Monday, July 10, 2017

DAREDEVIL #185

"GUTS”
Scripter/Storyteller: Frank Miller | Penciler/Inker/Colorist: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Heather comes to Foggy for help in getting to the bottom of her company’s apparent illicit dealings. They go together to Glenn Industries but are informed that Heather’s signature is already on all the paperwork, so if anything untoward is going on, she’s complicit. Foggy sends Heather home so he can pursue further action, unaware he's being followed by Daredevil.

Eventually Foggy’s path leads him to the Kingpin, who has purchased explosives from Glenn Industries to use in a waterfront heist. While Foggy verbally spars with the Kingpin, Daredevil thwarts the Kingpin’s operation and then warns the crime boss not to mess with “Guts” Nelson.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: “Guts” was apparently Foggy’s fraternity nickname, which he has adopted as a street name for the duration of this tale.

During his adventures, Foggy crosses paths with Eric Slaughter and Turk, with the latter accompanying him for the remainder of the story until Foggy ditches him by putting him on a plane to Chicago. The Kingpin’s right-hand man, Flint, also pops up.


My Thoughts: This is easily one of my top favorite Miller DAREDEVILs. Sure, the Bullseye stuff is good. The Elektra stuff is good. The early Kingpin material is great. But at this point, Miller is having some genuine fun and it's great to see. We've had some really dark stories lately with the death of Elektra, Matt’s refusal to accept it, and then the angel dust two-parter. It's nice to see Miller lighten up and tell a breezy, funny story even as he furthers the Glenn Industries sub-plot.

The story is narrated by Foggy — the third first-person narrator of Miller’s run after Ben Urich and Bullseye — in a nutty parody of your typical hard-boiled detective prose. The story is a comedy of errors as Foggy pursues information about Glenn’s wrongdoings, and, in possibly my favorite touch of the issue, even the Kingpin is fodder for a little chuckle in the final pages.

There are only a half-dozen Miller DAREDEVIL issues left after this one. It's possible he knows at this point that he's on the way out and just wants to have a little fun before switching back to serious mode for the big finale — next issue is also played largely for laughs, as we’ll see next week. But whatever his motivation for taking things in a lighter direction, I'm glad to see Miller do it. As I said once before, a lot of people seem to forget that amid all the dourness, gloom, and doom, Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL had some genuinely very funny moments, and this entire issue is easily among the funniest.

Artistically, it's notable that Klaus Janson is now penciling DAREDEVIL, with Miller listed as "scripter/storyteller". Some time back, Miller gave up full pencils and began doing only layouts for Janson to finish. Based on this new division of labor, I can only assume that Miller must be providing thumbnails or something, with Janson fleshing them out into full pencils and then inks. (And what a workhorse Janson must have been! Hard to imagine any artist nowadays managing full pencils, inks, and colors on a monthly basis, never missing a deadline!)

One last note: get a load of these panels from the issue’s final page. It's almost impossible to remember a time when passengers on an airplane could A) smoke and B) casually choose to disembark and not take the flight after boarding!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I love this issue.

    It's kind of a shame that Miller lost his ability to be self-aware about his writing, because this is a magnificent send up of everything he's done on Daredevil to date. My highlight of the issue was the fight where "Guts" seemingly takes out all of Slaughter's men, when it's actually Daredevil doing it in the dark while Foggy is providing hilarious narration and poking bad guys in the eye. After all the hyper seriousness of the previous few issues, this one was like getting splashed with cold water, and is utterly hilarious.

    Sure, to enjoy it you have to ignore the fact that the Kingpin put out a contract on Foggy just a few issues ago yet doesn't seem to recognize him, but this is the kind of story that if you're taking it that seriously you're doing it wrong.

    A simply magnificently hilarious story.

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