The Devil’s Double – Reviewing Daredevil #7 from 1965 and 2023

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Daredevil #7 (1965)

Daredevil issue seven is an interesting read, especially after seeing Namor’s most recent depiction in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. In this comic, he believes the surface is the heritage of the Atlanteans. His advisor, Krang, wants to start a war with the surface world, but Namor seeks a more honorable way relying on reason and international law. Unfortunately, that’s where the logic ends in this issue.

He seeks out legal counsel to sue the entire human race for depriving Atlanteans of their birth right: a place on the surface. Despite Namor’s knowledge that legal precedent is required for Atlantis’s sovereignty, he believes Earth will recognize him as its rightful ruler. The story devolves into multiple showdowns between Daredevil and Namor. The funny part is that this conflict is a misunderstanding. Daredevil tries to stop Namor’s destruction of public property long enough to get him to listen.

Namor leaves a trail of destruction behind him in an attempt get a court hearing. The second incident occurs when Lady Dorma warns Namor that Krang started a rebellion while the King was away. Matt convinces Namor to stay in jail for 24 hours. When the court date is postponed by a week, Namor breaks out of jail to return to Atlantis and launches an assault on anyone who stands in his way whether they’re militia, police officers or even the Man Without Fear.

Namor comes off as woefully ignorant of the surface world. He knows legal counsel is required in some instances but despite being a king seems unaware of how government works. Similarly, Daredevil wastes his breath quipping on the Sub-Mariner rather than trying to convince him that there are alternatives to fighting.

The main takeaway from this issue is Wally Wood’s redesign of the Daredevil uniform. The costume is now a vibrant red, which we all know becomes iconic, with the double-D initials. The black shadows give the suit a more three-dimensional appearance when compared to the bright but flat yellow. Matt Murdock informs readers that the suit was changed because it is more comfortable and distinctive. Daredevil’s Billy club also received an upgrade. The cane now has a cable that allows Daredevil to use it like a grappling hook. During the second bout with Namor, Daredevil employs the use of gas pellets that allow him to hide amongst the smoke.

Despite the iconic costume’s first appearance, the issue itself is only slightly above okay.

Rating: 2.5/5.

Daredevil #7 (2023)

In my opinion, Chip Zdarsky is better suited for standalone stories than the sprawling nature of the “Red Fist Saga.” This story, based around Castlemax’s eviction of a recently acquired apartment complex, was a lot of fun to read. Daredevil brings in Bullet, Speed Demon, and Stilt-Man to the protest and infiltrates the building. The place is rigged to blow, so Speed Demon and Daredevil work together to diffuse the bombs. While Bullet is the muscle, Stilt-Man plays an integral part when the plan goes awry.

The story slows down when Bullet and Daredevil don’t see eye to eye on how they intimidate the C.E.O. of Castlemax. It’s very reminiscent of issue six when the two have conflicting ideologies on how Daredevil is going about rehabilitating the recently freed prisoners. Except the conversation ends with Daredevil allowing Bullet to stick around and raise his son. Daredevil gives Bullet a crystal that allows him to contact Daredevil when he’s ready to come back to the island. Except in true to keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, the crystal also allows Daredevil to spy on Bullet. I wonder why the conversation in the previous issue couldn’t end with Bullet asking Daredevil to let him see his son. Even if Daredevil said no, it would show growth in the character.

The book shifts artists at this point and it’s a bit distracting. For example, the book opens with Elektra and Matt and Elektra looks more like X-23 from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 but then halfway through the book she looks more akin to Frank Miller’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear with the big, crazy hair. Similarly, Bullet looks like a generic thug in the first part of the book, but later he looks like Motorhead’s Lemmy.

The book ends setting up the showdown between The Fist and The Hand, which hopefully will be more enjoyable than the last two issues. Even though I’m looking forward to seeing the two armies clash, I’m more excited by the prospect that Zdarksy’s Red Fist Saga will end sooner than later.

Rating: 2/5.

The writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511

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