Posts Tagged ‘Daredevil’

Posted Thursday, February 7th, 2019 by Barry

Marvel Treasury Special (1974)

DC beat Marvel to the holiday punch with the first of the Christmas specials beginning in 1974.

The Marvel Treasury Special was released Nov. 26 of that year on the heels of DC’s Limited Collector’s Edition (C-34) that hit newsstands Nov. 7.

Whereas DC had decades of material to draw from, Marvel had a little over 10-years worth of stories to plumb.

Naturally “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas!” led the list.

It was a reprint from Marvel Team-Up issue one starring Spider-Man and the Human Torch battling Sandman. A sappy story that brought out the season in both heroes who allowed Sandman to visit his mother on Christmas Eve.  The good deed does not go unpunished leading both heroes to a continuation of the story in issue two.

The remainder of the book is what the title promised:  a grab-bag.

Marvel Treasury Special (1974)

Marvel Treasury Special (1974)

In “Mortal Combat with…Sub-Mariner” is reprinted from Daredevil issue seven. Namor makes land fall to seek out Matt Murdock to serve as his lawyer. The sea prince wishes to sue the surface world for its exploitation of the other three quarters of the Earth.  Murdock’s alter ego is called upon when he refuses to take the case.

Black Widow stars in the next story taken from Amazing Adventures (1970) issue five. An unremarkable story. Maybe the most noteworthy of the book is Neal Adam’s assumption of penciling chores on the Inhuman’s story.

Fantastic Four issues 25 and 26, a two-part tale, finish out the book. The Thing and Hulk go toe-to-toe in issue 25 with the Avengers guest starring in the second part.

Far from the holiday specials to come in the 1990s, but at least setting a precedence for the company.

Posted Thursday, January 17th, 2019 by Barry

Daredevil (1964) 253

Daredevil (1964) 253

Daredevil (1964) 253

The only person to cause Daredevil more grief than the Kingpin is Frank Miller.

For 23 issues Miller penned and penciled a path through love and loss. Those were arguably two of the most riveting years of Daredevil’s life. Miller took a second-tier, blind hero and catapulted him to the levels of A-list, flagship characters like Spider-Man and Hulk.

In addition, Miller added to the pantheon of Marvel mythos by creating Electra Natchios. A former lover of Matt Murdock, Elektra returned to steal and break Murdock’s heart. Miller eventually brought the relationship to a tragic end having Bullseye murder her.

So popular was the character, the powers to be at Marvel refused to allow her a restful repose.

Issue 253 is a continuation of the Kingpin’s crusade to crush Murdock and his alter ego in “Merry Christmas, Kingpin.” It began in Miller’s original treatment of the character and escalated in the epic Born Again story arc that marked Miller’s return as scribe to DD. This time it’s Ann Nocenti and John Romita, Jr., in the driver’s seat.

Posted Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 by Barry

Marvel Treasury Edition 13

As America packed away its bicentennial banners and fervor, Marvel began packaging its third, and final, Holiday Grab-Bag. And, that’s what it was, a holiday-less hodge podge of reprints pulled from Avengers (1963) issue 58, Daredevil (1964) number 86, Marvel Team-Up 6 and Tales to Astonish (1959) 93.

Roger Stern was a lowly assistant editor in charge of choosing reprint material for Marvel’s stable of twice-told-tale books. He was tasked to fill the last of the holiday specials with suitable material. Having already used what little was available the previous two years, Stern was faced with a daunting task.

Marvel Treasury Edition 13

Marvel Treasury Edition 13

As Stern told Back Issue magazine, issue 85, Christmas in the Bronze Age, from 2015; he pulled the most tear jerking stories he could find to fill the book. Choices made, he found the book was still 10 pages short. Stern approached Editor Archie Goodwin who freed money for what Stern termed a “framing sequence” for the stories.

Fanboys were given the Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag Nov. 16, 1976, complete with a Gil Kane/Joe Sinnott cover featuring the Marvel mainstays. Stern penned the opening story, “Tis the Season,” showcasing the super heroes playing in the snow. Reprints included “…As Those Who Will Not See!” with Spider-Man and the Thing, “Even an Android Can Cry” featuring the Avengers, Hulk and Silver Surfer shared “He Who Strikes the Silver Surfer” and “Once Upon a Time – The Ox!” showcasing Daredevil and Black Widow.

This was the final Marvel holiday special until the 1990s. By then the House of Ideas would have a better catalog to choose from, even tossing in original material.

For me, nothing will ever beat the original specials from the 1970s. They were the perfect size to lie stomach down on the floor and marvel – pun intended – at the craftsmanship of those earlier Marvel Age stories.

Posted Sunday, December 24th, 2017 by Jeff

Covering All The Bases

Artwork by Michael Cho.

Happy Everything

Posted Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 by Barry

Marie Christmas

Marie Severin didn’t date this pin-up, but I’d put it somewhere between 1970 and 1972 based on the characters in evidence. This may be the only time Conan experienced Christmas.

Marie Christmas

Posted Monday, May 1st, 2017 by Barry

Daredevil (1964) 108

Not much Christmas in this issue. Daredevil drops the holiday name a few times, he and Black Widow use a string of wreaths for a balancing act and that’s about it.

Most of the issue is spent with DD taking inventory of his life, relationships and finally trading blows with the Beetle only to have the issue end with a continuation in Marvel Two-In-One 3.

Overall, unless you have some history with Daredevil during this era don’t bother with this one.

Daredevil (1964) 108

Posted Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 by Barry

Daredevil (1964) 169

Daredevil (1964) 169

Daredevil (1964) 169

By this point Frank Miller was firmly settled behind the wheel of Daredevil, engine thrumming down the road at 90, a high-performance talent revving on all cylinders popping in four-color drama with a telling blueprint for The Dark Knight Returns.

But, that is the future. For Christmas 1980 Bullseye’s escape shakes the snow globe mixing blood and madness with the faux snow.

Miller’s run on Daredevil is the precursor to Ronin and Hard Boiled leading to his masterpiece: Sin City. Too often overlooked in the Miller and comic book pantheon, issues 163-191 are too few, but allow a former minor hero to take center stage with the likes of Spider-Man and the X-Men.

Posted Thursday, March 30th, 2017 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special (1992)

Marvel Holiday Special (1992)

Marvel Holiday Special (1992)

As I said, the 1990s were bleak for comic books in general. One shining beacon were the early Marvel Holiday Specials.

Stan “the Man” Lee himself returned to pen the Spider-Man story, the first time since issue 200 outside of the newspaper strip. Barring Lee’s story, the star is Doc Samson’s revisionist origin of Chanukah. Even his ridiculous pony tail and post-Village People jump suit couldn’t spoil the fun.

Thanos’ touching tale of parenthood comes off as anything but contrived as do all the stories, featuring Wolverine, Punisher, New Mutants, Ironman and Daredevil.