Monday, January 23, 2017


Script: Roger McKenzie | Pencils: Frank Miller | Inks: Klaus Janson
Lettering: Joe Rosen | Coloring: Glynis Wein
Editors: Mary Jo Duffy & Allen Milgrom | Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: Bullseye ambushes Black Widow at her apartment and takes her prisoner, then leaves a note for Daredevil.

Later, after a trip to the cemetery with Heather Glen and his friends, Matt Murdock changes into Daredevil and goes to visit Black Widow. He finds the note in her ransacked apartment and goes out to find Bullseye. At Josie’s Bar & Grill, he beats up a room full of Eric Slaughter’s men and tells Turk to get the word out that he's searching for Bullseye.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: At the cemetery, we learn that Heather’s father died while Matt was “…too busy playing Daredevil to help.” This scene also confirms for new readers that Heather does indeed know Matt’s secret identity.

Daredevil visits Ben Urich for information on Bullseye and Urich takes the opportunity to question DD about his friendship with Matt Murdock.

A footnote reminds us that Eric Slaughter’s gang attacked Daredevil last issue, and DD now suspects that Slaughter was hired by Bullseye.

This issue features the first appearance of Josie and her infamous bar, where Daredevil can often be found shaking down informants and shattering plate glass windows.

Matt spies a couple on the street who he believes haven't got a care in the world. For the record, this particular month, the male half of that couple can be found coping with the apparent death of his aunt, battling the Lizard, and teaming up with Nick Fury, Shang-Chi, and Black Widow against Viper and the Silver Samurai (presumably before the Widow was kidnapped, of course).

My Thoughts: Despite the overly short summary above, this may actually be the densest Roger McKenzie/Frank Miller DAREDEVIL so far. Rather than one extended fight scene as in the prior two installments, this issue features a nicely choreographed skirmish between Bullseye and Black Widow in the opening pages, a brawl at Josie’s to close things out, and the furtherance of a couple sub-plots in between. From a pacing standpoint, this is much closer to my “ideal” comic than either of its predecessors.

On the other hand, McKenzie plays with some bizarre narrative gimmick here that I'm not quite sure I understand. The opening scene is labeled “Epilogue” and features Black Widow arriving home to find Bullseye waiting. The final page features a “Prologue” wherein Daredevil announces his intention to find Bullseye. I'm going to assume McKenzie, a professional writer, knows the difference between an epilogue and a prologue. And really, I have no problem with the “Prologue” we get here. The final scene is the start of Daredevil’s hunt for Bullseye, so it's fine.

It's just the “Epilogue” to start the issue that confounds me. What is it an epilogue to? If the previous issue had featured Black Widow and Daredevil on some adventure together, the it'd be fine — this would be the epilogue to that tale, transplanted into the following issue. But that's not the case at all. The scene isn't an epilogue to anything and as a result, it comes across as McKenzie being a bit to cute or clever for his own good.


  1. // A footnote reminds us that Eric Slaughter’s gang attacked Daredevil last issue //

    Except the footnote reads “See ‘Marked for Murder’, DD #159”. Which is last issue, sure, but the specification of the story title and especially the issue number struck me as odd since it was just last issue.

    // Josie and her infamous bar //

    Fun to see it pop up given its relative prominence in the Netflix series.

    // It's just the “Epilogue” to start the issue that confounds me. //

    Yeah, I found that kind-of weird once it became clear it had no payoff. At least the scene itself was nicely done, well choreographed by Miller and long enough that Widow didn’t go down too easily. While I still feel like she should’ve taken Bullseye, I understand that, like Kurt Busiek says, these are stories and not math equations, so you have to allow for any given character to be able to best another in the right circumstances.

    1. Like when Black Cat beat up Sabretooth really badly?

    2. Now that you mention it, Blam, that reference to issue 159 reminds me of an old-school DC footnote. I don't know about all of DC, but I've read a ton of Julie Schwarz Batman stuff and he always did editorial notes referencing the title and issue number of the story being referenced.


    3. To be clearer, because we’re only talking one issue ago, I found it odd for the footnote to specify the story title and issue number rather than just saying “See last issue”.

    4. I agree; the specification of the issue number versus "last issue" is odd -- I was just going off on a tangent with the DC/Julie Schwarz thing.

  2. This issue's lasting effect on me: whenever I see someone get knocked the hell out in a fight, I think "OH MOMMA! WHAT A PUNCH." It's a gimmick, but the TV commentary also commenting on the bar brawl is a nice one for the period.

    1. Good point, and something I didn't comment on. I recall David Michelinie and Bob Layton did something similar in an IRON MAN issue, though there they actually had Shellhead and his enemy fly into a boxing match, where Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali began commentating on their fight.

  3. Ever read gene colans run? I havent gotten this far in dd but after the lee and colan runs which were way more spidey/avengers feeling runs dd writing changes due to the art work getting more shadow heavy by romita, then colab and all fill is follow suit till it hits here

    1. I haven't read Colan's DAREDEVIL. Someday I'll check it out. I just didn't like his artwork much when I was younger. I think I learned to appreciate it when I browsed ESSENTIAL TOMB OF DRACULA volume 1 several years ago. Since then I've wanted to check out both his DD and his Batman stuff with Gerry Conway and Doug Moench. Someday...!

    2. I hesitate to call miller the definitive run as no one since him has been able the pull off the gritty take like how other writers did with x men and spiderman. Reading the Colan run I have more insight and care for the Widow/dd relationship and I do like the stuff when Karen was a regular in the book but miller run is almost considered a creator owned book rather then a dd run

    3. I think a lot of writers have tried to emulate Miller, at least -- especially in recent years, where I understand Bendis, Brubaker, and others have gone that direction.

      Eventually I do want to go back and read the older Daredevil stuff -- especially the really early Stan Lee/Wally Wood/John Romita material.