“Collectors Item!” “Limited Edition!” These are buzzwords used by marketing departments to entice us consumers into buying something because we believe it might be collectible and special. At some point in the modern age of comics these same marketing people came up with new and wonderful ways to make a particular comic more special than the one next to it on the shelf. This was done by making the cover more shiny (think chromium and foil stamped), more technically advanced (think hologram images and lenticular plastics), and more shocking (think bullet holes). Sure there were plenty of other ways comic publishers used to draw attention to specific comics; poly-bags, costume changes, and shocking story-lines and events. These gimmicks though were just that, gimmicks, and they often had little or no bearing on the story inside the comic.
No matter if the cover was foil stamped or poly-bagged there was still a story behind that cover or in that bag and I’d bet for as many comics that were not anymore interesting than the hologram pasted to the cover there were also plenty of good stories, fun stories, stories that were and are worth reading. I expect that in this TeamUp outing many of my fellow SuperBloggers will cover a whole breath of good and bad comics. For my choice I picked something that had plenty of gimmicks but also had a story that when I first read it I liked and still do after reading it for this piece. I chose Daredevil issues #319 – 325, the Fall From Grace story line.
The Fall and Winter of ‘93 was certainly a good time to be a Daredevil fan. This series came out when I was only just getting back into comic collecting as a young man. Daredevil had been one of my favorite characters growing up and it was the “Man Without Fear” mini-series from Frank Miller and John Romita Jr that actually drew me back into the collecting world. Fall from Grace was coming out at the same time so it was an easy pickup for me. These six issues carry all the trademarks of the Chromium covered Nineties. There is a glow-in-the-dark cover, a free poster, a new costume for the hero, and high profile guest stars.
Daredevil #319 – 325 – Fall from Grace
By – D.G. Chichester and Scott McDaniel
Inks – Callazo & Candelairio
Letterer – Bill Oakley
Colorist – Max Scheele
Asst. Editor – Pat Garrahy
Editor – Ralph Macchio
Edt in Chief – Tom DeFalco
Cover Date – August 1993
On Sale Date – June 1 1993
Cover price – $1.25
We begin with a flashback to June 1963. People with code-names are riding the New York City subway including Eddie Passim, a telepath. They appear to be trying to carry out a chemical attack in the cities underground. Eddie drops a flask to the tracks that does not break. The scene changes to the present and we see Daredevil high above the city.
A homeless man is attacking the congregation in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. He is ranting about burning it down and wanting to start over. Daredevil intercedes and tries to get to the bottom of why this guy has wigged out. The homeless man gives up and when trying to explain things to Daredevil he mentions the pictures Eddie put in his head. The pictures that made him think he could change and remake himself. Daredevil notes that he’s heard that name, Eddie, quite a bit recently.
Next we move to the Louisiana Bayou, a man, possibly a voodoo priest has summoned a demon, more specifically, a red, horned devil who happens to be blind (can you see where this is going?). The demon using a white bone club rages about being summoned and attacks the man with the club. He says that he is cursed “into echoing one who wears false red skin and horns” and then swings away, though the bayou using the same white club.
Back in New York at the Nelson and Murdock law firm Matt is helping a client who cannot afford them. Matt talks about bad memories of the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, I assume referencing a recent story. We cut again to someone unknown at this point, working with Elektra the Assassin. We learn that these are the memories of John Garrett, a cyborg working for S.H.I.E.L.D., who is now being kept alive in a bacta tank. Another cut to the Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson is being pinched by a southern gentleman, named Strang, over control of the paper and unions. Ben Ulrich is finishing a story about the U.S. Defense department testing nerve gas in the NY subway system in the Sixties.
Next we move to the Hand, an evil organization of ninjas, who worship the Beast and have been adversaries of Daredevil for a long time. The are breaking into the Pentagon stealing top secret files for a project named “About Face”. After that we are with a military man named General Kenkoy who is trying to hire Silver Sable to find someone named Eddie. Next we see Daredevil, talking to a wounded homeless man about someone named Eddie. The issues wraps with a reminder that everyone we have met so far is looking for either Daredevil or a man named Eddie and we are clued into the fact that things will not go well for these two men once they are found.
This issue was all over the place but it introduces the reader to all the major players with enough intrigue that makes the reader want to see what happens next. I thought this was a great start to the story because it introduces all the major story-lines that we are going to get into over the next five issues of Daredevil. This was also my introduction to Scott McDaniel’s artwork and I loved it right away. The heavy inks and dark lines make everything seem more mysterious and foreboding. I followed McDaniel for quite awhile and my wife enjoyed his Nightwing run considerably.
I love the cover to this issue. The looming black skyscraper on the stark white background is bold and really jumps off the page. The figure falling draws the eye and no clue as to the meaning is given. I had not read this in years and did not recall the details of the story, so this was almost like reading it for the first time. The story has the Hand and when are ninjas not an awesome story element. It also has plenty of classic Daredevil tropes, Elektra, Matt having problems with the law firm, Ben Ulrich writing some great piece for the Bugle. Let’s see what happens next.
Daredevil #320 – Fall from Grace – Chapter 1
This issue has the same creative team with the exception of the inks – provided in this issue by Avon.
Cover Date – September 1993
On Sale Date – July 6 1993
Cover price – $1.25
The story begins with another flashback to 1963, this time providing some more details about the subway attack. There were 23 flasks that we were supposed to be distributed and broken through out the subway system. 22 of the people involved completed their mission. The 23rd was Eddie Passim, the telepath, who dropped his flask but remained intact. His flask was the key to the project About Face. It was the catalyst for the attack. General Kenkoy was the man behind it all. After the operatives completed their missions they were eliminated, tying up loose ends to the failed attack. Eddie is seems felt guilty about someone who died during the project and goes on the run, escaping his own assassination.
Back in the present Daredevil is fighting with someone named the Crippler, who works for Silver Sable (remember they were hired by General Kenkoy to find Eddie Passim). Daredevil has been trying to track Eddie down by talking to the homeless men who have come in contact with him. Daredevil eventually defeats Crippler but his costume is now in taters.
We cut to the Hand who are breaking into a S.H.I.E.L.D. base to steal what is left of the man / cyborg John Garrett. We learn that Elektra might have given him something and the Hand want it. Next we travel to the Himalayas where we are introduced to the Chaste. They are a group that opposes the Hand. The man who trained Matt Murdock, Stick, was a member of this group. They are discussing the Hands current plans and what they are going to do about them.
Daredevil has gone to his former girlfriends apartment, Karen Page, because he needs some fixing up after his fight with the Crippler. On his way to her apartment he returned the Crippler to Silver Sable International with a message for them to drop the pursuit of Eddie Passim. Once Karen cleans up Daredevil’s wounds he gets back to searching for Eddie. Silver Sable attacks him and they go back and forth for a bit. Daredevil tries to convince Silver Sable to give the case up because the guy who hired her, General Kenkoy, is lying to her about his motives and who Eddie Passim really is.
It seems the standoff between Millionaire Strang and J. Jonah Jameson has forced the Bugle to shut down operations temporarily. Ben Ulrich and his young assistant Sara Harrington are trying to break into the Bugle’s computer system so that Ben can access his files. Ben leaves Sara to her computer hacking, not easy work don’t cha know. Eventually she gets into the system and to Ben’s files. She uncovers and encrypted file that details how Matt Murdock is the vigilante Daredevil. Sara believes she’s stuck gold.
The issue wraps with Daredevil actually finding Eddie. Things are starting to take a positive turn for our hero when suddenly Eddie flips out, Whether on purpose or accidentally Eddie implants a vague memory in Daredevil’s mind about someone named Theresa going through some awful surgery. As Daredevil starts to question what scared Eddie off the reader is treated to a wide shot where we see a red horned demon with a Daredevil loin cloth just behind Daredevil.
This issue provided plenty of answers but also gave us more questions. Daredevil’s costume being torn to pieces over the course of several fights will facilitate the need for a new one, apparently he does not keep a set of replacements back in a secret closet in his apartment. The one thing that bothers me in the story is that if Ben Ulrich had proof in his files that Matt Murdock was Daredevil why would he leave his new ambitious assistant alone to retrieve those files. I like the way the issue ends and the final panel with the Daredevil demon behind Matt, I think it works really well.
Daredevil #321 – Fall from Grace – Chapter 2
This issue has the same creative team with the exception of the inks – provided in this issue by Hector Collazo
Cover Date – October 1993
On Sale Date – August 3 1993
Cover price – $2.00
This issue begins with the demon’s eye view as he follows Daredevil who visits and steals from various textile industries taking different technologically advanced materials that he turns into a new costume. There is a lot of exposition detailing Matt’s apology to the people he is stealing from and his own justification for the theft. The new costume is finally debuted as the demon’s own internal monologue goes into greater detail about how he wants to be free from the voodoo spells that bind him. I suspect this is supposed to be an allegory to Daredevil’s own burden of feeling the obligation to be a protector of the innocent.
Next we travel all the way across the country to a warehouse in San Francisco. General Kenkoy is talking with a thug over the phone about their plans to use the virus to create an addictive but non-lethal heroin. The General makes a comment that Silver Sable was unable to complete the mission and that they’ll need a new plan. This is the first time that the flask that Eddie dropped in the subway is a virus.
After the conversation ends the thug decides that he wants to sample the goods when Venom (yes, that Venom) makes an appearance. He takes mental notes about what he overheard regarding the virus, Eddie Passim, and decides that he might be able to use this information against Spiderman. He then promptly destroys the warehouse and heads off to New York. Back in the city that never sleeps General Kenkoy is visited by the Caste and Ben Ulrich sees on the news that the Bugle is back in business. While is watching TV Ben is being observed from the fire escape by his assistant Sara who has plans to use his files to make a name for herself.
Next we catch up with Eddie who has finally worked up the courage to get revenge on his old boss, General Kenkoy. The only problem for Eddie is that the General is gone and Daredevil is in his office looking for him. Daredevil and and Eddie talk about that past while horn head analyzes the scene trying to determine what happened. He comes across a sai and starts to think Elektra might be involved.
Daredevil and Eddie are interrupted by the horned demon who attacks and tries to capture Eddie. Daredevil can hear the demon but cannot “see” him. As they tussle Daredevil uses blood and fire to get a bead on the demon and ends up chasing him off.
We jump over to S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters where Nick Fury is bringing in Siege (whoever that is) to track down the Hand and get his missing cyborg Garrett back. The issue ends with the Hand standing around John Garrett discussing their evil plans. It turns out they want to use Garrett to find Elektra. With Elektra and the virus they are hoping to create an unstoppable shadow warrior.
This issue has it all, the glow and the dark cover, introduces the new costume, and has a big named guest star in Venom. If Marvel was hoping to attract new readers with a fancy cover and guest stars it seems a little odd to do it with an issue that happens in the middle of a story arch. To me this makes it a bit more rewarding for existing readers though. One could argue that by pulling out all these gimmicks in the middle of a complex story the decision makers are banking it being the most important thing and the gimmicks are secondary. If a new reader bought this because of the glow in the dark cover, read it and actually liked it, there is enough here to make them want to go back and get the previous issue as well as keep reading next month.
Daredevil #322 – Fall from Grace – Chapter 3
This issue has the same creative team as issue #319
Cover Date – November 1993
On Sale Date – September 7 1993
Cover price – $1.25
The cover of this issue hearkens back to the prologue cover, with the big, striking image on the left with the white void on the right. One thing I want to note is that there is an ad for Brach’s Rocks, a chewy fruit candy that looks like dinosaur eggs on page 3. I don’t recall ever seeing this candy but I wish I had, I love me some gummy candies.
This issue starts as all the previous ones have, with a flashback. Nick Fury is remembering years ago when he shut down General Kenkoy’s experiments and his virus program. In the present Daredevil is trying to help Eddie, who remember is a telepath, when Eddie figures out Daredevil is blind. Eddie resists Daredevil helping him at first but eventually gives in. He finally explains what the virus is meant to do.
Using DNA from a woman, who was also a telepath that the general will eventually kill, he creates a virus. It is a virus that can be controlled telepathically. Imagine the possibilities. Eddie says the virus could be manipulated to help the crippled walk, the blind to see, and as expected, it could be used as a weapon. Eddie talks about the woman whose DNA was used and how he loved her and what she meant to him. Daredevil starts thinking about his own feelings for Elektra.
While Daredevil and Eddie are talking they are being observed by Siege, and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., who now knows what the virus can do. This story is starting to feel like the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” with so many people and groups trying to go after this lost virus. Meanwhile back in their lair, the Hand are getting closer to creating their shadow warriors by taking the essence of Elektra that was fused with cyborg Garrett’s mind. Ben Ulrich is back at work after scaring off a would-be burglar from trying to break into his apartment and Venom is now in New York looking for the “magic” virus.
After that catch up with all the players we cut to Matt Murdock on the phone trying to get a hold of Nick Fury and getting the runaround. Foggy goes into Matt’s office and gets on Matt about his duties at their firm. Matt gets pissed and tries to brush him off, they argue, and finally Matt storms off.
Now somehow, it isn’t really isn’t explained, Siege is using Eddie to try and draw out the Hand, which he does. Just as the battle begins Daredevil shows up and tries to save Eddie. There is a big fight. One of the Hand warriors is killed with a sai and Daredevil senses or thinks Elektra is there. When it is all said and done the Hand are gone, Eddie is gone, and Siege is seriously pissed at Daredevil.
This issue is a good slow burn where all of Daredevil’s and Matt’s problems are getting to be too much and starting to impact his life, therefore only making things worse. The quick takes as we jump from character to character really ramp up the tension. Daredevil is really has his work cut out for him at this point, Eddie is gone, there are problems in his personal life, he keeps thinking about Elektra, and there is a real demon after him.
Daredevil #323 – Fall from Grace – Chapter 4
This issue has the same creative team with Collazo and Rankin listed as the inkers.
Cover Date – December 1993
On Sale Date – October 5 1993
Cover price – $1.25
The big story here is that Venom is the guest star in this issue. Venom’s first limited series was released early in 1993. That was followed by a couple of one shots and at the time these Daredevil issues were coming out Venom’s second limited series, “The Madness”, was being released. This was certainly the year of Venom so sure, let’s work him into a Daredevil story that is already filled with a huge cast of characters, that makes perfect sense.
In the opening flashback for this issue we learn how Gen Kenkoy got involved with the Hand after his experiments were shut down at S.H.I.E.L.D.. Picking up right where the last issue left off Siege and Daredevil catch up with some of the Hand. There is another fight and the heroes actually come away with a prisoner. The prisoner doesn’t care for what the Hand is trying to do with Eddie, the Elektra essence, and the virus so he is willing to give up everything he knows to Daredevil.
Just as Daredevil, Siege, and their prisoner are catching their breath everyone’s favorite symbiote, Venom, shows up. He wants the Hand prisoner for the same reason as Daredevil, to find Eddie and the virus he overheard being discussed when he was destroying a heroin dealers warehouse, back in issue 320. Another fight ensues and Venom ends up getting away with the Hand ninja as his prisoner.
In a brief interlude we see assistant Sara selling her stolen story about Matt Murdock being Daredevil to the Bugle’s competition and Foggy tracking down Matt Murdock’s ex Karen Page trying to convince her to help him with Matt.
Back where the action is Siege and Daredevil are in pursuit of Venom. They eventually catch up to him and there is another battle, this time things are going Daredevil and Siege’s way. Suddenly though Daredevil stops the fight and convinces Venom to back off using some lawyer jive and good doublespeak. Venom actually agrees to leave and heads back to San Francisco. It may seem silly but the dialog and reasoning actually works in the story and the anti-hero has fulfilled his guest star obligations.
The issue wraps with Daredevil and Siege getting the information they wanted from their Hand prisoner about what the hand is doing with Garrett and Elektra when someone with a couple of sai reveal themselves to our heroes. Over in the lair of the Hand we get our first look at cyborg Garrett now fully operational, with his partner, Zombie Elektra.
There isn’t much to recap here. This was a filler issue to work Venom into the comic. The couple of key moments are Sara selling the Daredevil story and the Elektra reveal at the end. It a fun enough issue but there just isn’t enough to move the story along other than two of three panels worth of plot. Things will ramp back up in the next penultimate issue.
Daredevil #324 – Fall from Grace – Chapter 5
This issue has the same creative team with just Collazo listed as the inkers
Cover Date – January 1994
On Sale Date – November 2 1993
Cover price – $1.25
This issue has another super intense cover with the shocking white background, the dark image on the left and Daredevil on the right. There is also another guest star, though not nearly as big a name as Venom.
Our flashback in this issue is of Daredevil and Elektra with Daredevil remembering his earlier life when he was in love with Elektra. In the present there is a confusing action sequence at the Hand’s secret headquarters where Daredevil is battling the Hand with a new partner, more on that in a minute. It seems Morbius the Living Vampire has only stumbled across the fight but nevertheless he joins the fracas and just makes things worse for Daredevil.
Daredevil’s new partner is Stone, a Caste warrior, whose weapon of choice is the, you guess it, sai. Stone almost kills Morbius and Daredevil puts a stop to the fight. He helps Morbius buy getting the blood he needs from a blood bank. Once the vampire is no longer in his frenzied state Daredevil conveniences Morbius to help them. They discuss the telepathic virus and Morbius explains the science of how it would need to be transmitted to work which also happens to have been the exact thing General Kenkoy had planned back in the sixties. Morbius always sees the obvious benefits the virus would have on his own problems but Daredevil quickly puts the kibosh on that idea.
Morbius then shows Daredevil the latest headlines; “Matt Murdock is Daredevil?”. Now the fit is hitting the shan and we cut to one pissed off Matt Murduck at a greasy spoon with Ben Ulrich across from him. He’s confronting Ben about the story and how bad this is going to be for him. Matt tells Ben doesn’t have time to deal with this. Ben then confronts Sara with the media in full view their argument and his accusations.
Stone, Morbius, and Daredevil decide to try and track down the missing virus since Morbius has recently spent a bit of time under NYC. They are met by cyborg Garrett and Zombie Elektra. Of course there is a fight and Zombie Elektra takes out Stone. As soon as that happens she and Garrett get the chills as the sense a presence, something that is part of them and they take off. We are left with an extremely bewildered Daredevil when dun-dun-duh Elektra shows up, now sporting a shaved head and white costume instead of her traditional red togs.
The issue is fast paced and wild. It speeds up the action and tension. It also does a great job of building to the inevitable climax. Bringing Morbius into the story is an interesting choice and really only serves the purpose of having a scientist available to Daredevil to explain the General’s original plans.
Daredevil #325 – Fall from Grace – finale
This issue has the same creative team as issue 324
Cover Date – February 1994
On Sale Date – December 7th 1993
Cover price – $2.50
This is a double sized issue with a double size price. There is note on the splash page stating that this issue marks the 30th anniversary celebration of The Man Without Fear and thanks Stan Lee and Bill Everett, the creators of Daredevil. It think it is pretty neat that this note is left on the inside instead of being splashed all over the cover, which would have taken away from the art, and all the covers in general. This issue also contains a poster with the main characters from the series and the series logo on it. I’d post a picture of it by my copy in still in the comic. Now with that out of the way let’s wrap this story up.
Instead of a flashback we get a nice recap of what has come before, a note about the virus, how the death of the woman Eddie loved led him to losing the virus, and how the Hand has trying to create a shadow warrior out of the essence of Elektra and the virus. We are reminded that Morbius is getting in on the shenanigans and that there is still a nasty red demon out there.
And speaking of red demons the action starts right away with Elektra and Daredevil fighting the horned beast who just wants the virus so he can become a real boy. They chase him off and then start to bicker about how and why Elektra is back from the dead.
We get an interlude where at Matt Murdock’s apartment building Foggy and Ben Ulrich confront, trying to make a name for herself, reporter Sara as she and her new editors are breaking in so they can get the story. To their dismay they find dark rooms filled with safety protection on furniture and braille maps and books, you know, stuff that a blind man might use. After everyone gets a look at the place the editors storm off and Sara’s story is sunk. With that out of the way we check in on the Hand, who are finally in the subway with Eddie, Garrett, and Zombie Elektra and not having any luck tracking down the vial Eddie dropped thirty years ago.
Morbius has also headed into the subway on his own. He starts questioning some of his old homeless buddies about Eddie. One guy mentions that he probably won’t find what he’s looking for because the Transit Authority tore up all the track in the area Eddie was always talking about. And there it is, the key bit of information that is going to move this story forward.
Elektra and Daredevil catch up to Morbius and put a quick end to his search. They continue their conversation from earlier and Elektra finally opens up about why she came back. She’s there to reclaim that part of herself that was stolen and is now in Zombie Elektra. She didn’t want to have to deal with Matt.
Later in Matt’s apartment he is trying to track down where the materials from the subway excavation ended up. Karen Page comes by trying to convince him the secret identity news cycle has past. Matt tells her about Elektra and brushes her off. Karen storms off only to return a few minutes later. Realizing that neither one of them can be that cold or cruel to each other they cry and embrace. It is just a sign that Matt’s love life will always be a mess.
Back in the subway the Hand figures out about the work done in the tunnels. The red demon “sees” this as well. Meanwhile Daredevil and Elektra have finally tracked down the vial containing the virus that everyone has been searching for, and it wasn’t under a V-shaped palm tree. Conveniently the Hand, cyborg Garrett, Zombie Elektra, the red demon, and Eddie all show up looking to relieve the heroes of their well found prize.
The action comes quickly now. General Kenkoy is trying to exact revenge on Eddie Passim for blowing the whole thing years ago. Eddie has finally got it together enough to stand up to the General. In a move that is pretty over the top Eddie uses his telepathic powers to destroy Kenkoy’s mind.
Daredevil and Elektra are feeling pretty outnumbered and actually consider that they might not make it out of this. Elektra is not having that. She did not come all this way to fail in her quest to reclaim that bit of her that was stolen. Daredevil makes a last ditch effort, and takes the vial with the virus in it smashing it right into the red demon’s face. He gives the demon exactly what he wanted, life. The catch though is that with life comes death. Just as the demon is realizing he’s finally got what he wanted Zombie Elektra runs him through with her sai.
Siege shows up to help even the odds against the Hand. Elektra the white goes toe to toe with Zombie Elektra to get back what is her’s, literally. They trade blows and and Zombie Elektra starts to get the upper hand. In a real which twin is the good twin moment Daredevil throws one of the sai he has recovered hoping. Elektra flips Zombie Elektra into the path of the oncoming weapon. The essence of Elektra leaves the dead Elektra and returns to the winner.
The Hand start to retreat. Siege takes out Cyborg Garrett. Siege than points out what happen to the demon to Daredevil. The form is now a human corpse that looks just like Matt Murdock just with big red horns. Meanwhile Elektra is struggling with her own “demons” now that she is whole again.
The story wraps up with an epilogue. A news broadcast reports that the body of lawyer Matt Murdock has been found and is being investigated in relationship to the false story about him being Daredevil. It seems Sara has also been arrested for computer crimes. Yup back in the nineties we didn’t have the cool term “cyber crimes”. Ben Ulrich starts writing about Matt Murdock – The Man Without Fear. As Ben writes about Matt we are shown scenes of those people that loved him. We see Karen and Foggy morning. We also see a lone nun weeping in a church.
Matt, now wearing a trench coat, approaches the nun. They obviously know each other. He tells her that he’s indeed alive and okay but that he’s no longer Matt. In a touching moment he refers to her as mother and she decides to call him – Jack, Matt’s father’s name. In the closing scene we see Daredevil in his new armored costume flipping around the city pondering why he never thought to use the virus on himself.
Well that’s it. This story launched a new era for the Man Without Fear. He had a new costume and a new lease on life. With his alter ego dead to the rest of the world he was free to reinvent himself. I honestly need to go back and read some of the stories from this era. At the time all the changes were a pretty big deal for the character who had basically been fighting crime in Hell’s Kitchen for quite a long time.
The new costume was not well received by comic fans, not me though, I like it at the time. He’d actually return to the classic costume less than two years later in issue #345. New costumes were a big part of the era of excess. Captain America, Superman (Electric blue), Batman (Azreal), Wonder Woman and plenty of other heroes received new outfits. Bright shiny armor, leather jackets, and trench coats were often key features of the new looks.
The cover gallery for this series of issues I thought was excellent. The art was great and the layouts were striking. I also love the glow in the dark cover. It evokes the way Daredevil’s radar vision is often depicted and I think it works wonderfully. Glow in the dark covers were just one of the myriad of gimmicks used. If it was possible it was done. Foil stamped. 3D. Wrap around and connected. Die Cut. Holograms. And of course there was CHROMIUM. The possibilities seemed endless. At the time it was exciting to see what the publishers could come up with. Fancy covers certainly meant more money could be charged though and for that reason the gimmick was widely over done.
When I read this series as it came out I like it quite a bit. I really loved McDaniel’s art, and still do. The story was exciting and well written. And hey, they brought Elektra back. I enjoyed rereading it for this piece as well. While many of the tropes that were used in this story have been used to excess over the years I think they work fine here. Daredevil’s secret identity being revealed to world works to add tension to the story but is not the main plot line. The demon and guest stars do not add a whole lot but they don’t necessarily feel out of place. Finally a good Daredevil story has ninjas and this story certainly has got plenty of them.
At the beginning of this piece I mentioned the “Man Without Fear” mini-series. That story was a retelling of Daredevil’s origin, and it was an excellent series. So in the Era of Excess, the Chromium covered Nineties, Daredevil got two excellent stories. One retold where he came from and the other opened up a world of possibilities.
Well if you made it through all that I have to recommend that you check out the other blogs and podcasts participating in the SuperBlog TeamUp. They are all excellent bloggers and podcasts who are passionate and love discussing comics. Most of us were collecting during the Chromium Age and have great stories to share. Please check ‘em out, you won’t regret it.
Super-Hero Satellite: 70s-80s Photo Covers. A snapshot of pre 90s era of gimmicks, the evolution of a trend through the years. https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/super-blog-team-up-chromium-the-great-photo-cover-swindle/
Chris is on Infinite Earths (Blog): Adventures of Superman #500 (White Bag/Lenticular Cover/etc.)
Chris is on Infinite Earths (Podcast): Episode 33: Team Titans #1 (1992) Five Variant Covers… and five variant stories!
Comic Reviews by Walt: The ’90s Revisited: Shiny Covers
Source material: Spider-Man Torment (issues 1-5) by Todd McFarlane – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21862584
The Telltale Mind (Geoff) – Worlds Collide – The Intercompany Crossover
Between The Pages – Guerilla Marketing
DC In The 80s –
Justin’s 5 most memorable DC “gimmicks” (1990 – 1995): robin II hologram covers, spectre glow-in-the-dark covers, Justice League Task Force #1 with JLA membership card, Batman Shadow of the Bat #1 collector’s issue, #5 undecided.
Mark’s most memorable DC comic cover “gimmicks” (1980 – 1989)
Comics In The Golden Age (Mike) – Fawcett’s Mighty Midget comics.
Unspoken Issues – Darkhawk #25 – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21862604
Dave’s Comic Heroes Blog Connected Covers gimmicks – New Teen Titans 37/Batman and the Outsiders 5
When It Was Cool – Polybag It! The Blight of the Polybagged Comic Book
Pop Culture Retrorama – Chromium… Glow In The Dark Covers
In My Not So Humble Opinion – It Came From the 1990s: Force Works #1 – Pop-Up Cover
Black & White and Bronze Comics Blog – Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine 1968. Stan Lee’s foray into the magazine format.
I cannot believe it’s been over 25 years since this came out! I enjoyed your retrospective. Back then I only had issue #s 323-325 from this storyline, so I never knew the specifics of the early chapters until now.
I would be interested in reading your thoughts on the storylines that followed this with Matt in his “Jack Battlin” identity. As you say, that new direction sputtered out pretty quickly, and Matt was back in his regular ID and costume within two years. It srated off promising with “Tree of Knowledge” but after that apparently some behind the scenes creative issues and editorial changeover led to a restoration of the status quo.
I’ve actually been meaning to do a write-up on “Tree of Knowledge” for some time now. Gotta re-read it soon.
What’s funny is that when I pulled these issues out of the Daredevil box there was nothing behind them. I’ve gotta track them down and re-read them.