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Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil Volume 3

Reprints: Daredevil #22-32, King-Size Special #1

(Vol. 41 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

Current In-Print Edition: First Print
Original Release Date: 2/16/05

REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1696-6 • List Price: $49.99
VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1697-4 • List Price: $54.99

304 Pages

Scripted by Stan Lee
Pencilled by Gene Colan
Foreword by Gene Colan

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If you thought you knew Daredevil, either through the first 21 issues reprinted in the first two volumes of Masterworks, or through Frank Miller's redefinition of the character in the 70s and 80s...if you thought you had a firm grip on our favorite blind lawyer, Matt Murdock, and his fight against crime and corruption as an attorney and costumed super-hero, well...if you have never read the stories found within this volume, I'm willing to bet you don't know the whole story! For you don't know MIKE MURDOCK!

Who is Mike Murdock? I'll cut to the chase for those not in the know- Mike Murdock is, in fact, Matt's twin brother! Didn't know he had a twin brother, did you? Don't fret- neither did best friend Foggy Nelson or lovelorn secretary Karen Page. Heck, I bet Stan Lee didn't even know Matt had a twin brother! Mike Murdock makes his first appearance in issue #25, and his personality profile is quickly brought to life for eager readers: Where Matt adores a minuet, the Ballet Russes, and crepe suzette, our Mike loves to rock and roll- a hot dog makes him lose control! What a wild duet! And I'm quite sure it drove readers to lose their mind!

The issues in this volume, running from #22 to 32 and a King-Size Special to top it all off, have never been reprinted before by Marvel, so for many (including yours truly) it is the first time to get ahold of this part of Matt Murdock's history. You've probably heard of "Mike Murdock", but this may be your first chance to actually figure out what the heck was going on. The subplot starts in #25 and awaits wrapping up in later Masterworks volume, but this'll give you a start. I won't give away too much in this introduction- I'll save the sense of discovery for you as you read the book (no need to thank me! Seriously! No need to thank me!!!)

But Mike Murdock ain't all, folks! This Masterworks volume brings back the Gladiator and develops the intrigue surrounding his joining the Maggia crime syndicate. The Tri-Man is revealed as an android pawn of longtime foe the Masked Marauder, who himself meets a mysterious fate in issue #27, when he teams up with the Stilt-Man.

Daredevil also finds himself in jolly old England, sleuthing out a crime spree on the moors that involves his friends Ka-Zar and Zabu- and wherever those two are, can a diabolical plot by the Plunderer be far behind? (And check out the awesome cover to DD #24- nice work Gene-o! Leap-Frog makes his first appearance in the Daredevil mythos in issue #25, leaping into the hearts of many a Marvel fan as one of the more bizarre super-villains around. (For a more recent take on Leap-Frog, hop on over to Brian Michael Bendis' DD trade WAKE UP.) In back to back issues, Daredevil faces as disparate a gang of enemies as you can find- in issue #28, he takes on his first alien invasion, and in issue #29, he squares off against a more mundane collection of gangster thugs. The run of regular issues reprinted in DD Masterworks Vol. 3 winds up with a fight with the foul tandem of Mister Hyde and the Human Cobra. This two-parter also features a guest appearance by the Mighty Thor, and a couple of the most all-out weird methods of fighting crime Stan Lee probably ever devised- he really outdid himself in this storyline!

This Masterworks volume is capped off with the first Daredevil annual, the aptly monikered "King-Size Special!" Feast your eyes on the 39 page main story, a fun if light romp that features Daredevil carving his way through a group of super-villains led by Electro. The Sinister Six they are NOT! But any comic featuring the Matador gets my 12 cents (in this case, a quarter!) The Special also has a fun collection of pin-ups and backup stories, including a three-pager starring Stan Lee and Gene Colan.

And speaking of Gene Colan, Gene the Dean writes the introduction to this book of stories! It's nice to hear from someone besides Stan who was in on the early years of the Man Without Fear. As Gene notes in his reminiscing, he didn't quite get the feel of Daredevil until after a couple of years on the book. His work here is still finding its footing. The inking of Dick Ayers and Frank Giacoia is consistent, but sometimes John Tartaglione's clear-lined inking fights against Gene's more sense of shading and contrast. However, their work together in issue #32's "blackout" sequence can't be missed!

After the true Silver Age highs of Daredevil Vol. 1 and 2, it can't be said that this book stands up with those two in true, rarefied greatness. However, it's still a solid book, with some important passages in Daredevil's super-heroic career recorded for posterity. The whole "Mike Murdock" business is worth it alone if you have a taste for the kitschy and kooky like I do. Check out the individual issue pages for samples of panels and see if you'll like it. I hope to see you on the other side!

-- by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Daredevil #22-32, King-Size Special #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


DD #22

DD #23

DD #24

DD #25

DD #26

DD #27

DD #28

DD #29

DD #30

DD #31

DD #32

Spec. #1


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

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