Saturday, January 31, 2009

Daredevil's Centrific Feats #5 - Die Hard

Some time ago, I was discussing with a friend the movie Spider-Man 2. The one featuring Doctor Octopus as main villain. In particular, we were agreeing on how nice the special effects were on that one, and how good the scenographers have been in conveying the feeling that...

... being hit by a flailing metallic tentacle gotta hurt a lot.

The above image is taken from DD vol.1 #165, penciled by Frank Miller and written by Miller himself in co-operation with Roger McKenzie. If memory serves, it is also the first issue with Miller as writer. I know this friend of mine really enjoyed this issue.
In it, Daredevil, at a pier, bursts into some smugglers, interrupting the operation of unloading of some crates containing adamantium. The thugs (who are the standard Miller-age goons type, i.e.: talkative lowlifes in undershirts, armed with chains and brass knuckles) fight back, but they are no match for Daredevil.
Suddenly, Otto Octavius appears. He takes DD by surprise, at the same time getting rid of the last thugs standing. Don't ask me how an overweight professor with long, heavy metallic appendages incorporated on him can possibly sneak up on a superhero who's got heightened senses and a radar working on 360 degrees, but he does.
With the intent of claiming that adamantium for himself, he battles DD, and after a brief struggle, he manages to seize him with two of those metallic arms of his. Instead of crushing his foe and calling it a night, he decides to drown him by holding him under the water, so that he can have the chance to go into "egocentric supervillain speech"-mode in the meantime.

There seems to be no hope for our hero. Even Spider-man, who has superhuman strength, can't normally break free from the hold of Doc Ock's tentacles.
Miller aptly accompanies this claustrophobic scene with a sequence of cluttered panels.
Knowing that there's no way to break that hold, our hero goes limp, and rations the oxygen in his lungs.

Whole minutes pass. The villain, certain that DD has drowned by then, lets go of his grip and goes away, having eliminated what to him was only a temporary nuisance.

Daredevil floats in the cold waters of the river, motionless. Hours later, he's found by a police squad. His body is totally inert. They believe him dead.
They are about to call the morgue, when, all of a sudden, he resuscitates. Shocked, an officer sees him getting up and invites him to take it easy, but the scarlet swashbuckler is already rushing away, already on the tracks of his enemy.
Running away, billy-club half extracted, ready to swing across the city. As if he had gotten up not from a near-death experience, but from a ten minute-nap.

At that sight, the astonished police lieutenant can only comment:

- The underworld calls him Daredevil. Now I know why.

Elsewhere, Octopus is in his hideout, stirring a cup of coffee (holding cup and teaspoon with his artificial arms, no less. Nice touch by Miller here). He has abducted Matt's then gilfriend, the rich heiress Heather Glenn, and, after having concluded another of his bloated talk-ins, he announces his intention to kill her.

His expression changes all of a sudden when the lights go off. Another nuisance to his brilliant plans. Undoubtedly a minor electronic malfunction.
Undoubtedly. And yet, what's that silhouette coming down on him?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"...I hold her some more while she sleeps"

"And for the first time in a long, long time... I pray."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Meanwhile, at a bar in Hell's Kitchen...

(I'm being a little busy right now, so I've arranged with lol-DD to keep you company. Thanks to Alice for the inspiration on this one!)