Characters Appearing: Daredevil, Owl
Issue(s): Daredevil #264
Mighty Marvel Message: With regular artist John Romita Jr. unavailable to pencil this issue due to his impending wedding (congrats Johnny) we decided to put our awesome INFERNO storyline on hold for a month. Then we asked writer Ann Nocenti to come up with a special off-beat issue whose chronology placement, for you timekeepers, would be sometime in the very recent past. Artist Steve Ditko stepped into the art chores and - voila! Hope you like it as much as we do. And remember - Next month... INFERNO returns!
This is definitely an off-beat issue, and not just because Steve Ditko is drawing. Nocenti cooks up a wacky plot involving a silly criminal gang called the Bombers that laugh at the old school villain the Owl...
...and engage in a swaparoo scheme against another gang, the Cannibals, switching their drug delivery bags with ones containing bombs. And mixed into that is the man and the baby from Daredevil #252...
...with the baby winding up in one of the bags with the bombs (which luckily seems to take a lot longer to explode than the others).
The Owl eventually wins back some respect from the gang by fighting Daredevil...
...and of course the baby is saved.
The guy who had the baby bag was oblivious to the baby thanks to his Walkman.
Wacky as this plot is, it's an improvement over Steve Ditko's Speedball stories in part because there's an actual theme in here about aging, about classics vs. fads, etc., that could even be seen as commentary on the development of the comics industry, which makes Ditko's involvement here all the more appropriate. It's also nice seeing Nocenti devoting some character time to a villain like the Owl considering she hasn't been using Daredevil's "classic" villains for the most part in her run.
Ditko also has to go beyond the happy pappy 60s era rehash we've been seeing in Speedball when he has to express the terror that the guy has when he thinks his baby's been destroyed, and he does it well.
Nonetheless, this isn't the best pairing. The Nocentisms ("I should have never trusted happiness") are a weird fit for the old school Ditko style...
...and i imagine any X-Fans following Daredevil because of Inferno found this issue to be quite jarring.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Since the opening note says that this takes place in the recent past, i've put it before Inferno starts for Daredevil, in the same gap between Daredevil #259-260 as his Punisher War Journal appearance.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Nice nard-kick in that last panel. I know the Owl's a bad guy but come on, Daredevil. That's just not cool.
Posted by: Robert | September 26, 2014 2:29 PM
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