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DD Book Club One-Shot: Duel

 
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:27 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club One-Shot: Duel Reply with quote

I miscounted when Deadpool gets released, so, instead, we're having this classic issue. Introducing a new writer - the one and only Jim Shooter.

Daredevil Vol. 1 #146 - Duel



Quote:
Daredevil and Bullseye battle to the death on national television


Synopsis is my own. I think it fairly represents the point...

Due 2/13
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the 70s were a good time for Marvel Comics. Sure, the Spider-Man cartoon was a hit made on the cheap, and the Incredible Hulk show was popular. Eventually Claremont would revolutionize the X-Men, but a lot of what Marvel put out in the 70s was forgettable. They were just churning out product for kids to digest. This comic is clearly one of those products.

I had forgotten Gil Kane drew Daredevil. By this time he had to be one of the last surviving giants from the 60s, along with John Buscema. He certainly draws with confidence. Everything is so clean. It's very close to Colan's work, but I guess that shouldn't be surprising. I think Kane's main skill was perfectly imitating the style of the artist before him, whether it was Romita Sr., Colan or Kirby.

This is only 15 issues since Bullseye's first appearance, which took up two issues. I'm surprised to learn that he appeared again in #141 and 142. Clearly he was a hit, and he was brought in repeatedly to cause trouble for Daredevil over a very short time. The costume has been altered slightly since #131. The bullseye on his head is slightly smaller, along with the one around his shoulders. His eyes are now visible. Miller would tweak this costume some more once he came on the series. But that's just the look. His language in this issue is stereotypical supervillain. (He actually says, "Bah!") At this point it would be hard to distinguish his dialogue from that of Dr. Octopus. Miller would forever define Bullseye's voice starting with #169.

But, until then, we had this. It probably didn't stand out too much at the newsstand in 1977, but there are some strong points. Jim Shooter wastes no time getting to the action. Daredevil detects Bullseye walking around in plain clothes on the very first page, and then stealthily follows him after changing into his Murdock identity. The temporary removal of Daredevil's radar sense is a cool way to increase the danger within the story, and this wouldn't be the last time that would be done. Finally, Matt's "never give up" attitude is on full display here. As a bonus, the incrimination of Glenn Industries at the issue's end was a nice touch, and it clearly provided heartache for Matt.

But one thing that bugs me with pre-Miller Bullseye stories is that we are constantly told that "in his hands anything is a deadly weapon," so anything he throws should lead to a death. I realize that we're still dealing with the Comics Code at this point, but he throws things at Daredevil, and, yes, they hurt him, but he still survives. I have often tried to justify this by imagining that Daredevil slightly shifted his body at the last second, allowing the blow to be non-lethal. But it seemed that the golf ball was something for which Matt wasn't prepared. It seriously hurt him, for sure, but surely Bullseye would have no problem killing the guy that foiled his robbery.

I guess that's my main problem with this issue: I don't know how Daredevil survives all of these blows, especially the gunshot. Shooter's answer seems to be, "Daredevil is just that awesome, and he never gives up." While I agree with that statement wholeheartedly, it'll only go so far for me.

I'll give this issue a passing grade, because Kane's are is strong, and there is nothing to offend a Daredevil fan. I'll give it a 3.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue had a lot of hype for me. Several times during Frank Miller's original Daredevil run, he referenced this issue (most notably in #191). When I moved beyond Frank Miller, I knew I had to get it. It's actually one of the first comics I owned as an individual comic. I think I ordered it on ebay at the time because I didn't know where else to buy comics. So did the issue live up to its hype? No, not really. But it's a solid pre-Miller Daredevil story, imo.

The issue starts with Matt spotting Bullseye in civilian clothes. Think he could lead them to perpetual kidnap victim Deborah Harris, he follows, also in civies. I like the interaction between them and how Matt can't actually stop him without revealing himself. My one complaint is Bullseye's decision to peg him with the golf ball was poorly handled. It wasn't entirely clear why (my guess is he was angry) and it isn't clear why he didn't kill him with it. But it had the inadvertent effect of stopping his radar sense. I can't say I appreciated how helpless Matt became without the radar sense. Later writers have tried to downplay it and show how he can be capable with just his other supersenses. But it certainly raises the stakes.

The fight isn't too bad. It's another one of the classic fights of Daredevil winning through determination. On the other hand, I don't think Bullseye is quite as intimidating as he should be. In his hands, any object can be a deadly weapon. The emphasis should be on deadly. At best, Matt seemed to have a mild concussion. In fact, while getting pummeled, his radar sense started to come back. Still, I liked the lines: "Maybe I am half dead, maybe I should have laid down and died a long time ago, but I didn't and I won't. Ever." That's a good classic Daredevil moment. The ending has a bit of a twist for the long-running plot. Daredevil finds out who hired Bullseye to assassinate him. Turns out, it was Heather Glenn's father. Spoiler alert: as the teaser for next time alludes to, there's more to it than that with the return of Killgrave.

Jim Shooter had a very short eight issue run on Daredevil. Although he made his mark on Marvel as a whole, it wasn't through Daredevil. Still, he was responsible for two big early issues with Bullseye. As I said in the beginning, the issue is just OK. I think it has a lot of silliness and the "cool" moments aren't quite cool enough. But it's a solid Daredevil story overall. I'll give it Three Stars.
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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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The Overlord
Paradiso


Joined: 22 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
I don't think the 70s were a good time for Marvel Comics. Sure, the Spider-Man cartoon was a hit made on the cheap, and the Incredible Hulk show was popular. Eventually Claremont would revolutionize the X-Men, but a lot of what Marvel put out in the 70s was forgettable. They were just churning out product for kids to digest. This comic is clearly one of those products.

I had forgotten Gil Kane drew Daredevil. By this time he had to be one of the last surviving giants from the 60s, along with John Buscema. He certainly draws with confidence. Everything is so clean. It's very close to Colan's work, but I guess that shouldn't be surprising. I think Kane's main skill was perfectly imitating the style of the artist before him, whether it was Romita Sr., Colan or Kirby.

This is only 15 issues since Bullseye's first appearance, which took up two issues. I'm surprised to learn that he appeared again in #141 and 142. Clearly he was a hit, and he was brought in repeatedly to cause trouble for Daredevil over a very short time. The costume has been altered slightly since #131. The bullseye on his head is slightly smaller, along with the one around his shoulders. His eyes are now visible. Miller would tweak this costume some more once he came on the series. But that's just the look. His language in this issue is stereotypical supervillain. (He actually says, "Bah!") At this point it would be hard to distinguish his dialogue from that of Dr. Octopus. Miller would forever define Bullseye's voice starting with #169.

But, until then, we had this. It probably didn't stand out too much at the newsstand in 1977, but there are some strong points. Jim Shooter wastes no time getting to the action. Daredevil detects Bullseye walking around in plain clothes on the very first page, and then stealthily follows him after changing into his Murdock identity. The temporary removal of Daredevil's radar sense is a cool way to increase the danger within the story, and this wouldn't be the last time that would be done. Finally, Matt's "never give up" attitude is on full display here. As a bonus, the incrimination of Glenn Industries at the issue's end was a nice touch, and it clearly provided heartache for Matt.

But one thing that bugs me with pre-Miller Bullseye stories is that we are constantly told that "in his hands anything is a deadly weapon," so anything he throws should lead to a death. I realize that we're still dealing with the Comics Code at this point, but he throws things at Daredevil, and, yes, they hurt him, but he still survives. I have often tried to justify this by imagining that Daredevil slightly shifted his body at the last second, allowing the blow to be non-lethal. But it seemed that the golf ball was something for which Matt wasn't prepared. It seriously hurt him, for sure, but surely Bullseye would have no problem killing the guy that foiled his robbery.

I guess that's my main problem with this issue: I don't know how Daredevil survives all of these blows, especially the gunshot. Shooter's answer seems to be, "Daredevil is just that awesome, and he never gives up." While I agree with that statement wholeheartedly, it'll only go so far for me.

I'll give this issue a passing grade, because Kane's are is strong, and there is nothing to offend a Daredevil fan. I'll give it a 3.


I don't think DD surviving Bullseye's attacks is so much a comics code thing, as it is a character shield thing, Daredevil is the main character, he will not die by some random attack Bullseye launches at DD. Really I seen both Electro blast Spidey with his lighting bolts and green Goblin blast him with the laser beams that come from his gloves and at worst all that does is knock Spidey at out, this is just standard procedure for a super hero tale. I mean really I have action films, where the main character should died 4 or 5 times during the film, like John McClane in Die Hard 1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnHKv2G0wCw

Really this is standard procedure for fiction period.

I think the reason why Bullseye kept on returning and became a major villain in Miller's run, is he has a cool gimmick. Sure the characterization is not quote there (though in here and his first appearance he seemed more murderous then many other DD villains at the time, he murdered some random rich guy he was trying to extort in his first appearance). A cool gimmick is the first step to making a memorable villain, compelling characterization can be added in later. The gimmick is why Bullseye is a major villain and why Stilt-Man is still a joke. Heck, a cool gimmick is why Killgrave developed into the kind of a villain who can be the Big Bad of a almost R rated TV show, while Stilt-Man will forever just be a cameo in the MCU.

Anyway this a pretty straight forward, the beginning was kinda silly, with Bullseye trying to steal a rare pistol, that seems a bit like something a Silver Age Batman villain would do, its why museums in Gotham couldn't import bird shaped or cat shaped objects back in the 60s. DD stops him and Bullseye tries to get revenge by taking over a TV studio and taking some hostages.

The fight scene was decent, but all this issue seemed like was a thin set up for a the big fight that happens at the end of the issue. I also don't know if dropping "weighted knives" on people would instantly kill them, it seems like it could injury them, but unless the knifes are poisoned, I'm not sure that simply dropping them on his hostages is enough to kill them. Bullseye throwing the knives himself into his victims would be a better why to ensure death. But it is kinda fun to see Bullseye throwing random objects at DD, creative use of random projectiles is what makes DD vs. Bullseye fights fun.

Sure we see DD's never give up spirit, but this does seem like a weaker example of that. DD potentially losing his radar sense is kinda interesting, but it didn't really go anywhere in this story.

I actually read this story a couple of times in the past, its part of the Daredevil vs. Bullseye trade paper back. Its a decent story, but not amazing, I will give it 3 stars.
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Darkdevil
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Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, this was a fun Bronze Age issue. There's no decompression here, just swift movement from plot point to plot point to the conclusion with some movement on long-standing plot threads. Shooter handles this so well, in some strange way, it seems that for 30 cents, you get far more story and entertainment here than in some $3.99 books today.

The premise is interesting, Matt becoming temporarily bereft of his radar sense, leaving him semi-helpless. Here, his other senses aren't strong enough to fully compensate for that loss (though later writers tone this up and down depending on their story's needs). I did like Foggy's mention of Matt having memorized the layout of their office when Matt trips over the office chair (and Matt's reasons for why he never did). It's a nice acknowledgment of certain habits and tricks that blind people use to move around familiar places.

I never knew Kane drew DD but one can see the obvious intention of trying to emulate Colan's style as close as he could. The action scenes were very good and dynamic.

Of course, there are some faults here. Using the golf ball was a nice touch, but again, why didn't Bullseye simply kill him with it? (Especially since later on, he rants over how Matt was a target who got away previously and thwarted his robbery attempt).

I loved how Shooter completely overlooks how Bullseye took control of the TV studio. How did he do it? He had 3 employees as hostages, tied and bound. Were they the only employees in the studio at the time? If not, does that mean any others manged to flee to safety? Haha, only in the Bronze Age.

Shooter made effective use of DD's 'Never Give Up' mentality here. One can almost see the seeds of this duo's obsession/feud with each other being laid here. DD's speech over how, even half-dead, he can still beat Bullseye, Bullseye's near-disbelief over being beaten again, deep motivations that Miller will mine so effectively later on.

I have a fondness for the Bronze Age so I'll give this issue 3-and-a-half stars. Maybe not a memorable DD issue, but just plain fun and entertaining to read.
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