Daredevil (Vol. 1) #8

Credits:

Cover Date: June 1965

Cover Artists: Wally Wood

“The Stiltman Cometh!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Wally Wood

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Wally Wood

Inker: Wally Wood

What’s Going On?

Daredevil faces a threat he’s never seen before —- a man with very long legs!

Details:

  • While doing his normal patrol, Daredevil encountered a driverless car speeding wildly into a crowd. When DD jumped into the vehicle, though, he realized that this was no accident; the gas pedal is nailed down, the brake line is cut, and there is a bomb beneath the hood!

  • Daredevil uses his radar sense to steer the car into the river without any unnecessary damage. He correctly surmises that the car was set loose as a distraction. But from what?

  • Well, across town, a new villain called Stilt-Man robs a helicopter!

  • Daredevil rushes to the scene, but he quickly loses track of the villain. Stilt-Man’s unique body shape confuses DD just long enough for his long strides to speed away from the hero.

  • Back in the office, Matt Murdock takes on a new case. Wilbur Day claims that his boss, Carl Kaxton, has stolen an invention of Day’s, one that Day worked on off-the-clock. It has something to do with hydraulics. Kaxton denies the theft and refuses to settle out of court.

  • Not long after, Stilt-Man stiles again, and Daredevil is ready to respond! Unfortunately, Stilt-Man defeats DD with ease.

  • The next day, Mr. Day and Mr. Kaxton meet in the offices of Nelson & Murdock to discuss the case. But the two men get in each other’s face, making it impossible for Matt to use his super-hearing to tell which man is lying.

  • Matt is beginning to suspect that Kaxton is using Day’s invention to become Stilt-Man. The next time he faces off against the villain, he still appears to be outmatched.

  • After losing again to Stilt-Man, Matt Murdock decides to search Kaxton’s home for proof that he is Stilt-Man, and he brings Mr. Day along. There, they find Stilt-Man’s legs lying in the back yard!

  • But it is all apparently a ruse. Wilbur Day was Stilt-Man all along, and he just wanted to break into Kaxton’s home to steal something from his lab.

  • That something is a ray gun that shrinks objects into oblivion. Day steals the gun and uses his Stilt-Man legs to escape.

  • DD eventually catches up with him, and snatches the ray gun. The gun goes off accidentally, and Stilt-Man shrinks until he disappears!

Is It Good?

This is a pretty dumb issue. I like Wally Wood’s art —- his Daredevil looks acrobatic, and I like how he visualizes Matt’s radar sense —- but Stilt-Man is just a ridiculous villain. His basic concept, his convoluted plan in this issue, the fact that the story ends with him being shrunk out of existence…this wasn’t an awful issue, but it is really silly.

Continuity:

  • We have a new cover corner box! It’s basically the same as last issue, but with accents to indicate DD’s radar sense. It’s pretty great.

  • This is the first appearance of Stilt-Man, Wilbur Day. He has bulletproof armor and hydraulic-powered telescoping legs that can extend and retract quickly. He is last seen shrinking out of existence.
  • This is the first appearance of Carl Kaxton, head of Kaxton Laboratories.
  • Daredevil’s billy club has a powerful directional microphone in it now.

  • We get a diagram of Daredevil’s billy club in this issue:

  • Karen is still pushing for Matt to see a doctor to cure his blindness.

  • Matt Murdock is secretly renting the apartment below his own, and he has transformed it into a soundproof gym and workshop.

  • Daredevil’s horns contain antennae for picking up radio signals and amplifying DD’s radar. That’s new.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Lady, if you’ve got the time to scream all of that, you have time to get out of the way.

  • This is a very realistic floor plan. It is very common for apartments to have interior stairways leading directly to the apartment above/below them.

  • Assuming that the apartment below didn’t always have a random stairway in the middle of the floor plan leading to the upstairs apartment, Matt somehow did major (and probably illegal) renovations to add that secret staircase to a rental property.
  • Its a good thing these people keep loose dollars and jewelry in their pockets instead of, say, in wallets out around their necks. Otherwise that vacuum wouldn’t be so effective!

  • Unprepared?!? He has super-long legs! That’s his whole shtick! How else is he going to attack you?!?

  • I don’t know if there’s a law specifically prohibiting people from equipping their cars to electrocute people, but it doesn’t feel legal to me. Also, why the hell is there an open manhole in a New York City Street at night?

  • Note: Stilt-Man is incorrect.

  • Matt initially refused to search Kaxton’s home for evidence because A) he’s a lawyer, not a cop and B) because it would require a search warrant. Later in the issue, though, those concerns apparently become irrelevant.

  • So wait…if the purpose of all this was to steal something from Kaxton’s house, why didn’t Day do so as Stilt-Man? Why commit crimes elsewhere in the city, then sue Kaxton as a civilian, only to break into his house anyway?

  • Kaxton is upset that Matt and Wilbur Day trespassed, physically assaulted him, and stole his ray gun. But when Matt says that Day is dropping his lawsuit (which was completely illegitimate) against Kaxton, the guy is completely satisfied? And why didn’t Matt return the ray gun? This scene is pretty awful.

  • Also, Matt is concerned about lying? I call bullshit. His entire life is a lie!

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