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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Friday, December 9, 2011


(For some reason all my posts with the word "quick" in the title get a lot of views.  Let's see if the same thing happens with the word "short.")

The following is excerpted from a Yahoogroup argument, hence the exclusion of a person's name:


I disagree with [Blank]'s comment that the early Daredevil stories are a "mess." The series doesn't show the dynamism of the Usual Marvel Suspects, but it seems to have started in a gimmicky vein, just as the Hulk did. However, Lee and Ditko found a way to make the Hulk more compelling, while Lee, Wood and Colan and others pretty much kept DD a standard superhero, who was perhaps more like a Golden Age character than any other Marvel hero. Throughout the Lee run there are strong issues, average issues, and weak issues. There aren't any brilliant issues, but IMO that's a long way from being a "mess." A mess is the first 6 issues of the Lee-Kirby HULK.

I think Lee's vision of the character followed the same arc as Spidey-- super-powers make it possible for a retiring/reticent character to bust out and do all sorts of wild id-indulging things. Frank Miller's id is all about unleashing copious quantities of violence, though, while for Lee, the id was all about having wacky fun while beating up no-goods. Still, Lee was pretty good about remembering that Matt Murdock's reticent identity had a different character than Spidey's did, and that MM was more consciously adult than PP.


"100Aliases" said...

Actually, I'm sorta surprised by those early Daredevil issues in how they seem prescient (in some ways) of Frank Miller's work.

We have Joe Orlando's scratchy penwork, obviously going for a "gritty" feel, the presence of a fat crime boss who is presented almost as a force of nature (The Owl, rather than Wilson Fisk, although of course The Owl is far less intimidating) and Matt at odds with Foggy(before Foggy became a comedy relief character), not to mention Foggy being used as a dupe by corrupt politicians.

I do admit though that the series didn't really find it's direction until the Gene Colan years. Some great stuff in that run, like the story about the deranged pulp writer, that issue that began with a car chase, and Mr. Hyde & Cobra bickering like an old married couple.

Gene Phillips said...

Quite right. Though both Spidey and DD have a lot of urban crime adventures, DD seems to be far more at home dealing with the underworld. Some of that traces back to the original Orlando comics, which took a very sobersided approach to the character, but even the more light-hearted Lee-Colan comics keep that aspect of the hero. Somehow, despite Ditko's noir-ish depiction of the underworld, I always felt Spidey was a bit of "tourist" whenever he visited underworld haunts.