DAREDEVIL #254-256 (1988)


Meet Typhoid Mary.

She is creepy AF.

Kingpin has decided that stripping Matt Murdock of his law license wasn’t enough—he wants to shatter all trust and belief he has in law.  From a grand plan perspective, this seems like a bad idea: If he turns Daredevil into a lawless vigilante, that could easily backfire.

matt and mary kiss and cheat on karen

Part of his plan involves his newest employee, Typhoid Mary.  She gets involved with Matt (just calling herself “Mary”—no “Typhoid”—and starts distracting him from his clients.  Her mission is to get Matt to cheat on Karen Page.  Which doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do.  Throughout Nocenti’s run, Murdock and Karen Page have been drifting apart.

Also, Mary is a schizophrenic with the power to make men hot–literally and sexually.

Kingpin’s master plan is to, once again, isolate and crush his enemy.

Then, she attacks and fights him in costume (and during the fight there’s a lot of philosophical debate), and they end up getting…Intimate during the fight.  This isn’t unusual for Daredevil—he has done the same thing with Elektra—but what’s odd his him not recognizing her as the same Mary he’s been kissing as Matt Murdock.  I suppose it’s because she’s a true split personality and that makes her be two different people?  Here’s how it’s explained:

There’s also some good Murdock vs. Foggy Nelson courtroom stuff, albeit that Matt can’t practice law, he’s just in a supporting role.

foggy versus matt murdock

The case involves a kid who was blinded by chemical waste from a company that is shadow-owned by Kingpin.  Foggy is defending Kelco but doesn’t know Kingpin is behind it) and Murdock is trying to expose their tortious and criminal behavior.  So that’s partly why Kingpin wants to crush his faith in law—so he’ll back off the case.  But also, of course, Kingpin just likes fu#king with Matt.

I love this scene below, outside the courthouse.  It does something only comic books can do: Tell a story from multiple points of view via thought bubbles.  Regular books can’t really do that, because they tend to speak from one perspective (a narrator) or from the outside, third-person view.  They can’t, in one paragraph or image, convey multiple, simultaneous thought.  At least they can’t easily or effectively.  Visual media can’t do it either.  Only comics.

murdock and kingpin

Kingpin engages in some jury tampering, there’s another Mary fight, Matt and Foggy talk, Foggy quits working for Kelco, and Kingpin loses the court case.

And if Kingpin isn’t evil enough, they even blame the NYC Garbage Strike on him.

Very complex narrative.  Excellent comics.

Creators: Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr.


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