Issue(s): Daredevil #44, Daredevil #45, Daredevil #46
The Jester was just introduced two issues ago and now he's back for a three-part story. I think Stan was pushing a little too hard to establish him as Daredevil's arch-rival.
Like the Executioner story from issues #39-41, even though this story runs over three issues it reads very quickly. Basically, the Jester frames Daredevil for the death of his civilian identity, Jonathan Powers.
The DD/Jester battle takes them to the Statue of Liberty at one point...
...and the cover to issue #45 uses a black & white photo for the background. I'm not sure if it works or not. I do know that the new logo (used from issues #44-47) was a real loser.
At the end of the story, after the Jester admits his scheme, the police tell Daredevil there's no need to detain him now. I think in reality, the police would still like the masked vigilante recently suspected of murder to stick around and maybe at least make a statement, but i guess in a world with tons of superheroes they realize it's futile.
Here's a little late 60s sexism for you ("How can you expect her to be sensible? She's a female!"):
Foggy is upset that Debbie was participating in an anti-poverty rally while he's running for District Attorney. Debbie will change quite a bit by the time she and Foggy are married (see her reaction to a pan-handler in Daredevil #204, for example).
Stan Lee was at his self-depreciating best while writing issue #45. First he awards himself a No Prize for a caption that just says "Meanwhile", "since it is so perfect a model of brevity, banality, and total restraint!".
And later in the same issue, while Daredevil is on the run, he just happens to wind up in the same car as the Jester (in his civilian form, even though he was pretending to be dead), and the narration reads:
But now, just to see how far we can stretch your credulity -- guess who's a fellow passenger in the very same car --?!! None other than -- the Jester! --Which ought to win us a king-sized No-Prize for the most cataclysmic coincidence in recorded literature!
The most fun thing about the Jester is his toys and gimmicks. See the gas-filled popcorn in his fight with Daredevil above, for example, and here he is using a robot to crack a safe at the beginning of this arc.
I know it's corny but i like the kookiness of it.
You may wonder, if he has the ability to purchase or create all these toys (he also has a really high-tech submarine, for example) why he's bothering with a life of crime. He originally wanted to be an actor; with the money he's spending he could produce his own movies. But he actually says in this story that he's only in it for the excitement, so the money obviously isn't an issue for him and he's clearly enjoying being a super-villain more than he liked being an actor. So it's really not a plot hole.
The other big news from this issue is that after Matt broke off his relationship with Karen in issue #43, Karen is now avoiding Matt, and it's driving him crazy.
Personally, i think Karen is pretty mean. Otherwise, why would she give a signed photo of herself to a blind man?
You'll also notice how in just about all of the scans in this entry, Gene Colan just will not use a standard panel layout. He's a great artist and i approve of experimentation, but when it's used that frequently it dilutes the effect (and makes adding screenshots to these entries more difficult!).
It was a fun story though. It was interesting to watch Daredevil on the run from the police. Something just as simple as getting into civilian clothes and returning home turned out to be a major challenge, and it was handled well.
Issue #45 has letters from Tony Isabella and Peter Sanderson. Both raise the issue that the "death of Mike Murdock" solution might raise as many problems as it solves, with either Matt slipping into his Mike Murdock persona and causing confusion amongst the supporting cast, or a mention of the "replacement Daredevil" causing new readers to wonder who the original was.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showDaredevil, Debbie Harris, Foggy Nelson, Jester (Jonathan Powers) 1968 / Box 4 / Silver Age
1968 / Box 4 / Silver Age
Marvelmania #2 revealed that Dan Adkins was the true inker for #44, and Colletta's credit was a printing error.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 30, 2012 7:19 PM
You have "the Joker" for "the Jester" at one point on this page.
Posted by: accordion321 | November 22, 2015 10:54 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | November 23, 2015 7:28 AM
Did the great Steranko help draw the DD #44 cover? That give these a tad bit more interest
Posted by: rocknrollguitarplayer | March 27, 2017 11:58 PM
"E Pluribus Marvel" #4 had the following comment from fan Wally Conger:"Anybody see my letters in Captain America #105 and Daredevil #44? Both were mutilated beyond recognition by Lee, who completely pulled out every criticizing statement I made, making me sound like a gosh-wowing neo-fan."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 20, 2018 4:39 PM
the issue is silly but Gene Colan's art is great on the Statue of Liberty fight, made all the more dramatic in that DD and Jester are both normal humans so falling from there would be deadly.
Posted by: kveto | February 17, 2018 9:41 AM
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