Thursday, March 3, 2016

Daredevil #168

For years Marvel Comics' Daredevil title produced lackluster stories.  It had its high points of course such as when Gene Colan and Barry Smith illustrated the title.

For a short period Daredevil teamed with the Black Widow so both heroes shared the title.

During the late 1970s Daredevil sales were dipping dangerously close to the point that the title would be cancelled until a young artist (and soon to be writer) started on the title.

That writer/artist was Frank Miller.
Barely into his twenties Miller revitalized Daredevil's book.  A huge fan of film noir movies and crime novels and of Golden Age artist Will Eisner's Spirit comic book character, Miller transformed Daredevil into a dark, edgy title whose hero fought crime in dirty back alleys and less than savory criminal settings.

Suddenly Daredevil became hot and before long Daredevil ranked as Marvel Comics second best-selling title behind The Uncanny X-Men.

This came about in no small part by Miller's scripts and shadow-laden and dynamic art assisted by the inks of Klaus Janson.

Daredevil hit its artistic high when Miller introduced Elektra, one-time lover of Daredevil's alter ego, Matt Murdock.

Bitter after the murder of her father, Elektra turns to crime.  She trains to become an assassin, who eventually faces off against Daredevil.

Still in love with her Matt reluctantly fights Elektra and in the end realizes that their love is doomed as they are on opposites side of the law.

Interesting enough on the cover of issue #168 Elektra's name is spelt wrong as Elecktra.
Some issues later Elektra is killed by Bullseye only to be resurrected even later. Over the past few decades she has wavered between being a heroine or villainess.

Daredevil #168 is on the 'must have' list for serious comic book collectors.