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  • First print: 10/17/01
    Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil Volume 2

    Reprints: Daredevil #12-21

    (Vol. 29 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)


    • John Romita's first pencil sketch of Daredevil, 1965
    • 3 pages of unused Jack Kirby layouts from DD #13
    • Jack Kirby's original design sketch for The Plunderer

    Current In-Print Edition: 2nd Edition, First Print
    Original Release Date: 2/25/04

    REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1265-0 • List Price: $49.99
    VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1292-8 • List Price: $54.99

    224 Pages

    Scripted by Stan Lee with Dennis O'Neill
    Pencilled by John Romita, Jack Kirby and Gene Colan
    Foreword by Stan Lee

    Buy From:
    AMAZON.COM USA: n/a • AMZ UK: n/a • AMZ CANADA: n/a
    TALES OF WONDER: REG / $34.99

    "I haven't enough sense to be frightened!"

    That's what Daredevil says in the face of threats from the Masked Marauder, one of Daredevil's earliest and most fearsome (*snicker*) foes! Hasn't got enough sense...get it? It's 'cause Daredevil's, like, blind? But he's got all his other senses maxed out past the wazoo? Get it? Including, it seems, his "sense of humor!" It's a joke son! Work with me here!

    Well, pardon me if you don't have a sense of humor like our favorite blind super-hero! But when I sat down to read DD Masterworks Vol. 2, I was hardly ready for it to be just as interesting and varied a read as the first volume was, and one of the major levels of enjoyment in this book is the sheer sense of humor that runs throughout, bounding down from walls and rooftops as often as Daredevil himself! I mean, if you want funny, try on page seven of DD #17 for size! Who would have thought that the funniest page of Spider-Man comics would be in a Daredevil book? Peter Parker's retort to his Aunt May- after she scolds him for tuning in to another J. Jonah Jameson tirade on TV is a classic Stan Lee laugh-out-loud! Daredevil was cast in a similar mold as Spider-Man, but whereas the Spider-Man title had all the responsibility of maintaining a certain degree of respectability as the flagship title of the Marvel Universe (along with Fantastic Four), and showed it with heavy doses of melodrama and seriousness, Daredevil is a big batch of goofy fun! Perhaps it was because the pressure was off with a lesser-selling title like Daredevil, but I get the feeling that Stan and his co-creators were having an absolute, free-wheeling ball with this title!

    Of course, the Frank Miller era is what impressed onto comics fandom the image of Daredevil as a dark, haunted comic of crime noir. You don't get ANY of that here! What you get is a bunch of kooky super-villains like the Plunderer, the Masked Marauder and the Owl, and setting up hilarious plots like Foggy Nelson daring to dress up as Daredevil in a weird and emotionally immature bid to impress Karen Page. I mean, I'd try and impress Karen, too, no doubt! But to pick a fight with the Gladiator? Foggy Nelson? Yeeeesh! Well, at least it makes for good comics reading!

    Probably the most important facet of this book is that it reprints the first issues that John Romita, Sr. drew for Marvel Comics. He had done some inking gigs on Avengers, but Daredevil #12 is the first pencilling gig for Jazzy John while in the employ of the House of Ideas! Over layouts from Jack "King" Kirby, Romita would start out with a bang, illustrating a three-part global epic in which Daredevil is found gallivanting across the map. Going both over and under the sea in a pirate ship turned submarine, and traveling from the far reaches of the Savage Land to the civilized shores of Old England; this was Daredevil comics as his fans least expected it! The opening three-parter gave Ka-Zar a chance to firm up his reputation after being introduced to fandom in the pages of X-MEN #10, explaining his origin and giving him a dastardly brother named Parnival! It also featured some kooky Kirby Kreations, like a giant dino-boat piloted by the Swamp Men that you just gotta see!

    Following up such a legendary tale would have been hard to do for anyone, but Stan and John were clicking, and they turned out a bona fide classic with DD #15, titled "...And Men Shall Call Him...Ox!" Granted, it's sort of a poor man's "This Man, This Monster!" (see FF #51), but it gives a chance for the Ox to have a higher profile in the midst of some Marvel moralizing between good and evil. If you're an avid Enforcers fan like me, you gotta love a comic like that!

    But the next couple issues is where this book really shines! We all know that John Romita, Sr. would later draw Spider-Man, the character he would become synonymous with for the next ten years. But did you know he first got to sink his teeth into the web-spinner in Daredevil #16-17? This two-issue tale features the second meeting between the two protectors of New York City, except this time they cross paths as unintentional foes, with the Masked Marauder making playing them against each other with J. Jonah Jameson howling in the background, trying to make sure the city knows that costumed heroes are just a bunch of vigilantes! (Oh, how he'll be embarrassed yet again!) All this and an exploding blimp make this story the highlight of the book!

    But don't forget Gene Colan! After Romita signs off with DD #18 and 19 (and after introducing Melvin Potter, aka the Gladiator), none of other than Gene "the Dean" Colan signs on to do pencilling duties. Starting in issue #20, Gene would settle in for a long run as the definitive Daredevil delineator, much like Romita would do the same for Spider-Man. These early issues show a timid grasp of the dark and shadowy style that Colan would employ to great effect as the series wore on, and in this book, his work is most notable for creating the fierce visage of the great mechanical owl with the face of a stitched-up pumpkin! Wait...did I say "fierce?" Well...you'll have to judge for yourself. But the mechanical owl does make for a neat denouement for our Daredevil, piloting him away from an island shocked in half by a sudden earthquake. Nice splash page, Gene!

    This book is every bit as cool as the first one, with some very important moments in Marvel comics history, including early work from Romita on Spider-Man and Gene Colan climbing on board the Marvel Bullpen. If you dug Vol. 1, I promise you'll dig Vol. 2!

    -- by Gormuu

    -- panel images provided by Avengers Assemble

    Issues Reprinted
    Daredevil #12-21

    Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


    DD #12

    DD #13

    DD #14

    DD #15

    DD #16

    DD #17

    DD #18

    DD #19

    DD #20

    DD #21


    All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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