DAREDEVIL #319-325 (1993-1994): Fall From Grace

Hey, look!  Daredevil’s gonna fall from grace!

Every Daredevil writer has to bring the character to rock bottom.  Then, afterwards, the writer will usually quit.  Then the next one will build DD back up again, destroy him, and leave.  It’s the circle of Matt Murdock’s life.

So how does Chichester do with this?  Let’s find out!  (Spoiler alert: Not too well, thanks in no small part to terrible art by Scott McDaniel.)

Short version: Daredevil gets armor.  Ugh.

Slightly longer version (because an in-depth play-by-play is really not needed): In the 1960s, SHIELD unleashed a bioweapon (a virus) in New York City.  One vial of the toxic gas was lost in the subway system, and now The Hand is trying to find it.  They have this guy, Tekagi, working for them.

I mean, he looks cool…But The Hand should not be superheroes. He’s part of the “Snakeroot” clan of the Hand, so maybe they’re more flashy.

A former ESPer (SHIELD agent), who is now homeless, who was around in the 1960s finds out and sends a telepathic message to Daredevil to stop The Hand.

The Hand wants to use the virus to bring Elektra back to life (it can do that, apparently), and along the way they have kidnapped Agent Garret from the Elektra miniseries that, up to now, wasn’t Marvel canon.

Meanwhile, a competing clan hires Silver Sable to find the gas vial.

Love the color in that sequence above.

Along the way, Daredevil’s costume gets shredded so he gets armor.  Oh, and there’s a demon from New Orleans.

I mean, sure–it makes sense. If I was running around getting into fights all the time, I’d prefer armor to spandex too. But when characters other than Iron Man get armor, it’s almost always bad.

But it comes in handy when he has to fight Venom, which happens because overstuffing stories is what Marvel did in the ’90s.  Also Morbius.  And some of the white-clad ninjas from the Frank Miller run, like Stone.  And finally Elektra.

We, as readers, were never sure if Daredevil actually resurrected Elektra way back in Frank Miller’s epilogue to his famous issue #183, where Bullseye killed Elektra and Daredevil shattered every bone in Bullseye’s body by “mistake.”  The watercolored, Epic Comics Elektra miniseries (mentioned above), was so bizarre that it really can’t be canon. 

And it wasn’t. It was all John Garrett’s hallucination. (And look, he’s in a tube–check out my “tube” tag, below!).

The decision to take the brilliant Elektra: Assassin series out of canon was criticized by most fans.

Marvel kept that mystery up for a really long time.

There’s nothing awful here, but nothing great either.  It “matters” because it brings Elektra back.  (Which was pretty controversial–to now, only Frank Miller had written the character and he spoke out against this story arc.). Also because Matt Murdock “dies” and Daredevil takes on a new secret identity.  Oh, and the armor I guess.  Of course, most of this stuff will get reversed in the future.

1 thought on “DAREDEVIL #319-325 (1993-1994): Fall From Grace”

  1. Yeah, most poorly-thought out storylines usually get “ret-conned” out of canon- ( see Carol Danvers/’Avengers’#200 ) Daredevil in body-armor is counter-intuitive to the character, because body-armor, as cool as it is, seriously restricts body movement, and if Daredevil can’t move his body, he’s as effective as tits on a nun. Agility is his primary ability. I missed his encounter with Morbius. I’ll bet that was interesting. Of course, if the encounter was “ret-conned” out of existence, then it really doesn’t matter! Still, I’d like to see what Daredevil could do about Morbius, or really, any vampire. The Undead is a serious problem in Marvel-world, and Daredevil is, relatively speaking, not that capable. Curiously, there was a time in Marvel history when a Marvel superhero encountering a vampire or werewolf, zombie, mummy, etc., was a serious no-no. Fortunately, we’re beyond that. I’m with Stan and Roy Thomas on this, meaning, if we’re going to deal with a world full of mutants, Spider-men, Human Torches, Sub-Mariners, gods, androids, extra-dimensional beings, etc., then why NOT vampires, werewolves, etc., -?? It just makes sense! And I don’t mean just the pseudo-quasi Michael Morbius/John Jameson variety, either. ( of course, a GREAT argument can be made that anyone can be killed by a pseudo-vampire/werewolf just as quickly as a “real” one, so…… for that matter, anyone can be killed by a bullet just as quickly as a creature of the supernatural ) But……. this is about mid-Nineties Daredevil, so…… that’s all, folks!


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