1978 · The 70s

April 1978: Daredevil 151 – In which we learn Matt really needs to get changed before visiting his girlfriend.

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Synopsis: Daredevil 151 was written by Gil Kane, Jim Shooter and Roger McKenzie with art by Gil Kane with inks by Klaus Janson and opens with Matt ‘Daredevil’ Murdock sneaking in to see his girlfriend Heather Glenn, mainly to tell her that her father was innocent of the kidnapping charges, but answers the phone to hear that Maxwell Glenn has committed suicide.  Well the conversation with Heather about that goes as well as it can do, leaving Matt struggling with his life both in and out of the red suit.

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He decides to quit being Daredevil and throws a tantrum in his apartment and when his business partner Foggy Nelson checks up on him, he finds the place in tatters and Matt in a similar shape. Shamed by Foggy, Matt shows up at work and finds out Heather has disappeared. Matt leaves work in time to see a young boy hit by a hijacked bus. Furious at their callous actions and his own absent mindedness, Matt changes into his red suit and proceeds to stop the bus.

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After delivering  a savage beating to the hijackers and checking up on the boy hit by the bus, Matt wanders away feeling that no matter what mistakes he makes, the stuff he gets right makes it easier to live with.

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Notes: While very much the middle of a story in many ways, I still liked this issue as a one off. The woman he loves finding out his secret identity is on the first page, but that’s not the big moment of the issue. This is one of the things that Daredevil does well, showing how much of a battle Matt Murdock’s life can be. This was the fertile ground that Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis amongst others explored to great effect. The story does plod in places and the fight scene at the end is almost tacked on, but still fits into the story’s theme of the good that Daredevil does as opposed to the misery he’s caused, mostly, but only to himself. While never the biggest Klaus Janson fan, he does a decent job with Gil Kane’s moody pencils which avoid his usual up the nose shots more often than usual. Although we are a bit away from Miller’s time with the Man without Fear, you can see that era’s aesthetic taking place. Anyone who has only read the Frank Miller era of DD, I feel has missed out.

Next Time: Boredom in Asgard can be dangerous.

 

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