Monday, March 6, 2017


Writer : David Michelinie| Penciler: Frank Miller | Inker: Klaus Janson
Letterer: Joe Rosen | Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Denny O’Neil | Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: Matt Murdock and Heather Glenn are at an exclusive country club soiree hosted by defense contractor Edwin Cord when the party is crashed by an armored figure called the Mauler, who has come for Cord. Matt changes to Daredevil and defends the CEO, but the Mauler escapes.

Later, DD confronts Cord at his estate and learns that the Mauler is a disgruntled former employee named Aaron Soames, who stole the armor when he was fired. The following night, Daredevil stakes out Cord’s Long Island factory, expecting the Mauler to strike again while Cord works late. Sure enough, Soames shows up and attacks once more. Soames reveals to DD that his pension was lost as a result of a computer glitch and Cord refused to fix it, leading him on the path to retribution.

Somes finally confronts Cord and Daredevil is surprised to see that all he wants is to destroy Cord’s ID and credit cards so that he won’t exist either. But Cord security arrives and blasts Soames, klling him. Daredevil knocks Cord unconscious and departs in disgust. He attends Soames’ funeral some time later.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: This issue features the first appearance of Edwin Cord, who would go on to plague Tony Stark in both of the David Michelinie/Bob Layton IRON MAN runs (not to mention pestering the Thunderbolts as well many years later, under the pen of Kurt Busiek).

Also debuting here is Detective Nick Manolis of the NYPD, who will recur a handful more times in both of Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL runs.

Though Aaron Soames is killed here, the Mauler armor will live on, both briefly in the upcoming Miller DD run, and more notably in IRON MAN #156, also written by David Michelinie. MAULER, for the record, is an acronym which is stated to sand for “Mobile Armored Utility Emitter, Revised”.

My Thoughts: The Mauler’s tale is a bit of a sob story. Aaron Soames is fired and denied his pension and, to his credit, he does seek legal recourse -- but the soonest court date he’s able to procure is a year later. I’m with him and I feel for him up to this point, but when he steals company property as the vehicle for his revenge, I lose a bit of sympathy for the guy.

That said, Michelinie’s twist ending — that Soames is looking to “erase” Cord — is unexpected. Though I figure Soames must be doing this as a gesture more than anything else. Especially for someone with the vast resources of Edwin Cord, getting a driver’s license and credit cards replaced would be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

I don’t really like Soames dying, though. I mean, obviously I’m not supposed to like it; it’s a tragic ending to the story. But in this case I don’t like it because it doesn’t fit what just came before. Soames destroying Cord’s ID when he finally comes face-to-face with the guy is kind of a darkly humorous moment. Soames getting killed a second later is just dark, and makes the humor seem ill-conceived. But maybe that’s just me.

This issue was released in the month where Marvel upped all their comics from seventeen pages of story to twenty-two. Presumably the change was unexpected to the DAREDEVIL team, for rather than a full-twenty-two page tale, this issue features a seventeen-page lead with a five-page backup feature spotlighting Daredevil’s “Dark Secrets”. It’s not really anything to write home about; it’s basically the sort of featurette you’d expect from an annual or something.


  1. It was hilariously non-superhero thing to do by DD in Cord's office to proceed to put out the lights from the switch after a bit of grandstanding.

    1. Daredevil hasn't been what you'd call a traditional, noble hero in some time. He's prone to fighting dirty when necessary. And you're right; it's pretty funny that he turns out the lights after hopping around a bit to let the Cord folks see what they're up against.

  2. This...this is an odd duck of a story, to say the least. I like the notion of it-a man is driven to be a super villain because of bureaucratic screw ups and a callous boss and seemingly uncaring justice, but when he comes to execute his plan, he just burns up some really easy to replace proofs of identity and credit cards, and then immediately gets gunned down. I guess reading it as dark comedy is the only way that it makes sense, given that there's no way we can take Soames' plan seriously. This reads like one of Steve Gerber's oddball stories from The Defenders, minus Gerber's wit. (Gerber actually would've have made gold out of this basic plot: a bad guy who strikes out for justice in the stupidest way possible and dies seconds later is actually something I'm amazed he DIDN'T do.)

    Given the nature of the story as an unexpected fill in, it feels like Michelinie just banged out an off the cuff Iron Man styled story and stuck Daredevil in it, which means there's a decent chance I put more thought into the possibility of the story than Michelinie did.

    1. Huh, this does seem like a Gerber thing, now that you mention it.

      And I agree; Michelinie was probably under a deadline crunch and put this together in a hurry. I wonder how long they had to do it? As noted above, we'll see later that the original issue 167, "Child's Play", was already drawn and scripted before being scrapped (or ultimately postponed). The series is bimonthly at this point, but it still seems like a big deal to have to re-do an issue from scratch after already doing it once!

  3. I love the unique four-trail visual Miller has the Mauler unit leave behind in flight more than I should, assumably from the points of propulsion the armor uses. It nearly gives you the actual feel of how it would feel to operate it.

    1. Yes, it's a nice visual and it kind of reminds me of what they've done with Iron Man in the Marvel movies, where he uses propulsion from both feet and hands to fly.