In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today, we look at how Stan Lee wrote himself out of the mess that was Mike Murdock…Matt Murdock’s fake twin brother!
Years ago, I wrote about the whole hilariously inane story of Mike Murdock (the twists and turns are amazing), so if you want to check that out, just go here. Today, though, we’re just looking at how Stan Lee got himself INTO the mess and how he got himself OUT of the mess.
It all started with Spider-Man writing a letter to Matt Murdock to say that Spidey had figured out that Matt was Daredevil. Karen and Foggy intercepted the letter, so now they’re pretty sure Matt is Daredevil, as well. So in Daredevil #25 (by Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Frank Giacoia), Matt has to come up with an excuse, and he comes up with an absolutely INSANE one. HE is not Daredevil. No sir, it’s his TWIN BROTHER who is Daredevil! His twin brother, Mike, who Foggy has somehow never met or ever heard of!
They obviously don’t believe him at first, so he has to work up “Mike” and he successfully cons them, as Foggy and Karen are just not particularly bright people…
The next issue, we get to see more Mike Murdock hilariousness…
Okay, so this goes on WAY too long, well over a YEAR of stories involving Matt pretending to be both himself AND his twin brother, while also maintaining his Daredevil identity (things get SO weird, like when “Mike” turns out to be blind, as well, but that still doesn’t convince Foggy and Karen of Mike’s true identity).
Finally, in Daredevil #41 (by Stan Lee, Gene Colan and John Tartaglione), Stan Lee decided it was now time to get rid of Mike Murdock. It starts when Daredevil stops by the offices and notices that the bad guys that they are facing have a device that could theoretically atomize someone…
So sure enough, at the end of the battle, Daredevil fakes his own death…
The next issue, Matt can’t even fake that he is upset about HIS OWN BROTHER dying…
But the problem is, of course, if Mike is dead, then what about Daredevil? When a bad guy shows up and attacks Foggy, Matt has to come up with yet another whopper…Mike trained a new Daredevil before he died!
And that was enough to convince Foggy for YEARS until he finally figured out the truth about his best friend and law partner.
This was a special occasion of an Abandoned Love where the original writer is the one who abandoned the story, but it seems clear that Lee saw the story go places he didn’t want to go anymore. It got away from him a bit and this was his way of pulling things back to normal.
That’s it for this installment. If anyone else has a suggestion of an interesting abandoned comic book plot, drop me a line at email@example.com!
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