Issue(s): Daredevil #52
...i was like "Whoah! Why is the Black Panther flying butt-first through the city?". Then i realized that bottom panel is rotated, so BP is actually falling butt-first, or, more likely, in mid-flip, which i guess makes more sense. Cool sequence, anyway.
Anyway, the police interrupt the Panther's nighttime acrobatics because they're looking for Daredevil, since they know he's dying. First they mistake BP for DD, but when they realize their mistake they ask the Panther to track DD down.
It's nice of Foggy to acknowledge that the Black Panther is a man, but i found that panel a little forced. Especially since the Black Panther's mask doesn't exactly allow people to get a good look at his eyes.
Anyway, the Panther does track Matt Murdock down, but Murdock is cagey and disoriented and assumes Panther is an assassin, so he knocks him out in one hit from behind.
The Panther shakes it off and stealthily follows him, and everything comes together in Matt Murdock's apartment, where Starr Saxon has been holding Karen Page.
Saxon knows Daredevil's secret identity, and so Daredevil is unsure of how to handle him. If he helps get Saxon arrested, his identity will be compromised. So he ultimately lets him go, which is a pretty amazing thing. I don't think i've ever seen a superhero so effectively compromised like this.
The Black Panther watches the whole thing, so he learns DD's secret ID too, but he also doesn't seem to mind watching Saxon walk.
One person who doesn't learn DD's ID is Karen Page, despite this sequence which seems to show that she does...
...and that's what letter writers assume, too, but Roy Thomas confirms in a lettercol that it isn't what he meant to do.
This is Barry Smith's last issue of Daredevil. Opinions in the lettercols were mixed, with a good portion asking for Gene Colan to return (which he does, next issue). I enjoyed the previous issues quite a bit, but i thought things were getting a little sketchy here.
On the whole it's a nice change of pace, however, and has its charm even when the poses are a little awkward.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place soon after the end of Daredevil #51, but enough time has taken place for Daredevil to wake up and head back to the area near his apartment. The Black Panther and other Avengers appear here between Avengers #63 and Avengers #64.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Wrong issue, it was this one that left me a little flabbergasted that Daredevil just had to let the villain walk away. I mean for 1969 that's pretty darn awesome. Alas Saxon was not to be the next Green Goblin.
Posted by: David Banes | November 2, 2013 3:44 AM
Okay, now I can see Smith trying hard to bring out the gay in Saxon. That first panel has his wrists practically flopping in the breeze, and the steepled fingers later? Definitely a stereotypical characterization.
Posted by: Dan Spector | July 8, 2014 12:16 PM
Oh c'mon steepled fingers is gay? It is a must for any criminal mastermand or bad guy!
Really he's more of a large ham or theatric, "oh you won't die...at least not of boredom!" I hope he wasn't up all night coming up with that one. I like that the guy just relishes being a comic book villain.
Posted by: david banes | July 8, 2014 2:50 PM
Steepled fingers in and of themselves? No, not gay. The steepled fingers in THAT panel though--yeah, I can see that the artist is trying to do some gay mannerism there (along with the raised pinky when holding his gun, etc).
Posted by: Dermie | July 9, 2014 12:12 AM
Star Saxon in terms of visuals and name seems like a riff on David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust. That's just based on the scans here though.
Posted by: Cullen | July 9, 2014 1:31 AM
I had the same thought as Cullen, but '69 is a few years before Ziggy, and at this point Bowie was only known for "Space Oddity" as a kind of novelty hit. I don't think Bowie was well enough known as a gender bender at this time to inspire a riff from Stan Lee. But I feel like he must have been riffing on something.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 9, 2014 2:15 AM
Duh, I should have thought to check the dates.
Posted by: Cullen | July 9, 2014 2:30 AM
It's tempting to think Starr Saxon may have been a play on Sky Saxon, but I doubt Roy knew who he was.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 11, 2014 7:59 PM
I recall an interview with John Buscema discussing his taking the art duties on "Conan the Barbarian" after Barry Windsor-Smith left. He was very critical of Windsor-Smith's rendering of Conan, siting a lack of defined muscle and a generally "wimpy" look. Personally, while perhaps his style may or may not have suited Conan, I liked his work on DD and Nick Fury, and can see the influence on artists like Jose Ladronn.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 15, 2017 3:37 PM
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