Mar 8, 2011

Still Only 25¢: Daredevil #131

Disclaimer: Part of an on-going series of blog posts about comic-books, the mid-70's and a wee boy named Earl. Or not really. You know my name isn't really Earl, right? - Earl
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via Cover Browser
Daredevil was such an interesting hero to me when I was a young boy.  Besides his utterly ridiculous costume, of course.  But seeing as he is one of Marvel's versions of Batman (there are others), I guess it kinda makes sense that he would dress as a red devil, horns and all.  To scare the criminals of Hell's Kitchen, ya see.  Just like Batman strikes primordial fear in the heart of Gotham City's underworld by dressing like a bat.  Eh...I still think it's a pretty stupid costume.

But, as I said, he was still an interesting hero to me.  As a child, Matt Murdock was blinded by radioactive gunk that fell from a truck.  It's always something radioactive, isn't it?  Anyway, his remaining senses are heightened to a point where they are beyond the normal limits of we humans.  Hearing, touch and a type of radar echolocation.  And with these powers comes preternatural strength, agility and accuracy.  A little martial training and...BAM!  He's a superhero.  But those strengths also have their inherent weaknesses as he has become extra sensitive to loud noises, odors and other physical experiences.  So a dark hero with flaws.  Yeah, that was pretty cool to a young Earl.

Daredevil #131 in March of 1976 introduced audiences to what would become one of Daredevil's greatest arch-enemies in Bullseye.  Bullseye was a psychotic killer who's main "talent" was his extraordinary aim.  Combined with peak physical training, it allowed him to use virtually any item as an instrument of death.  Even an ordinary playing card.  He became the Omega to Daredevil's Alpha.  A complete moral opposite.  Someone that Matt Murdock could have become with his heightened abilities if he had no scruples or ethical need to help the helpless.  Several years after his introduction, he would become one of the central figures in one of the best-written comic-book storylines of all time.  A storyline that was bastardized in that awful Ben Affleck movie from a few years back.  Ugh.

I didn't keep any of the comic-books I had when I was a kid.  They were either thrown out or given away as Middle School turned into High School.  But when I started reading and collecting again in my mid-20's, Daredevil #131 was one of the first back issues I hunted down.  I went through a "first appearance" phase soon afterward, even finding the first (and only) appearance of another Marvel assassin named Bullseye in Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #15, originally published in November of 1969.  But that wasn't the same character.  He was just a guy with a gun in a silly suit.

And he didn't offer the flip-side perspective to Daredevil that the real (hehe) Bullseye offered.  And Marvel, especially during the Silver Age and into the 1970's, loved their little morality plays.  So did their fans. 

I certainly did.

9 comments:

sybil law said...

This really isn't related to this post, but made me think of it: there's a MAD tv show on now that my kid loves. She was trying to explain it to me, and I had to explain to her that I already KNOW what MAD used to be, anyway. Gonna have to check out that show...
Also, I remember Daredevil!

B.E. Earl said...

Sybil - different than the sketch comedy show that ran on FOX late nights on Saturdays a while back?

RW said...

Things change don't they? A studio apartment in hell's Kitchen is like $2000 a freakin' MONTH now!

Um... oh yeah Daredevil. He was the blind guy. His first costume (in MY era) was yellow and something like black/red or something. The all red came later.

Jimmy said...

You're name isn't really Earl? I feel violated and cheated. My eyes have deceived me, it must be from that radioactive gunk that fell from that truck.

B.E. Earl said...

RW - And "they" have the nerve to try to change (back) the name of Hell's Kitchen to Clinton! Da noive!

Jimmy - The radioactive gunk will get ya every time.

Slyde said...

i was never a big daredevil fan, except for when ann nocenti took over after frank miller... i really liked those stories for the few years of her run on that book.

B.E. Earl said...

Slyde - Yeah, that was in between when I dropped comic-books as a kid and when I started again as an adult. I've heard good things, though. I remember her from Kid Eternity on DC's Vertigo line.

Water Logged Canine said...

You white? Then you Ben Affleck!

B.E. Earl said...

Doggie - Suck it, "Reindeer Games"!