Daredevil #2

Title:"The Evil Menace Of Electro"
Writer:Stan Lee
Penciler:Joe Orlando
Inker:Vince Colletta
Cover:Joe Orlando/Jack Kirby/Vince Colletta
Colours:Unknown
Letters:Sam Rosen
Editor:Stan Lee
Assistant Editor:None
Date:June 1964
Cover Price:0.12

Characters

Daredevil
Electro
Foggy Nelson
Human Torch
Invisible Woman
Karen Page
Matt Murdock
Mr. Fantastic
Thing

Daredevil #1


Daredevil #3

Jack Kirby
Volume 1 - 2 3 4 12 13 43
Volume 2 - None
Volume 3 - None
Volume 4 - None
Volume 5 - None
Joe Orlando
Volume 1 - 2 3 4
Volume 2 - None
Volume 3 - None
Volume 4 - None
Volume 5 - None
Stan Lee
Volume 1 - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 53
Volume 2 - 20
Volume 3 - None
Volume 4 - None
Volume 5 - None
Vince Colletta
Volume 1 - 2 3 4 5 12 43 44 45 113 114 115 116 117 118 120 121 122 123
Volume 2 - None
Volume 3 - None
Volume 4 - None
Volume 5 - None

Issue Summary

Summary/Review by Aaron Polk

The second issue opens inside the law offices Nelson and Murdock. Foggy sits at his desk working on paperwork of some sort when Karen enters, announcing that a "most unusual client" is waiting outside. Foggy tells her to tell the guest to wait and then sexually harasses her quite blatantly by requesting that she never change the "craaazy perfume" she's wearing. I wish I were kidding. I am not.

The door bursts in. It seems the "unusual client" is none other than The Thing (from Fantastic Four fame) and he'll be left waiting by no one. There is a panel or two of The Thing uses powers I did not realize he has to weld the two broken pieces of door back together. He then explains to Foggy why he's there. The services of a good lawyer are needed to review the new lease on The Fantastic Four skyscraper. Foggy explains that he's not the lease guy around here and that The Thing will have to wait for Matt Murdock to return. The Thing again reminds us all that he waits for no one. He and the rest of The Fantastic Four are on their way to Washington, D.C. to accept medals of honor. "Tell [Murdock] he'll have to go to our headquarters and examine the place to make sure that it's everything the lease says it is," orders The Thing. He requests a picture of Matt Murdock to feed into the "electric-eye watchdog gizmo" so that Murdock can just walk in when he arrives. Karen offers up the picture of Matt she has stowed in her desk (naturally, some grumbling by Foggy about the picture being stowed there). The Thing takes the picture and then climbs out the window where The Fantastic Four hover car is waiting for him. Every member of the team is given an obligatory line and then they depart. with Karen calling after them to please return the picture she gave them. It is apparently the only one she has.

Hold up a second. My radar for the silliness of comic book stories is already starting to twinge. The Fantastic Four have their entire operations in a rented building? Somehow I don't think so.

Anyway...we cut to the parking lot fo a dingy garage where we see Daredevil stealthily approaching the door. Using his cane, he lightly taps on the door. Inside, a pudgy man answers the door and finds himself flummoxed to find no one there. But someone grabs him from outside and pulls him through the opening. Enter Daredevil, right in the middle of a chop shop where "naughty little car thieves" are busy repainting stolen cars. The usual bad guy chatter ("We can handle him" "Six against one? He must have been batty to come here alone!") and the fight is on. Someone throws a hammer at Daredevil, who ducks it just in time. Using his cane, he slides a four-wheeled dolly at his assailant, knocking him over. The next bad guy rushes DD with a blowtorch. DD again uses his cane to pick up a bucket of paint and flip it over the blowtorch. Another assailant subdued. Two more men rush DD and he barely escapes by grabbing onto a crane overhead and swinging to safety. Fortunately, he lands next to a pile of tires that he uses to toss over the onrushing men. The final criminal has started a truck and drives headlong toward our hero. Will he escape in time? Or will he use another tire as a slingshot to shoot an engine like a missile toward the front grill of the oncoming truck. The answer is both and the radar mentioned above once again begins to twinge.

Nearby, the mastermind behind the chop shop watches the police arrest his men and congratulate Daredevil on a job well done. His name is Electro and handy captions remind us that he almost defeated The Amazing Spider-Man in issue #9. We then get a one panel recreation of Electro's origin. He was formerly an electric lineman named Max Dillon. One day, on a high-tension repair job, lightning struck him, given an electrical charge to his entire body. Dillon designs himself a costume and decides to use his new powers to "prey on helpless humanity." Thus was born "one of the most dangerous villians of all time."

Cut to news footage announcing the arrival of The Fantastic Four in Washington, D.C. Electro decides that with The Fantastic Four out of their hide-out that this would be the perfect opportunity for him to break in and steal their scientific secrets. He could then sell these secrets to a hostile foreign nation, reaping a fortune.

Matt Murdock returns to the office where Foggy and Karen excitedly about the visit from The Thing. Foggy explains to Matt what The Fantastic Four need him to do. Karen then offers up her form of good news: she knows an eye specialist who would be willing to perform surgery on Matt Murdock, allowing him to get his sight back. Murdock obviously would never go along with this but he tells Karen that he'll think about it. He explains that he wouldn't want to get his hopes up and be disappointed. Karen thinks to herself how much she loves Matt Murdock (oh, please) and yearns to marry him. She pities him for being blind and hopes that he can one day regain his sight. A seperate panel shows that Murdock's thoughts are the opposite of hers: he'd rather be blind and Daredevil than see and be a normal man. We are treated to another one panel origin, this one of Daredevil. Saved an old man, now I'm blind, the truck had radioactive materials in it, yadda yadda yadda. Matt tells Foggy and Karen that he'll go check out the F.F. headquarters now and for them to take messages.

Meanwhile, Electro is using the currents that flow through electrical cable hidden inside the walls to scale the Baxter Building and enter through a top-story window.

Downstairs, the electronic alarm device recognizes Murdock's face and allows him entry but instantly Murdock gets a feeling of danger and quickly changes into his Daredevil costume. He changes just in time, too. Electro is now at the security monitors and it would have been bad for our villian to see our hero's alter ego. Naturally, Daredevil is recognized as the man who smasjed up Electro's automobile gig and Electro vows revenge. Using the computers in the Baxter Building will be a piece of cake for Electro who can use the machinery's electrical currents as a potent weapon.

Back downstairs to Daredevil, who hears the elctrical current being activated. Fearing his own electrocution, he tosses his billy club at the source of the power, short-circuiting the current (apparently, the billy club is a non-conductor). Electro marvels at finally having a formidable foe, an enemy worthy of his mettle, and begins playing with Daredevil a bit. He shoots bolt after bolt at our hero, who must respond by bouncing all over the place, employing his razor-sharp reflexes to their fullest extent. Eventually, Daredevil finds the light switch and plunges the room into darkness, given him and his radar sense the advantage. In the darkness, DD finds a barbell of some sort that he plans to hurl at his attacker. But the bar bell belongs to The Thing and it is bolted to a spring cable through the floor and it is too heavy for dardevil to lift. In the moments wasted, attempting to lift the barbell, Electro illuminates the room with a burst of light. Electro reminds us that he almost defeated Spider-Man and hurls a mighty bolt that strikes DD. Daredevil strikes his head on the bar bell and is rendered unconscious. There are now several panels of Electro dragging Daredevil's unconscious body into the Fantastic Four's skyscraper rocket launcher. He seals the door shut. "Thanks to the unwitting genius of Reed Richards, the world will never again set eyes on Daredevil!"

But...Electro can't get the damn thing to start. Handy captions explain that Reed Richards has wired the rocket's controls to only respond to a touch that has the same molecular structure as a member of The Fantastic Four. A problem to be sure for any other villian but Electro uses the electrical energy possessed in his own body to blast the rocket, redirecting the currents in the rocket. The rocket starts and launches out the roof into the building into the sky.

Aboard the rocket ship, which reaches the edges of our atmosphere in mere seconds, Daredevil is regaining his bearings. First, he uses his incredible senses to loosen the ropes that bind him. Since he can feel the stress points of the knotted cords, he can easily loosen the ropes by tensing and untensing the necessary muscles to the proper degree (another handy caption informs us that The Great Houdini might have used this same technique in some of his greatest escapes, which I think is somewhat superfluous information to let us in on). Once freed, Daredevil finds the rocket's control room and redirects the rocket's course. And then, possibly the dumbest thing I have ever seen in this comic book, even dumber than the aforementioned tire/engine slingshot, Daredevil flies the rocket back to earth, successfully landing it in the middle of Central Park. And I'm sorry...I don't care how keen his radar senses, I refuse to believe that he can fly a rocket and land it to safety. There's just no way I'm buying this.

Of course, the rocket touches down and a swarm of police officers approaches. Daredevil runs. There is a hansom cab nearby and Daredevil jumps onto the back of the horse. Using his billy club, he breaks through the harness straps with one karate-like blow and escapes on horseback through the streets of New York. He creates quite a stir by jumping over traffic. He dismounts at The Baxter Building by grabbing ahold of a flag pole overhead and swinging up into the second floor where he left his Matt Murdock clothes earlier.

Back on the street, clad as Murdock, he runs into Karen Page, who calls out to him. He ignores her, however, knowing that one more second's delay could mean Electro's escape. Karen laments ever mentioning the surgery to her beloved. "I know he heard me, but he deliberately ignored me," she tells herself.

Meanwhile, Daredevil needs a way back into The Baxter Building without alerting Electro to his presence. He knows that the only way to do this would be to drop down from above. So, still dressed as Murdock, he climbs to the roof of the heliport building and changes back into Daredevil. The sightseeing helicopter is about to take off and so Daredevil bypasses the crew and lunges for it, catching its underbelly with his cane.

A full page of the helicopter flying over New York City with Daredevil hanging on below. Its actually a kind of cool and dramatic drawing. I admit it, Joe ORlando is quite an artist. He thinks to himself: "I'm familiar with the schedule of these sight-seeing whirlybirds. Exactly two minutes and fiteen seconds after takeoff it should be directly over The Baxter Building! I'm keeping time by listening to my own pulsebeat!! I can't afford to be one second off!!"

Meanwhile, inside The Baxter Building, Electro uses his powers to cut through the steel door of Reed Richards' private vault. With a THUD!, the door falls open, revealing all the secrets therein. Electro peruses them and, once again, announces his diabolical plan to sell these secrets to a foreign power (though he also admits that he doesn't understand a single word).

At this moment, the sight-seeing helicopter, is right above The Baxter Building. A close-up of Daredevil's face, who informs us that right now would be exactly two minutes and fifteen seconds. An elongated overhead shot of Daredevil dropping from the helicopter as it passes over an enormous skylight. An absolutely incredible drawing of Daredevil, arms crossed over his face, shards of broken glass surrounding him, as he drops through the skylight into the room. much to the chagrin of Electro, who shouts, "DAREDEVIL!!!."

Electro runs for it with our hero in hot pursuit. Using his electrical powers, he slices through the doors of the elevator. He jumps onto the elevator's electrical cables and uses their force to glide gracefully down the cables to the first floor. Daredevil follows, using his non-conducting (?) cane as a grappling hook, his momentum swinging him around and around and around until he hits the bottom thirty-five stories below.

Outside, Electro makes a dramatic escape by jumping onto the roof of a speeding car. Daredevil does the same but keeps up by jumping from car to car. Realizing that he can't keep ahead of Daredevil for long, Electro uses his amazing power to draw himself under the marquee of a luxurious movie house. Daredevil hears the voices, the flickering of bulbs, the sound of tickets being torn, and realizes too late where Electro is heading. Using all the forms of electricity to be had in a movie house (Stage lights, speakers, etc.), Electro propels himself onto the stage, gaining more power with each source he absorbs. Daredevil follows the screams of performers and patrons alike and eventually corners Electro in the catwalks of the stage. But the screaming is a distraction and Electro overpowers him, hitting him with a bolt that sends Daredevil toppling from the catwalk. He catches himself with his cane. As Electro toys with him, Daredevil crawls to the main curtain control box and just as it seems that Electro might have won, Daredevil drops the curtain. Electro gets tangled in it and falls to the stage floor where hordes of policeman are waiting for him. They hose him down, knowing that while wet his electrical powers are useless. Sopping wet, Electro vows revenge : "I'll get you for this, Daredevil! You haven't heard the last of me!"

One panel of Daredevil back at The Baxter Building repairing the Richards' vault as good as new.

Back at the offices of Nelson and Murdock, Matt enters just in time. The Fantastic Four follow closely behind (The Thing once again bursting in through the door, breaking it). The Thing screams that they want to sue somebody, yelling that while they were gone, some nut busted their skylight. Reed apologizes and offers to replace the door and then asks for Murdock's report on their lease. Matt grins sheepishly and apologizes as well, it seems he's been too busy to get to it. The Fantastic Four storm out, claiming to find a different lawyer who works a bit faster. Foggy is angry. "How could you lose us four famous clients like them?" Matt smiles to himself and says, "It wasn't easy, partner! Believe me!"

All in all, this issue is a big disappointment. It has amazing artwork, some of the best I've seen in this book from Joe Orlando, but some of the story elements leave a lot to be desired. Unusual, considering that the second issue should be more important than the first. With the second issue, you want to keep the attention of people who enjoyed the first one and you want to garner attention from those who have never read the book before. Myself, if I had never read a Daredevil book before reading this one, I would have been turned off and not given later books a chance. The silliness and campiness of 1960's comic books is at an all-time high here and this is not a compliment.

Daredevil (and other related characters appearing) and the distinctive likenesses are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used WITHOUT permission.
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