Monday, November 9, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: Daredevil #184-189

I will be moving on from Daredevil soon.  On to Captain Marvel next.  Before I go, a few thoughts...

Daredevil is a wonderful series.  Before this visit, I'd only read the very first issues and some of the crossovers.  It's much earthier than most Marvel comics. There are still plenty of costumed villains on hand but at the heart of it all is the gritty street crime world of Hell's Kitchen.  As with Spider-Man, much of the appeal for me is in the alias stories.  Fittingly, Matt Murdock is a darker character than Peter Parker, though just as clumsy in handling his love life.  Matt is lost in his own world much of the time.  When Black Widow initially left, for instance, he barely seemed to notice - more reflective of character flaws than narrative flaws.

I don't know how much I'd want to explore the series beyond this stretch.  So much depends on the writer in comics.  Spidey is always strong, well beyond Stan Lee's tenure.  I don't know if the same is true for DD beyond Frank Miller.

There's a new artist to introduce, beginning with #185...

Klaus Janson was born January 25, 1952 in Coburg, Germany.  His family emigrated to the United States when he was five.  He grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Janson made his Marvel debut in September 1973 with Jungle Action #6.  He has worked on most of the major titles for both Marvel and DC, though usually as an inker rather than a penciler (the lead artist's job).  When Daredevil went monthly, as opposed to bi-monthly, handling both writing and artwork became too much for Frank Miller so he turned the penciling over to Janson, who was already doing the inking and coloring for the series.  In the years since, Janson was won numerous awards for his inking work.  He also teaches his craft to new artists at Marvel as well as the School of Visual Arts and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, both based in New York City.

My Recent Reads

Daredevil #184
Originally Published July 1, 1982
Writer and Artist: Frank Miller
  • Separately, Daredevil and Punisher hunt down Hogman for selling drugs to kids.
  • Of course, it's a comic book so the two costumed vigilantes end up fighting each other.
  • This time, DD wins.

Daredevil #185
August 1, 1982
Writer: Miller
Artist: Klaus Janson
  • Heather Glenn has been growing suspicious of the current caretakers of Glenn Industries - the business she inherited from her father - and with good reason.  At the end of the previous issue, she found out the company was manufacturing explosives.  Now she's determined to find out why and for whom.
  • Foggy Nelson agrees to investigate the case for her.  Foggy also narrates this issue.
  • Through a mix up, and with some from-the-shadows help from Daredevil, he accidentally convinces both Turk and Kingpin that he himself is a deadly assassin.

Daredevil #186
September 1, 1982
  • Turk steals the Stilt-Man costume off of Wilbur Day in an effort to impress Kingpin.  Kingpin is not impressed.
  • DD's hypersenses - particularly his hearing - start to go wild.

Daredevil #187
October 1, 1982
  • Black Widow is back, though she's poisoned in a fight with The Hand.
  • Kirigi, The Hand's most feared assassin, is also back - from the dead.
  • Still struggling with his senses, DD seeks out Stick for help.

Daredevil #188
November 10, 1982
  • Black Widow learns The Hand's poison has given her a cancerous tumor.
  • Stick puts DD in an isolation chamber in order to help him regain control of his senses.
  • We meet The Chaste, Stick's own ninja-like squad.

Daredevil #189
December 1, 1982
  • Black Widow dies, then is almost immediately resurrected by Stone of The Chaste.
  • Daredevil, Stick, Black Widow and The Chaste all battle against The Hand.
  • Stick and two Chaste members, Shaft and Claw, all die in the battle.
  • Stone, the only Chaste member left, tells DD and BW that The Hand plans to resurrect Elektra.
  • BW and Foggy Nelson conspire to break up Matt Murdock and Heather Glenn for their own good.  It's not the healthiest relationship so it might well be for the best.


  1. I like Janson. He did a lot of work on The Punisher and, I think, Ghost Rider.
    I'd forgotten how much Black Widow was in this series, once upon a time. I suppose it was the allure of another non-powered hero being included.

    1. While I like both characters, I would say BW and Elektra are too much alike. Within this context, their relationship with DD is different, though perhaps not different enough. The skill set is essentially the same.

      Is there room for both in the same story? The series appears to be heading in that direction, just in time for me to move on.

    2. No, Miller doesn't stay on DD much longer and his departure signals the end of both Elektra and BW in DD.

    3. I'm pretty sure, anyway. It's been a long time since I read that stuff. The 80s, in fact.

    4. We shall soon find out... at least some.

  2. When I was young, we read everything but I didn't read comics because we had to buy them, no money. I now enjoy all the artwork, not so much the story lines.

    1. Understandable. The story quality definitely varies. Over the long term, attachment to character is more valuable than investment in plot. I would say the same is true for the movies as well. It's why I don't think Marvel or DC could ever approach the depth of my Star Love. It's fun to explore but I still feel like I'm just visiting.

  3. Knowing that Frank Miller is a mentor to new artists is awesome.

    1. Janson teaches. I can't find much about Miller along those lines.