Archive for the ‘Grotto’ Category

Daredevil #229

March 1, 2012

Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
April 1986
*****

FM & DM set up an artful network of parallel actions & Christian iconography in a sepulchral tone. They’re telling a death/rebirth tale (shouldn’t they set #229 over Easter, not X-Mas?), but redemption is hard. Murdock, deranged & homeless, ends up in Hell’s Kitchen as subplots twist thrillingly.

last issue: Daredevil #228
next issue: Daredevil #230

also indexed for Apr. ’86
The Fantastic Four #289
The Mighty Thor #366
The Punisher #4 of 5

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Daredevil #182

June 26, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
May 1982
****

When hard-boiled writers like Miller explore feelings, they get emo, lurid & a little embarrassing. In a coda to the Elektra Saga, Matt refuses to accept the ninja’s death, in denial (blind?) till he exhumes the corpse! A left-field subplot focuses on the rarely-espied Punisher & an LI drug deal.

last issue: Daredevil #181
next issue: Daredevil #183

also indexed for May ’82
The Fantastic Four #242

Daredevil #180

June 24, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
March 1982
*****

To spoil the election of a corrupt mayor, DD unearths Kingpin’s amnesiac wife from NYC’s bowels. Miller’s drawing heavily on Jos Campbell: his hero challenges the underworld’s king, despite his broken leg (= castration, an effect of #179‘s showdown w/ Elektra). Oh & he wrestles a gator!

last issue: Daredevil #179
last issue: Daredevil #181

also indexed for Mar. ’82
The Fantastic Four #240

Daredevil #178

June 22, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
January 1982
*****

This breezy ish guests Power Man & Iron Fist, whose low-rent heroics make DD into a perfect chop-socky noir (PS: the match btw. IF & DD is superb). It’s also a throwback to the Colan era of Matt Murdock, swashbuckling lawyer. He’s after blackmail evidence that connects a corrupt pol to Kingpin.

last issue: Daredevil #177
next issue: Daredevil #179

also indexed for Jan. ’82
The Fantastic Four #238

Daredevil #176

June 19, 2010

Frank Miller
November 1981
*****

An elegantly structured five-party hunt for a blind pool hustler and DD’s onetime mentor. Plus round 2 of Elektra v. the immortal ninja. It’s easy to talk about what Miller does, but it’s also what he doesn’t do: no purple narrator of ’60s & ’70s heroics. His fights are silent, acrobatic, & deadly.

last issue: Daredevil #175
next issue: Daredevil #177

also indexed for Nov. ’81
The Fantastic Four #236

Daredevil #172

June 15, 2010

Frank Miller
July 1981
*****

Genius of the 1st degree: a pulpy ode to NYC with a ’30s Warner Bros. tone of seedy urban roughness. Fisk rises from the sewers to the penthouse, toppling the city’s crime bosses w/ a few deft strokes. DD plays second fiddle (a la the Spirit) to the Kingpin’s arc, till even he gets outmaneuvered.

last issue: Daredevil #171
next issue: Daredevil #173

also indexed for Jul. ’81
The Fantastic Four #232

Daredevil #171

June 14, 2010

Frank Miller
June 1981
*****

His pacing’s vigorous & his plotting’s smart… in only 2 years, Miller’s turned DD into a monthly must-read. His Kingpin has the body of a Kirby brute but an altogether unique cunning. The Pin gets suckered into a gangland vendetta, loses his wife, & dumps the Devil in a deathtrap cliffhanger!

last issue: Daredevil #170
next issue: Daredevil #172

Daredevil #170

June 12, 2010

Frank Miller
May 1981
*****

#170 suffers a bit from being a prologue but it promises much. The arc rehabs the Kingpin, a minor Spidey baddie that Miller turns into a diabolical powerhouse. Fisk, retired in Japan, cuts a deal to betray NY’s organized crime. Murdock gets sucked into the feud when Fisk’s wife retains him as counsel.

last issue: Daredevil #169
next issue: Daredevil #171

Daredevil #168

June 10, 2010

Frank Miller
January 1981
*****

Miller works solo on this dense one-shot that adds tremendously to the Daredevil mythos. A retcon flashes back to Matt’s pre-law days at Columbia, where an early masked caper ends in the accidental death of his g’friend’s daddy. It buttresses a strong intro for a new female lead: Elektra, Assassin!

last issue: Daredevil #167
next issue: Daredevil #169

also indexed for Jan. ’81
Captain America #253