Issue(s): Daredevil #82, Daredevil #83
It was never explicitly mentioned, but Daredevil didn't use his billy-club at all in issue #81 after the Owl's helicopter explosion, and he builds himself a new cane/billy-club in issue #82. It's said to be new and improved, but Conway sure doesn't go out of the way to explain what's different about it.
Meanwhile, the Black Widow (who stands around her apartment naked, apparently)...
...receives a message from her manservant Ivan Petrovitch that unhelpfully just says, "Beware the sting."
The warning, which anyone who saw the cover of the issue would have known, was about the Scorpion.
A battered Ivan shows up at Matt Murdock's doorstep, so Daredevil gets involved in the fight, too.
At one point, tracking Scorpion down, Daredevil follows his infrared heat trail. That's either impressive or ridiculous.
Scorpion seems to be moving too quickly, recovering too quickly, and sometimes gets distracted like he's awaiting a signal.
He also refers to Daredevil as "lawyer-man". Obviously, something is up; it'll be confirmed in later issues that this is really a robot deployed by Mr. Kline.
So we shouldn't feel too bad when the Black Widow knocks him off a building, seemingly killing him. But she feels bad, and the police don't appreciate it either. The Widow starts muttering about the "Curse of the Black Widow" again, which is pretty nonsensical. The previous examples of her curse involved people that she loved dying. A super-villain dying during a fight that he started should hardly count towards the same Curse. I don't like that the Widow is so full of self-doubt in these issues.
Anyway, even though Daredevil tells her that he's as responsible for the Scorpion's death as she is, when she flees the police, he dutifully chases her down and brings her back.
When Ivan finds out what happened, he goes wild.
Ivan doesn't know that Matt is Daredevil, he's just filled with uncontrollable rage.
Meanwhile, Foggy shows up at Mr. Kline's mansion, with the intent to kill Kline to remove the blackmail threat. Kline reveals that it's what he was expecting all along.
I think we should have learned more about Mr. Kline by now. We're four issues into this plot, and it's a bi-monthly book, so we're talking eight months, and all we've learned is that he's a robot with a mysterious boss and no matter what anyone does he says "Yep, that's what I've been planning all along."
With Foggy now under his complete control, he orders him to prosecute the Black Widow.
Matt takes up her defense. He goes to the morgue to check out the Scorpion's body, but earlier, Mr. Hyde had escaped captivity...
...and he's now guarding the morgue.
The fight ends in an explosion, which destroys the Scorpion's body (and Hyde, who is also really a robot), and that apparently causes Foggy to have to drop the case against the Widow. There's a sub-theme in this issue about how the Black Widow is facing prejudice because she's Russian, but there's really no evidence of that. Foggy is prosecuting Natasha because Mr. Kline is forcing him to; the rest of it all seems to be in her head. She decides to leave at the end of this arc, however.
I don't know what Barry Smith's role was in the art in issue #83, but it's not looking so hot.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Crossover: Mr. Kline
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBlack Widow, Daredevil, Foggy Nelson, Ivan Petrovitch, Karen Page, Mr. Kline 1971 / Box 6 / Silver Age
1971 / Box 6 / Silver Age
Gerry Conway tended to have women walking around naked in his books at this time; Marianne Rodgers did the same at least once in Iron Man.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 10, 2011 7:08 PM
Maybe Is the real Mr. Hyde that is shown to escape captivity? It doesn't make sense for a robot to be in custody before it's first mission!
Posted by: Midnighter | April 27, 2014 1:03 PM
According to Alter Ego #131: Smith did layouts, Weiss finished them, and Colan really was on vacation.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 11, 2015 10:55 AM
Were these intended to be robots or the real things?
Posted by: kveto | February 21, 2016 3:19 PM
kveto: Looks like Daredevil #84 revealed them to be robots.
Also, the real Scorpion and Mr. Hyde showed up in Captain America 151-152, also written by Gerry Conway, where the revealed Mr. Kline captured them, but they escaped.
So as far as I can tell, yes, they were always meant to be robots. (Unless Gerry meant for them to be real in DD 82-83, then immediately changed in mind for DD 84.)
Posted by: mikrolik | February 21, 2016 3:35 PM
There are clues in these issues which suggest that they were either robots or had been upgraded and mind controlled in some way. Seems simpler just to assume that they were being written as robots from the start. Plus, Klein is a robot.
Posted by: Benway | March 1, 2016 1:31 PM
but was Klein intended to be a robot all along? A robot that smokes? I always got the feeling Conway was making things up as he went along. If he had a "master plan"he sure did a good job of making it look like he didn't.
Posted by: kveto | March 1, 2016 2:27 PM
"Black widow" complexes seem nonsensical because they're emotional, and, as Mr. Spock repeatedly told us, emotions are illogical. I sympathize since I have a bit of a black widower complex myself, and have commiserated with a number of other black widows. So, illogically, Natasha's angst seems perfectly understandable to me.
Posted by: James Holt | November 8, 2016 9:33 PM
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