Issue(s): Daredevil #112
...and he gets defeated when Daredevil, Shanna the She-Devil, and an unhypnotized Black Widow beat the crap out of him...
...and throw him out a window to his apparent death (although no body is found).
There's plenty of fighting...
...and not really a lot on the PR front.
Based on a conversation between Foggy and "Ironguts" O'Hara, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four couldn't act on the Mandrill's attack because the Mandrill claims to have planted an A-Bomb under Manhattan and says he'll detonate it if they get involved.
As Walter notes, this is the second time in quick succession that the White House was invaded. Letter writers were expecting some sort of connection with the Captain America plotline, tying in Black Spectre with the Secret Empire (or, you could imagine, the Mandrill taking advantage of the confusion after the end of that story), but the response admits that it was just a lack of coordination.
As Mark says, this storyline got some criticism, not just about Shanna. Bob Brown's art wasn't that popular. The main complaint is from Brian Earl Brown, who starts with a concern that Gerber has been pushing the Black Widow out of the co-star role. He also complains that nothing about the Silver Samurai was explained (e.g., how can his sword cut through concrete?), as well as the fact that he was simply dropped from this issue. Regarding Shanna, the letter writer, Brian Earl Brown, writes:
Since Marvel apparently takes social concerns to heart, including, one assumes, Woman's Liberation, I'd like to ask just what keeps Shanna's bathing suit in place? Censor's glue? And what kind of nut is she, running around barefoot and half-naked in New York? Besides being frightfully cold, it would attract a distracting number of muggers and molesters. There is a word for Shanna, and it is "nymphomaniac." And there is a word for men who continue to perpetuate such characters, and that is "sexists". I think it is possible to write good comics without being sexists. And I don't see why Marvel can't do it.
I'm somewhat less concerned about Shanna's dress than Marvel's other female characters, since her male analogue Ka-Zar also runs through the streets of New York half-naked and barefoot. But it's amazing how long ago these types of concerns were being raised, and how little has changed 40 years later.
Despite these criticisms (and all of them are legitimate), this story arc does actually represent an improvement in the Daredevil series. It's a low bar, but both the end of Conway's run and the beginning of Gerber's run were nearly incoherent, and with this story you actually have an understandable plot with some interesting characters.
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from the previous issue. I originally was missing #111 and had #110 and #112 as separate entries and i don't want to merge them now because the way my system works, i will lose the comments on one entry or the other. Giant-Size Spider-Man #2 takes place the day after this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBlack Widow, Daredevil, Foggy Nelson, Mandrill, Nekra, Robert 'Ironguts' O'Hara, Shanna the She-Devil
This issue received a severe criticism in the letters page of #116, where the writer complained about Shanna running around in her underwear, labelling her a nymphomaniac(an outdated term referring to a woman with a high sex drive).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 19, 2011 11:05 PM
In a Daredevil article in FOOM#13, Chris Claremont asks why the military didn't stop Mandrill from walking into the White House.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 4, 2013 6:35 PM
In real time this story was published the month after Cap 175, right? So in story, Mandrill attacks after Nixon has committed suicide. It was a wild time for the Marvel White House.
And again in real life, Nixon resigned in August '74, a few months after these comics were published.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | March 5, 2013 12:16 AM
Apparently some people within Marvel had a problem with Shanna's outfit as well. When she appeared in a 1975(1976?) issue of Spidey Super Stories, her outfit had much more material.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 8, 2013 1:43 AM
It's a big deal that Samurai's sword can cut through concreate? Really?
Posted by: David Banes | January 30, 2014 4:42 PM
I rather like the idea of the Mandrill attacking shortly after the Secret Empire arc, managing to take over the White House since it is still in disarray. Especially since the two stories came out so close together. Too bad they ended up so far apart in your project.
Posted by: Berend | May 1, 2015 9:55 PM
Comments are now closed.
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