Daredevil #31-32 (1967)

Last issue, Daredevil fought Thor. 

In these two issues, he fights a couple of Thor villains who really get the best of him.  Which should be expected because if they could take on the thunder god, they really ought to be able to handle a blind gymnast. 

I’ll get to the story in a sec, but first—the full-page illustration above.  Why did I pick it as the signature panel for these issues? Look at how it blends horror and superhero books.  In the upper left is a tower and lightning and rain, classic horror motifs.  As you scroll down, you first see Mr. Hyde, looking his most Frankenstein-ish.  Then you get to Cobra, and as you move down you get to his green booties, which should make you think of Robin.  Here, we get Daredevil’s muscular frame and red costume.  The image sweeps down from horror, moving gradually into a classic superhero motif.  And the story is about a hero with the word “devil” in his name.

I don’t know if Gene Colan thought of all this when he drew this image, but it’s a masterpiece.  I don’t find too many shots like this in modern books.

Now, as for what happens in these issues, Cobra and Mr. Hyde make the transition from fighting an immortal to becoming street-level thugs, which is really where they belong. 

At the end of issue #30, the duo sprayed DD with a potion (because Mr. Hyde makes potions) that blinded him—and it worked.  Of course, he was already blind, but he loses his super senses.  This leaves the city unprotected as Hyde and Cobra go on a crime spree.  (Where are Spider-Man, The Avengers, Dr. Strange, etc.?  No explanation.)  Eventually, Cobra and Hyde decide they still need to fight Daredevil, which leads to a long and protracted kidnapping-and-taking-to-their-lair instead of them just knocking him off easily.  Once in Hyde’s lab, blind DD finds the antidote and defeats them.

daredevil 31

This is the first time DD lost his supersenses.  It happened other times throughout his history, but my favorite was when Frank Miller did it….

Creators: Lee, Colan

Grade: C+.  Interesting ideas foiled by a cliché ending.

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