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DD Book Club - A Time to Say Farewell (DD -1)

 
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1634

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject: DD Book Club - A Time to Say Farewell (DD -1) Reply with quote

Because I'm trying to put off Shadowland just a bit longer, I have this story that will hopefully be a fun diversion. In the 90s, Marvel did flashback stories set in the past that they labeled as "Negative One." This is the one for Daredevil by Joe Kelly.

Daredevil Vol 1 #-1 - A Time to Say Farewell

Quote:

A story from Matt Murdock's past! Battlin' Jack worries about his blind son as he moves Matt into college. But Jack doesn’t need to worry; Matt proves he can hold his own…and then some! Plus, Matt and Foggy take on pre-law!


Due 1/1
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1300
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any tips for finding this on Marvel Unlimited? It's proving tricky for me.
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1300
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured it out. I had to put quotation marks around -1.

This was a surprisingly touching issue about love between a father and son at an important coming-of-age time of life. There isn't a scintilla of costumed heroics here, although writer Joe Kelly and artist Gene Colan provide some fisticuffs.

The father/son relationship was depicted very realistically. I was very touched by the way Jack stood up for Matt in front of the dean, but I can also understand how that embarrassed Matt, at a time when he's just trying to fit in as best he can.

If there is anything I didn't buy into, it was Matt fighting the goons in the bar. Maybe I'm just used to the way Frank Miller wrote Jack, but I don't think Jack would be so accepting of the way Matt was roughing them up. I can see how that would make Jack be more sure that Matt would be okay on campus, but his whole deal was that he made Matt swear not to fight. There was that whole flashback scene in "Roulette" when he hit Matt for fighting. He does not want Matt to be like him.

Still, that being a large strike against it, this is still a touching story about a father and son. I give this a 3.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1634

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story starts with Matt Murdock and his dad Jack taking Matt to College for the first time. We rarely get any interactions with them that are fun and positive and it's nice seeing the two together. You get the sense that Jack is immensely proud of his son but completely overwhelmed by the prospect. College is something that he knows is important in the abstract but he has no sense of what it is in the real world beyond something that someone does to be somebody. I love Matt's snarky responses to his comments. You get the sense of a single father and his son - a relationship that is both parent-child and almost as siblings/friends as Matt had to grow up too early to be there for his dad. They clearly love and respect each other and we haven't seen enough of this in before.

On the other hand, his dad is extremely protective of him. He definitely doesn't like the idea of his blind son so far from home where his dad can't protect him. Matt, on the other hand not only has superhuman senses but also just recognizes that his dad can't be there for him all the time. The friction between them builds. It comes to a head at a locals joint where some townies try to fight Matt and his dad tries to intervene. When Jack tries to go back that night, Matt races ahead just to pick a fight and beat up the locals. His dad gets to see him do it and is reassured that he's just OK.

We also get the first meeting between Foggy and Matt and it's delightful.

I'm a sucker for various re-tellings of Matt's origin story and early life. This one is definitely consistent with the original Stan Lee version, which didn't have Jack die until Matt was in College. I do wonder the implications of Jack getting some sense of what he can do. I think it's subtle enough that it doesn't blow his secret, but it certainly places a shade on everything (maybe even on Jack's decision to refuse to take a dive knowing his son would be OK?). It also seems to contradict the idea that his dad didn't want him to fight at all and his decision to be Daredevil is directly contradicting his father's wishes. I think the story handles it decently well - his father does believe what he was teaching his son but is having some regrets when Matt's all on his own. On the other hand, we've seen the only time Jack raised a hand against his son was when his son decided to start a fight. The passage of time makes up for it to a degree (we also see that Jack has given up drinking, probably from that incident), but it's a clear intentional contradiction. Either way, it's a bold retcon for a relatively forgotten story and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.

That being said, I love this story overall. It's just fun and charming. Like I said, I'm a sucker for flashbacks to Matt's pre-Daredevil life and this is no exception. Four and a Half 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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