Issue(s): Daredevil #8
Before we get to him, though, there's the little matter of Daredevil driving a car. It starts with Daredevil responding to a woman shrieking in terror as an out-of-control car barrels towards her. Unlike most super-heroes, Daredevil shouts to her to "keep screaming".
This is because he needs her to make noise so he can figure out where she is. A little bizarre, but we understand it. The next thing we know, however, Daredevil has hopped in the car and is driving around in it thanks to a radar sense similar to what jets use in heavy fog.
OK. Now maybe Daredevil has that power. It kind of ruins the whole "blind super-hero" thing because now he's effectively got sight. But accepting that, why did he need the woman in the beginning to keep screaming?
Anyway, we all know that Marvel definitely went with the "radar sense" power, and to my knowledge he's never again asked a helpless victim to "keep screaming".
Now back to Stilt-Man. Some characters start off cool but later get treated as joke characters by later writers who don't 'get' them, but not the Stilt-Man.
He's silly from the start. Even DD knows he'd never live down losing to this guy.
In the end he gets zapped with a shrinking ray and disappears.
The shrinking ray was invented by the Stilt-Man's former boss, Dr. Carl Kaxton. Stilt-Man first approaches Matt Murdock in his civilian identity as Wilbur Day over a patent dispute.
It turns out that Kaxton actually developed the hydraulic devices that make Wilbur Stilt-Man. And Stilt-Man wanted his "molecular condenser", too.
Kaxton has all the makings of a super-villain himself...
...but he's not the bad guy here.
I haven't mentioned this, but there's been a sub-plot running through these early issues (definitely mentioned in Daredevil #2 and #4) about Karen having found a doctor who claims to be able to cure Matt's type of blindness. Matt is afraid that getting the cure would remove his super-powers, and this time he lets it slip that he considers the operation too risky. Karen thinks he's being a coward and runs away. Pure melodrama.
Also, look at all the crap crammed into DD's billy club:
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Super Heroes #28
Wally Wood later claimed plot credit for some DD stories, but I'm not sure what issue that would start with.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 2, 2011 4:10 PM
A "D"? That's it? This story is more fun than 99% of the comics ever published. Did you not see the panel where Stilt-Man uses a little vacuum to scoop up the valuables at a roof-top soiree? That's genius!
Posted by: Thelonious_Nick | June 20, 2013 11:25 AM
Per Mark Evanier in Comics Journal #112: Stilt-Man was designed by Jack Kirby.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 9, 2014 5:43 PM
I like Stilt Man, he's got a very classic 'Martian' design to him.
Posted by: david banes | October 11, 2014 10:34 PM
"So long as I am master of my stilts, I'm unbeatable! I'm completely invincible!"
Possibly the most ridiculous / hilarious thing ever said by a Marvel villain.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 8, 2015 11:30 AM
I read elsewhere on this site that Wood is really revered but his art kind of has a "coloring book" look here to me, like someone is drawing instruction books for putting together model figures or something. I do think what Erik said above is hilarious though lol- I can't wait to see Stilt Man on the big screen!!
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity | February 11, 2016 7:06 AM
Somehow the concept of Stilt-Man on its own just made it sound like a bunch of comic guys throwing ideas on a dart board and trying to figure out what they hadn't done at this point with heroes/villains considering where they were. Amazingly Stilt-Man has longevity mostly due to its visual and the utter ridiculousness...plus you could perhaps see his tech being used better by others. Considering most of the other turkeys Matt was getting stuck with even at this point (The Matador...nuff said), its lucky Stilt-Man was crazy enough to actually work...even if just in the "Paste-Pot Pete" sort of way.
Posted by: Ataru320 | February 12, 2016 11:09 PM
Stilty's sense of balance stepping over that bridge is almost as whimsical as Green Goblin's on his original flying broomstick! Adds to the case that these early Marvel Age comics were still being written mainly for kids; the science is just too fantastical.
Posted by: James Holt | August 24, 2016 12:07 AM
Yes, the Stiltman is silly but they've gotten a lot of mileage out of him. I love when Frank Miller used and he kept talking about how he was going to be tall and steal stuff and be tall and get women and be tall, yeah.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 1, 2016 10:01 PM
Excited to see hiw stilt man returns!
Posted by: Roy Mattson | May 16, 2017 3:59 PM
Comments have been disabled for the summer while i'm not around to moderate.
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