Monday, June 5, 2017


Story & Art : Frank Miller | Finished Art & Colors: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: Daredevil beats up Turk, Grotto, and an associate of theirs. Meanwhile, Ben Urich develops the photos he took of the Kingpin’s meeting with Randolph Cherryh and realizes that the vagrant woman he saw may be Kingpin’s wife, Vanessa. He informs Daredevil and together they descend beneath the city in search of her. Eventually DD goes on alone, ordering Ben home, but Ben is immediately kidnapped by a group of vagrants.

At the same time, election results come rolling in Cherryh wins the mayorship of New York in a landslide. Underground, Daredevil is brought before the vagrants’ King, who has taken Vanessa as his queen. The King attempts to feed DD and Ben to his alligator, but the man without fear frees himself and defeats the beast, then the King as well.

Later, Daredevil brings Vanessa’s wedding ring to the Kingpin and offers a trade: Vanessa for Cherryh. Kingpin agrees and Cherryh withdraws from the mayoral race, admitting the Daily Bugle’s allegations against him were true. Kingpin wants someone to pay for this, and orders Elektra to kill Foggy Nelson.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Two weeks have passed since last issue, during which Daredevil has had his ankle in a cast thanks to Elektra’s bear trap, while Ben has recovered from her sai attack. In that time, Ben has taken Elektra's advice and spiked his story on Cherryh’s mob ties, forcing Jonah Jameson to publicly retract the Daily Bugle’s prior articles to that effect.

My Thoughts: Miller’s storytelling style has evolved considerably since he took over DAREDEVIL. When he first came aboard, he was writing in the style of the time; peppering his pages with copious amounts of purple prose whether necessary or not. Now he's reached a point where he's far more comfortable letting the visuals speak for themselves, and the work is that much better for it. Compare, for example, a page from issue 169 (below left) with a page from this issue (right):

There's no reason for all… those… words on the left. They just slow the action in the Daredevil/Bullseye fight to a painful crawl and they add nothing to the artwork (I have no objection whatsoever to prose that enhances the art, but that's not happening here). On the right, meanwhile, we have a lean, mean fight sequence which jumps from panel to panel with no cumbersome captions to stumble over, because none are needed. The visuals are just as clear in both pages, only now Miller knows that and realizes he has no need to spell out what is plainly evident in the art! And this is only one page of a six-page sequence featuring Daredevil battling the alligator and the King, which in total features no captions, one thought balloon, and one word balloon.

One last note: Kingpin is seen wearing a black jacket this issue. I know he had worn other things for certain purposes in various comics prior to this point, but I'm pretty sure this is the very first time he's shown just being "the Kingpin in a black suit". Up to now, the white jacket with pink pants had been like his “costume”, but as of this point, though he will continue to wear white and pink more often than not, Miller has opened up the character’s wardrobe at long last, something future artists would run with as well.


  1. Between this story and the Morlocks in X-Men, man, Marvel New York had some...unusual sewers. The 80s were the height of stories about alligators in the sewers, so I guess it was something in the culture at the time. Of course, those comics weren't too far removed in time from New York going broke and the riots that came with the blackout in 1978, so that kind of utter collapse in NYC was still in the air.

    Always liked the touch that the king of the sewers was a huge bald fat man, without anyone coming out and flat out connecting him to the Kingpin. One of those things Miller used to do back when his dials actually went to subtle.

    And next, of course, the one I've been waiting for, the issue that until Walt Simonson came along on Thor was my favorite comic ever. Good times.

    1. Now that you mention it, we learned in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238 that the Green Goblin had a hideout in the sewer. How about a "What If" story where a Morlock or the King finds the Goblin's lair and steals his stuff!

      Good point about the King. I should have mentioned that he looks like Kingpin, but I guess it slipped my mind!