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DD Book Club - The Day the Devil Didn't Dare

 
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Mike Murdock
Golden Age


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1715

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2022 10:57 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club - The Day the Devil Didn't Dare Reply with quote

I thought I would keep the Black Widow theme going a bit more and throw in this Denny O'Neil story (I also needed a couple of fill-in stories for reasons that will be clear in a few weeks).

Daredevil Vol. 1 #201 - The Day the Devil Didn't Dare

Quote:

Someone tries to kill Foggy Nelson and Daredevil is too beat up to search for him. Black Widow searches up some information and finds who it is.


Due 12/3
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2022 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting that we recently reviewed that Nocenti story about the military vet who was experimented upon, because I thought that would have been improved if it were a solo Black Widow story. Here, we have another issue that is essentially a Widow story co-starring Daredevil.

During writer Denny O'Neil's run, Black Widow made numerous appearances. Sometimes she was the damsel in distress. Sometimes she was the very capable partner. Here, she does all the heavy lifting while Matt is under-the-weather with a broken arm and a concussion. He advises her where to find leads for her investigation, but she quickly tells him she has her own methods. It's great.

I don't know if Marvel was considering giving Natasha her own series, or even a mini-series at the time, but given what O'Neil and artist William Johnson pulled off here, there was enough material for one. Freddie the Nerd is an amusing enough supporting character that a lot of readers in the mid-80s could find relatable. How did Widow find this guy? I would have liked to have known.

I'm not a huge fan of that 80s costume with the collar. It allowed her to cling to walls, and I think that made her too much of a spider-woman. I prefer her relying more on her widow's line. Still, her apprehension of the three men was great, especially the way she made that Closet guy fall into the water with her. Very clever.

As for the ending, how noticeable a smell is new boot smell? That seemed like a stretch to me. If one guy could smell it, I suppose it would be Daredevil, but still.....

I enjoyed this quite a bit. William Johnson did a great job here, even if sometimes his people are impossibly tall. It's a good story that I think would have turned a lot of people on to the Black Widow. I give this a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
Golden Age


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1715

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2022 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue begins very suddenly. Matt Murdock has to save Foggy's life without giving away his secret identity. I thought it was a very good balance. He doesn't hesitate to break his secret identity to save his friend. Matt is injured from a previous story so he has an added element of extra pathetic-ness. That being said, Foggy's mustache is ugly. I always forget that. Considering he is an illustration, I appreciate the decision to change the appearance of a supporting character for this period of time for no particular story reason.

Foggy is worried that the people he helped put out of business on behalf of his client want him dead. Matt agrees to check in on the client and finds out he is dead. It's at this point that Black Widow shows up and offers to help since Matt's too injured to do much. Black Widow has her own methods and her own sets of informants, including a computer hacker. I feel like this is the first appearance of a computer in Daredevil, but I could be wrong.

Denny O'Neil writes Black Widow in a very formal way. You definitely get the sense that English is not her first language. I think it's a good idea, but I don't think it's strictly necessary given how she normally speaks (in modern times, they've pretty much established that she was trained to have a flawless American accent, but I don't think that was the case back then).

She captures three suspects and brings them to Daredevil as a lie-detector test. Unfortunately, due to a heart condition, it's impossible to tell if they're lying. I really like this moment. He points out that it's easy to think his supersenses make up for it entirely, but Daredevil is truly a character defined by his weaknesses. However, DD is able to use his sense of smell and some deduction to figure out what happened and save the day.

I like this story a lot despite it being relatively inconsequential. I've read it before, but I honestly don't remember it. I love the exploration of senses and I had fun with Black Widow saving the day. Four Stars.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
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