In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.
Today we look at how Daredevil got an armored costume and faked his death in the mid-1990s.
We begin in 1992 when penciler Scott McDaniel joins writer D.G. Chichester on Daredevil with issue #305. Chichester had been writing the book since #292. McDaniel was early in his career and, while a good penciler, had not yet refined the style that he would become known for (a style that Frank Miller felt, at the time, was TOO inspired by his work on Sin City, which I always felt weird, since Miller had always been known to wear his OWN influences on his sleeve). Bud LaRosa became his primary inker.
It was a nice solid book, but as 1992 turned into 1993, we were now thick in the middle of the era of making dramatic changes to your characters (along with special covers, of course) to help raise sales. Just in 1992-93 alone, there was the Death and Return of Superman, Batman’s back being broken, the Azrael Batman debuting, Emerald Twilight, Wolverine’s Adamantium getting torn out, Captain America giving out lectures on the ethics of being a superhero, Peter Parker’s parents showing up alive, Mister Fantastic seemingly being killed and a lot of these stories were based on anniversaries, like the thirtieth anniversaries of characters like the X-Men and the Avengers. Daredevil’s 30th anniversary was coming up in 1994, so 1993 began a storyline for Daredevil called Fall From Grace, which was designed to give Daredevil HIS dramatic change (and hopefully sell enough to keep Chichester on the title).
So the story opens up with a telepathic secret agent being hunted down because of his knowledge of a chemical hidden in the New York City subways that can be used to mutate people, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style.
The evil general hunting down the agent (named Eddie) hires Silver Sable’s Wild Pack to get him. Daredevil defends him. In a fight with one of Sable’s mercenaries, Daredevil’s costume is torn to shreds…
Daredevil decides to get an armored costume. It is so he can better defend Eddie, but it’s really kind of out of nowhere, as why NOW, ya know?
They’re then attacked by Hellspawn, who is a mutated doppelganger of Daredevil from the then-recent Infinity War crossover. Yes, this story turns a lot on the existence of a Daredevil doppelganger from an unrelated crossover from a year earlier.
The weird thing about this story is that there are WAAAAY too many guest stars. WAAAAAAAY too many. I am sure looking back on it now, Chichester would reduce the amount of guest stars by at least half. A big player in this story is Siege, a cyborg mercenary from the pages of Deathlok!!
What the what?
Meanwhile, John Garrett (from Elektra: Assassin) is brought into Marvel continuity with this story, as the bad guys plan to use the chemicals to bond Elektra with Erynys, a being created out of the darkest parts of Elektra’s soul. So they need John to hunt her down. The evil ninja clan the Shadowroot is working with the evil general to get this done.
Daredevil ends up convincing Siege to work with him, but then they run into Venom…
By the way, Hector Collazo is the inker now for the book, and he helps embrace McDaniel’s new style, as you can see.
Matt then moves on to work with Stone and some new members of the Chaste, the good guy ninja group. They’re here to stop this whole “merge Elektra with a demonic thing” plan, as well. They encounter Morbius (because of course they do) and he gives them help, but it’s at this point that Matt learns that Ben Urich’s former assistant stole Matt’s notes about Matt being Daredevil and sold them to a slimy newspaper who then printed it all up. Matt’s identity is out…sort of…
However, when she tries to get the cops to Matt’s apartment to prove he’s Daredevil, he’s ready for her, and she now looks like a fool.
Ben then furthers his revenge by getting her arrested because she broke into his computer files to get his notes. She ends the story in jail.
This is getting too long, I’m going to have to split it into two pages…
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