely by the next issue.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | May 29, 2017 7:43 AM
The "Unholy Three" name is likely taken from the novel by Tod Robbins, twice filmed starring Lon Chaney, Sr. (once as a silent, once as a talkie). The film is about three carnival workers -- a little person, a strongman, and a ventriloquist -- who become murderous criminals using their distinct skills.
At a guess, Stan Lee was a fan of the film(s) or the novel: these guys, the original trio of Enforcers, and the Circus of Crime all share some similarities with the premise of the novel.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 4, 2018 4:45 PM
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