DAREDEVIL #173 (1982)

DAREDEVIL #173

Human moments with non-super-heroes like this are what distinguished Miller’s Daredevil from what came earlier.  Daredevil was always a little different from other books in that it really focused on the intersection between super- and secret-identity.  Spider-Man focused on Peter Parker, and his need to keep a secret.  Batman focused pretty much exclusively on Batman–Bruce was just a thing that filled space between Batventures.  Clark Kent was pretty much the same.   The Fantastic Four didn’t have secret IDs.  Bruce Banner, like Parker, was tormented by his super-ID.

But Daredevil really folded the two personae, even right from the start.  There were those awkward times when Matt “died” and “Mike Murdock” was created, but even those stories showed a real need for Murdock to be “public.”  He reveals his identity to every chick he dates.  He’s clearly a publicity whore.

It’s a real cool concept, and Miller begins to exploit it thoroughly.  Brian Michael Bendis would tell the definitive tale about it, but he couldn’t have done it without Miller’s foundation.

This is a chapter in Elektra story that is one of the best Frank Miller stories of all time.

AVENGERS #206 (1981)

How many times can Marvel call on Mantlo for a fill-in script?  I hope he got a great page rate, because he could churn out harmless-but-entertaining, forgettable stories like nobody’s business.  And…

Captain America #257 (1981)

Another fill-in issue.  They’ll continue until mighty Mike Zeck and the great J.M. DeMatteis take over in issue #261. And to make matters worse, this one is inked by “Many Hands,”…

Ghost Rider #54 (1981)

The Orb returns!  I love this villain, and he’s perfect for Ghost Rider because they both look great but don’t have great stories.  It also introduces his new power—a hypno-helmet—that makes him…