Saturday, October 31, 2009

Daredevil Part 3, The Romita Era

Originally posted January 30, 2009

John Romita fondly remembers working on Daredevil and he commented on a panel recently that he always wanted to draw more Daredevil, but never got to. These issues are a lot of fun and I wish he’d gotten to do more of them too.


Daredevil 12-14

I’m kind of confused as to what Jack Kirby did as layout man and what Romita did as illustrator. Does that mean that Kirby did a rough sketch of the whole comic and Romita polished it up?

Romita’s Matt Murdock looks great on the splash page as he walks away from his office at the start of what will become a crazy adventure. Then on page two we get a look at Romita’s Daredevil and boy is he freaking ripped. I don’t understand how Matt hides a Mr. Universe body under those suits! And I’m not even sure all those muscles exist.

Then there’s a cool shot on the bottom of page 2 of all of DDs past villains.

This whole storyline is kind of odd. Matt goes on a cruise and gets involved with a pirate called the Plunderer who takes him to the Savage Land in Antarctica in a submarine, where he meets Ka-zar. These issues are only Ka-zar’s second appearance.

Through a series of plot devices the Plunderer gets this magic rock that melts metal and the Plunderer makes a magic gun out of it that destroys other guns. Then the Plunderer and his gang start to take down armies. I was screaming at the comic book that they just needed to get some plastic guns, and of course Daredevil said something along those lines a few panels later. That made me happy.

Overall I thought this whole storyline was kind of ish.


Daredevil 15

“And Men Shall Call Him Ox!” This issue had me riveted from the cover to the end.

Ox and his cellmate a rat-faced scientist break out of jail. Rat-face then tells Ox he’s going to make him smarter, but what he does is put his brain in Ox’s body. However the process doesn’t work that well and the new Ox can’t control his savage rage.

In the end new Ox falls off a skyscraper while fighting Daredevil! I was surprised that there was an actual death.

Meanwhile “Ox” in the scientist’s body comments that he feels smarter and that maybe everything that happened was for the best.

I think Romita was really starting to click.


Daredevil 16 and 17

Romita meet Spider-Man, Spider-man meet Romita. Oh little did Romita know that he would be drawing our favorite wall-crawler for years to come, not soon after these issues.

I don’t have these in color but I think Peter Parker is wearing his classic blue coat and yellow shirt.

I love the Masked Marauder, you’ve got to love a villain whose answer to everything is to blind the guy. I can just picture him in Starbucks blinding the barista who forgot his soymilk.

The battles between Daredevil and Spider-Man are excellent. Just like in the Sub-mariner/Daredevil battle DD knows he’s outclassed, but he doesn’t give up without a fight. DD is like Little Mac from NES’s Punch-out, the eternal underdog with heart.

I don’t get how Spider-Man’s spider-sense tells him that Daredevil is in Nelson and Murdock’s office. The Spider-sense alerts him to danger and DD isn’t dangerous.


Daredevil 18-19

Foggy Nelson goes overboard trying to impress Karen Page by pretending to be DD. He goes to a shady costume shop and buys a Daredevil costume.

The owner turns out to be an aspiring super-villain called the Gladiator. The full-page pin-up shot of the villain on page 10 is priceless.

I love the shots of the chubby Foggy in the Daredevil costume. It is frustrating though that Foggy’s weight fluctuates from issue to issue. Sometimes he looks like he’s gotten into shape and then in the next issue it looks like he’s been eating too many Big Macs again.

The Gladiator and the Masked Marauder both end up thinking that Foggy is Daredevil but luckily they can’t stop fighting among themselves long even to actually threaten anyone, but they do run off together threatening to strike again another day.

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