Daredevil annual #7
Issue(s): Daredevil annual #7
Ok, just kidding. But seriously, the Von Strucker Gambit is a total rip-off. It's just a pretty boring story with a twist conclusion that isn't very satisfactory. It does introduce some new characters, the most notable of which is Crippler, who will later become a member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack.
The initial set-up has three characters escaping from a Hydra genetics laboratory. They are the result of an attempt to create a super-soldier serum gone wrong. One of the characters we have seen before: Cassandra Romulus. She's described here as being "a lupine warrior mentally imbued with centuries of military strategy". That's actually the way she acted in Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #25, which takes place prior to this, and that feeds into this event's conclusion. The other two characters, Guillotine and Sathan, are new. Sathan doesn't make it out of this issue. Guillotine only lasts through this event and the three issues of the regular Nick Fury series that succeed it.
I didn't list him in the credits, but Butch Guice draws the first two "prologue" pages of this issue, including the one above. The rest of the main story in this issue is by Ron Garney.
Baron Strucker sends a trio of special agents after the escaped genetic subjects: Ron Takimoto, Karl Striklan (Crippler), and Dakini.
As noted above, Crippler becomes a minor but recurring character. The other two won't appear outside of this event.
As these events are unfolding, Daredevil is helping rescue people from a burning apartment complex. The owner, Richard Furman, is under investigation by Ben Urich for burning down properties that he wants to redevelop. Urich is kept away from Furman by Detective David Hobbes, a corrupt police officer that we saw in last year's Daredevil annual.
Inside the burning building, Daredevil finds Sathan, who it turns out used to live there.
In addition to being a cat woman, Sathan drains life energy like a vampire and turns her victims into zombies. It's like someone rolled randomly on a power generation chart.
While Daredevil chases Sathan, Striklan is beating up the arsonist that was hired by Furman. Striklan wants information on Sathan. Striklan proves to be a true sado-masochist, deriving pleasure from torturing the thug and himself.
Daredevil fails to catch Sathan so he goes to Urich for information, but then SHIELD show up.
We don't see what information Striklan gets from the arsonist but he does manage to find Sathan again. But instead of just shooting her like he's supposed to, he creepily licks his lips and talks about how he likes to play with his food. He also is anticipating an encounter with Daredevil.
And DD does find Striklan, who is roasting the arsonist.
Like i said, sado-masochist.
And poor Daredevil has been dealing with the likes of the Punisher for so long, his moral compass is totally whacked, and he actually lets Crippler go.
Crippler, for his part, decides that he's quitting Hydra.
Daredevil catches up with Sathan, who is chasing after Furman. When Daredevil tries to stop her, she nearly turns him into a zombie.
Daredevil saves Furman from getting killed. But Sathan takes a bad fall, and while she's disabled, Baron Strucker activates a kill switch, causing her to explode. There was a similar chip in Striklan/Crippler, but he cuts his out with a knife in time.
When Sathan dies, Daredevil is de-zombified.
And that's basically it for the main story this issue. Strucker marks Sathan as "deceased" and Crippler as "escaped" and then laughs maniacally because there are still two chapters left in this story.
And now, just to grind my soul into the ground, here come the pointless back-up features.
The first is a story about an old love interest of Ben Urich's. The last he saw of her, she cut her face to prevent her father from sexually abusing her.
But then it turns out she's still alive.
But then it turns out it was all a ruse by the Kingpin.
But then it turns out she's still alive.
Next, a solo story for Crippler, who has dyed his hair.
That's basically it. A quick summary of how he rose up the ranks in Hydra...
...and then following him around as he tortures petty criminals. And then a partial endorsement from Daredevil.
The final story has an anti-gun message and features the Bratpack/Fatboys kids.
Art is by June Brigman so it gets some points from me out of loyalty because of her Power Pack run.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part one of the Von Strucker Gambit. Part two is in Punisher annual #4. Takes place between Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #26-27.
Crossover: Von Strucker Gambit
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAlexander Goodwin Pierce, Baron Von Strucker, Ben Urich, Butch (Fatboys), Cassandra Romulus, Crippler, Dakini, Daredevil, Darla (Fatboys), David Hobbes, Doris Urich, Eightball (Fatboys), Guillotine, Kingpin, Nick Fury, Ralf (Fatboys), Ron Takimoto
Bird cage liner.
Posted by: Robert | September 24, 2015 3:15 PM
Crippler claims he joined Hydra when he learned of Strucker's return.If Strucker's return is such a closely guarded secret that few people outside of Hydra and the Skull's organization know about it, then how did Crippler find out?
Posted by: Michael | September 24, 2015 7:42 PM
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