Daredevil #3

Title:"Daredevil Battles The Owl, Ominous Overlord Of Crime"
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:Aug. 1964
Cover Price:0.12

Characters

Daredevil
Foggy Nelson
Karen Page
Matt Murdock
Mr. Grey
Owl

Daredevil #2


Daredevil #4

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

Issue #3 opens with a large and dramatic half-page panel. Daredevil stands in the foreground. Behind him is a large barn owl that partially obscures the face of The Owl, a villian who will become increasingly more and more important over Daredevil's evolution. There is also a text box that, along with artist and writer credits, promises the reader that this issue will be "a movie-length action thriller." Is this a promise they can keep? Let's find out...

The issue itself opens on Wall Street. There's one panel that shows a couple of bank-looking buildings and a street sign that simply says "Wall." Not much being spent on set decorations around here, eh? But the caption makes clear that our focus should be on one man in particular anyway. The captions inform us that this man is ...A merciless man...A man with no friends...No loved ones...Nothing to connect him with the human race save the fact of his birth! To increase the mysteriousness, they do not show us his face. We instead see a looming shadow. We see his gloved hand as it pushes open a door. We see fear on the faces of the men he passes, people whispering to each other in the elevator. This man, this mysterious stranger, is a man of unspeakable menace.

Just to juxtapose the mysteriousness, there is one shot of Daredevil, perched atop a building. He comments on how quiet the city is. He laments not being needed.

Back to the mysterious man, whose face is now no longer obscured. His name is The Owl, the most ruthless financial wizard of all time. Upon entering his office, his secretary bombards him immediately with messages, specifically one concerning a certain Mr. Grey who is waiting for The Owl in a conference room. Mr. Grey does not look well. He appears to be worried, frightened. He tells Owl that the I.R.S. has accused him of fraud. Whatever shall he do? The Owl confesses that this whole operation has been a set-up, a way for him to have a convenient stool pigeon if any of his illegal business dealings ever surfaced. Mr. Grey has been framed as the fall guy. The Owl laughs maniacally and fires Mr. Grey, who hangs his head in shame as he shuffles from the building.

Cut back to Daredevil, who is responding to the sounds of a police siren below. He arrives too late, however. A crowd has gathered around a man who intentionally walked in front of a speeding car without a care in the world. He is recognized by a police officer as George Grey. It is mentioned that he is currently being indicted for fraud and that he works for The Owl. Daredevil commits that name to memory.

Of course, the police have several questions for The Owl. They bring him in for questioning. It seems that the investigation into George Grey points a few fingers at The Owl. The Owl insists upon his innocence. He is warned, though, at the police station that he might want to consider finding some legal representation. Smugly, The Owl scoffs, still swearing that there's no way anyone has a case against him. He doesn't need a lawyer, but he agrees to one just to prove how filmsy the prosecution's case is. He opens the phone book and picks an attorney's office at random. Guess who he picks?

Daredevil arrives back at his office just in time to overhear Foggy on the phone. It seems that Foggy is talking to The Owl and he is refusing to take the case. After quickly changing into his street clothes, he hurries into the office and grabs the phone. "I don't believe in turning down any cases, Foggy! I'll handle this one if you don't want to." He then tells The Owl that he'll be in court in ten minutes while Karen Page ruminates on how Mr. Murdock got in without being seen.

Back as Daredevil now, Murdock heads across the rooftops toward the courthouse, his wrinkle-proof suit wadded into a ball that he playfully bounces as he runs. There's some minor exposition as Daredevil explains that he's taking this case so that he can keep his eye on The Owl. There's also some claptrap about wishing that Foggy would stop refusing cases, refusing to help clients that they think are guilty is like considering them guilty without a trial. All of this of course undershadowed by the incredible silliness of Matt Murdock rolling his suit into a ball for easy transport. God, this book was silly back then.

Anyway, at the courthouse, it is agreed that The Owl can be released into Murdock's custody. At least, until tomorrow, where further deposition is planned for ten am. Murdock signs the papers and then meets The Owl for the first time. With his heightened senses, Matt can tell from The Owl's labored breathing, from his pulse rate, that The Owl is a man charged with sheer animal power, power that he has chosen to direct into evil channels. It is described again that Matt's extraordinary powers allow him to "see" the things that mortal men cannot, to hear things that a normal person couldn't. Because of this, when The Owl says that he'll be here tomorrow morning at ten for the deposition, Matt knows he is lying. As The Owl wanders off, laughing to himself, Murdock reminds us that The Owl hasn't gotten away with anything. "Now that I've formed a mental image of him, I'll be able to find him again anywhere!"

As expected, The Owl does not show up in court the next day. A warrant is issued for his immediate arrest.

There's a lot of talking in this issue. Talk. Talk. Talk.

As Murdock heads back to his office, he ponders a way to make his costume more efficient. He decides on a hood for his shoulders. This way, he can conceal his clothes under it and they will always be handy. But before he can get started on this project, he must deal with Foggy and Karen. Foggy rather tactlessly invites Matthew bowling with him and Karen. Matthew graciously reminds Foggy that blind people don't bowl very well. Karen, meanwhile, swoons and thinks to herself how awful it would be to be handicapped like Matt. A panel devoted to Karen secretly pining for Matt Murdock is apparently a requirement for every issue.

Three panels of Matt designing his special hood, describing how it works, showing us how his clothes will fit inside it. Its kind of neat, actually. And then we're off, with Daredevil as he scours the city, looking for The Owl. He searches in the sewers, spans the bridges that leave the city, tears apart the train trestles, searching for some sign that The Owl has passed through. He finds nothing. In a cool drawing, Daredevil leans against a post on the harbor, cursing his own hubris to think that he could so easily have found The Owl. "It seems that even a man with super keen sense isn't infallible!"

Cut to a full-page panel of The Owl's Aerie. Or his hide out, since I dont think "aerie" is actually a word. Wait...I guess it is. Cut to a full-page panel of the exterior of the Owl's Aerie. It is a large headquarters, shaped like a large, round owl head. The caption says it is designed to look like a jagged part of the scenery when viewed from the river, but the aerie I see in this drawing could be confused for nothing other than what it is. It is a large concrete owl head sitting atop a purple house. Both of these, the owl head and the house, are perched high upon The Palisades Cliffs. Inconspicuous this headquarters is not.

Anyway, The Owl has welcomed two guests into his chambers. He refers to them as "Sad Sam" Simms and "Ape" Horgon. They are apparently two of the underworld's most dangerous men. Talk. Talk. Talk.

The Owl challenges the two thugs to a test of their abilities, to see if they are truly as dangerous as reputed, dangerous enough to work for The Owl. Since Simms is known as "The Best Gunman In The East," The Owl challenges him to a duel. Simms seems alarmed at first, but The Owl tells him that the bullets are made of wax. Simms agrees. Both men draw their guns and fire. It seems that Simms shot his wax bullet into the barrel of The Owl's pistol, rendering it unable to fire. The Owl is impressed. Now, its time for Horgon's challenge. Horgon claims to be as strong as an ape so The Owl asks him to wrestle one. An actual ape. A big gorilla that The Owl just happens to be holding captive in his Aerie. Horgon beats it, though. Having both proven their worth, The Owl invites them both to join the team but warns them against ever trying to double cross him by giving a demonstration of his power and abilities.

Are you ready for this? I swear I'm not making this up. The Owl pushes a button which causes a trapdoor in the floor to open. Both thugs fall in the newly-formed hole and begin plummeting down a chute that seems to be bottomless. They are, of course, freaked as they fall. There's a kind of cool drawing of the two men dropping toward us, The Owl, in silohuette, looming in the background. The Owl rushes out to the roof of his Aerie just as the two thugs emerge from the chute. He yells at them not to panic. Then, he nosedives off the roof of the building. His cape opens up and he glides down toward the river, rescuing the two men before they fall to their deaths. Now, I know I didn't describe any of this too well, but its kind of hard to describe. It's also quite silly and a little embarassing to recap. Suffice it to say that The Owl can glide. That's his power. He can glide.

Convinced now that he has the right two men for the job, The Owl gathers them up into his motorboat, heading back into the heart of the city, where they have crimes to commit. As they travel, The Owl divulges that he needs one more thing before he can embark on his life of crime. He needs a mouthpiece, a lawyer gullible enough to act as a front. Naturally, he wants Matt Murdock, who is blind and inexperienced.

Speaking of Matt Murdock, we cut to his office, where Karen and Foggy are noticing that Matt hasn't been his usual chipper self all day. He can't tell them that he's upset about letting The Owl get away the night before, so he coyly avoids the subject. Karen mentions again that perhaps Matt should consider surgery to have his vision restored. Matt blows this off, too, not only telling her that he has learned to live with his affliction, but that it's way past quitting time and she should probably run along home now. Karen apologizes for speaking out of turn. With a tear in her eye, she thinks to herself that she must mean less than nothing to Matt Murdock. Matt, in turn, questions to himself why Karen's heartbeat always speeds up whenever she's around him. As Karen leaves, Matt smells a bird coming from the other side of the wall, a vacant office. Is it The Owl? He tells Foggy that he thinks that Karen was disappointed because he didn't offer to walk her home. Foggy is apparently stupid and rushes off to follow after her, leaving Matt alone in the office, free to change into his Daredevil costume.

Once changed, Daredevil climbs out his window onto the ledge. Carefully, he traverses the corner and jumps through the adjoining office window. It's a dramatic drawing: glass shards flying everywhere. It's The Owl all right. And he has Simms and Horgan with hiim. Horgan goes after Daredevil. Daredevil falls backward onto the floor. With his feet, he begins spinning Horgan around. Horgan sails through the air, defeated. Then, Daedevil hears an audible click and knows that its a gun about to be fired. Sure enough, Simms has drawn his weapon, but Daredevil draws his billy club and bats the bullet out of the air. All three villians are mesmerized by Daredevils' lightning-quick reflexes.

Then, Karen Page enters the scene. She forgot her purse and then seeing the vacant office door open, decided to peek in and see what was going on. Daredevil yells for her to run. The Owl, hearing genuine concern for this woman in the voice of his adversary takes Karen hostage. He tells Daredevil that he must surrender or he'll kill Karen. Realizing the danger she just might be in, Daredevil surrenders. The Owl laughs maniacally while Karen wonders aloud how Daredevil knew her name. Using his own billy club against him, Daredevil is tied up and carted away.

Cut to inside the Aerie, where both Karen and Daredevil are in seperate cages that hang suspended from the ceiling. The Owl is ordering his men about, demanding that they go to all the city's top mob bosses and inform them that The Owl has captured the once elusive Daredevil. He will deliver Daredevil to them if they all submit to The Owl as the new overlord of crime. Meanwhile, in his cage, Daredevil is using The Owl's voice to determine exactly how big the room is and how far his cage might be from the ground. He confides that he isn't worried about himself. He must protect Karen.

Once The Owl is gone, Daredevil flexes his arm muscles again and again, bending the billy club in such a way that a concealed hinge breaks open. Once the hinge is open, he is able to break the cords that bind him. Inside the hinge, there is a hidden flexible cotter pin that Daredevil uses to pick the lock on his cage. Door now opened, Daredevil swings out of his cage. But, from across the room, Karen warns him not to touch the ground. The floor is wired. Touching it will set off an alarm. So Daredevil swings back and forth, using his suspended cage as a pendulum, building up enough momentum that he can launch himself through the air. He can't, however, use the cotter pin to unlock Karen's cage because he fears that she will recognize Matthew's walking stick, so he uses all the strength in his arms and legs to bend the bars enough for her to squeeze through. With Karen hanging from his shoulders, he then uses her cage like a pendulum and swings them to the door.

All right, out of the room. Now get out of the building. Daredevil leads Karen down a flight of stairs until they find a garage. He tells Karen to take a car to get the police. She won't leave without Daredevil. She has a few questions for him. What was The Owl doing in the office next door? How did Daredevil get involved? How does Daredevil know Karen's name? Because now apparently Daredevil is stupid, he says, "The last question is the easiet! I've seen you in my dreams since I can remember, Karen!" She, of course, recognizes his voice. At least, she recognizes something about his voice. She starts to say, "You're voice reminds me of Matt Murdock," but she gets interrupted by the arrival of The Owl. Karen starts the car. The Owl pulls a lever, trying to seal the garage door shut, but Daredevil uses his billy club to jam the spring mechanism. Karen is able to escape.

The Owl jumps onto Daredevil's back. Daredevil, of course, flips The Owl over his shoulder. The Owl attempts to flee up a stone staircase, Daredevil following behind. At the top of the stairs, The Owl pulls another lever, which flattens the stairs out, turning them into a downward slope. Daredevil loses his footing and slides down through another trapdoor into the river. Don't ask me. I don't write 'em. I just recap 'em.

The Owl hears approaching police sirens. He glides from his roof to the water below, where he has a boat stowed. He starts it and takes off just as Daredevil resurfaces from the water. Using his cane to jam the outboard motor, Daredevil successfully capsizes the boat. But there is now no sign of The Owl. Frustrated, not knowing if his enemy is alive or not, Daredevil climbs from the water.

Later, as Matt Murdock, he finds Karen, who stands watching the police arrest a whole group of men. It seems that Simms and Horgan have returned with all the gangsters and mob bosses who want to see the imprisoned Daredevil. The police promptly arrest them all. We learn all this in a recap from Karen, who explains to Matt the events that have taken place.

The issue ends with Matt Murdock walking off into the distance. Karen, watching him leave, thinks to herself: "I must be falling in love with him! Why else would such a shy, quiet, handicapped man remind me of...of all people...the man called Daredevil?"

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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