Monday, July 17, 2017

DAREDEVIL #186

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

The Plot: Daredevil shows up at Glenn Industries during a board meeting to inform Heather and the board that evidence is en route to the assistant district attorney which will shut the company down. But after he and Heather have both departed, the board’s chairman, Mr. Spindle, reveals that he's hired Stilt Man to deal with the ADA. However Stilt Man loses one of his gloves while counting Spindle’s payment, and goes to Melvin Potter’s costume shop for a new one, where he's noticed by Turk, who tails him home.

Meanwhile, Matt Murdock prepares evidence of Glenn Industries’ wrongdoings, then, as Daredevil, drops it off with ADA Maxine Lavender. Elsewhere, Turk knocks out Stilt Man and take his battlesuit, then offers his services to the Kingpin. When Kingpin turns him away, Turk decides to fulfill Stilt Man’s mission and kidnap the ADA.

While dropping off further evidence with the police, Daredevil finds Stilt Man’s alter ego, Wilbur Day, reporting the theft of his armor. Soon, when Turk kidnaps Lavender, DD shows up to save her and easily defeat the new Stilt Man.

In the aftermath of Matt's legal assault on Glenn Industries, he tells Heather that they will need to prepare her defense. Believing this has all been a ploy to leave her with no choice but to marry him, Heather accepts Matt’s proposal.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Heather has dyed her hair blonde.


As noted above, Melvin Potter, the one-time Gladiator, now runs a costume shop.


Matt’s hyper-senses are on the fritz for some reason, causing him occasional bouts of agony as he hears things at painful volume.


The Kingpin has set up a hospital for his wife, Vanessa, on the sixtieth floor of his office tower. His right-hand man, Flint, notes that Kingpin is eternally hopeful for Vanessa’s recovery, but doctors have been able to do nothing for her so far.

Stilt Man reports the theft of his armor to Detective Manolis, who we see works out of the Sixth Precinct.

My Thoughts: I have to admit that, while I've read Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL about three or four times now, I have little recollection of all this business with Heather, her company, and the bizarre game Matt seems to be playing with her emotions. The rest of it I recall: the Kingpin, Bullseye, Elektra, Eric Slaughter, Turk, etc. — that stuff is all crystal clear in my memories. But for whatever reason, I have a blind spot where Heather Glenn is concerned.

So, while the next issue may jog my memory, for now I'm totally mystified as to where this is going and what's happening with Matt. Is he truly this insensitive? We already saw that he believes marrying him will give purpose to Heather’s life, but is there more to it than that? The final page of the issue has him callously and backhandedly insulting Heather as he describes her (to her face) as “incompetent.” It's clear he means nothing by this; he's simply using legal terminology. But the words have a devastating effect on Heather, apparently finally breaking her completely.

As I said before, I have little problem with a hero who has old-fashioned beliefs. Every character needs foibles, and if Matt Murdock’s happens to be that he thinks it’s the man’s duty to be the primary breadwinner in a family while the woman stays home to do the dishes, that’s fine with me — as long as there is a counterpoint within the story stating how silly and outdated this attitude is. And previously, Miller provided just such a rebuttal in the form of Heather herself.

But now we have Matt apparently taking things to the extreme, choosing to do Heather’s thinking for her, and I’m much less comfortable with that. I hope Miller has something planned for the next issue which will either walk this back or explain precisely what’s going on here.

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