DAREDEVIL #4 (1964): 1st Purple Man

Purple Man debuts in this issue. Bet you didn’t realize he was such a long-standing villain?

He starts out robbing a bank, calmly telling the bank teller to give him money, but only “new” money. He’s portrayed like the effeminate charicatures of homosexuals in the early ’60s.

The police catch up with him on the street, arrest him, take him to court, and the judge forces a lawyer on him.

Why couldn’t Purple Man just tell the cops, the judge, the jailers, etc., to let him go? I’m going to assume it’s because he’s bored and just playing along. What’s weird is that he tells the judge not to give him a lawyer, but the judge does anyway–is the judge immune from Purple Man’s persuasive powers?

Anyway, he’s forced to have a lawyer and we all know there’s only one criminal defense attorney in the 616-Universe, right? Matt Murdock!

Once Matt arrives, Purple Man does, in fact, order the cops to release him.

(Hey, I just noticed: Daredevil is blind. Interesting that his villain’s name is about color!)

Since he broke out of prison, Daredevil gets involved. Purple Man gets ready to kill him…

…but instead tells his origin story…

Killgrave realizes that for some reason his powers don’t work on DD. So he gets the people of Manhattan to fight on his behalf.

His own immunity leads Daredevil to the conclusion that Purple Man’s power is actually based on line-of-sight rather than the sound of his voice.

So he tricks out his cane with a sheet, wraps Purple Man in it, and hands him over to the cops.

I don’t like DD’s billy club being a gadget–I much prefer him as a wily streetfighter than a James Bond (or Iron Man) type. And Purple Man’s power set obviously needs work. But overall, a nice issue.

For fans of the movie The Incredibles, where having a cape is not an asset, during his battle with Purple Man, Daredevil learns the perils of wearing a hood…

1 thought on “DAREDEVIL #4 (1964): 1st Purple Man”

  1. It wouldn’t do for ME to develop the Purple Man’s power! I’ll refrain from elaborating on that, on fear of implication! However, turning DD’s billy-club into an Adam West-esque all-purpose utility-belt doesn’t work for me, either! As you noted, that crap undermines the utilization of DD’s wits, which is his most relatable quality! I hope we didn’t see too much more of this sort of thing during DD’s career!


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