Absolutely, I loved this story. O’Neil and Miller crafted my favorite type of Spidey story, where he’s in above his head and out of his element. Nothing goes right for Peter. He loses the girl twice, probably failed the lab he was in, beats up a bunch of gargoyles and for his trouble gets yelled at by an old lady, and shut out by Dr. Strange
John Walker was a replacement hero and it’s interesting to see how he handles things compared to the original. He’s a rageaholic and a government pawn, something Rogers would never be. It’s also interesting to see the government Cap siding with registration, something that 20 years later the original Captain America is famously not in favor o
The refugees being detained after fleeing their country and fearing the US is relevant today, as we have candidates running for President on platforms of walling off our borders keeping out immigrants from Latin America and banning refugees of certain backgrounds all together. It’s interesting to see Peter and Mary Jane looking into Amnesty for an undocumented alien in the 1980’s, not a system you would expect to be in place in the 1980’s and something we still debate today.
What I Remember:
Not a lot, somehow I managed to purchase part five of a six-part series, which means I came in very, very late to our story.
I did a little research into the “Fall From Grace” arc and learned that it coincided with Frank Miller’s return to Daredevil in the Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, this being the lesser promoted of the two. Also, since the 90's were all about mutants, Daredevil was not a hot property like he is whenever Miller works on the book or since the Marvel Knights line.
Nonetheless, this book served as my intro to Hell’s Kitchen and Daredevil.
This book features a new Daredevil costume because it’s the 90’s. He's also at war with ninjas.
Vital Stats: Daredevil #324
Writer: DH Chichester
Penciler: Scott McDaniel
Inkers: Collazo and Avon
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Publication Date:January 1994
Cover Price $1.25
Re-Collection Price:This is my original copy from 1994.
Lots. Unlike other multi-part stories that I reviewed this doesn’t get into recapping previous chapters, instead we begin with a recap of Matt and Elektra’s relationship. You know the story, lovers, friends, enemies, her death and her body falling into the clutches of The Hand. Best part of this recap is that it provided me with my first comics sex panel, which was amazing at the tender age of 10.
Our story proper begins in Central Park where Daredevil working with a ninja known as Stone to stop a virus being released by the ninja group Snakeroot. Unfortunately, Morbius, the Living Vampire, crashes the party and tries to snack on Stone’s neck and gets impaled for his struggles. The Snakeroot escape.
We cut to Snakeroot headquarters where Enteki, who was just battling DD in the park is given a mask and full admission to the cult
Back to our heroes, Daredevil and Morbius begin examining samples of the virus in Morbius’ lab. Morbius sees the transformative properties of the disease as a chance for him to be cured but Daredevil warns him of the virus’ danger and how he shouldn’t risk it. Morbius promises not to pursue it, but of course Matt could tell he was lying.
Morbius quickly diverts the awkward conversation by finding a newspaper in the trash with a familiar headline:
Daredevil, obviously annoyed that his secret identity is out (again!)meets with reporter-pal Ben Urich, who claims his intern hacked into his files and stole the information in order to make a name for herself. Matt has Ben run damage control with the news crews camped out in front of his apartment, while Matt goes back to hunting Snakeroot in Staten Island of all places.
Daredevil and Stone get shot at by John Garrett: Shield Cyborg, who knows how to make an entrance, and attacked by a ninja called Eryny, who’s trying to claim Elektra’s life as her own.
As suddenly as they were attacked, Eryny and Garrett flee saying, “she can’t be!” Hand gets filleted by a sai and Matt sees a ghost from his past.
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This book is intriguing enough as a stand alone, but it’s hard to decipher the plot from this issue alone. I would buy the whole series or the trade (it is cheap enough on Ebay) However, I can see why this book served started my interest in DD as a kid. It touches on a lot of classic Daredevil themes, Elektra, his ID getting revealed, Foggy and Karen make a quick cameo, and there’s super-powered ninjas.
The pacing might be a little off too, many pages had six panels, which doesn’t allow the art to breathe at all and the coloring is dark enough to make it hard to read. Some pages the art was so small that the lettering had to appear outside of the panels.
McDaniel tries to balance all of the story by putting stylized backgrounds on the pages to fill them up, a brave choice that looks cool, but I would prefer to see the art stretched out more so it’s easier to see the details One thing that I did like about the art was how Daredevil's radar sense looked. It was stylized and interesting.
We go back to the back issues of the Spectacular Spider-Man and issue #133 where Peter Parker is in a mental hospital?! Join us for “I am Spider” next Wednesday.
Absolutely, while the story is fun, I’m glad I picked it up for the Frank Giacoia art. It’s absolutely amazing. The moment that I opened the book, the splash page brought back a flood of memories from this book, that I hadn’t read in over 20 years. His Hulk looks like a monster, hunching and as wide as he is tall.
What I Remember: This was one of my favorite comics as a kid. Since it’s from the mid-1970’s it’s from my Uncle Peter’s ample collection of Hulk books from that era and this one was easiy my favorite.
I liked the Hulk a lot because he’s a very easy character for a kid to understand. He’s big green and strong and fueled by anger. The poor guy just wants to be left alone and never is.
The Incredible Hulk #209
Title: “The Absorbing Man is Out For Blood”
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 30¢
Re-Collecting Price: $12
Writer: Len Wein
Illustrations: Sal Buscema and Joe Stanton
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Publication Date: March 1977
Is it any good?
It’s interesting to see how comics have evolved as a storytelling medium in the last 38 years. This story was simple and easy to follow, it was a stand alone with little outside knowledge needed, it’s not written for the trade. It is a super-hero and super-villain smash 'em up. Rather than devote a page to recap the story, as we would today, instead exposition is woven into the story. We get flashbacks into Bruce Banner’s life and we’re brought up to speed quickly. Bruce Banner, on-the-run due to his alter-ego takes a job in a construction site as a laborer.
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What the story does well is make use of the character’s powers and abilities by giving them the proper setting to showcase the Absorbing Man, a villain who can take on the characteristics of whatever is around him by touching it. Setting it in a construction site allows the Absorbing Man to transition multiple times throughout the comic first into brick:
Red Hot Rivets:
And is Eventually done in by accidentally touching glass:
The setting allowed for the Absorbing Man to be a credible threat to the Hulk, hitting him with concrete, steel, burning him and then even absorbing the Green Goliath’s own strength. The Hulk only gets out of it by sheer luck despite his immense power.
Another thing that I really liked is how the Hulk transforms in this issue. I think the best part of the Hulk is the transformation from Banner to Hulk. No other hero has such a stark transformation for most heroes its a change of wardrobe, not the Hulk. The Hulk’s whole body changes, his clothes tear from his body, his skin color changes. It's an essential part of any portrayal of the Hulk.
This issue does it in four very cool panels, as banner falls off a beam and by the time he hits the ground he’s the Hulk.
I enjoyed this book, but I’m sure for a lot of people it will seem dated, its a simple story where nothing really changes and there aren’t a ton of stakes, the villain just decides to take out the Hulk. However the fight it fun and really plays up the two characters strengths, the transformation and absorbing an entire construction site. If you see this book on shelves, and it’s priced well,pick it up for a quick, fun read but by no means is it a must read.
Next Issue: We go back to the world of Batman the first appearance of Anarky in Detective Comics #608! Be There!