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Welcome to the five hundredth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-nine. This week, in honor of the five hundredth edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed, you’ll get a TRIPLE-sized column this week, in three parts (today, tomorrow and Sunday). The special theme this week is comic book anniversaries, as each part will spotlight a different superhero celebrating an anniversary this year. Yesterday was Wolverine, today is Daredevil and tomorrow is Batman. Today, learn how censors squelched Frank Miller’s original first issue on Daredevil! Plus, did Jack Kirby really secretly draw the first issue of Daredevil? Finally, was an issue of Born Again released without the Comics Code?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Frank Miller’s first issue of Daredevil was pushed up an issue due to the Comics Code.
Besides being one of the more awesome cover typos, Daredevil #168 is also one of the most famous opening issues of a creator run in comics history (right up there with there with Thor #337).
However, amazingly enough, this dramatic change to Daredevil’s comic book existence, delivered by then brand-new writer (and already penciler) Frank Miller, was actually PUSHED UP an issue!
What happened was that the story that was scheduled to run in that issue was censored by the Comics Code. Miller’s final story with the previous writer on the book, Roger McKenzie, was going to be a two-parter in #167-168 dealing with drugs in schools.
If that sounds familiar, it should, as the story would eventually see print (in slightly altered form) over a year later in Daredevil #183-184, by which point Miller was a superstar and Marvel made sure to get the story out there.
The original story, though, was considered too hot for the Comics Code to handle, so they squelched it. Marvel did a fill-in story for #167…
And Miller’s solo career started an issue earlier.
Here’s the original cover to Daredevil #167…
And here, courtesy of the great Tom Brevoort, is an original page from #167 that didn’t make the cut when the story was altered for #183-184…
This won’t be the last time we’ll discuss the Comics Code in connection to Daredevil today!
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: What teenage son of a movie director got the chance to write “the stupidest song ever” for one of his father’s movies, only to see the song to go on to make the teen millions?
Did Jack Kirby secretly lay out Daredevil #1?
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