Monday, June 19, 2017

DAREDEVIL #182

"SHE’S ALIVE”
Story & Art : Frank Miller | Finished Art & Colors: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Matt awakes in the middle of the night, convinced Elektra is still alive, and goes out in search of her. Meanwhile, in prison, the Punisher kills three of his fellow inmates and is soon approached by a government agent who will arrange to break him out so he can intercept a drug shipment entering the country via Long Island.

After learning that the Kingpin has a big underworld summit upcoming, Matt spends the day at Nelson & Murdock obsessing over the coroner’s report on Elektra. That night, the Punisher escapes from Ryker’s Island Penitentiary while Daredevil questions the Kingpin about Elektra. After the hero leaves, Kingpin assures the other mob bosses that DD will be busy chasing Elektra's ghost and will not interfere with their drug shipment.

Late at night, after learning Matt attempted to get Elektra's remains exhumed, Foggy goes searching for his partner. Meanwhile, the Punisher thwarts the drug-running operation and KOs his government benefactor before the man can re-arrest him. At the cemetary, Matt digs up Elektra's coffin and is horrified to realize that it actually is her body that was buried and that she is truly dead. Foggy arrives to take him home.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Glenn Industries’ board of directors, who we haven't seen since way back in issue 165, is still plotting to steal the company from Heather. I guess they work very deliberately.


In his search for Elektra, Daredevil throws a guy through a plate glass window, though it's unclear if this is supposed to be Josie’s. the place I'd identified only as “A grimy underworld saloon, just off South Street.”

Matt blows off a date with Heather, and scares off a wealthy potential client, as he obsesses over Elektra’s death.


The Punisher escapes Ryker’s via helicopter, and Turk attempts to tag along but is dropped into the bay by the Punisher. The long-suffering Grotto finally decides to let Turk go on his own rather than tag along.

Foggy finds out about Matt’s exhumation request from Judge Coffin, who we haven't seen since the Roger McKenzie days (and technically we don't "see" him here, either).


My Thoughts: So Elektra is gone but by no means forgotten, as Miller gives us possibly our first look at “crazy” Daredevil, a version of the character which will unfortunately continue to make periodic comebacks over the years. I have to say, I'm not a fan. DD has always come across as a pretty stable guy in most situations. Sure, he's prone to occasional emotional outbursts, but this story has him literally detached from reality for several pages. I understand the states of grief, and that the very first one is denial, but here Miller takes that stage so far that the story begins to read more like a parody than a legitimate examination of Matt Murdock’s emotional state.


That said, I appreciate the reactions of the people around him, particularly Foggy who proves for the umpteenth time that he is possibly the most loyal best friend in all of comics. More than most any other supporting cast member in any other series (at least in the realm of those who are unaware of their friends’ dual identities), Foggy will suffer through whatever insanity Matt flings his way because he's just a good, decent human being with the patience of a saint.


I have a question, too: why is Elektra buried in a cemetery in New York? She's a Greek citizen and, no less, the daughter of a former Greek ambassador. Her corpse was positively identified by Foggy in the morgue last issue. Wouldn't you expect that following the autopsy, her remains would be returned to a final resting place back in Greece? I may have some issues with Daredevil’s behavior in this story, but that's more of a “your mileage may vary” thing. This, however, seems like a genuine lapse in story logic.

Oh, and the Punisher is here too, but really only as set-up for next issue — which was originally supposed to be issue 167. More on that next time!

5 comments:

  1. After the perfection of the last issue, this comes off more than a bit heavy handed, if not over the top. I would've have rather seen DD haunted by the memory of Elektra, which the previous issue seemed to hint at, rather than him going full into a level of denial that feels out of character. It's an early sign of the future over the top method that Miller's writing would gradually sink into, and, hilariously, my favorite issue of the run in 181 is followed by what today is one of my least favorites. At least the Punisher is coming up.

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  2. I think this is the first issue to imply that Matt sleeps in his birthday suit.

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  3. I don't know if Elektra has anyone in Greece at this point to go back to to be buried. It's Matt and Nelson, the supposed old student colleagues, who have to go identify her body. The details of her inhumation may probably have been set on the same visit by them off-panel, and for the reason of it being the least hassle, or some other more emotional reasons, NYC has been the choice for her final resting place.

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    1. Good point; maybe Elektra has no extended family to identify her and have her remains returned to Greece. I just figured as the daughter of an ambassador, she might have had a plot all picked out in the family cemetery or something.

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  4. My question: Why is Foggy sleeping with his left hand tucked into a drinking glass?

    Elektra’s burial plot is a good point, though. And I agree with you on Matt’s behavior, to an extent, but while some of the melodrama is laughably over the top it’s totally valid for someone who lives Daredevil’s life to be moved by grief to follow the threads by which Elektra’s death very likely would have been faked had the story actually gone that way.

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