Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Comics Rant: Daredevil #166

Written by: Roger McKenzie and Frank Miller
Art by: Frank Miller

    We open up this issue with a good workout session. Matt Murdock, attorney by day, Daredevil by night has turned part of his his Upper Eastside residence into a specially equipped, fully pitch black dark gym to help him train when he's not out beating the unholy hell out of Hell's Kitchen's local criminals. Right in the middle of a good session in walks his girlfriend Heather Glenn. She isn't coming in to get some Devil booty, nor to let him know that dinner's ready. Instead, she's here to remind him of his best friend, Foggy Nelson's, oh I don't know, WEDDING! To which I might add he's the best man for! But that's okay, this was September of the grand year of 1980. everyone forgot their best friend's weddings in that year. While Matt gets ready to totally try and not be late to his best friend's wedding, there's a school tour taking place at a nearby museum. A museum appropriately named the Disney Museum of Human History. I'm starting to think that friendship Disney had with Marvel and Lucasfilm had some fine print in it 30 years ago...hmmmmmm. Anywho, the class is being shown some of the acquired suits from various villains. Not sure what kind of museum carries villain's suits but who's counting? They're specifically being shown the suit of The Gladiator, a villain who lives as if he's still back in the times of the Roman Empire. His suit however is a bit more modern. Equipped with razor shooters in his wrists and is as hard as adamantium. Who knows, it may be adamantium, everything in the damn 616 is made of it anyway. Right when the guard has his back to the suit, the man who used to own the suit, Melvin Potter, has snuck into the museum to reclaim what was once his. He kills the guard and dons his suit one more time.

    Conveniently, because the plot can't move forward without it, the woman supervising the children is also Melvin's social worker type lady thing. He finds her and tells her that he's followed her to the museum and stolen his suit in order to escape and be with her because he thinks she loves him! He thinks she's so nice to him because she secretly wants to be with him romantically. That's pretty normal isn't it? One man in the museum tries to be a hero and escape running to call the cops. I'm sure you can all assume how that ended up? If not for Miss Betsy pleading to Gladiator not to kill him, the spiked disc he shot at the man's back would've surely went right through him. Instead it only cuts him badly. Gladiator means business, he's not playing any games with these people. He warns Betsy he's not a patient man and the next time he attempts to kill someone she won't be able to save them.

    Church bells begin to ring as Foggy Nelson is putting the finishing touches on his...pink and green squared tuxedo for the wedding. On a quick note, I liked the way Foggy was done in the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie (piss off internet) and I really hope they don't make him a doof like he is in the books. Let's be honest, some changes are great while only some are hated. I don't think it would be a problem seeing as the show is called Daredevil and not The Colorful Adventure of Foggy Nelson and His Extreme Suits! I digress, Foggy's parents finally arrive and we meet the character who probably influenced the way Foggy dresses. Its his longtime friend back from college Porkchop Peterson, and yes, you guessed it, he's a wearing a doofy suit as well. All yellow with green pokadots on it. Foggy's sister arrives too, just in time to make things awkward with Matt as she uncomfortably hits on him. Now that the whole family's here, its time to begin. Just gotta give the best man the wedding band and...uh oh...Foggy lost the band! 

    Meanwhile, back at the History Museum, Gladiator sends out a messenger. The message is the police have one hour to send a champion to do battle with the Gladiator in no longer than one hour or he starts killing hostages. All revved up and loaded with testosterone. Gladiator tries to plant a big ol wet one on Miss Betsy only to be slapped harder than a 5th grader slap boxing his best friend. He interprets this as she wants him to do battle before he wins the prize, being her. So its safe to say this dude is beyond shot out of his mind. On the other side of town, Matt is in a cab with Porkchop and they're stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. The news of the museum breaks over the radio and Matt wastes no time leaving some cash and hopping out of the taxi. Its time to act and Daredevil can move a lot faster than Matt. He only hopes he can deal with this problem before Prokchop can get back to their law office and find the ring so he can make it back to the church in time to see his best friend be wed!

     Daredevil gets himself inside the museum and wastes no time getting right down to business. After all, the man is on a tight schedule today! Gladiator proves to be a very hard opponent as Daredevil's hits have almost no effect due to the intense armor. They eventually crash through a window and end up ever so conveniently in a Roman Colosseum exhibit, something that gets Gladiator's ego all ramped up. Daredevil resorts to the last trick he's got up his sleeve and skillfully manages to kick off Gladiator's helmet right clean off his head. This gives a small, but super vulnerable weak spot for the Horn Head to hit, and hit that spot he does. (Heeeeyoooooooo) He grabs a stick off one of the statues in the exhibit and gives Gladiator a good whapping over multiple pressure points on his head. He's able to stun Gladiator just enough to hit him with a final blow. A flying kick right in the dead center of his face. Just then, the cops arrive and all the children are safe again. As much as Daredevil may want to stay and chat, he's got a wedding to go to!

    Matt strolls into the church just as the priest is asking the small crowd if anyone has any objections. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the ring. He says he turned the office inside out but still couldn't find the ring anywhere. In disbelief Foggy raises his hands to his head and through his hair only for his finger to pass through his field of vision. What exactly is so significant about this finger, you ask? Well it has some fine looking jewelery on it, almost like a wedding band. Well kids, that's because it IS a wedding band. Is Foggy already married, to a woman, to a man? Nope! Its his own wedding band for the wedding he's currently a part of. He had the ring the entire time! Good thing no one, including Foggy himself, never thought to look at his hand for just enough time for Daredevil to fight a bad guy! They are pronounced man and wife, and the issue ends with smiles and a happy ending.

    This issue felt longer than most Daredevil issues in this book. There's only one more left before I move onto book 2 of 3 of Frank Miller's epic run as writer/artist that changed this book. I can already see in these issues that he's co-plotted all the dark tones that he's known for. Remember, his Daredevil run came before his Dark Knight work, but I still think this book is going to get preeeeeeetty dark. Especially because the next issue includes one of the darkest characters to grace the Marvel Universe. A vigilante who does the right thing, in all the wrong ways. A man who's rage meter is fueled mainly by revenge. That's right everyone, you guessed it...or didn't how would I know? Frank Castle, The Punisher makes his Frank Miller's Daredevil debut. Be back soon to find out what Matt Murdock does about the Punisher. Does he fight along side him like a hero, or let the lawyer out and try to bring him in? Only one way to find out, until next time!

-Matt Milanes 

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