Monday, May 22, 2017


Story & Art : Frank Miller | Finished Art : Klaus Janson
Colors: Glynis Wein | Letters: Joe Rosen
Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor: Jim Shooter

The Plot: At her apartment, Elektra is attacked by agents of the Kingpin and, after defeating them, she finds a card offering her employment in his organization. The next day, a young man named Sheldon, who claims to have incriminating checks connecting mayoral candidate Randolph Cherryh to the Kingpin, visits Nelson & Murdock. When Kingpin’s men arrive to try and grab him, Matt Murdock changes to Daredevil and holds them off while Sheldon escapes.

Fearing Matt could be the victim of further harassment, Foggy hires Power Man and Iron Fist, Heroes For Hire, to protect him. They fight off the Kingpin’s goons that night, much to the irritation of Matt, who had intended to get a confession from the men on tape. The next evening, Matt ditches the heroes for hire, which sends them off to harass Cherryh. Daredevil overhears the candidate speaking to Sheldon on the phone, and an agreement is made to exchange the checks for cash during a parade the next day.

At the parade, Power Man and Iron Fist search for Matt but come into conflict with Daredevil. Meanwhile, Turk and Grotto, attempting to get back in with the Kingpin, try to kill Sheldon. Eventually Sheldon is caught by the heroes, but realizes he lost the checks among the tornado of ticker tape swirling above when he tried to elude Turk.

That night, Elektra arrives at the Kingpin’s office to discuss her potential employment.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Jonah Jameson puts in another appearance as Nelson & Murdock speak with Sheldon early in the story.

Speaking of whom, the ace attorneys now reside in an office suite high in a Manhattan office building.

The heroes for hire’s boss and benefactor, Jeryn Hogarth (better known from the Claremont/Byrne IRON FIST run), is working for Cherryh in his lawsuit against the Daily Bugle. Some may recall that the portly male attorney was portrayed by notable thin female Carrie Anne Moss in the various Marvel NetFlix series.

My Thoughts: It's another relatively lighthearted issue as Matt struggles to ditch Power Man and Iron Fist several times, lest they crimp his scarlet swashbuckling style. Miller plays the heroes for hire as slightly overbearing and clueless, but he never throws their characterization under the bus for the sake of a cheap gag. They each have time to show off their skills and Iron Fist even puts up a decent showing against Daredevil in a brief skirmish.

(Okay, I suppose Miller does take one jab at the character when he has Iron Fist ask DD what he calls as a move as he ducks one of the Living Weapon’s attacks. Our hero's answer: “Ducking.” Doubtless Iron Fist was expecting one of the flowery martial art move names he used to use nonstop in his solo series.)

On the subject of Iron Fist, it occurs to me that I have no idea what circumstances lead to him becoming a hero for hire. At the end of his solo career, which I reviewed about two years ago now, he had inherited his late father’s fortune and, I believe, was a board member of the Rand-Meachum Corporation. But at some point he must lose all his money in order to become Luke Cage’s partner. Someday I'll crack open my POWER MAN AND IRON FIST EPIC COLLECTION volumes and figure out how that happened.

Incidentally, it's kind of interesting to note -- off the top of my head, at least -- that this is the only issue in Miller’s entire run as writer which features guest-stars who (at the time of publication) headline their own Marvel comic. There was the Hulk back when Roger McKenzie was writing, of course, and the Punisher is coming up -- but he doesn't have a solo title yet. I'm not sure why, but I find it interesting and kind of refreshing that there was an era at Marvel when guest-stars weren't trotted out on a regular basis. You had the characters and their series, and guest appearances were a special occasion rather than an expected matter of course (see also the David Michelinie/Bob Layton IRON MAN and Roger Stern’s Spider-Man for more of this).


  1. Chris Claremont's Uncanny X-Men also often fit this mould of interaction with the wider Marvel Universe tending to be few and far between.
    Some people even complained that Claremont's X-Men run became too insular as it continued, as if X-Men weren't part of a greater Marvel Universe anymore.

    Also, I seem to recall Simonson's Thor being in this same type of pattern, as well.
    A lot of the Thor issues seemed to be existing in their own separate part of the universe.

    1. Simonson's Thor did occasionally cross over into the greater Marvel Universe-the big story with Surtur had the Avengers and the FF show up, Power Pack turned up in the Secret Wars 2 crossover issue, and Thor got dragged into the Mutant Massacre stuff somehow. And hell, it was Nick Fury that sent Thor to meet Beta Ray Bill.

      But it's true that the larger interactions were on Simonson's terms, rather than Marvel in general intruding on what he wanted to do (SC2 and the Mutant Massacre being notable exceptions.)He tended to have his say about who got used.

      Simonson's Thor might be my favorite comic run of all time. Can you tell?

    2. Four words, fellows: Casket of Ancient Winters. Simonson's THOR crossed in the most awesome way into and around other Marvel books. Then there was the Titanium Man story and Mekatak getting whacked by Scourge of the Underworld and Iceman in THOR title itself and all in all general lipservice paid to the larger Marvel Universe.

      Likewise with Claremont there's at least allusions to other heroes if not so much direct interactions. I think the relative isolation of any given title character is a bit of must in any book, because the Avengers appearing to help anytime our hero was over his head with a villain would make poor stories.

    3. The Avengers mopping up was done best in Daredevil 233. They show up and lock things down in a page. It's one of my favorite scenes that illustrate how each title fits into the Marvel U. Miller's description of Cap is great. "A voice that could command a god, and does". Are you going to review Born Again as well, or just Miller's original run?

    4. Claremont's X-MEN definitely did become more insular as it went along (save for his frequent use of Nick Fury near the end), but for the first decade or so there was a decent amount of interaction with the larger Marvel Universe: You had quest-spots from Spider-Man, the Avengers, Doctor Strange, and others over that span, and he borrowed several villains from other titles such as Count Nefaria, Moses Magnum, Doctor Doom, Kulan Gath, and the Dire Wraiths. But yes, by the end, he had formed his own little universe and rarely ventured outside of it.

      No plans for "Born Again" at this time. Maybe at some point in the future, though. Right now, I'm just sticking with Miller's first tenure on DD.


    5. Given that you reviewed Daredevil: Yellow a couple of years ago as part of your Loeb/Sale Marvel series, maybe you’ll hit Born Again a couple of years from now as part of a set with a certain Miller/Mazzucchelli DC project.

    6. It could happen... YEAR ONE is my preferred Miller Batman story. I know DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is acclaimed and all, but it's never really been my cup of tea.

  2. I don't know about the lighthearted... In the first pages Miller shows us what sound the sai does when protruding into human flesh, "SHKKK", and then in the last ones we only get the sound in darkness. Life is kind of cheap around Elektra.

    1. Well there are certain moments that aren't lighthearted, but I do think large swaths of this issue are played primarily for laughs.


  3. I got a kick (no pun intended) out of that Iron Fist / Daredevil fight. Grabbed it, matter of fact, to share on Facebook when Defenders hits Netflix, as I tend to post first appearances or occurrences when comics-oriented movies and TV shows debut, occasionally with later classic or just favorite images to follow.

    Notable: The establishing shot of every new scene is a long vertical left-hand panel — except for the Kermit the Frog parade float, which is marginally wider than the others.

    I can’t help but wonder if Miller named Randolph Cherryh after SF author C.J. Cherryh. So unusual is Cherryh that she invented it; her own actual last name is Cherry, with Cherryh supposedly being the result of her editor fearing Cherry sounded like a romance-writer pen name (and the usage of her initials one of many cases in which an author has avoided making her gender known to avoid potential sexism prior to success).

    1. Every time I've read this issue, I've found Cherryh to be a peculiar last name. I bet you're right! I can't imagine how Miller would have come up with it otherwise.