Daredevil (Vol. 1) #4


Cover Date: October 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Vince Colletta

“Killgrave, the Unbelievable Purple Man!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Joe Orlando

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Joe Orlando

Inker: Vince Colletta

What’s Going On?

Daredevil faces a villain that can make people do whatever he wants. How can he possibly stop the Purple Man?


  • A strange thing happened at a local bank: a purple man walked in, asked for a bunch of money, and the bank employee actually gave it to him!

  • The bank teller soon came to his senses (after the Purple Man left the bank) and called the police. Oddly enough, the Purple Man hadn’t escaped, but was leisurely strolling down the street when the police caught up with him.

  • The court assigns the Purple Man a lawyer, and it winds up being Matt Murdock. The judge warns Matt (and Karen Page, who is acting as his secretary) that this will be a strange case.

  • When Matt and Karen visit the Purple Man —- also known as Killgrave —- he states that he needs no lawyer because there will be no trial. He then commands the jail guard to free him. Shockingly, the guard follows those orders, and the Purple Man simply walks right out of prison! Killgrave also tells Karen that she works for him now, and she agrees to leave with him!

  • Daredevil pursues the Purple Man from the prison. It appears that the villain is able to impose his will onto others. For some unknown reason, though, DD is able to resist.

  • That’s not a problem for Killgrave, though; he can have innocent bystanders attack Daredevil on his behalf.

  • Daredevil evades the angry mob, but loses track of Karen and Killgrave. He switches back to his civilian clothes and returns to his office to tell Foggy about Karen’s abduction. He is surprised by how upset Foggy is by the news, and concludes that they both love the same woman!

  • Even more depressing, Matt cannot find any laws that Killgrave has broken. It’s not against the law to ask for things, is it?

  • That doesn’t mean that the situation is hopeless, though. Daredevil hatches a plan and goes after Killgrave. Part of that plan involved letting Killgrave think he has won…

  • …so Daredevil can trick the villain into monologuing, and record the entire confession!

  • In the end, Daredevil uses a plastic sheet to cover Killgrave and neutralize his powers.  Because that is naturally the thing you would want to try.

  • When things have calmed down a bit, Matt meets up with Foggy and Karen. Since his friend loves Karen, Matt decides to never tell her his own true feelings.

Is It Good?

I really like the concept behind Killgrave, but this issue is only okay. There’s not a lot of internal logic to the story, and that takes its toll on the reader. It feels like Stan Lee is trying way too hard to justify how Matt/Daredevil gets involved with the story; this is the second consecutive issue where a villain is arrested, doesn’t want a lawyer, is assigned Matt Murdock for a lawyer, and then walks out of prison without talking to Matt.  And let’s not get started with how Daredevil determined that a plastic sheet would save the day.


  • This is the first appearance of Zebediah Killgrave, the Purple Man (although his first name is not mentioned in this issue).  A former spy, he developed a type of mind control ability as the result of an industrial accident.  Now, he can make almost anyone in his immediate vicinity do what he commands.
  • This is the second and final appearance of Daredevil’s hood. That didn’t last long.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • What is the Purple Man doing on this cover? Twirling his fist?

  • What, exactly, makes Killgrave a “Ding-Dong, Rootin’-Tootin’, Crackerjack villain?”

  • If you can command anyone to do anything, why not get a professional writer to be your biographer? And maybe tell your bodyguards to wear pants?

  • It is physically impossible for Matt’s walking cane to transform into a functional boomerang. Just so you know.

  • I present to you a little something I like to call “consecutive panels.” In panel one, everyone is inside a building. In panel two, they have teleported to a rooftop! Gaze in wonder at comic magic!

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • Hmm…what’s more offensive here?  The disability-shaming, or the sexism?

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