Thursday, May 14, 2015

Comics Rant: Daredevil #171

Written and Art by: Frank Miller
Inks by: Klaus Janson

    The Kingpin of crime is back in town, but he's not here for the reasons you think. He's not here to revamp underground crime. He's not here to reclaim his throne on the top of the secret world of organized crime. No, he's here to retrieve his wife Vanessa, who's been kidnapped. And for the first time within these pages, our horned hero will face one of his greatest foes for the very first time.

    This issue opens up exactly where the last one left off, when Bulseye kicked Daredevil out of a window and he barely survives by landing in the back of a garbage truck. We see him waking up and smelling a bunch of scents that don't normally go together. Things like orange rinds, coffee grounds and rotten fruit. He finally fully wakes up and realizes he's in the back of a garbage truck and waste no time hopping out and getting back on the move. Meanwhile on another side of the city, a low level thug is in a phone booth making a call to his bosses, reporting that The Kingpin has NOT been killed. If you'll remember from last issue, someone snitched and a plan was set up to blow up the airplane that was supposed to be carrying The Kingpin upon his return to the united states. However, the first plane to arrive was a decoy and that was the one that blew up. Needless to say, Fisk handled everything once his actual plane landed shortly after.

    We're then brought to an office building the following day. In a conference room, a couple men discuss their options and routes to take on how to bring down the Kingpin. They still have Vanessa in their grasp so they definitely have the leverage. One man in the dark sends Bullseye to deliver a message to the men of the Kingpin however he sees fit, which upsets Bullseye. He's one of the best mercs out there and he's being paid not for his talents but to be an errand boy. We'll see how that effects the story a little later maybe now or in the next couple issues. That night, Matt decides to go out into the city and rough up some thugs for some answers, but he can't just go around as Daredevil this time, no one would talk. He needs to take a different approach, an approach that looks more...normal. He dresses up in street clothes and heads to his first stop, a run down dive bar which has been the home to multiple fights recently. All he does is ask the bartender if she has any information about a woman named Vanessa and from there, its game over. The entire bar quiets down, some thugs try to scare Matt with threats and tough talk. This means nothing to the man without fear though...probably...well...because he's the man without fear. Its in the nickname, he's not afraid of some thugs...he has no fear! Alright, you get it, moving on. The fight is narrowed down to two guys, and Matt finally tells them that he wants to talk to The Kingpin himself. They agree and take him with them to where The Kingpin has been hiding while back in New York.

    The men meet face to face, and Fisk asks the simple questions. Why, who, yada yada. Just as Fisk is putting the order to kill Murdock, he shows off some of his skills by throwing a pen into the barrel of the handgun behind him. He's hired on the spot. Just then a man walks in and he seems to be dying. He's a guard of Fisk's and he brought with him a message, Kingpin to meet some men at a construction site and more importantly, ALONE, and he'll get Vanessa back. He just has to bring the files he has that contain all the dirt on local crime lords. Kingpin and his men leave the basement fortress, leaving Matt locked inside a vault. It takes everything t Matt has to get that door open and he finally does, so now he's on the hunt for those files. Eventually Fisk finds him and when confronted, Matt is gone. He remerges donning his Daredevil suit and the fight begins between Daredevil and Fisk, the first of many. Its here where we learn that The Kingpin isn't just a big ol fat guy, he's actually hiding a ridiculous amount of muscle under his flub and fancy suits. It only takes one good clean hit in the face to Daredevil and he's knocked out cold.

     With the red threat out of the way for now, Fisk grabs his files and heads to the construction site alone. There, we find some men waiting and Vanessa tied up to a nearby beam. Fisk hands over the briefcase and awaits the men to inspect it. As they open the case, it lets out a massive screeching noise. Anyone within earshot except Fisk, since he's wearing a convenient device in his ear just for loud screeching noises, is knocked out. All except one thug, and as Fisk makes his way to Vanessa, the thug manages to ignore the pain in his head and reach a mortar and fires a missile toward Fisk. It misses, but it hits the beam that Vanessa is tied to. The destruction is devastation and when Fisk finally comes to, he realizes he needs to save Vanessa as she may be dead. In a panic, he ravages through the wreckage to find her but one of his men comes over and convinces him they need to leave, the cops will be here any second now. On the way to the car, he even convinces Kingpin to reclaim his old throne and become the Kingpin once more to make the men who harmed Vanessa pay. Now I don't know about you guys, but I don't see any physical body, that person ain't dead. And we were not shown a body of Vanessa. She may still very well be alive! Guess we'll just have to find out some other time. The final page shows some of Kingpin's thugs carrying a knocked out Daredevil. They dump him into a water drain underground and let him flow away completely submerged by water. It's only a matter of time before the man without fear becomes the man without air.

    And that concludes yet another masterpiece issue of Daredevil by all star writer and artist Frank Miller. This was a great story that keeps the flow of previous ones while building towards another yet to come. This is a precursor to the layout of modern day comic books, and this was written back in 1981. Be back soon to find out how Matt escapes this one, and if Vanessa is even still alive! Until next time!

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