RETRO REVIEW: Daredevil # 43

This week we’re looking at another cool Silver Age comic; Daredevil # 43 from Marvel Comics.  It is cover dated August 1968, so it likely was on the comic spinner racks at the beginning of the summer of that year.  The great cover, by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott, jumps out at you and grabs your immediate attention!  Boy does it!  Take a look, don’t you agree?

Daredevil # 43

Daredevil # 43 - Cover dated August 1968

The story is written by Stan Lee and is pencilled by Gene Colan, with the inks provided by Vince Colletta.  The story is entitled; “In Combat With Captain America!” and that pretty much sums up the issue.  The story opens with Matt Murdock working out in his private gym trying to take his mind off of his break-up with Karen Page, which we get to view on pages four and five, through the use of a nice flashback scene.  Matt just can’t allow himself to put Karen in danger, when he becomes Daredevil, and he just can’t quit being Daredevil, so he has to drive Karen away, so she quits and leaves in tears!

Matt reacts badly and tears up his gym equipment, but he just can’t quit thinking about Karen.  So he decides to go out after the villain, The Jester, who he had battled the issue previously (# 42).  While swing through the neighborhood, he overhears a news broadcast, announcing the theft of some radioactive isotopes from a Medical Center.  He decides to use his hyper-senses like a Geiger counter and track the thief to recover the radioactive vials.

He finds the thief and while capturing him he is once again exposed to radioactive isotopes, like when he first gained his powers!  Which gives Stan a chance to retell Daredevil’s origin in a short one page sequence.  Daredevil returns the vials and swings off, passing by Madison Square Gardens, where Captain America is taking on volunteers in the boxing ring to raise money for a charity event.

Daredevil decides that Captain America is just a phony and someone needs to show him up, and who better than himself!  If you haven’t figured it out yet, Daredevil has been adversely affected by the radioactive isotopes, causing him to react in this out of character manner.  Daredevil crashes the charity event and attacks an unsuspecting Cap!  Daredevil has the upper hand do his to surprise attack, but Captain America begins to fight back, believing that this must be someone disguised as Daredevil.  Gene Colan draws a beautiful seven page fight scene between the two battling heroes, until the effects of the radioactive isotopes wear off and Daredevil  comes to his senses and basically runs off, leaving Cap to wonder just what had gone on!  Cap covers for Daredevil, by telling reporters that Daredevil didn’t “chicken out”  and run away, but simply came and helped Cap present the best show possible for the charity event!

The book ends with Daredevil walking along an alley wondering how he’ll be able to forget Karen once again.  No much really got done or was accomplished during this issue, but Stan used a neat way to have two heroes face off against each other.  Though it was almost a “Superman Red Krypotonite” kind of a story, but Stan pulls it off and Gene Colan’s beautiful artwork adds to the joy of the experience for the reader.

I give the book four (4) out of five (5) radioactive isotopes and think it’s an excellent comic to add to your collection, if you’re so inclined!


About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

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