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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 257

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we take a look at the classic first confrontation between Daredevil and Namor in Daredevil #7 by Stan Lee and Wally Wood!!!

Enjoy!

This is the “battle against unbelievable odds” that all future “battle against unbelievable odds” has been measured against ever since it first came out (Ditko’s “struggle against unbelievable odds” from Amazing #33 still counts as a separate thing – here I’m talking strictly battles between two characters).

First off, what a splash page to open up!! Wood at his best…

Then, the clever idea behind the issue – Namor SUING the surface world!!

Naturally, things don’t go according to plan, and Daredevil decides he needs to get involved. And here’s the REALLY interesting thing about this issue. Despite being an amazing issue, it also is the FIRST appearance of Daredevil’s NEW costume!!! How cool of a coincidence is that?!!?

Anyhow, the rest of the issue is spent with Daredevil fighting a two-front battle. On the one hand, he is trying to convince the army and the authorities to let HIM bring Namor in (to cut down on property damage and injuries to innocents) and on the other hand, he is trying to get Namor to RESPECT the law of the surface world, and if he can’t do that, he will have to do his best to bring in the powerhouse who is a WHOLE lot more powerful than Daredevil…

Isn’t that brilliant stuff?

And Lee, of course, manages to throw in some soap opera stuff at the very end, just for kicks.

But boy, this is really one of the most powerful issues from the Silver Age of Marvel, and it is amazing to see that it does not involve either of the two most famous Silver Age Marvel artists, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. That’s how amazing Wally Wood was – he was right up there with two of the greatest artists in comics history.

16 Comments

I didn’t realize how good Wood was. I’d put him right behind Kirby and even ahead of Ditko.

Yet another great story I was able to read thanks to that “Greatest Superhero Battles” volume…
I agree with you about Wally Wood’s art – it really works well here. And I love that underwater throne-room splash on page 1.

“I wish to sue the entire human race!”

Thats good comic booking.

I hope that Nelson & Murdock, LLP still sent Namor an invoice for the damaged door and desk.

Also, Wood’s use of the black-and-white panel for the electrocution attempt is absolute brilliant. Is Wood the first artist to use un-colored panels to such great affect in the midst of a four-color book?

Great stuff from Wally Wood. Has Daredevil ever had a bad artist?

While the Wood stuff is good, I think he was past his prime — look at his EC stuff. But Wood “past his prime” still kicks ass!

Was Wood working for Marvel at this time to finance Witzend?

See? Daredevil CAN be great without being all dark and depressing!

“I hope that Nelson & Murdock, LLP still sent Namor an invoice for the damaged door and desk.” Not to mention the huge hole in the wall. And if Namor didn’t pay, they could sue HIM.

A great pick,Brian. Some comments:

1.Wally Wood: The unsung hero of Daredevil. When people look back on DD, they always cite Colan (who defined the classic DD look) and Frank Miller (who redefined it), but they tend to forget Wood, the man who created the look.

2. Stan Lee:Yes, the captions are overwritten (we don’t need to be told that DD is collapsing from the stress of his injuries when Wood is showing it to us), but Stan shows his chops with these classic lines from Namor:”I have fought the Fantastic Four, the Avengers,and other super-powered humans,but none have been more courageous than he,the most vulnerable of all!”

3. DanLarkin: “Has Daredevil ever had a bad artist?” My nominee for worst art on DD is the genuinely atrocious Sam Kweskin work in DD # 99. Talk about hideous.

4. Hey Brian, how about following this up with the terrific DD vs Hulk fight in DAREDEVIL # 163? After all, it was done as a deliberate homage to the Namor vs DD fight.

And then there was that time DD fought Galactus to a standstill. . .

I got the reprint of this in something when I was a kid … I want to say a Giant Sized Annual or something, and I read the heck out of this. It’s a great story, beautifully drawn. Thanks for posting it.

My favourite part of that fight was when DD grabbed on to Namor’s teeny ankle-wings to negate his flight. It’s like the superhuman equivalent of “got your nose!”

Of course, the “Namor vs revolving door” fight was my favourite bit of the entire issue.

One of my favorite Marvel stories of all time, and as Brian said practically a template for similar stories for years. It was also the first Marvel comic I bought as a kid, after years of strict DC-only. I had that copy for thirty years.

I note there are no credits for inker and colorist even though they credited Artie Simek. I wonder if Wood did it all himself.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Wood also did the inks on this. Later on, he would do the inks over Kirby on the panels were Daredevil anppeared in FF 39-40 IIRC. There’s also a great example of a Kirby/Wood collaboration of the syndicated strip “Sky Masters” from the 1950’s.

Along with FF #51, and whatever early Spidey issue Peter finally lays Flash out in a boxing match (the issue number eludes me) this is one of my favourite Silver Age comics.

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