Daredevil (Vol. 1) #9

Credits:

Cover Date: August 1965

Cover Artist: Wally Wood

“That He May See!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Wally Wood

Scripter: Stan Lee

Layouts: Wally Wood

Penciller: Bob Powell

Inker: Wally Wood

What’s Going On?

Daredevil overthrows a foreign government, run by an old college acquaintance.

Details:

  • An old college classmate of Matt and Foggy, Klaus Kruger, is now the ruler of Lichtenbad, a tiny European nation.

  • Coincidentally, the eye doctor (Dr. Van Eyck) that Karen has wanted Matt to consult (and maybe undergo eye surgery with) has recently moved to Lichtenbad. Kruger and Karen encourage Matt to visit Lichtenbad and consult with the doctor. Matt accepts the offer, but primarily because he senses that Kruger is lying about something.

  • Matt flies to Kruger to Lichtenbad. Upon landing, someone tries to assassinate Kruger; Kruger survives and captures the would-be killer himself. Matt senses that Kruger is a hated despot in his home nation.

  • Matt undergoes an examination with Dr. Van Eyck, but it will take a day to get the test results. He decides to fill the time by investigating the city as Daredevil. While prowling around, DD finds a sizable number of rebels, but they are kept in check by Kruger’s force of robotic guards.

  • Daredevil winds up getting captured by the robot guards, and while he is imprisoned, Kruger explains his plot to rule the world.

  • It doesn’t take DD long to escape and free enough prisoners to start a revolution.

  • Daredevil tracks down Kruger and manages to disable the robot guards throughout the nation. This gives the rebellion the upper hand as they storm Kruger’s castle.

  • Kruger isn’t the type to accept loss gracefully, though. He triggers a device that will cause nuclear fallout to kill billions across the planet.

  • While DD chases after Kruger, Dr. Van Eyck sacrifices his life to stop the nuclear device.

  • When Daredevil eventually corners Kruger, the villain attacks aggressively —— and falls to his death. The end.

Is It Good?

No, this is pretty awful. The story is idiotic, the art is only okay, and neither Daredevil (too quippy) nor Foggy (too vicious) sound like themselves. It’s just a bad comic that was poorly constructed.

Even on a craft level, this issue disappoints. The art and dialogue in this issue are not in sync. Some panels look overstuffed with script, and thought/dialogue bubbles have been placed in a way that makes them difficult to read. This is the most egregious example, but there are more:

Continuity:

  • Reminder: Daredevil is blind, and he thinks regaining his eyesight will cancel out his superhuman abilities.

  • Foggy is extremely jealous of Karen’s affection for Matt. He’s having some dark thoughts.

  • This is the first appearance of the small European nation of Lichtenbad. It won’t pop up in another Marvel comic until after 2000.
  • Daredevil’s billy club can now fire mortar rounds. It did not have this ability last issue, when his billy club’s hidden gadgets were listed.

  • Dr. Van Eyck is the first person to successfully deduce Daredevil’s secret identity. Naturally, he dies in this issue.

  • The death of Dr. Van Eyck presumably ends the subplot about Matt potentially regaining his eyesight via surgery.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • I realize that they weren’t close friends in college, but shouldn’t Kruger have remembered that Matt was blind? It’s not like he lost his eyesight after graduation.

  • Wouldn’t the roar of a passenger plane play havoc with Matt’s super-sensitive hearing? I don’t think he’d be able to accurately gauge the size of the country from the plane.

  • I love a good villain monologue. I mean, who really cares about Daredevil’s true identity, anyway?

  • I also like that Kruger’s plan is to bring the world’s most brilliant minds to his country, so he starts by capturing…an eye doctor and a not particularly renowned lawyer?
  • That is one hell of a Hitler reference.

  • Why does choking work on this guard? Aren’t they all robots?

  • Having a force field around your throne makes sense for a dictator. Being able to control the force field from your throne also makes sense. Being able to deactivate it from behind the throne…that seems like a bad choice for someone who probably worries about being stabbed in the back.

  • Without that little what?

  • It’s nice that Daredevil can sense this, but why wasn’t he the one trying to avoid a nuclear holocaust? Why did he start chasing Kruger before he knew that the threat had been handled?

  • DD straight-up tossed Kruger off a cliff. He definitely killed that guy. He doesn’t seem to upset about it, though.

  • Nobody is concerned about the bloody revolution that happened in the country Matt was visiting?

  • It’s also worth noting that Daredevil killed the leader of a foreign nation, which means he overthrew their government, and then he just…went home. This is the second month in a row where a Marvel superhero has done this (the other was in Avengers #18).

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • “Ben Casey” was the titular character in an early-60’s medical TV drama. In case you were wondering.

  • Emily Post was a famous etiquette expert. That seems like an odd thing to reference in a comic book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s