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Daredevil 40
"The Fallen Hero!"


A Mystery Within A Puzzle, Inside Of A Riddle!

Confused And Compounded By STAN GENE (The Man) and (The Dean) LEE COLAN



The Unholy Three have used The T-Guns given to them by The Exerminator, and Deborah Harris is now in a different time continuum... Readers who can follow this sentence can now read on... Matt Murdock doesn't know what happened to Debbie... but she's not dead! He sensed her heartbeat even after Foggy Nelson told him that she had disappeared! Whatever the solution is, one thing is certain... The Man Without Fear will find out... or learn the reason why!

The first thing D.D. must do is find out who is the mastermind behind The Unholy Three! It's sure that neither The Bird-Man, Cat-Man, or Ape-Man have enough ingenuity between them to design a weapon like the one used this evening! Each member was wearing earphones over their costumes means that they are in contact with someone! So, Daredevil has to find them, beat them, and learn who their leader is! ... That's it! It's the least Matt can do for Foggy, who believes that Deborah was disintegrated... and it's driving him to despair! It was Foggy who asked Matt to have his brother Mike... otherwise known as Daredevil, find The Unholy Three! Since both Mike and Matt are the same man... his nervous law partner is going to have the help he needs! D.D. begins to search the city...

Daredevil is sure that he can out-fight The Unholy Three! He has to be careful about that new weapon of theirs... whatever it may be! Fortunately, it's late, and the streets are nearly deserted! It should be easy for him to spot his quarry... if they're out on the town! The local banks will be his first stop...

At one of the local banks... a security guard receives some unusual visitors... He had heard about The Unholy Three... on the radio! They were the ones who aimed the ray gun at a girl... and made her disappear! The guard tells them that he won't give them any trouble, and The Bird-Man knows that he won't! They want to reach the safe... now! The guard opens the iron gate, but is unable to open the vault! Since it's on a time lock, the vault won't open until nine a.m.... in the morning! The guard gapes as the mystery gun is aimed at him... and fires...

Bird-Man bids the hapless guard a fond farewell, as he does a fade-out, then the avian felon gives the rotator a full spin clockwise... The same energy which can penetrate the time barrier... can also penetrate a bank vault... with ease! The Cat-Man and The Bird-Man figure that The Exterminator is a much better leader than The Organizer was! With his planning and The T-Gun... The Unholy Three are unbeatable! The Ape-Man figures that their own abilities aren't exactly a liability, either!

The Ape-Man is speechless, and as The Bird-Man asks his brutish partner in crime why he's stopped collecting the loot! The big galoot figures that... there's going to be... a small hitch in their plans! Losing his patience, The Bird-Man wants to know what's bothering his partner... and the "something" tells him to turn around, and see for himself! It's Daredevil's turn to watch the "birdie" and if there's anything The Man Without Fear likes, it's a man of few words!

Hoping that The Unholy Three weren't planning on leaving so soon... D.D. doesn't want them to catch cold! The main thing The Bird-Man catches... is a left-handed punch from Ol' Horn-Head, who knows that the others are inside with him!

The Ape-Man is eager to break Daredevil in two, but The Cat-Man figures that the T-Gun will prove more effective... and permanent! Fortunately for D.D., he's much faster than the lumbering Ape-Man, who gets a punch in his side for his troubles. Sensing that Cat-Man is about to shoot him from behind... Daredevil lands a right cross across the feline felon's face! The Man Without Fear then leaps out of The Bird-Man's line of fire!

The Bird-Man and Daredevil grapple, while The Cat-Man leaps towards them... only to get thrown for a loop by D.D...

The feline felon is sent through the glass window, while Daredevil's radar-sense spots a T-Gun on the floor! He leaps for the weapon, but is knocked aside by The Ape-Man! ZOK!

Crashing near the teller stations, The Man Without Fear figures that if he were meant to use a weapon, he'd have been equipped with a holster! The Ape-Man chuckles at Daredevil's quip and figures that it will be his final one, as he's just recovered the blaster! FZZIT! D.D. just manages to dodge out of range, while The Ape-Man jeers that the costumed hero will not be able to dodge for long!

Daredevil figures that its his super-senses which have enabled him to dodge The Ape-Man's blasts, while The Bird-Man eggs his partner to end the fun! Unfortunately, The Man Without Fear is unable to get close enough, and he's getting tired! He rises up from the floor just in time to see the T-Gun aimed at him... TZASSK!

Daredevil feels the same... but his senses are shifting! The area around him is growing faint... as if it were dissolving! But, he knows... it's not the world that is disappearing... it's him!

D.D. senses time being twisted and distorted... as he travels from the present to the past... rather than from place to place! Deborah Harris sees his arrival, and Daredevil senses the other victims of the T-Gun... now trapped... in time! The Unholy Three leave with the loot, but outside, a police car roars to the scene...

The two officers get out of their vehicle with guns drawn! One fires a burst above their heads... KRAK! Before he can fire again, The Bird-Man and The Ape-Man use their T-Guns to send the officer away in a flash of light!

Foggy is waiting by the phone for word on Debbie, and Karen is confident that Daredevil will track down The Unholy Three. The lawyer lacks faith in the arrogant, costumed adventurer! He now realizes what Debbie meant to him! Foggy decides to go out, and Karen wants to know what to tell Matt... He tells her that he'll be at the library... doing some research on The Unholy Three!

The three criminals had worked for Abner Jonas, aka The Organizer, but he's in prison! They lack the cleverness to operate solo... so maybe Foggy can find out who's their new leader! With the girl he loves... missing... maybe even...dead! At a moment like this, he envies Mike Murdock, who has the devil-may care attitude of a man without fear! Even a man who is not a daredevil... can still do his part! The newspaper clippings of The Organizer's capture is what Foggy is looking for! There may be a connection between The Unholy Three's old leader and their new one! Hours pass, and the lawyer finds which he had been searching for... in a feature article -- a scientist who worked for Abner Jonas --- but who had left town -- before the trial! Since the scientist had nothing to do with the case -- he was not sought for questioning, and was soon forgotten! Foggy theorizes that perhaps the missing scientist was the true genius behind The Organizer -- and The Unholy Three! He may have reunited with the group once more -- and could have conceived the devasting weapon! The lawyer heads for his interview... and hopes that when he's elected D.A., Foggy Nelson will be able to do more...

As Foggy takes a taxi for his televised campaign interview, the police spread their dragnet for The Unholy Three! Their new weapon is regarded as mysterious and deadly... Even the patrolman on the beat knows that there may be no defense from their blaster! TV reporters urge citizens to remain off the streets until further news... While the city waits, Election Day grows closer -- and Foggy Nelson vows to his fellow citizens that he will work tirelessly in his crusade to make the city streets safe for all once more --

While the newspapers continue to chronicle Foggy's campaign... the scene shifts to a place beyond normal time ... As one of the victims is near the breaking point of his imprisonment, Daredevil asks Deborah how long she's been in this place! She doesn't know where she is or when... and time has little meaning... Debbie had thought that she was dreaming ... some sort of psychedelic experience! The Man Without Fear knows that the device has sent them to another time continuum! He senses another shift occuring, and something begins to pull Deborah Harris away... and D.D. knows that she's on her way back to the present!

The earlier victims are also fading away .. leaving Daredevil alone! He is now in a place which is not a place... a trap which holds him... one which he cannot breach! All his super-senses... are useless to him! Time has gotten ahold of D.D.... and is the most unusual prison of all! He is sure that he had received a stronger burst of energy than the others! There is no doubt -- the more powerful the blast... the longer the duration of imprisonment! What if the burst he received means ... he must remain in this place... FOREVER?!!

The Gene Colan-drawn cover features The Man Without Fear caught in the dimension-spanning blast of The Bird-Man's T-Gun!

On The Pulse Message Board, one poster asked about the significance of Mike Murdock, who he was, and whatever happened to him. The next issue reveals "The Death of Mike Murdock!"

Mike Murdock was Matt's fictional twin brother, who was more outgoing, brash, and a snappier dresser. The blind lawyer had created the identity to keep Karen and Foggy from guessing that Matt was in fact...Daredevil! What can I say... The Silver Age was a much simpler place back then.... and the characters were a lot more gullable.

The Unholy Three (Ape-Man, Cat-Man, and Bird-Man) remind me of The Terrible Trio (The Fox, The Shark, and The Vulture) with their animal-motif.

The T-Gun was an experiment of Bruce Banner's in Tales To Astonish. The device sent The Hulk to the far future, where he fought The Executioner. Whether this T-Gun and The Exterminator's T-Gun are related is unknown.

The Unholy Three would be recruited by Count Nefaria and would be among the earliest foes of The All-New, All Different X-Men.

The original members of The Unholy Three would meet their demise in Iron Man #116.

Death-Stalker revealed that he recruited mercenaries to replace his loyal cronies in Daredevil #158.

I wonder if Daredevil and Deborah were sent into Limbo by The Exterminator's T-Gun? The Realm is home to Immortus, Tempus, and The Space Phantom.

I enjoyed John Tartaglione's inks on Sal Buscema's art for The Avengers, where Ultron-6 threatened The United Nations. Tartaglione is the artist of the Pope John Paul II Marvel Comic Book. He was one of the artists on Captain America in 1978 when Steve Rogers were searching for his past, in stories by Steve Gerber.

In the letters page, Mark Gruenwald of Oshkosh, Wisc writes:

Dear Stan and Gene,

I consider Daredevil to be Marvel's best publication and I offer issues #35 and #36 in defense of this statement. As in all issues, the plot kept moving without any dull spots. As far as realism goes, any story that can make me worry for the hero's sake (e.g., when the Trapster's anti-grav flyer hurled earthward) has to be on top of the list. To praise this type of story is really quite an accomplishment for you since I sued to despise any continued story. Now I am in favor of them, for how else would I be able to see Gene Colan's magnificent full-page illustrations like on pages 9 and 14 of #35 if he were forced to put a two-issue story into one issue's space? And since everyone knows Stan Lee thinks big, who am I to throw limitations on his creativity by saying no continued stories? However, I do think two issues is long enough for a bout with one villain. What's this about Foggy being offered the position of district attorney? Do you plan on dropping him from the Daredevil cast of characters? If so, I hope DD forgets that "Brother Mike" business and reveals his identity to Karen. After all, everyone must have someone to confide in. Concerning the Trapster story, there is one detail that bugs me. How was DD able to enter the Fantastic Four's HQ? I thought they had an elaborate warning system in their windows. And finally, as part of my campaign to make this world a better place to live in, I suggest you get rid of the "Here Comes" and "The Man Without Fear!" from your title banner. It's sort of corny. Who says this isn't the Marvel Age of Absurd Advice and Cockeyed Comments?!

The editor replies: Not us - but evidently you didn't know that this is also the Marvel Age of colossal corn-ballishness! Sheesh, Mark - if we dropped nutty sayings like "Here Comes The Man Without Fear!", we'd be bringing ourselves down to the level of Brand... (Oops, we aren't gonna call 'em that any more)! Oh well, you know who we mean!

This is why I miss the letter pages and believe that they should have been reprinted along with the ads.

In my opinion, Mark Gruenwald certainly made the world a better place for readers with his work on What If?, Fanzines, Captain America, and The Squadron Supreme minseries.

This Review Is Dedicated To Mark Gruenwald

Steve Chung
"The Fallen Review!"