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Sep 10 09 5:22 PM
Sep 20 09 8:15 PM
Sep 21 09 6:05 PM
Titanic True Believer wrote:
Oh, it originally did say "spank." I'm not going to drag the floppy out of storage, but trust me on this one! However, I am going over to check
my omni, and if they changed what is supposed to be a faithful reproduction, in the name of ******* political-correctness, I am going to be pissed!
Sep 21 09 11:38 PM
Sep 21 09 11:41 PM
Sep 21 09 11:47 PM
Sep 22 09 2:28 AM
"Bullseye!" - Daredevil
I remember really liking this story when I read it as a little kid, and I think it's either the best story of the month or the second-best (certainly the
best DD story since his debut), so for these reasons I'll be spending a fair amount of time on it here. It's also Wood's best issue to this point
in the Marvel Silver Age, so the scans will be plentiful.
However, the first thing that must be said is: where in the name of the surface world were the FF and the Avengers?? Not to mention the X-Men. All three of
these groups have plentiful experience battling Namor, and how is it that none of them hear of this battle in the middle of New York City?? A few explanatory
panels would have added to the realism of this Universe, even if they broke the flow.
Until Sub-Mariner Masterworks, the only time I'd read this story was in this 1978 Simon and Schuster reprint tome (cover by John Buscema?). I was
around 7 or 8.
There are two things that go into making a decent Power Record - a great cover and a dramatic story. This one was a no-brainer. I like how Namor even seems
to be taunting DD with the Power Records logo, using it to emphasize the high-profile nature of their "battle" (or mismatch, to be more precise).
"In your face, surface-dweller."
I guess when you get right down to it, it's good PR for both of them. Speaking of which, the newspaper is a nice touch.
We may as well zoom in on Wood's beautiful illo of Namor's face.
Incidentally, the lighter shade of blue used in that Masterwork reproduction is much less dramatic than the deeper one on the original floppy, as seen in
Bric's scan in the thread's opening post. The water seems deeper there. What the Masterwork has though is cost-effectiveness: the floppy apparently
goes for $1400 in Near Mint according to a recent Overstreet (as opposed to around $300 for #6 and #8).
The splash is reminiscent of the double-page spread which opened the first FF Annual. Gotta love that throne. But Dorma looks ugly here, and her new hair
color, presumably chosen in an attempt to attract Namor, doesn't help any.
Stan enjoys using Namor's full title, and is Simek paid by the page or by the word?
The whole second page is pretty nice. Since these are our only glimpses of Atlantis recently, we may as well see all there is to see.
A few things about that page. In the first panel, I like how the little fishies in the foreground keep us from forgetting where we are. (OK, there's
also that shark.) Krang makes the point that Atlanteans never even get to see the sun or the other stars. (This has to at least somewhat hinder the pursuit of
romance.) Is this the first we've seen of Krang since the Annual? In the second panel, where (and what) is the light source?? Neither Namor or Dorma seem
to be touched by the light shining on the other. At least Dorma looks better here. In the fifth panel, one has to hope that those two sea turtles aren't in
fact a bickering old married couple about to swim away from each other. Good luck to Namor in that case. The page ends nicely by introducing Matt and Karen hot
on the heels of Atlantis.
Namor now esteems "honor", "reason, and international law". Compare this to FF #4. Quite a change. Can this be attributed to the nobilizing
effect of his contact with the Marvel superheroes??
Wood utilizes a unifying layout effect throughout the issue - the long vertical panel to open a page. Here's the first one. What I especially like here
is that it describes horizontal depth rather than vertical.
On that page we're treated to some of Namor's better lines of the story: "I shall engage the services of an attorney!" and
"Any lawyer will do!" He reminds me of little Sally Brown with her fist in the sky: "I'll SUE." Does he
actually think a court of law could or would award him ownership of the surface world? He should at least be heading for the United Nations, not an NYC court.
Seriously, what does he watch on that undersea scanner..."Judge Judy"? Anyway, his strategy here makes for an obvious and ironic plot basis
for the story.
I like this two-panel progression. He takes action in that little white space between the panels, and then he's back to a casual relaxed posture
immediately thereafter. It's here that Namor's successive assaults on the surface world begin: revolving door, elevator door, office door, desk, wall.
Sorry for the mess.
Oh, and lest we forget, "When Namor is ruler of the surface world, there shall be an end to such primitive, unsatisfactory
Namor barges into the offices of Nelson and Murdock, where we see that Foggy is now a full-fledged redhead like Matt. (I sense a hook around which to rename
He then barges back out. At least he's consistent.
Karen saw Namor as "arrogant" and "merciless". What was Matt's impression? "Strange! I sensed a man of great honor - of intense
pride and innate nobility! I wonder - which is the real Sub-Mariner?" Maybe they're both right, but do their competing assessments highlight
Matt's ability to sense a person's character, as we saw him do with the Owl and the Purple Man? Or is this just down to the difference between vocal
inflection and facial expressions or body language? Perhaps seeing his powerful form made certain qualities stand out in Karen's mind.
This "montage panel" is a nice idea. Using roman columns reinforces Namor's royalty. In the newspaper, why is Namor's photo run next to an
article about planarians? (We can deduce that this is a later edition of the NY Daily Press from the same day as the one on the issue's cover, since both
feature the planarian story.) Also, Karen could do with some lipstick.
I know our first sight of the new costume was on the cover, but still, I feel its introduction within the story deserved better than this tiny panel at the
bottom of a page.
Actually when it comes to that, I felt this was one of the only detriments to the issue - Wood always shows DD the same size with nary a closeup in the entire
story, although he does do a decent job of changing the perspective from panel to panel. But anyway, thank goodness for the red costume.
In this page-ending panel, we can probably reason that DD was distracted. His heightened senses should have allowed him to hear the airplane before the reader
Likewise, where is his radar sense in the next panel (another page-opening vertical)? The only way he knows there's a traffic light there is from his
"calculations"? In that case, I'd agree: "What stroke of luck for Foggy!" It's a good thing Matt has memorized the features of city
streets in such detail.
It's a nice touch from Stan that Namor's heartbeat is so strong that it pounds in Matt's ears.
You'd probably have to say that in this particular case, Matt was ill-advised to attack first and ask questions later. "The first thing
I've got to do is slow him down - soften him up". I guess this is the way you've got to do it to be assured of a spot in a Greatest Superhero
Battle. It is kind of funny though that DD would swing a 360 around the traffic light only to use up most of that potential energy by bouncing off an awning
before thudding into Namor.
A couple of signs stand out on this page. First, the ubiquitous product placement advertisement for the M.M.M.S., and also "Woodley's". Does
anyone know if there really was such a store, or is that just a play on the artist's name?
Nice postures here.
Page 8 might be visually the best page of the issue. Yet again a vertical panel leads the way.
And this one is an alternate angle of the cover image.
One open-handed blow is enough to knock out DD. That's understandable, but why was he floundering in the water immediately before that? Namor pulled him
in, and Matt can't even swim?? He just sinks like a stone. Okay, maybe his ankle hurts, but at least paddle. And I thought oxygen deprivation causes one to
turn blue, not...red. Even if this was a mistake in the original floppy, it could have been corrected for the Masterwork. No biggie though. Namor gets his
first taste of DD's "valor". First impressions are important.
As usual, we're following the tried-and-tested ASM formula where DD will be defeated but come back for more later on. Not only that, but we get a
Spidey-like posture here.
I think it's at least somewhat interesting that when Namor "surrenders" to the authorities for the sake of his people, he exhibits a
"crucified" posture, similar to a famous man who once also allegedly surrendered his person to the government for the same reason.
I like this line from one of the soldiers: "Don't try any sudden moves, water man!"
When he finds out that his firm will indeed be representing Namor after all, Foggy wastes no time. "You'd better handle it, Matt!" What
is that? I guess Foggy knows that Matt is the better lawyer. But does anyone other than the narrator know that he's "possibly the most
brilliant trial lawyer of his generation"?? Is this the best-kept secret in New York (barring superhero-related matters)? Should N&M raise their
rates? I'm sure Karen would appreciate it. Well at least they're now, as Foggy puts it, "the most famous lawyers on Earth". That ought to
count for something and I wonder if we'll see evidence of this in future issues.
Halfway through the story, the trial begins. Namor looks cool in a trenchcoat.
He's accused of, among other things, "alien sedition"! (?)
What great irony that at this moment, Dorma arrives with the news that Krang has taken advantage of Namor's absence, a development set up eight pages ago.
Knowing that Namor will not long submit to incarceration, Krang knows that the duration of the trial is his only chance to make hay.
The judge expects to keep Namor waiting in jail for a week!! I don't know what precedents he thinks he needs to research, but prudence is not one
of his strengths.
A nice layout for page 12. With the FF, Avengers, and X-Men all taking things easy this week, the weight of the surface world falls on Matt, who has now had
experience of his own ineffectiveness against Namor. As he wrestles with his decision in that dramatically dark center panel, he's visually and
thematically "surrounded" by the Sub-Mariner. Awesome stuff, that. Another vertical panel thrown in for good measure, and can someone help me
understand the doorway in that first panel? It looks like the door opens onto a brick wall! (??)
Also, how does Matt know "he can't fly very far with his small ankle wings"? Is this public knowledge, and is it the first Silver Age mention of
Yes, it's another of those vertical panels now, with yet another different means of displaying height.
At this point I don't understand why the Army (and thus DD) are trying to bring Namor back. He's trying to leave the surface world peacefully. Is that
not what they wanted? Isn't this the definition of "leave well enough alone"? Oh, I keep forgetting. It's a Superhero Battle.
Now Wood gives us an all-vertical, three-panel progression. Clever tactic from DD.
Namor returns the favor with a good tactic of his own.
And what a PUNG this panel would garner if they could ever occur after the third-to-last page of a story!!
And so we come to the climactic page. This panel is one of many in this issue that was seared into my brain thirty years ago, unbeknownst to me. The visual
imprint of it was there waiting to be remembered when I saw it this time around. I think Namor's pose has something to do with it.
A dramatic bird's-eye-view here.
Why does electricity adversely affect someone with the power of an electric eel??
Now for the actual climax.
Here's another look at that classic moment.
"Out of respect to the courage of Daredevil", Namor evades the army while returning to the sea; DD succeeded. I look forward to Namor's battle
with Krang in a future issue of FF or in his own feature.
I'd forgotten what a superior epilogue Wood and Lee gave us for this wonderful story. Maybe the best Matt/Karen moment yet seen. It happens so suddenly,
and it's such a great idea from the creators. Matt reacts instinctively. What would he have done if he'd had time to think it through? Let her fall on
her face?? I'd love to see that scene in a future issue.
Matt's explanation is nonsensical though. "I heard your shoe kick the chair leg...", and then I yelled, "Watch out, Karen!
You'll trip over the leg of that chair!"?? Ummm...yeah, that makes all kinds of sense. (Admittedly, the arrangement of their word balloons makes it
look like he did say it after she tripped, but he didn't have time to get all those words out before she was in his arms in the next panel, and it
obviously doesn't make logical sense anyway. Regardless of the balloon placement, we have to assume that they both spoke concurrently in that fourth
panel.) I'm not surprised that Karen finds this explanation fishy. "Can it be possible that Matt really can - ?...I've got to stop this
wishful thinking - got to stop torturing myself!" She "wishes" that Matt is deceiving them about being sightless. What possible reason can she
conjecture as to why he would do so?
The newspaper also makes its third and final appearance during the epilogue.
I just hope I don't have to wait another six issues for another entertaining Daredevil story.
Sep 22 09 9:49 PM
Sep 22 09 11:54 PM
Sep 22 09 11:57 PM
Sep 23 09 12:03 AM
Sep 23 09 12:06 AM
Sep 23 09 3:14 PM
I agree with Storytime and family on the wonder of those Dr. Strange stories. Ditko was working on all cylinders when he did these stories,and they get
better with age. I liked then as a kid, but I can appreciate them so much more and have a better awareness of how much plotting and thought Ditko gave to the
story. The artwork is phenomenal as well and Stan does a great job with the dialouge. Incredible, imaginative work by a comics master.
BTW, there is only one Paste Pot Pete! His name conjures up images of an inept, inconsequential loser, which is as he should always be known! His
transformation into the Trapster is a sham.
Sep 23 09 3:52 PM
Storytime Comics wrote:
On the positive side, Chick gets a terrific send-off here: THE ART IN THIS ISSUE ROCKED!! Heavens, Kirby is already at the top of his game here. Look at that
My older son actually gasped--gasped!--when I turned the page to reveal it. Classic Kirby, from layout, to facial expressions, to power lines. Pure energy.
I'm glad Chic stuck around to deliver one final gem, just as Jack was hitting his stride.
Sep 23 09 4:10 PM
Sep 23 09 4:44 PM
Sep 26 09 10:04 PM
Sep 26 09 10:09 PM
Sep 26 09 10:12 PM
Sep 27 09 12:56 AM
Those darned ads ruin my formatting.
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