Monday, March 20, 2017


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

The Plot: Bullseye escapes from custody just before undergoing an operation to remove a brain tumor. Hallucinating, he has spells during which he believes everyone he sees is Daredevil. The real Daredevil begins a hunt for Bullseye, eventually catching up with him for a battle that heads underground to Manhattan’s subway tunnels. There, despite the cacophony of agonizing sounds assaulting his radar sense, Daredevil bests Bullseye and turns him over to the police.

Later, Bullseye’s surgery goes on as planned and the tumor is successfully removed.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: As the issue opens, Matt Murdock is on a TV talk show called Good Evening, New York to discuss his role in “the controversial angel dust murders.” This seems to be a continuity glitch — said murders were to be the plot of the McKenzie/Miller Punisher story which was advertised a few issues back but never published. I guess Miller either figured at this point that the angel dust story would remain an unpublished, "untold" adventure, or it might run somewhere else somehow. But, as we'll see in a few months, the storyline will eventually see print near the end of Miller’s run as writer, appearing in "real time" continuity rather than as a flashback or something -- which means Murdock is in some kind of time loop here, where he's asked here about something that hasn't yet happened!

Detective Nick Manolis returns to fill Daredevil in on Bullseye’s escape. He must have a very broad mandate within the NYPD, not to mention an unusually huge jurisdiction — two issues ago he responded to an armed assault on Long Island, while here he's presiding over a multiple homicide in Manhattan!

We're reminded that Bullseye suffered a nervous breakdown at the end of DAREDEVIL 161, which DD indicates seemed odd at the time. Turns out it's an effect of his tumor.

Out chasing Bullseye all night, Matt misses the Nelson & Murdock office Christmas party.

Elektra puts in a brief cameo as she visits Matt’s apartment to find Heather sleeping over, waiting for him to get home.

My Thoughts: I'm not certain I'd go so far as to call this a “quintessential” Daredevil story, but it's pretty darn close. We have dark, atmospheric visuals, archenemy Bullseye on a homicidal rampage, and a couple of definitive Daredevil moments. In the first, DD moves high above the city and uses his hypersensitive hearing to pinpoint the location of a single distinctive cough belonging to a hostage of Bullseye’s. This has become a well-known DD trope by now; a stunt making its way even into both the Ben Affleck movie and the Netflix TV series.

And then we have a great little monologue from DD on the final page, in which he lays out to Detective Manolis exactly why he would never kill Bullseye — or even allow him to die through inaction. As an attorney, Matt Murdock believes in the rule of law above all else—and I assume as a Catholic, he probably likes to believe that men like Bullseye will eventually face judgment from a power much higher than any on Earth.

I'm not sure whether it's intentional, but this moment, where Matt declares that he can never outright kill someone even as despicable as Bullseye, forms a nice bookend with an issue close to the end of Miller’s run — and I'll point that out when we get there.

Add to all this the brief appearance by Elektra, who lets us know that Miller has further plans for her than as simply a recurring antagonist, and this issue is possibly the strongest installment since Miller came aboard DAREDEVIL as artist.


  1. DD moves high above the city and uses his hypersensitive hearing to pinpoint the location of a single distinctive cough belonging to a hostage of Bullseye’s.

    Well, darn. I though it was cool when Puma did just that with Spider-Man's scent in ASM #258. This is an unwanted development now.

    1. Well I've never actually seen Daredevil use his nose for this stunt, so Puma at least has the claim to fame for that.


  2. // not to mention an unusually huge jurisdiction //

    Hey, Mrs. Detective Manolis is happy.

    1. I got a disproportionately big chuckle out of that line, Blam. Thanks!

  3. Miller laid a lot of groundwork for things he did throughout his run here, particularly with Bullseye-the recurring headache thing is paid off magnificently, as is the debate over killing Bullseye (not once, but twice!) and some of the arc about Elektra and Matt is subtly started here. Miller, in his early days, was taking the Claremont styled subplotting, cranking it up to eleven, and then actually paying it all off. I don't know if Miller had the whole thing plotted from the start, but given how well most everything dovetailed together, at least on the Elektra/Bullseye front, if he didn't, that was an amazing juggling job.

    I clearly need to get this run in trades again, it was fantastic.

    1. Good point about the run coming together. I'd probably go so far as to say that of all the legendary runs -- at leas the ones I've read -- Miller's DAREDEVIL reads the most like a "novel" with a clearly defined arc and conclusion, and with minimal side-plots and tangents. He may not have known the exact path he'd take to get there, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn he had all beats of the Elektra/Bullseye/Kingpin/Vanessa stuff sketched out from the very beginning.