Issue(s): Daredevil #263
...said "Holy crap!", and then turned the page for "Is it possible that man was just an experiment -- that failed?". And then what follows is a book truly embracing the "Inferno" theme, just pages of sin and demons and torture.
The one person who is enjoying Inferno just fine is Typhoid Mary.
There's no expansion on that scene. She's just having a drink with a demon. As Nate notes in the comments, this is probably "Rip", her henchman from previous issues.
Mary next shows up at the hospital where Matt Murdock is being cared for, and makes sure to ruin his relationship with Karen Page.
The effect on Karen is devastating. We see more hypodermic needles being thrown at her (it started last issue), and this time she gives in and joins the demons in a return to drug addiction.
Meanwhile, never before has Todd's joke about the Kingpin serving as counterbalance to the increased cheesecake in comics seemed more true.
He's a mess. Obsessed with Daredevil, obsessed with Typhoid Mary, and, it seems, sure that the influx of demons is his personal karma for his life of crime, he's completely unmoved by the events of Inferno.
And i think he's also jealous of Mary's new hat. I know i would be.
Daredevil, however, gets more motivated when his hospital room turns into a demonic pit...
...and he goes out in his bandages to fight. He's moved up from vacuums and is now fighting apocalyptic demonic subway cars.
At the end of this issue, after Daredevil defeats the subway train and lies down for a minute, he hears from one of the Bratpack kids how his life has been ruined.
It's not strictly a necessary part, but no book sells the "hell on Earth" aspect of Inferno better than this issue. Romita's art and Nocenti's over the top depressing commentary just work perfectly for that. Extremely dark but appropriate for the story. It's still too bad about the abuse that is heaped on Matt and especially Karen. It might have been cliche for Daredevil to overcome Typhoid Mary's manipulations and return to a happy life at his law clinic with Karen, but within the context of (at least) post-Frank Miller Daredevil, it's even more cliche to have Matt and his cast repeatedly torn to pieces.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Daredevil has been been brought to a hospital (by Mary) and bandaged up, meaning that some time has passed since the end of last issue. Next issue is an out of sequence partial (still written by Nocenti) fill-in that is not part of Inferno, and then Daredevil's Inferno story continues in issue #265, with enough time having passed for him to at least put a shirt on. This takes place while demons are pouring out into Manhattan, and therefore between X-Terminators #3/New Mutants #71 and X-Terminators #4/New Mutants #72.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
What better place to fight Demons but in Hell's Kitchen.
Posted by: JSfan | August 27, 2014 11:35 AM
Note that Matt's law clinic is described as closed by the police in this issue. That confirms that Punisher: War Journal 1-3 has to take place before Inferno.
Posted by: Michael | August 27, 2014 7:49 PM
I think this issue really shows JRjr becoming a breakout star. I didn't care for him on X-Men but this is such a natural fit for him.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | August 27, 2014 9:11 PM
This is about the only issue during Inferno that actually makes it really seem like a demonic invasion as opposed to the extra-dimensional invaders from the Living Eraser guy or any of the other ultra-lame early Stan Lee villains.
However, it does bring up a point. Why are demons invading from a place called LIMBO rather than Hell? For that matter, why are there demons at all in Limbo?
One problem with Claremont doing his own things and reusing his old stuff, is that there is a huge inconsistency on these kind of supernatural things. We have Mephisto and Satannish and the other hells in various occult hero Marvel titles. We have Claremont's own N'Garai. And we have these Limbo demons. (Plus the other evil entities from the various Dark Dimensions, but they are sufficiently different that I won't include them).
Posted by: Chris | August 27, 2014 9:57 PM
Claremont did seem to have a system for his demons. Belasco served the Dark Gods, who were evidently worse than limbo-denizens like Sym. The Dark Gods seemed to be synonymous for Claremont with the N'Garai, who were completely sealed away and had a hard time accessing earth, except via those few cairns and maybe some Satana subplots.
Belasco wanted to open a gateway to the Dark Gods,and I believe there are even a few stray lines of dialogue from N'Astirh about making his portal in Inferno a link to real s even beyond limbo. He'll, or whatever the N'Garai realm is called, is evidently home to more power than Limbo or earth.
The Dark Gods / N'Garai were the rulers of earth at one point. Kulan Gath, as well as Belasco, was a servant of them in exile. It seems like Claremont was setting up the Shadow King as a priest of the N'Garai or N'Garai himself before that plot line was aborted in the early '90s. Although the N'Garai we see in comics get reduced to cannon fodder eventually--weaker iterations of the demon that attacked Kitty Pryde at Xmas and the Hulk at the Crossroads--the early N'Garai Claremont introduces are guys like Kierrok and Y'Garon, who do seem more dangerous. (And this is leaving open the question of whether Claremont might have linked the N'Garai with Chthon: later writers would, and Claremont had written Chthon in Spider-Woman, so I suspect he intended him to fit somewhere into the scheme.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 28, 2014 12:07 AM
Man that Subway Demon looks a lot like something from the pages of Devil Man, I love it!
Posted by: david banes | August 28, 2014 2:13 AM
Walter, it's worth noting that Claremont seemed to conceive of the N'Garai as fallen angels while later writers seemed to conceive of them as offspring of the Elder Gods (Chthon, Set, etc.).
Posted by: Michael | August 28, 2014 7:47 AM
Just for completeness, and maybe because it helps explain why there may be inconsistencies between Claremont's usual N'Garai mythos and Limbo, it's worth remembering that it was Bruce Jones in Ka-Zar that created Belasco and established his link to the "Elder Gods, demonic entities from a parallel universe".
I'm was also reminded while looking that up that Belasco's backstory includes a battle with Dante, who then went home and wrote Inferno based on the experience. Which, given the Limbo connection, makes the name of this crossover all the more appropriate.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 28, 2014 9:14 AM
"it seems (we'll see more in issue #265), sure that the influx of demons is his personal karma for his life of crime, he's completely unmoved by the events of Inferno."
Posted by: Michael | August 29, 2014 7:55 AM
Yeah, i was actually thinking of a scene on the next page of issue #263 but i hadn't flagged it so i thought it was in #265. And i forgot to go back to update this here when i did the review for #265 (which the Kingpin does not appear in). I've removed the reference to #265. The scene i was thinking of was when Typhoid Mary's demon friend says to Kingpin, "You've been working for us for a long time now. But you know that." while the Kingpin just sort of looks placidly at his feet.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 29, 2014 8:10 AM
Isn't the demon Typhoid Mary is sharing a drink with just the thug she was working with in previous issues? Rip, or whatever his name was. He seems to have a similar coat and "hairstyle" and it'd make sense that he gets demonized during Inferno if Darla of all people does. At least that's how I understood this scene.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | March 27, 2017 3:25 AM
Nate, it does makes sense that it's Rip and i've added him as a character appearing.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 27, 2017 9:15 AM
Comments are now closed.
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