Saturday, April 02, 2005

DAREDEVIL #208 Marvel Comics 1984

“The Deadliest Night of My Life.”

Esteemed science fiction writer Harlan Ellison wrote this kick-ass Daredevil issue. Ellison is known by most geeks as the writer of the classic Star Trek episode “City on the Edge of Forever” – the one where Joan Collins gets hit by a truck. Artist David Mazzuchelli was the regular DD artist at the time. He would go on to work with Frank "The Tank" Miller* on Batman: Year One and in the "Born Again" arc in Daredevil. I fucking love Mazzuchelli.

This is a great example of Western comics' compressed narrative storytelling. A lot goes on in this single issue. I can imagine that Ellison’s script was packed with story and was a nightmareto illustrate, but Mazzuchelli is clearly up to the task, and this issue is a very satisfying read. Who doesn't love death traps? In short, Daredevil gets lured into a gigantic mansion by creepy exploding little girl robots, only to find that the mansion is a deathtrap with one purpose only: kill Daredevil!!!! Our hero has to run a gauntlet of lethal traps (spikes, poison gas, spikes, sharks, spikes, fire) before he finds out who the mastermind is.

This is one of my favorite issues of Daredevil and is one of the comics that I continually re-read as a kid. It's up there with G.I. Joe "Silent Interlude" and the Sienkiewicz "Demon Bear" story in New Mutants. In an era of de-compressed storytelling, where some writers will streetch out storylines and/or spend valuable page real estate on padding (what kid wants to read pages of Mary Jane auditioning for a part?), this Daredevil comic stands as an exemplar of the virtues of packing as much super-hero goodness in a book as possible.

*Nobody has actually ever called Frank Miller this. I'm trying to start a new nickname for him.


Anonymous said...

Man, I just found out about your site and I Laughed out loud when I read of Frank "The Tank" Miller.

Anonymous said...

That's not his real nickname!!!!!!!! You've started a trend.

blankfist said...

DD #208 has been my favorite comic since I read it back when I was a kid -- I've tried to explain it to people, but I've never found anyone who read it, until now. In second place, GIJOE #21 'Silent Interlude'.

Anyhow, thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

In "Silent Interlude" did storm shadow shoot an arrow through a wall?

blankfist said...

The world may never know...

GentryShade said...

"The Deadliest Night Of My Life" is not only my favorite Daredevil story ever (and I think of Daredevil as a somewhat historically underrated story vehicle with several great writers and artists having done their time with him) but it's also one of my very favorite Marvel stories ever- right up there with X-Men #170, Iron Man #184, and a couple of others... Even all these years later, I can still read this story in my head, panel for panel and almost word for word. Glad to see a few others who have read this story and appreciate it! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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