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Daredevil's Craziest Billy Club Gadgets

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Today, we see all of Daredevil's crazy gadgets within his billy club!

Daredevil's billy club has been part of his crimefighting arsenal right from the start. You barely get into the pages of Daredevil #1 (by Stan Lee and Bill Everett) and Daredevil is already using his billy club on the bad guys...

Later in the issue, we flash back to when Matt Murdock came up with his Daredevil identity, including how he came up with the rather brilliant idea of turning his own cane that he would ostensibly need as a blind man into a convertible billy club...

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In the early goings, that was strictly what the weapon was. It was either a billy club or it was a cane (amusingly enough, Joe Orlando even drew Daredevil as using the cane as a weapon outright. You know, like tossing the cane at people).

However, the big change occurred in Daredevil #3 (with Joe Orlando on art duties), as that's the first time that the cane was used to hold anything. The first thing it held was very minor. It simply held a metal pin that Daredevil could use to pick a lock.

Still, it opened up the idea that the billy club/cane could be used to hold stuff and Stan Lee quickly went full on board with that idea.

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In the next issue, Daredevil referred back to the first issue, where he fooled a bad guy into thinking that there was a tape recorder inside of his billy club. Now, Stan's like, "Hey, why not actually just DO that?"

Before we see the tape recorder in action, we first see the billy club turned into a boomerang.

That would be a fairly novel usage. I don't believe I've ever seen Daredevil use it as a boomerang again. That was strictly a Joe Orlando idea, I guess.

Later in the issue, the tape recorder gets used, as Daredevil tapes the Purple Man's confession...

You have to love Daredevil smacking at the Purple Man's gun with the billy club that he's JUST TOLD US contains a very sensitive tape recorder inside of it! That's not the smartest design there, Daredevil.

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Daredevil goes nuts, though, later, when he unveils a gigantic plastic sheet out of the billy club that he uses to cover up the Purple Man to keep him from using his powers...

As we can see, Daredevil's billy club works a bit like the Flash's costume ring, it magically contains material that is much bigger than the object that holds the material. Good work if you can get it.

Wallace Wood joins the creative team of Daredevil in Daredevil #6 and in the next issue, he gives Daredevil a brand new costume (the classic red costume). That same issue, Wood also introduces the grappling hook concept into the cane, which would become a major part of Daredevil's arsenal from this point forward. In fact, it's probably the biggest use of the billy club/cane since this point in time...

Later, Daredevil reveals some smoke pellets from the cane from out of nowhere...

And finally, the next issue introduces a schematic of the cane/billy club, while introducing a microphone that allows Daredevil to snoop on people...

Well, with a giant plastic sheet coming out of the cane/club, I'd like to say that things couldn't get crazier than that, but, well...

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