Special #1Cover: Gene Colan/Frank Giacoia
"Electro And The Emissaries Of Evil!"
Blueprint For An All-Purpose Billy Club!
"At The Stroke of Midnight!"
Daredevil happens across Electro talking about plans to destroy him.
Electro mentions that he's contacted, "the most powerful of (Daredevil's)
old enemies"! He fights them briefly until a bad fall takes him out of
the picture. A good night's sleep recharges his batteries, while giving
the Gladiator and the Stilt-Man time to prepare. Daredevil swings around
the city looking for his old villains. He meets and defeats the Matador
and Stilt-Man individually. After finding Leap frog in Central Park,
Daredevil follows him to an electric power plant. That's where all the
villains fight him together. Our hero uses his enemies' numbers to his
advantage, throwing them in each others' way. He finally ties them all up
with live electrical wire. Matt Murdock returns to the office and broods
that Daredevil must always remain a loner for the sake of his friends.
Also in this annual is an explanation of Daredevil's powers; his triple identity as Matt Murdock, Daredevil, and his imaginary twin brother, Mike Murdock; pin-ups of Karen Page, Foggy Nelson, Ka-Zar, Daredevil, Gladiator, The Owl, Leap Frog, and the Masked Marauder; "Blueprint of an All-Purpose Billy Club, explaining how Matt's cane can change into Daredevil's billy club/grappling hook; "At the Stroke of Midnight", a comedic look at a plotting session between Stan Lee and Gene Colan.
Damn! 53 pages of that used to sell for a quarter! Where did the industry go wrong?
Special #2Cover: Sal Buscema
"While The City Sleeps!"
"A Time To Unmask!"
|This Special reprints DD Volume 1 #10 and 11.|
Special #3Cover: John Romita/Frank Giacoia
"None Are So Blind...!"
|This Special reprints DD Volume 1 #16 and 17.|
Annual #4Cover: Gil Kane/Klaus Janson
"The Name of The Game Is... Death!"
The Black Panther is visiting Robert Mallory, a millionaire inventor who's
designed a new power plant that generates energy from deep ocean currents.
He just needs Vibranium, the rare metal found only in the Black Panther's
country of Wakanda, to build the station. That same day, Mallory's son is
kidnapped by gangsters. They want the power station plans as ransom. The
Black Panther's on the hunt!
That same day, Matt Murdock comes back to New York from LA. He's just said good-bye to Karen Page, and is worried about recent attempts on Foggy Nelson's life. While on patrol as Daredevil, he finds a police car wrecked by Namor. DD finds and battles Namor, knowing he hasn't a chance of defeating him. Namor wins then goes looking for Robert Mallory. He wants to stop the construction of Mallory's power plant before it damages the oceans.
The Panther has tracked the kidnappers to a gang boss named Ruffio Costa; Costa's men find and capture the Panther. Later that night, Murdock is called by Costa demanding 1 million dollars from the Avengers for the Panther's return. Murdock deduces that The Panther told them to call Murdock, knowing he'd come as Daredevil. And as Daredevil, Murdock swings by Foggy's place to get marked, fake money used by the D.A. office in kidnapping cases. On the way, he finds Namor cornered by police. Namor lashes out at DD to vent his frustration with Dr. Doom. (I'll explain later.) Hornhead gets away, but Namor follows.
At Costa's hideout, The Panther slips out of his bonds and frees Mallory's son, Keith. The Panther hides the boy and goes to the meeting between Costa's gang and Daredevil. The masked heroes make quick work of the goons before moving on to Costa's hideout. Suddenly, Namor strikes! Before the fight gets too far, Daredevil talks Namor out of attacking Mallory. He promises Matt Murdock will use legal means to investigate the environmental effects of Mallory's plant and then shut down the project. Namor agrees, warning that if Murdock fails, he shall return. The Panther decides not to sell Malory the Vibranium his plant needs.
The fight between Panther, Daredevil, and Costa takes a bizarre turn when Costa is knocked into old lab equipment. (The stuff was just lying around!) His mental energies are magnified "to an infinite degree". He dubs himself Mind-Master, takes control of the Panther's mind, and orders him to kill Daredevil. DD leads the fight and gets the Panther to throw him into Mind-Master. Daredevil attacks MM directly, and breaks his hold on The Panther. He figures the Mind Master's power is limited. Between him and The Panther, the Mind Master exhausts his power and turns back into Costa. The Panther laments that in a year, someone else will take Costa's place. But today, they've saved a boy and prevented an ecological disaster. That's good enough for now.
*Woof*! I needed to sit down after reading this! Talk about wall-to-wall action! The story got a little weird and took some strange turns. But all the plot threads were tied up, everyone was in character, and we got some great banter between the Black Panther and Daredevil. If you're wondering why Namor was going on about Dr. Doom, it's because he was forced to work for Doom in 'Super-Villain Team-Up'. The series was running in 1976. You can read it all in the TPB 'Essential Super-Villain Team-Up'.
Annual #4bCover: Ron Frenz/Joe Sinnott
"A Friend In Need"
"Super Senses Comparisons"
"The Redeemed and The Condemned"
"Saga of the Serpent Crown: Chapter VII: The Rebel"
(This was mislabeled as #4; it should have been #5.)
"Atlantis Attacks" Part VII, (part of Marvel's all-annual crossover that year)
The Deviant High Priest Ghaur, Lemurain rebel leader Llyra, and the immortal Tyrannus have joined forces to summon the evil god Set and conquer the world. Tyrannus is posing as Dr. Tyrone, founder of a network of drug clinics. He's slowly turning addicts into serpent people obedient to his will. Tyrannus has also brought Spider-Man under his mental control.
Daredevil is wandering the country, broken and disheartened by recent events in his life. He comes across Leo, whose best friend Wally went to one of Dr. Tyrone's clinics. Leo hasn't seen Wally in weeks. He thinks Wally's been taken in by a cult; suspicions proven by an attack of Serpent People from the clinic. Daredevil saves Leo, but walks away. He doesn't want to get involved. Leo goes after Wally alone.
At the clinic, Tyrannus welcomes international terrorist Viper, (a.k.a. Madame Hydra), whose serpent serum facilities were destroyed by the Punisher and Moon Knight, ('Punisher' Annual #2). Viper's surprised to see the "patients" worshiping Tyrannus. She's completely shocked when Tyrannus uses his powers to take over Viper's mind. He's going to use her as a sacrifice to summon Set.
Outside, Dr. Strange convinces Daredevil to help him shut Tyrannus down. Daredevil comes in time to see the hypnotized Spider-Man fighting Leo. DD fights Spider-Man, but gets away long enough to open a nearby canal and flood the compound. With the followers distracted, Strange enters Tyrannus' chamber and interrupts the summoning spell. He recognizes the demon as a creature from the dark dimension of dread Dormammu. (Gotta love that Marvel alliteration!) Tyrannus has the creature under his control, but it takes all of his concentration. Viper breaks free of Tyrannus' influence and throws him into the mystic circle. The demon swallows Tyrannus whole, and Strange seals the portal.
Back outside, Spider-Man recovers his wits. Strange turns all the Serpent people back to normal, and erases everyone's memories of his presence, except Daredevil's. Leo is happy to find Wally, but shocked to hear Wally brush him away. Leo tries to shoot Wally, but Daredevil stops him. DD muses on how blindness can be a blessing. When someone sees a truth he doesn't want to see, he either accepts it or breaks down.
Back in Hell's Kitchen, Spit and Jet of the Wild Boys are bored. They see a drug deal going down in a guy's van. They chase the driver and force him to crash. That's when the cops show up and thank the Wild Boys for catching a dealer they've been after for weeks.
Darla of the Fat Boys is grabbed by men with no good plans for her. The Boys search for Daredevil, but when they can't find him, they rescue Darla themselves. They do all right until one guy pulls a gun on them. Luckily, Daredevil shows up in time to save them. He gives them all a good scolding for being reckless and not calling the police.
If you ever wondered how Daredevil's senses compared to other Marvel characters with super-senses, there's a two-page guide to answer your questions. Daredevil himself compares and contrasts his abilities to those of Wolverine, Sabertooth, the Watcher, and others.
Ben Urich is on the trail of a story that could bring down a drug pusher. Murdock warns Ben that he's putting his life in danger. Urich ignores him, and sees his informant. Their meeting is interrupted by the assassin Bushwacker. Bushwacker kills the informant and wounds Urich. Then he learns he was hired by a drug dealer. When he was a priest, Bushwacker saw a lot of good kids killed by this dealer's "product". He lets Urich live to print his story. The dealer is arrested, gets off, and then gets killed. Urich knows he's responsible for it all.
Finally, like every chapter in the "Atlantis Attacks" annuals, there's another chapter in the long history of the powerful Serpent Crown. This Crown made Naga absolute ruler of the undersea kingdom Lemuria. A rebel army of telepaths are able to steal the crown and flee the kingdom. But the allure of the Crown's power corrupts even the purest of souls.
Annual #6Cover: Cam Kennedy
"Truth Or Dare"
Lifeform: Part II
(Continued from 'Punisher Annual' #3, and continuing into 'Incredible Hulk Annual' #16 and 'Silver Surfer Annual' #3)
A virus has turned Professor George Prufrock into a gray, mutated monster. It returns from apparent death and kills people. It eats their flesh to add to its own body. As it grows, it develops a mind separate from that of Prof. Prufrock, still alive in the creature's body. Daredevil finds it, along with a pair of corrupt cops. The thing flees after its arm is shot off. One cop fingers the severed arm and dies of a nasty virus the next day. Daredevil continues his search, along with the surviving cop, and Ben Urich with a colleague of Prufrock. Daredevil finds him first and tries to talk him into seeking a cure. The others arrive and ultimately kill it. Or so they think.
The other stories in the annual all involve the Lifeform creature; a rarity in these annuals. The Fat Boys try stealing a skateboard from a gang of older kids. They run across the creature while trying to ditch the older gang. We see the last hours of the dirty cop infected by the Lifeform virus. It's not pretty. Finally, Typhoid Mary finds the creature. In trying to control its mind, she finds a split identity like herself. Ironically, this killer might have given the Lifeform a conscience.
Annual #7Cover: Mike Mignola
"The Von Strucker Gambit - Prologue"
"The Von Strucker Gambit - Part One - Crippling Death"
"The Dark Lady"
"Malicious Justice.. Or Injustice?"
"The Fatboys In: Guns Don't Kill..."
Three genetically engineered super-beings escape from a secret Hydra
facility. The newly resurrected Baron Von Strucker is not happy. He
enlists three bounty hunters to retrieve them. In this issue, "The
Crippler" hunts Sathan, a cat-woman that drains life energies and turns
her victims into zombies. But Daredevil finds her first while rescuing
people from a burning tenement. DD and Ben Urich are investigating a wave
of arson burning down buildings owned by Mr. Furman. Furman is
responsible, but it can't be proven. Sathan and her growing undead army
want revenge on Furman for trying to kill them. Daredevil and Crippler
met, fight, then team up to catch Sathan when she attacks Furman. When
Nick Fury arrives, Strucker activates remote bombs implanted in Sathan and
Crippler. He doesn't want Fury to learn anything. Stricklan cuts the
explosive out of his neck before it goes off. Sathan is killed. Crippler
escapes leaving Fury and Daredevil with to many questions. Continued in
'Punisher Annual' #4 and 'Captain America Annual' #10.
Also in this issue, the Crippler begins his sadistic war on crime; Urich meets a woman from his past at the mercy of the Kingpin; and the Fat Boys find a gun in a very special after-school special.
Annual #8Cover: Joe Quesada/Al Williamson
"Maxed Out - The System Bytes Part 2"
"Daredevil's Top Ten Villains"
"Crippler and The Wildboys In 'Disturbingly Alike'"
"The Fatboys In 'Growing Up'"
w/ inside cover by Tom Raney
The System Bytes Part II
Continued from 'Punisher Annual' #5; A computer virus called Ultra-Max is infecting computer systems. Its creator, max E. Mumm is trying to stop it when Bushwacker attacks him. Bushwacker was hired by Max's former employer, Ampersand Communications, to "silence" the programmer. Luckily, Daredevil is nearby and catches Bushwacker. He directs Max to the offices of Nelson & Murdock to seek legal help. Max figures if he can prove he created Ultra-Max, he'll win the right to terminate the program.
Meanwhile, Deathlok, the half-machine/half-corpse Michael Collins, has projected his mind into cyberspace to fight the virus. Ampersand hired Deathlok to clean the virus out of its systems. When Max hacks into the virus program, he meets Deathlok and tells the true story. Deathlok returns to the real world to see Max in person. At the office, Max and Deathlok plan a coordinated attack to shut down Ultra-Max. Deathlok jacks back into cyberspace.
Also in the real world, Daredevil has brought Ampersand's president Mazilli into police for hiring Bushwacker. 'wacker escaped last night, and is gunning for Max. Daredevil arrives at his office in time to find Bushwacker attacking Max, and Deathlok's body on the floor. This gives Max an opportunity to turn Ultra-Max on itself. Ultra-Max "eats" itself, releasing Deathlok in time to save Daredevil. Our heroes are confident Bushwacker's testimony will put Mazilli behind bars. Max's future is less certain.
And deep in a computer system, Ultra-Max is born anew. Continued in 'Wonder Man Annual' #1 and 'Guardians of the Galaxy Annual' #2.
Elsewhere, Daredevil recalls his ten deadliest enemies, (ranking The Owl and Bullet a little too high if you ask me); The Crippler fights the Wild Boys before joining the crew in 'Silver Sable'; and Darla of the Fat Boys starts dating an older guy. Re-reading these old Daredevil comics from the 80's and early 90's, I can't help wondering what happened to these supporting cast members? I can't recall seeing the Wild Boys or Fat Boys in the monthly series after "Fall from Grace", (DD #319-#325). Maybe later writers considered them too silly for the book. But with Daredevil now "Kingpin" of Hell's Kitchen, I think it's a good idea to revisit these characters. See how they've changed because of Daredevil, especially how they see him.
Annual #9Cover: Scott McDaniel/Hector Collazo
"On The Clock"
w/ inside cover by Mark Pacella/Dan Panosian
Daredevil stops a robbery at the museum, but accidentally inures a
security guard. Daredevil leaves quickly to get some sleep. The guard
later handles a Mayan statue whose mystical powers are unleashed by his
blood. He is transformed into a hideous beast called a "virgin devourer".
He kills another guard and
disappears. The next day, Murdock loses a case defending a man he knows
is innocent. When he hears about the deaths at the museum, guilt compels
him to investigate. He finds an unusual odor of musk that he follows to
central park. He confronts the Devourer, but it transforms back into
human form. Daredevil loses him in a concert audience, but finds him
ducking into the sewers. DD finds a Mayan shrine where the Devourer
fights him. He burns the beast which somehow reverses the curse. Back in
court, Murdock's client is found not guilty on appeal.
Also in this comic, 24 hours in Daredevil's life, and Calypso resurrects the Zombie and the Hellspawn.
Every Marvel Comics Annual in 1993 introduced a new character/team. They were also polybagged with a trading card featuring the new characters. Most of these characters were never seen again. Devourer returned in DD's monthly series in a story written by Gregory Wright. In a weird coincidence, (or possibly corporate espionage), DC Comics' annuals also introduced new characters, with a trading card series sold separately, in a crossover called "Bloodlines". There's really nothing worth reading.
Annual #10Cover: Scott McDaniel
"Vendettas - Daredevil & Elektra"
"Dead End - Black Widow"
The Snakeroot, uber-ninjas of the Hand, bring Ghostmaker back from the
dead and charge him with killing Elektra and Daredevil. He finds the duo
just after DD refuses Elektra's offer for a "team-up". Ghostmaker leaves
after a brief fight; he wants to face them individually. Meanwhile,
S.H.I.E.L.D. asks Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu, to bring in Elektra.
Agents just spotted her fighting Ghostmaker. Shang-Chi recognizes the
ninja. Ghostmaker died when Shang-Chi turned a viral weapon against him.
Shang-Chi is officially involved.
Shang-Chi finds and engages Ghostmaker while Elektra watches. Ghostmaker runs when he starts loosing. The Snakerot are not happy with his pursuit of personal revenge. He's allowed another chance to redeem himself by fighting Daredevil, who's searching subway tunnels for the Snakeroot's hideout. Elektra and Shang-Chi show up. Elektra kills Ghostmaker with the sai she took from her evil counterpart Erynys, (see 'Daredevil' #325). Shang-Chi lets Elektra go in gratitude. Daredevil leaves her too, frightened by her quick changes from peacefulness to murderous rage and back again. And somewhere, the Snakeroot prepare Ghostmaker for further service.
Also in this issue, Natasha "The Black Widow" Romanov takes a job for Nick Fury. She's attacked by a Russian agent named Karla who's pursued her since her defection to the West. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, Karla continues to hunt the Widow as a part of the Snakeroot.
All told, this is the best story to come out of Daredevil's "dark period" of the mid-90's.
Daredevil/Deadpool '97Cover: Bernard Chang/John Holdredge
"Whomsoever Fights Monsters..."
Previously, in Deadpool's monthly series, Wade "Deadpool" Wilson frees
Typhoid Mary from her mental asylum. He brings her to a mercenary hangout
and accidentally knocks her through a window. The fall reawakens an old
memory involving Daredevil. Wade lets Mary go to NYC alone to settle her
Several days/weeks later, Mary goes on a killing spree eliminating every man who "did her wrong". The death of her psychiatrist attracts Daredevil's involvement. Attacks on her former mob employers send them into a panic. Deadpool comes to New York to reign her in. He tries kidnapping Foggy Nelson to lure out Daredevil. It works quicker than he expected. DD reluctantly joins DP in their hunt.
Meanwhile, Foggy spends the night out with Weasel, Deadpool's oft-beaten assistant. It's a night of drinking, poker, porn, and a lost dog.
Our heroes visit the home of the judge who sentenced Mary to the asylum. Wade finds Mary first and is extremely angry that she's killed "civilians". He acts like he's leading Murdock into a trap. Mary leaves him with a stab wound and a location: A club run by local Mafioso. The terrified dons have holed up in the club and surrounded themselves with expensive gunmen. Of course, Matt & Wade come in the front door and start wailing on everybody. Matt gets away to the upper room where Mary has just killed the capos. Typhoid surprises Matt with the club's ultra-loud sound system and beats him down. Deadpool comes to keep him down.
Mary then explains why she went after Daredevil. Years ago, she worked in a brothel; the brothel where a young Matt Murdock tracked down one of his father's killers. During the fight, Matt accidentally kicked a woman out the window. That woman was young Mary. That moment of pain was the beginning of the man-hating Typhoid personality. Mary blames Matt for creating her and the people she's killed.
Daredevil refuses to take responsibility for Mary's choices. He won't be held accountable for her crimes. Mary collapses in a fetal position of guilt. Deadpool explains this is what he wanted all along. People like him and Mary, and even Matt, need to confront their inner demons head-on. Deadpool takes Mary away. Daredevil takes comfort in the absolution of his "murder".
The fight at the brothel took place in "Daredevil: Man Without Fear". The story also saw Murdock swat a criminal's bullet back at him, hitting him between the eyes, killing him instantly. "Daredevil" #350 saw Murdock confront the spirits of every thug he ever killed, either on purpose or by accident.
Annual #1 (Volume 2)Cover: Marko Djurdjevic
"Devil May Care"
Daredevil is fighting a Yakuza gang in the rooftops of Hell's Kitchen.
He's not feeling very well: he's got the flu and this is worsening the
performance of his enhanced senses, his radar in particular. After the
fight, he heads to a church and hides in the confessional to have a bit of
rest, but while he is resting, he hears someone confessing a crime: he
bolts outside the booth, but the man is no longer there.
Meanwhile, Carlos LaMuerto aka. the Black Tarantula, leaves Ryker's Island. He goes to visit his parole office -- a dislikeable guy who offers LaMuerto to cover him for a sum of money, as far as he doesn't make much noise. He also offers him to fake the tests which will prove he's taking the prescribed de-powering medication. LaMuerto is sickened by that, as he really intends to forget his past ways... So he heads to Nelson, Blake and Murdock, where Matt is keen on helping him, and offers Carlos to help Dakota North in her investigations.
LaMuerto has been assigned a dismal little apartment in the neighbourhood he once ruled. While walking the streets, he comes across a face of the past: Luis Rodriguez, an innocent kid whom he led into a life of crime, and who grew up to become the local mob boss known now as "Little Loco". When the Black Tarantula shows his dislike, Little Loco reminds him that he's the one ruling the streets now.
Dakota is none too happy to have LaMuerto working for her, bearing in mind his bad record, but nonetheless agrees to have him helping her checking data at the computer... After Carlos succeeds in crashing Dakota's computer's system, she asks him to sit in a corner while she fixes the whole thing. When Murdock goes to check how LaMuerto is doing, he finds he's gone to the street, where he locates him in an alley requesting information (Black Tarantula style) from a minor goon. Murdock tells him that this is not the right way to become a honest man, but then offers him an option to help him using his abilities in a more becoming way.
Sometime later, Daredevil and the Black Tarantula fight the Yakuzas at their den. When the Yakuzas are either knocked down or have fled, Carlos notices a big sum of money they have left behind, and argues with Murdock what to do with it: Daredevil wants to leave it for the Police to find, LaMuerto thinks it would be better to get it and put it to good use -the Robin Hood way- but eventually obeys Matt. However, back at his flat he feels completely frustrated, and throws away his de-powering pills.
Matt is investigating about the murder he heard about in the confessional, and Dakota finds data about the recent suicide of an old lady that might fit with what he heard. Daredevil visits the woman's home, only to find that it is being painted and redecorated... It turns out that the old lady was the last low-rent person in the building, which is obviously about to be recicled into a luxury condominium. The owner enters the place: he brings candles and sacred books to celebrate a private mass to ease his guilt, but Daredevil makes him understand that he'd rather settle for the sacrament of Penance. The man confesses that he ordered a third person to kill the woman for him, and old acquaintance of the Black Tarantula: Little Loco.
LaMuerto goes to Little Loco's headquarters and he confirms him that he killed the old lady, and doesn't regret it, as it was handsomely paid... Since Black tarantula doesn't seem to agree with that, Little Loco orders his men to kill him. But LaMuerto is recovering his powers, and he is able to defeat Rodriguez's gang. Little Loco then offers LaMuerto to renew their old partnership and share the hugue benefits. But Carlos has other ideas and puts an end to Little Loco's criminal career. Daredevil reaches the place, to find that LaMuerto has broken his parole and wants to flee with Rodriguez's unlawful earnings. When Daredevil attempts to stop him, LaMuerto knocks him down and leaves after healing an unconscious Matt with his powers.
Matt's flu is over. He receives a letter afrom LaMuerto, accompanied by a set of files: they bear proof of the corrupt behaviour of his parole officer. Later, we see that Carlos has left Little Loco's money in a church, so it can be used to help people. LaMuerto is again on the run, but now he has a purpose: he will fight crime in his own way, in the other side of the law.
Annual #1 (Volume 3)Covers: Alan Davis
"A Tourist in Hell"
|This annual was part 2 of a 3-part story by Alan Davis which featured the ClanDestine. The first part was the Fantastic Four Annual #33 and the story concluded in Wolverine Annual #1 (2012).|
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