Daredevil #100 (June, 1973)

It’s been a while — sixteen months, to be precise — since this blog checked in with Marvel Comics’ Man Without Fear.  Granted, our last Daredevil-themed post was something of a marathon, seeing as how it attempted to cover writer Gerry Conway’s entire “Mister Kline” saga — a complicated (and ultimately unsuccessful) continuity that encompassed not only a whopping eight issues of DD’s own series, but also five installments of Iron Man, and even one random Sub-Mariner — in a single go.  It was a long post, in other words; one in which no one could seriously claim we hadn’t given Matt Murdock and his alter ego a lot of quality time.  Still — it has been a while.  So, before we get on with the business of marking the milestone of ol’ Hornhead’s first hundred issues, we have some catching up to do in regards to what our Scarlet Swashbuckler been up to for the last 1 1/3 years. 

Let’s start with the Black Widow, shall we?  As you may recall from that long-ago DD #84 post,  the former Soviet spy/almost-Avenger/star of her own recently cancelled feature in Amazing Adventures came into Matt Murdock’s life around the middle of the Mister Kline morass, when she just happened to be in the vicinity on an occasion when the hero needed saving from drowning.  Long story short, she hung around through the end of the whole sorry business, and then some, as Conway went on to establish (in the closing panels of DD #86 [Apr., 1972] that Matt — whose secret identity had become known to the Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff over the course of their recent shared adventures — was finally ready to say farewell once and for all to his old flame, secretary-turned-movie star Karen Page, and wholeheartedly embrace a new, mature romantic relationship with Ms. Romanoff:

Or maybe that should be “seemed to establish”.  Yes, it’s true that the very next issue, #87 (May, 1972),  found both Matt and Natasha pulling up stakes and moving clear across the country to San Francisco, where they would live together in a nice big house rented for a year with “every last penny of my inheritance“,* as Nat put it.  Even my naive, Southern Baptist-reared fourteen-year-old self knew what two unmarried people of the opposite sex “living together” usually meant.  But then, just a couple of pages into that issue, Conway tossed us readers a curve ball, as the Widow’s chauffeur Ivan asked his longtime friend and employer just where she wanted him to put her and Matt’s luggage…

“…just friends“??  Huh.  You coulda fooled me, Gerry, at least up to this point.  But this scene accurately foreshadows how Conway would play the Matt-Natasha relationship for the rest of his run as Daredevil’s writer.  The whole “are they or aren’t they?” vibe may well have been imposed on Marvel by the Comics Code Authority (or, alternatively, imposed by the Marvel brass themselves on Conway, in the hopes of avoiding problems with the CCA… which pretty much amounts to the same thing, in the end), but it makes for an oddly frustrating reading experience.  (Or at least it does n 2023.  To be honest, I can’t really recall what I made of this business in 1972.)

The early “Matt & Nat in San Francisco” era of Daredevil had other problems, as well.  For one, the first set of stories strained credulity by pitting DD and the Widow fighting well-established supervillains such as Electro, Killgrave the Purple Man, and Mister Fear — guys who’d always operated out of New York until now, when for some reason they suddenly decided to relocate to the City by the Bay.  On the other hand, the original bad guys that Conway came up with during this period — the Blue Talon, the Indestructible Man, Mordecai the Dark Messiah — were, by and large, a forgettable bunch.  (Say what else you will about Mister Kline, he wasn’t forgettable [unfortunately].)

That said, this run of issues did have a number of things going for it.  One was the novel, as well as picturesque, San Francisco setting.  Another was the presence of the Black Widow, who — setting aside the unsatisfactory handling of the romance angle — worked quite well as Daredevil’s partner in superheroing.  Best of all was the art, as produced by Gene Colan (as close to a definitive DD artist as you could get in 1972) and, at least through issue #95, Tom Palmer (the best inker to ever apply finishes to Colan’s pencils).  All of these factors seemed to have had a positive impact on sales, as the once-struggling series — which Marvel had announced back in the summer of 1971 would be discontinued as a standalone and combined with Iron Man, before almost immediately changing its mind — began to be cover-billed as “Daredevil and the Black Widow” (though the title remained Daredevil in the indicia, naturally), suggesting that the new status quo was here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

So matters stood in the world of Daredevil when, around the beginning of 1973, Gerry Conway gave up writing the book so as to take on the rather more prestigious Fantastic Four.  His successor would be Steve Gerber, a young writer whose Marvel credits to date had mostly been for the “Man-Thing” feature in Fear and for Shanna the She-Devil, though he’d also scripted a couple of Iron Mans and had, as of Sub-Mariner #58 (Feb., 1973), succeeded the ailing Bill Everett as the scripter of that series.

In a 1997 interview, Gerber recalled how the Daredevil assignment came to him:

In those days, DAREDEVIL was one of a couple of books that were routinely assigned to new writers. The book sold fairly consistently, but not very well, so there was nothing major at stake if the writer flubbed it. It served as a low-risk arena in which writers could hone their craft.


I had been writing IRON MAN for a while — another book that was used the same way back then — and was very eager to move on to DAREDEVIL.

Before Gerber was able to follow his own muse on DD, however, he’d be required to help manage a crossover with another Marvel series that Gerry Conway had put together with another Steve — Avengers scribe Steve Englehart — prior to his decamping from the Bay Area for NYC’s Baxter Building.  Englehart had been presenting a plotline in Avengers in which longtime member Hawkeye, upset at having had his romantic advances towards the Scarlet Witch rebuffed in favor of their mutual teammate, the Vision, opted first to rashly quit the team, then to take the even more ill-advised step of traveling across the country to look up his old ex-girlfriend — i.e., the Black Widow — and try to put things back together with her.

In Daredevil #99 — which was scripted by Gerber from a plot by Conway, with art by Sam Kweskin and Syd Shores (making it only the second issue of DD since #53 not to be drawn by Gene Colan), Hawkeye literally turns up unannounced on Natasha’s doorstep.  He and Daredevil then proceed to fight over Nat for the major portion of the issue, both alleged heroes behaving for the most part as though “their” woman’s own thoughts and feelings regarding which (if either) of them she might want to be with are largely irrelevant — hardly either Clint Barton or Matt Murdock’s finest hour.  Ultimately, however, the two men call a truce, agreeing to let Natasha herself decide… only to be upstaged by the arrival of three Avengers: Black Panther, Thor, and Vision.  Hawkeye assumes that the Widow has called her ex’s “big brothers” to come and take him back home, and storms off in a fury.  But, as it turns out, that’s not why this small contingent of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes has shown up at all; rather, they’ve come to recruit Daredevil to their ranks.  DD balks at first, saying he’s “always worked alone… more or less”…

(That “favor” T’Challa’s referring to in the first panel above involved his masquerading as Daredevil in issue #92 to help protect DD’s identity as Matt Murdock — a secret he first learned back in #52, in case you didn’t know.)

So, why the sudden membership drive on the Assemblers’ part?  Well, it’s a long story, but the gist is that Magneto has captured all the other active members (i.e., Captain America, Iron Man, and the Scarlet Witch), as well as the X-Men — and has suborned them all to his will.  Of course, one might wonder exactly how much firepower Thor and company figure two normal human-powered (as far as they know) street-level fighters can bring to the party.  Or why their inviting the Black Widow as well as Daredevil seems to be an afterthought, considering how many hours she previously logged with the Avengers as a “guest star”, back around 1966-67.  But this is a post about Daredevil #100, not Avengers #111… so let’s skip on ahead to the latter issue’s denouement, rejoining our heroes just after they’ve saved the day (art by Don Heck and Mike Esposito)…

And that’s where Steve Gerber would have to pick things up for his first solo flight as writer of Daredevil.  Not only would he be responsible for marking the special occasion of the 100th issue of a comic on which he’d just started working — he’d have to do so without one of the two co-stars of what, at least on the cover, still billed itself as “Daredevil and the Black Widow”.

Fortunately, the fledgling writer would be joined in his efforts by veteran DD artist Gene Colan, returning for this one issue to pencil the book’s interiors.  (Its cover, on the other hand, was pencilled by Rich Buckler and inked by Frank Giacoia.)  While one might wish that Tom Palmer could have made it back as well, inker John Tartaglione was at least another old Daredevil hand, having previously embellished Colan’s pencils for a run of issues in 1967-68.

“His hypersensitive fingertips read the dials and meters his eyes cannot see.”  Um, unless those “dials and meters” have raised numbers and/or letters, I don’t think so.  Though in Mr. Gerber’s defense, he’s by no means the first Daredevil writer to treat the hero’s hypersenses as though they were some sort of psychic power.  (Nor will he be the last.)

Making quick work of the greasepaint-wearing thieves (no surprise there), DD stoops to retrieve their intended haul, only to find…

Cover to the 91st issue of Rolling Stone (Sep. 16, 1971). Art by Herb Trimpe.

I’m pretty sure that my fifteen-year-old self had never heard of Jann Wenner before — I wouldn’t pick up my first issue of Rolling Stone for a few more years yet — though of course I’d seen his publication on the magazine racks.  Evidently, it was Steve Gerber’s idea to approach Wenner about being in DD #100; according to the introduction to Marvel Masterworks — Daredevil, Vol 10, the following statement by the late author appeared on the now-defunct Howard the Duck Yahoo! Group online forum back in 2004:

I did get [Wenner’s] permission, of course, to use him as a guest-star in the story, and he agreed, but I didn’t even have a photo of him to work from.  I just pictured what I thought he should look like, based on what I’d read of his writing, and described that to Gene Colan.  Weirdly enough, it turned out to be a pretty good likeness.

Jann Wenner in 1970.

Honestly, I’m not sure how anyone could ever guess what somebody looked like based purely on their writing (unless, of course, they’d actually described themselves in their prose).  But, outside of getting the guy’s hair color wrong, Colan and Tartaglione’s take on Wenner really isn’t too far off the mark.  One doubts that the 27-year-old editor had any complaints, at any rate.

After creating something of a stir at the Rolling Stone editorial offices, Daredevil discovers that Wenner isn’t really all that interested in further discussion of the attempted robbery, but has something rather different in mind.  “As SF’s only resident superhero, our readers have been clamoring for an interview with you,” he explains.  “You’re kidding!” DD replies.

The interview format is actually a fairly clever device for recapping Daredevil’s origin and early history in this commemorative issue — or at least it would be, if most of the pertinent details weren’t secret, which requires our hero to go into a silent reverie after most of Wenner’s questions.

Anyway, since I’m pretty sure you all know how Matt was simultaneously blinded and empowered, we’ll move on to the editor’s next inquiry:

I feel pretty confident in saying that the answer to DD’s question is an emphatic “no” — although I don’t think that any of us reading (or writing) this scene in 1973 could have imagined that Mike Murdock would ultimately return, not as a mere false identity for our hero, but as Matt Murdock’s bona fide ne’er-do-well twin brother, first brought to life as a construct of the Inhuman named Reader, and later fully integrated into Matt’s life history through the agency of a magical Norn Stone.  (I’m tempted to say you can’t make this stuff up, but, obviously, you can.)

Following in the tradition of such earlier Marvel milestone issues as Fantastic Four #100 and Amazing Spider-Man #100 (but not Avengers #100), our storytellers now give us some of that hero-fights-a-bunch-of-his-old-villains-though-it’s-obviously-not-really-them action promised (or at least strongly suggested) by the book’s cover — though the effort here seems pretty perfunctory, to be honest.

Also reflecting the cover’s imagery, we get a glimpse — also pretty perfunctory — of a handful of the series’ supporting characters old and new, symbolically rendered in Mount Rushmore style: Karen Page, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, Natasha Romanoff (hey, isn’t she actually the book’s co-star?), and Ivan Petrovich…

I suppose that Gerber and/or Colan may have decided that the “hordes” of villains DD faces in this scene shouldn’t include anyone who’d appeared in the book during the last year, which could explain why Electro and Killgrave didn’t make the cut.  But what about the Owl?  The Beetle?  Stilt-Man, for cryin’ out loud?  The motley assortment on view here simply underscores the unfortunate truth that, at least as of 1973, Daredevil’s bench of bad guys was a pretty shallow one.  And pushing poor Doctor Doom (a great villain, to be sure, but he’d fought our hero all of one time, and that way back in 1967) front and center just makes it more obvious.

And another thing… Fifty years after the fact, I remain befuddled by that yellow whatzit just above and behind Gladiator’s right shoulder.  Is that supposed to be a mask?  If so, who does it belong to?

I’m not sure that this is really the best time for Daredevil to deliver this little speech — but hey, looks like the guy’s on a roll, so we’ll follow Jann Wenner’s lead and just see where this goes…

Hmm.  I rather like the bit about heroes arising from a need to help, as well as a need for help.

Daredevil quickly discovers that no one in the RS offices remembers the traumatic experience they all just shared.  Bewildered, as well as a little miffed (“You don’t even remember that beautiful little speech I gave you down on the street.”), the hero rings up his friend in the SF police department, Lt. Paul Carson.  Carson confirms that yeah, the cops have gotten reports of whole sections of the city going “ga-ga“, though no one remembers any details afterwards, save that they heard “a bloodcurdling scream“…

And that’s that, as our 100th issue milestone edition of Daredevil ends on a cliffhanger.  (Which is yet another way in which it follows the example of Amazing Spider-Man #100, come to think of it.)

As commemorative issues go, this is probably one of the weaker ones that Marvel had produced up to this time.  Still, it’s hardly all bad.  As far as I’m concerned, Gerber gets points for the sheer chutzpah of framing the career-flashback material as a Rolling Stone Interview, even if the device runs into problems in execution.  And the simple fact of Gene Colan’s presence makes it feel like a summation and celebration of the Daredevil series up to this point.  As I mentioned earlier, the previous issue, #99, was only the second since #53 that “Gene the Dean” hadn’t drawn.  What I didn’t say then is that, prior to #53, Colan had only missed three issues all the way back to #20.  In other words, Colan had drawn 75 out of 100 issues, or three-fourths of all Daredevil stories published to date.  Even by 1973 standards, that was a notable creative accomplishment.

Self-portrait by Gene Colan, circa 1970.

That said, one can understand that after spending most of the last 7 1/2 years drawing Marvel superheroes (in addition to Daredevil, the artist had also made significant contributions to “Sub-Mariner” [in Tales to Astonish], Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Avengers, Captain America, and — last but not least — “Black Widow” [in Amazing Adventures]), Gene Colan was probably ready for a change.  Already happily drawing Marvel’s color Tomb of Dracula comic — which had debuted in November, 1971 as a quarterly, then almost immediately gone to a bi-monthly frequency — his workload on that title had just doubled, as the book went monthly with its 8th issue in February, 1973.**  Between that, the concurrent advent of Dracula Lives and Marvel’s other new black-and-white comics magazines, and the forthcoming debut of “Brother Voodoo” in Strange Tales #169 (Sep., 1973), Colan would quickly find himself rather firmly ensconced on the spooky side of the Marvel Universe.  While he’d subsequently return to illustrate the odd issue (or even a short run) of Daredevil on several occasions hereafter — the first coming up in just 12 months, with DD #110, the last arriving in 2001, with Daredevil (1998 series) #20 — I think it’s fair to say that as of March, 1973, the artist’s work with the Man Without Fear was essentially complete.

Picking up the pencil as Colan’s immediate replacement was Daredevil #100’s cover artist (who also pencilled the cover of #101), Rich Buckler.  As this issue’s story effectively concludes the two-parter that began in #100 (and resolves the “bye, bye, Black Widow” subplot introduced in issue #99, besides) — and as it looks like the blog won’t have sufficient bandwidth in April to devote an entire post to DD #101 (Jul., 1973) all on its lonesome — we’re going to go ahead and discuss that issue here.

Gerber, Buckler, and inker Frank Giacoia pick up right where the last episode left off.  “Vengeance in the Sky with Diamonds” begins with Daredevil charging Angar the Screamer, just as the guy cuts loose with another, um, scream…

Phil Carson points to a nearby wall, where DD’s billy club dangles from a nearby ledge.  Well, there’s no use in arguing with one’s own radar sense, is there?  Still, Angar is long gone by now, so all our hero can do for now is dust himself off, collect his club, and swing for home.

On the way, Daredevil works out why it is that no one but himself can remember Angar’s hallucinations after they’re over: “His ‘erasing’ power must depend somehow on an optical principle — while the actual hallucinations — are obviously tied up with the chemistry of the brain.”  Um, sure, Matt, if you say so.  By the time he arrives “home” — i.e., at the mansion that Natasha bought and paid for all on her own — he realizes he’s in an untenable situation; after all, she doesn’t live there any more, and he’s never paid her a cent’s rent…

Yep, she’s back — which shouldn’t really be a surprise, seeing as how she’s featured on the comic’s cover.  Still, you might be wondering — what happened with the Avengers?

In Avengers #112, published the same month as DD #100, Steve Englehart, Don Heck, and Frank Bolle chronicled the Black Widow’s first — and for now, last — Daredevil-less outing as an Avenger, as the team went up against the Lion God.  As with Avengers #111, we’re going to skip right to the bit at the end that’s relevant to this post:

Yep, the Widow decided to stay in New York with the Avengers so that she could work out her feelings in regards to Matt… and one whole adventure later, she’s determined that she has indeed (sing it with me) left her heart in San Francisco.  Ain’t that just like a dame?  (Seriously, though, this stuff hasn’t aged very well at all.)

I’m not sure whose idea it was to have the Black Widow jump ship from Daredevil to Avengers and then jump right back again — Gerry Conway?  Steve Englehart?  Editor-in-chief Roy Thomas? — but it seems unlikely to have originated with Steve Gerber, given the general lack of enthusiasm for the DD-BW partnership he indicated in the 1997 interview we quoted from earlier:

I think Daredevil works better as a loner.


One of the keys to understanding the Daredevil character is that he’s one man alone, in darkness. Mitigate the totality of that darkness and the character becomes much less interesting. Natasha was a mitigating factor. However much I may have liked looking at her, she just didn’t belong in DAREDEVIL.

Regardless of his own lack of interest in Natasha Romanoff beyond her decorative qualities, the Black Widow would hang around for the remainder of Steve Gerber’s run (though she’d lose her cover co-billing after issue #107).

Of course, Matt hasn’t really become a monster — it’s just another of Angar’s illusions, and it’s over almost immediately.  Still, it’s got to be beyond annoying to have that guy standing on the sidewalk just outside your place, crowing about how he’s going to drive you crazy and then take over the world, right before he hops in his convertible and drives away (“Don’t want to get busted for trespassin!“).

The story proceeds to follow Angar “to a certain massive cliff-side mansion on San Francisco’s outskirts.”  As the Screamer pulls into the driveway, he grouses, “Every time I see this place I get nauseous.

Was Angar the Screamer Marvel’s very first ex-hippie supervillain?  I’m not sure, to be honest; nevertheless, his background and motivations certainly helped him stand out to me as a reader, back in early 1973.  Which, naturally, led to my disappointment in later years, when other writers would ignore the nuances Gerber had built into the character, writing him simply as a run-of-the-mill costumed super-criminal.

The next day, Matt Murdock is taking a stroll outside the offices of Broderick, Sloan, and Murdock (the law firm he joined after relocating from New York), when his radar sense detects an incoming threat…

By 1973, it had become something of a cliché in Marvel’s comics that virtually any bystander who happened to be hanging around at the scene of any superpowered-people shenanigans (or even just ordinary street crime) would loudly declare their disinterest in “getting involved”.  So, in the scene above, Gerber was taking a modest stand against the evident cynicism of at least some of his peers; it’s a gesture I probably appreciate more now than I did at the time.

Angar drives Matt to a house in Berkeley, explaining that the blind lawyer is merely bait “for a big, red, horn-headed fish!”  He also lets Matt know that he’s only coming after Daredevil because his boss demands it — and that Angar himself has no choice but to obey, if he ever wants to get out from under that boss’ control.  Angar insists he’s no villain; rather, he wants to save the world…

Unknown to Matt, the responsible bystander who witnessed his kidnapping has tipped off the police, who in turn have notified the Black Widow… and so, things are about to get more complicated…

Daredevil cuts himself off in mid-sentence, because he can hear Angar’s approaching footsteps.  A moment later, the Screamer announces his presence to all assembled, in his own special fashion…

DD and the Widow attempt to double-team Angar, but are hampered by his ability to literally pull the ground right out from under them (or to make them believe he has, at least).  But then, while he’s busy knocking the Man Without Fear around, the Screamer momentarily turns his back on the Black Widow, and she sees — and seizes — her opportunity:

And that’s “Finis” for this story — though, obviously, there are a number of unresolved plot threads.  Setting aside Daredevil’s concerns over the Widow’s ruthlessness — and even the matter of the escaped Angar’s whereabouts — there are the questions of who the mystery man behind Angar (as well as the Dark Messiah, from late in Gerry Conway’s run) might actually be, and just what he’s after with his sinister machinations.  (Care to bet he wasn’t behind the attempted theft of Jann Wenner’s files, too?)

But it wouldn’t be Rich Buckler who’d be collaborating with Steve Gerber to explore these and other enigmas in the months to come; for, despite his having turned in a very creditable job with this story, Buckler’s stand as the “new artist!” on Daredevil would be for this one issue only (though he’d continue to contribute the odd cover here and there, including that of the very next issue).  After a one-off story in DD #102 illustrated by Syd Shores — and written by Chris Claremont (his first full scripting credit) — veteran artist Don Heck would join the creative team, as Gerber moved forward with his overarching storyline.  That storyline would take some very surprising turns before it was done, eventually impinging — if only tangentially — on Jim Starlin’s cosmic “Thanos saga” over in the pages of Captain Marvel.  But naturally, further discussion on that topic will have to wait for another post, another day.


*Are you curious just what sort of “inheritance” Natasha Romanoff — a political refugee from a Communist state — could possibly have been entitled to?  It’s a good question — and one that Conway would make even more of a head-scratcher just a couple of issues later, when he revealed via flashback that Nat was a likely orphan of unknown parentage, who’d been rescued by Ivan as a child during the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II.  (Though in Conway’s defense, none of the Marvel writers who’d preceded him in writing about the Black Widow had bothered to explain how she managed to afford her extravagant “jet-set” lifestyle in Manhattan, either.)

**Happily, just four months into the new monthly schedule, Colan would be reunited with Tom Palmer for what would turn out to be a six-year, fifty-nine issue run by the two artists, as well as for writer Marv Wolfman.


  1. DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · 21 Days Ago

    The main thing I remember from Daredevil’s time living in San Francisco is that folks who live there hate it when someone calls the city, “Frisco.”

    I understand Gerber’s point that DD seemingly works better alone, but with Foggy and Karen playing such a big part in his adventures, was that ever really the case? Regardless, I thought the Widow was a great fit with Daredevil and I confess to being surprised that there was ever any ambiguity about the status of their relationship. Granted, this is a perception bathed in fifty years of hindsight, but I think I always thought of Matt n’ Nat as a couple, from the very beginning. At least, that’s how I remember it.

    The whole Angar the Screamer is obviously meant to be a set-up for a larger mystery, but the pieces sure are wonky getting started. The reasons for the mass hallucinations make no sense (except to cause chaos and anarchy), the robbery at Rolling Stone makes no sense and how Angar keeps popping up in Matt’s vicinity, even though they’re both in a city of millions of people doesn’t make sense, but that’s comics, I suppose.

    Finally, as to Matt’s alarm at Widow’s ruthlessness, there’s a huge difference between threatening someone and actually hurting them. Could Widow have found another way to disarm Angar? Maybe, but this one worked and no one else was hurt. I don’t remember exactly what I thought at the time, but I don’t think I ever really believed Black Widow would have killed Angar and Matt shouldn’t have either.

    Thanks for the look back, Alan. Hornhead was always one of my favorite Marvel characters and I had forgotten about this story til I saw it here.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Steve McBeezlebub · 21 Days Ago

    I don’t think I ever read the early Daredevil stories for years after starting with comics so this era set for me Natasha as the one that got away for Matt. I wasn’t really a fan of Miller’s run so Elektra doesn’t fit the bill for me either. They were so toxic for each other and Karen coming back as a drug addicted porn star didn’t help her case either. I gave up Daredevil completely when I kicked the completist habit but already had seen the wimpy Heather. Natasha works really good now as Mattt’s best ex as well,

    Liked by 2 people

    • frasersherman · 21 Days Ago

      But how would Frank Miller write if he couldn’t turn an established character into a hooker?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. frasersherman · 21 Days Ago

    Stan Lee was the first to treat DD’s powers as a psychic ability. In the first couple of years Matt would think about how he could sense anger and fear all through the city, or the power and ruthlessness emanating from the Big Bad of the issue. And no, his Rogue’s Gallery was never much, good.
    2)Lord, the Pretentious Surreal Hallucination Sequence. They almost never work.
    3)I remember this period but I’d confused it with Mr. Kline (mystery villain creating villains for mysterious agenda). My bad. Angar’s motives are indeed interesting. He reminds me a little of Archie Goodwin’s Firebrand, a former idealist activist turned radical terrorist.
    4)I’m gobsmacked that DD and Natasha weren’t a couple as I took that as a given when I saw them sharing title space. In fairness to the authors that’s partly the default assumption that if you put a man and a woman together, Things Will Happen — I wouldn’t have thought it if he’d teamed up with, say, Ka-Zar. But still, moving across the country and into the same house? I could believe “we’re not sleeping together yet” but just good friends? Nah.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Steve McBeezlebub · 21 Days Ago

      Speak for yourself about the hypothetical Daredevil/Ka-Zar pairing… 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. B Smith · 21 Days Ago

    I hadn’t been reading comics too ling before DD #100, but long enough to figure that Natasha had been shunted off to the Avengers mainly so that Daredevil would be solo for his hundredth issue. Once it was over, there was no reason not to have her back pronto…somewhat contrived, but that was comics back then.

    I did like DD’s exchanges with Jann Wenner, though; like many, I’d heard vaguely of Rolling Stone magazine, but knew nothing of Wenner. But it seemed to me (later on) that Gerber was going for more than a simple “title character faces off against rogue’s gallery” when DD was explaining a deeper reason for putting on the mask…it seemed to delve bit deeper than a plain “With great power…” line. A fairly brief “pretty speech”, but hey, he only had a page to deliver it.

    Regarding “that yellow whatzit just above and behind Gladiator’s right shoulder”…given the slightly wonky colour in that panel (eg Tagak), could that be a slightly chubby-cheeked Mr Kline…?

    And in #87, Natasha establishes that she is merely renting the San Francisco house (I shan’t insult you by demanding a no-prize), and you’re quite right, an inheritance would have been an odd thing for her to have, but at least it was addressing the issue (and it’s never said just who she’s inheriting it from ); in fact, was this the first time it was mentioned?

    Liked by 1 person

    • frasersherman · 21 Days Ago

      The Amazing Adventures series and the Spider-Man leading into it showed her as wealthy but with no explanation. I assumed it was Natasha diverting money during her spy years to set up a retirement fund.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Alan Stewart · 21 Days Ago

      B., you’re right about the house, of course… I got sloppy there. 🙂 . I’ve corrected the post by changing “purchased” to “rented for a year”.


    • Alan Stewart · 20 Days Ago

      “could that be a slightly chubby-cheeked Mr Kline…?” Hmm, I think you may be on to something there, B — especially if John Tartaglione had no idea who that character was supposed to be…


  5. frednotfaith2 · 21 Days Ago

    50 years ago, my Daredevil collection consisted of issues 91 & 99, and the next one I’d get would be 104, after which I began getting DD much more regularly. Hence, I missed both 100 & 101, although I read the letters about them in later issues, which may have been the first reference I’d seen to either Jann Wenner or Rolling Stone magazine. A few years later, my mother got an issue that had an interview with Johnny Carson, which was actually the first Rolling Stone I’d ever read. Mom had bought it solely for the Carson interview as she wasn’t particularly interested in rock or pop music culture, although my interest in that was just beginning. Later that year, while hanging out at the library on the Navy base where I lived, I’d find and read Rolling Stone’s history of rock ‘n’ roll. And a few years later, as a young adult, I’d begin reading Rolling Stone more regularly, at least up through the early ’00s.
    As to DD #100 itself, not only did I miss that issue but so far I hadn’t gotten any ’00 anniversary issues, although I’d eventually read a few in reprints or, in the case of the Avengers, getting the original mag. Funny how thus far they took the form of either a sort of recap of the series thus far or an attempt at a spectacular conclusion to storyline, or otherwise something to try to make the issue a milstone of some sort. DD followed the recap format of FF & ASM, while Avengers & Thor went for the latter. Captain America #100 was really Cap’s taking over of the numbering of Tales of Suspense and third relaunching of his own self-titled comic, and used the occasion to retell his origin as well as to conclude the fake Zemo storyline. Tales to Astonish wouldn’t convert to Incredible Hulk until issue 102, but used the occasion of the 100th issue to merge the Hulk & Sub-Mariner series to feature a full issue slugfest between them. Interestingly, D-list baddie Puppet Master had a key role in both TtA & FF 100th issues.
    I fully agree with your dislike of how some writers take a baddie like Angar, who weren’t really full-bore evil but had some nuance and particular if ill-thought-out reasons for their actions, but then portray them without any nuance at all as just bad for the sake of being bad. I didn’t really care for Mark Gruenwald’s Scourge of the Underworld story, as it seemed to take that tact to the extreme, portraying Firebrand as just a generic badguy who liked to hang out with other badguys. Apparently, Gruenwald’s purpose was to use the Scourge to reduce Marvel’s population of grade C or less baddies. Gee, I thought the way to deal with that was just to not use them anymore, or at least not until someone had a good idea worth using them again. Actually, I think Gruenwald just liked the idea of having someone massacre a bunch of lower-tier baddies few would really miss while they were all hanging out in a bar. Back to DD, I did get the concluding episodes of the mini-epic Gerber inherited from Conway and built up into a rather bizarre sci-fi yarn that Angar would play a key role in taking down the “man” at the center of it all. I loved it for the sheer craziness of it all, even knowing it’s not really the best fit for our “Man without Fear”, but it’s not like previous chroniclers of DD’s exploits hadn’t taken him into sci-fi realms before and even Miller took DD into some deep supernatural aspects, mainly in bringing Elektra back to life after she had been very decisively killed off. I can also understand Gerber’s uneasiness about DD’s partnership with the Black Widow. The whole set up with Matt Murdock moving to San Francisco to live with Natasha, whose identity as the Black Widow is not a secret, but just as suddenly, Daredevil has also moved from NYC to SF and is regularly in action with Natasha, and everyone in the world is just supposed to take that as pure coincidence, thinking “in this crazy world where all sorts of bizarre things have happened, there’s just no way a bind guy could be this athletic superhero despite the blind guy having pretty much the same build and jaw as that superhero and that although they’re often in the same vicinity, they’re never actually seen together ….” We’re still several years away from a newspaper reporter doing some digging and figuring things out in a way that Matt Murdock couldn’t fake or weasel his way out of in a totally contrived, ridiculous manner, such as inventing his own identical twin, whom no one ever actually sees with him. Franklin Nelson should have been smart enough to see through that, but I suppose he earned his nickname Foggy for being rather blind himself in many ways.
    Another fun read, Alan!

    Liked by 2 people

    • frasersherman · 20 Days Ago

      IIRC, Gruenwald’s objection to Firebrand was that someone so specifically tied to 1960s activism and radicalism had become hopelessly dated by the 1990s. I imagine he’d have made the same point about Angar.

      Liked by 1 person

      • frednotfaith2 · 20 Days Ago

        Just showed Gruenwald’s lack of imagination in what to do with such characters. And the fact remains he could have just let them lay fallow.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Marcus · 21 Days Ago

    I did know about Rolling Stone precisely because of the issue you pictured. One of my older brothers must have given it to me for the Marvel articles, so I liked the idea of the interview. Since I started reading DD when Matt “killed” off Mike, Jann catching his mistake about the Daredevil name was a nice piece of continuity.
    About the Widow threatening to kill Angar, at the time I didn’t think she would have, but if I had read Avengers #37 where she did something very similar I would have thought twice, but I didn’t see that story until it was reprinted in Marvel Triple Action a few years later.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. B Smith · 20 Days Ago

    All this palaver about “Rolling Stone” has just reminded me – the April 1973 issue of “Creem” (“America’s Only Rock’N’Roll Magazine”) featured a cover story on Marvel Comics. With a great cover by John Romita, the article, written by one Mike Baron (who would find a role as a comics writer within ten years), contained commentary by Stan and Roy, plus photos of Stan, Roy, John Romita and the Bullpen (of the three people, I would only today recognise Don McGregor). An extra article “Marvel Comics Heroes & Villains” by Terry Byrnes brought any rock-aware but comics-ignorant punters up to speed on the various characters inhabiting the Marvel Universe at the time.

    Given the cover date, plus whatever production lead-up time Marvel had back then, I wonder whether this might have had some bearing on Gerber’s script?

    (Though imagine Daredevil being interviewed by Lester Bangs…pity he didn’t move to Walled Lake Michigan instead of San Francisco…)

    Read the article here, should you wish to…


    Liked by 2 people

  8. FredKey · 20 Days Ago

    I’ve never read Gerber’s DD books, but this sure reminds me of his brief run on Mr. Miracle a few years later, complete with bizarrely individualistic hallucinations, messiah complex, and Barda as the ruthless love interest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • frasersherman · 20 Days Ago

      I didn’t much care for his Mister Miracle. This one doesn’t bug me as much, probably because I care a lot less about DD.


  9. Marcus · 19 Days Ago

    Just thinking about poor Ivan. Here he became an important figure in Natasha’s life, disappeared during her time with the Champions, and eventually returned as a crazed cyborg that she had to kill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • B Smith · 18 Days Ago

      He was Willie Garvin to Natasha’s Modesty Blaise (whom I suspect was the reference material for the “new” Black Widow strip that premiered in Amazing Adventures #1), but a crazed cyborg? Thank heaven I’d long given up reading most comics by then.


      • frasersherman · 18 Days Ago

        I remember Paul Cornell’s “Deadly Origin” turned him into a bad guy — didn’t remember the cyborg stuff. Despite that Cornell did a good job working with Natasha’s mangled history — though as it’s now established she has fake memory implants like Wolverine, they can erase or rewrite it any time they like.


  10. Julian · 15 Days Ago

    Hi Alan, great review! I always had a soft spot for classic Daredevil comics, so this content fascinates me.

    A while back I read your review of Justice League of America #57 from way back in 2020, and since then discovered an interesting detail about one of the Angorians (aka Avengers by another name): Silver Sorceress, DC’s version of the Scarlet Witch.

    Now, really not that many people know about the Squadron Supreme, less people know about the Angor Champions, but even less people know about Vendetta, which for now seems to be the first team of one of the big 2 that parodies a team from the other company. I don’t want to make the story too long, but Vendetta first appeared in Showcase #63, where they faced off against the then-new Inferior Five team. Since it’s a comedy title, it’s clearly not to be taken too seriously, but anyway, what matters here is that Vendetta was a parody of Captain America’s “Kooky Quartet”, and as such, they had a pastiche of the Scarlet Witch: Silver Sorceress, and yes, in Showcase #63, she wears silver with a bit of black. Now, I think we can agree that this can hardly have been a coincidence where two people have the same idea, but how did Frederich and company turn Silver Sorceress from a character who wears silver to a character who, well, doesn’t, is something that we will hardly know one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan Stewart · 15 Days Ago

      Julian, while I didn’t buy that Inferior 5 story back in the day, I’ve read about it since (on Tom Brevoort’s blog, maybe?). I didn’t realize (or didn’t remember) that the Scarlet Witch analogue in that story was called Silver Sorceress, too — so thanks for sharing!


  11. Julian · 13 Days Ago

    You’re welcome, sometimes knowing small details like why a character has “silver” in their name when they don’t wear silver can be fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. John Minehan · 8 Days Ago

    I liked this one hundreth issue. In fairness, my only othe one to that point was SGT Fury #100, essentially an Agent of SHIELD story.

    I thought Gerber did a good job here, not only reminding readers WHO DD was, but WHY he was.

    I also liked Angar the Screamer. He was more than a Hippie bad guy, he was a guy who thought a better World could be made . . . and found out how high the price was. Not a bad lesson for the reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Captain America #162 (June, 1973) | Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books
  14. John Minehan · 12 Hours Ago

    Buckler’s art looks rushed, here.

    In 1972, he had a several issue run with Sinnot on The Avengers. At this point, he was right before some work on Black Panther in Jungle Action that was well-recieved and his well-known run on te FF where he used a “Kirny-type” style.

    Buckler was a talented artist who was sometimes criticized for the Kirby, Bucema and Adams influences on his work. In Daredevil #101, it looked likehe was starting to work out his own style. It is kind of sad that his editprs did not encourage this more, rather than perhaps asking for a Kirby or Adams take..

    Liked by 1 person

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