This is a review of Marvel Masterworks Daredevil Volume 2. I read the first volume back in January. The second volume contains the SINGLE GREATEST DAREDEVIL STORYLINE OF ALL TIME. Emotionally, I was unprepared. If you read my review of the first volume, found here, you know of the love triangle between Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil), his partner Foggy Nelson, and their secretary Karen Page. Perhaps ‘love triangle’ is misleading, as there’s no actual love or sex involved.
No, what we have is three adults acting like lovesick teenagers, which admittedly was Daredevil’s audience at that time. Things are at an impasse until the entrance of supervillain Masked Marauder, a purple-plumed goon who gets the bright idea of dressing his menagerie of thugs up as Daredevil and having them attack Spider-Man, so the two heroes will fight while he robs banks or whatever.
His plan works. Spider-Man bursts into the law offices of Nelson & Murdock and dangles Foggy out the window because he thinks he’s Daredevil. Foggy is not Daredevil, but he starts hinting to his secretary Karen Page that he is in order to impress her. It’s a version of the ole’ ‘I was in the CIA but can’t talk about it’ bit.
Foggy takes it a step further and buys a Daredevil costume. Unfortunately, he buys the costume at the shop of The Gladiator, frustrated tailor and budding supervillain, who suggests that Foggy hire a pretend thug to beat up when he’s dressed as Daredevil, in order to impress Karen. With me so far?
The Gladiator’s plan is to eviscerate Foggy, because reasons. Unaware, Foggy and Karen take a cab to a deserted wharf, where the Gladiator awaits. Will the real Daredevil arrive in time? Will true love – or whatever this is – triumph?
I have been reading superhero comics for decades, and I haven’t read many dopier storylines, but somehow the creators (Stan Lee & John Romita) pull it off. Foggy is on the portly side, and thus can barely fit into his Daredevil costume, just one of all sorts of magical details contained within. My second favorite storyline features The Owl, a supervillain who builds an enormous mechanical owl to attack Daredevil. Later in the volume, Daredevil rides that owl like a bronco.
My biggest issue with these issues is that this version of Daredevil is dead and buried. I do think writer Mark Waid’s version of Daredevil hearkens back to these issues, but for better or worse, artist/writer Frank Miller left an indelible mark on the character.