Has there ever been a better title for a story than this one? Exactly. Lame villains are what make the world go ’round, as we all know. Daredevil has seen his fill of these wacky characters, and it’s why I love this title during the Bronze Age! The book got way too serious for me once Frank Miller took over (even though, I still enjoy some of those stories). But wacky stories involving characters like the “Man-Bull,” are just too awesome to not spotlight. The man without fear versus a guy that’s part man, part bull…what’s not to like?
Seeing the name Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), at the helm always puts me at ease. Whether it was Tomb of Dracula, Batman, or Crisis on Infinite Earths, the guy gets it done. Not the most well known tandem in comics, but Bob Brown (pencils) and Klaus Janson (inks), do hold their own and give us some nice visuals. Michele Wolfman (colors) and Joe Rosen (letters), round out the interior creative team! As usual, we get a cool cover, and the team of Rich Buckler (pencils) and Klaus Janson (inks) are responsible!
Unlike most comic book readers, I’m not a huge fan of the gritty era that eventually engulfed the 1980’s. Yeah, I like Watchmen, Swamp Thing, and V for Vendetta (especially this last one), but that’s about it. I like my comics to have more of a lighthearted tone or just not as hardcore as say the works of Frank Miller. The importance and place in history of his work aren’t lost to me, but those stories just don’t get me excited to read comics. Miller is a guy that I like the early work of on titles like The Punisher, and his Spider-Man work. One character that everyone raves about though, as far as Miller is concerned, is Daredevil. Now that is the one character that I can really get into when it’s Miller for some odd reason. I just feel he’s a character that Miller was born to write/draw. Honestly though, I love the material that came out in the years earlier to his legendary run even more.
One issue in particular that I absolutely love is #143. It’s part two of a story that features DD up against his old enemies, Mr. Hyde and the Cobra! These two villains have plagued DD on several occasions, and always give him a run for his money! We get to see a lot of action in this one but also some intrigue as well with Heather Glenn’s father and his “business” ventures. Some jungle action, a man-eating lion, and the usual DD butt-kicking fight scenes are all packed in this comic book!
Marv Wolfman (writer), had a decent run on this title as writer and editor (about 2 years). We all know his ability to write a good story, whether it be a one and done, or a lengthy story over a few issues, he can get it done! Artists Bob Brown (pencils) and Keith Pollard (inks) are two guys that don’t get a lot of airplay, but when you look at their bodies of work, you’ll be impressed nonetheless. The cover art was done by none other than Dave Cockrum, and his exploits on the X-Men, and Legion of Superheroes is well documented, as it should be! John Costanza provided the letters, and Janice Cohen the colors, to round out this solid creative team!
With the Vietnam War in full swing, and the tragic deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the atmosphere in the U.S. (and the world) in 1968, was less than inspiring. Many rallied to try to reinforce efforts against such atrocities, and Marvel Comics would add their little story to help ease racial tensions. It might seem to some that a story in a comic book is inconsequential but I beg to differ. Comic books were definitely on the rise in the late 1960’s, and were gaining ground with the youth of America once again. This story, by Stan Lee and Gene Colan is one that still resonates to this day.
In this tale, we see a soldier, Willie Lincoln, who’s a black man who was wounded in Vietnam, and lost his sight. He’s still trying to get his bearings with his blindness, and it isn’t going well. Daredevil has agreed to entertain the troops with some of his acrobatic maneuvers, and Willie is a huge fan of his. They hit it off great, and DD tells Willie to look up a friend of his when he gets back to the states. The friend of course, is Matt Murdoch! It’s a great story that really hammers home the point of no matter what the color of your skin is, we’re all the same.
Written by Stan ‘The Man’ Lee, pencils by Gene ‘The Dean’ Colan, inks by George Klein, and letters by Artie Simek! This is one that I own in a reprint book that was a tribute to Gene Colan. I believe the proceeds (or part of them) went to help Gene with some medical expenses. If you can grab a copy of this book or a trade containing this story, don’t hesitate!
Now that we’ve seen some of Gene Colan’s early horror work, lets shift gears, and check out some of his Daredevil work from his early days penciling superheroes! He was a master at telling a visual story with a character like DD, and he’ll always be my favorite Daredevil artist! Check out these incredible pages from the ‘Dean’, with some of his Daredevil work originally presented in 1967 (my copies are Marvel Adventure #3, 4, & 6, 1976)! An adventure with Ka-Zar, the wacky Leap-Frog, and a team up with Spider-Man, because you need a partner when you’re facing villains as nefarious as…The Masked Marauder and Stilt-Man? Enjoy!