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Daredevil 41
"The Death of Mike Murdock!"


Phantasmagorically Produced and Presented By: STAN GENE (The Man) and (The Dean) LEE COLAN

Embellished By: Lettered By: JOHN TARTAGLIONE SAM ROSEN

The man without fear has been imprisoned outside of time by The Exterminator's T-Gun and The Unholy Three! Although all may seem to be lost, it is a certainty that Daredevil will figure a way out... especially since there's twenty pages of story left to go...!! The other victims of The T-Gun blast have returned to the present when the effects of the ray wore off! D.D. doesn't know how potent the blast was that he received or how long he'll remain trapped! He can't give in to despair... not while The Unholy Three are on the loose! The prison is that of time itself... it is untouchable... unseen... and it is the most potent trap of all! Even so, Daredevil continues to seek a way out...

Caught in the time warp which exists outside of normal time, the man without fear figures that there must be an exit or else how could he be there! His super-senses register the subtle shifting of time fibers...! The fabric of time must produce an opening at some point...! (Holy Gambi, Batman!) Armed with his radar sense, Daredevil should be able to perceive it! The temporal rings begin their shifting, and as the pressure lessens, an opening begins to appear! The man without fear takes a dive...

Foggy Nelson is unconcerned about his campaign or being elected D.A. All he wants is Deborah Harris! When Karen tells him that Daredevil will find her... the lawyer tells her that he is fed up with that costumed thrill-seeker... and that he'll find her himself! Believing that he knows who The Exterminator is, Foggy plans to tell the papers that he knows the mastermind's secret identity... which will make him come after him! When Karen asks what he'll do when the villain comes after him, Foggy is adamant about doing things himself. As Foggy dons his coat, Karen suggests that he wait for Matt, but the lawyer figures that like his brother, Matt Murdock is never around when he's needed! The door slams after Foggy's exit, and Karen is alone with her thoughts. She knows how Foggy feels about Deborah because she has felt the same way about Matt. Figuring that the blind lawyer must be in trouble, she figures that his and D.D.'s disappearance has to do with The Unholy Three! Unable to bear the wait and doing nothing, she resolves to aid Matt...

Even though Karen vowed not to get involved, she feels that she must do something! Karen decides to head for Matt's apartment, and knowing how proud he is, she is determined not to show that she has been worrying for him! She'll claim that she came as a favor for Foggy... and see if Matt can reach his brother! Karen had thought that she was attracted to Mike Murdock... by the costumed adventurer known as Daredevil! But now she knows that it's Matt Murdock that she truly loves! As she boards the taxi, Karen knows that the blind lawyer may not feel the same way about her... as she does for him! Even though Karen believes that it can never be... she'll never stop hoping or dreaming about him!

Elsewhere, Foggy has contacted the media and awaits The Exterminator and The Unholy Three to find him! He is unaware that Deborah Harris has been following him... just a few seconds out of step with time. In the park, Foggy plans to blow the police whistle when he stops The Unholy Three, while above him, they have already spotted him! They descend from a tree, and Cat-Man leaps onto the lawyer's back!

With his police whistle out of reach, Foggy kicks the feline felon in the face... then throws some punches at The Ape-Man. The sinister simian grins...

He grabs onto Foggy and hurls him up toward the waiting Bird-Man, who holds onto him, as Cat-Man punches him into unconsciousness. The Unholy Three wonder what their boss wants with the lawyer, and are confident that none can stand in their way.

A couple have witnessed Foggy's abduction, with the husband not wanting to get involved, and insisting that he wants to look out for their own safety. Unseen by the couple, Deborah Harris has also seen Foggy's predicament, and wonders who can possibly help him now! The Exterminator discovers that something has gone wrong with his time displacer! The mechanism which controls the return process is out of synchronization! This is why he hasn't been able to bring back his victims to the present time. He is unconcerned.. for this means that he possesses a far deadlier weapon than he could have imagined! Anyone who opposes The Exterminator will be lost... forever!

Karen Page has arrived at Matt's brownstone residence... She has known that the blind lawyer was a loner, and had never invited anyone to his home... as if he had something to hide! Karen is impressed by his independence, and sometimes she forgets that Matt is blind! With no answer at the door, she finds that it's unlocked, and decides to enter... Seeing that the bedroom door is open, Karen decides to enter.. and sees on the bed... the costume of the man without fear! Thinking that Mike has been living with Matt, she wonders where they could be at this moment!

Daredevil finds himself in the present... but senses that things are different... all of his surroundings are blurry... and less tangible than ever! He realizes that he is still a micro-second out of time, and must manage to fully synchronize with time... His super-sense guide him! Time is a split-second ahead of him and Daredevil seeks to catch up with that split-second... to fully enter the present! His quick reflexes... and his billy-club cable will hopefully catch onto an object moving at the right speed...

FTASSKK! The cable holds onto the rear fender of a Volkwagen Beetle... and Daredevil is soon pulled into the present!

PTHOOP! He rolls from the busy street and onto the sidewalk! The startled pedestrians see the hero in the torn costume, and Daredevil uses his billy-club cable to swing away for home! He senses Karen's presence in the upstairs bedroom! Knowing that she's probably seen his spare costume... D.D. must think of a quick solution!

Pulling a bluff, he enters the bedroom and pretends to be visiting Matt about his spare costume... while Karen greets him and asks about Matt. Telling her that the blind lawyer probably went out to eat, he senses a low humming... from the window... the same sound the T-Gun does when used. The sound is coming from outside of town, and this means only one thing...! Karen sees that Mike is preoccupied, but Daredevil pretends to have heard someone! It is the main power supply for the T-Ray which his super-senses have picked up... and it's building up in intensity! Karen tells Daredevil that Foggy was trying to find The Exterminator and The Unholy Three... alone! D.D. understands what's at stake, and also, he has an idea about a way to put an end to his triple-identity act... forever! He gives Karen her coat, then tells her that he has to go after Foggy...

Now wearing a new costume... and now armed with renewed determination... the man without fear swings out... his super-senses focusing on the source of the hum... In his haste, Daredevil exercises caution as he swings from heights which would daunt a lesser man! The humming is now in front of him! He has found the headquarters of The Exterminator and The Unholy Three! If his plan to kill off Mike Murdock succeeds, then all bets are off!

The mysterious mastermind completes the synchronization of the T-Ray! Foggy Nelson is to be the first victim of its full power! The lawyer struggles in the grip of The Bird-Man... while The Exterminator reminds the hapless Foggy of his impending contribution to science! (Holy Selegue, Batman!) He is to be the first man to be sent back into time... PAST THE POINT-OF-NO-RETURN! (Holy No Deposit, No Return, Batman!) Foggy is released and finds that his feet are rooted to the spot by the magnetized metal disc beneath him! (Holy Wolfman Jack, Batman! What an evil Disc Jockey!)

VROOOM! Before the plan can be set in motion, Daredevil bursts into the chamber...THUMP! While D.D. tells Foggy that all's not lost yet, The Bird-Man sees his chance to attack...

FPOOM! The man without fear somersaults and delivers a head-shot to The Bird-Man's solar plexus, and it's bye... bye... birdie! That Darn Cat-Man is next on the attack, as he clambers onto Daredevil's back... and begins to apply pressure to D.D.'s neck!

Hurling himself backwards, Daredevil causes The Cat-Man's head to strike the floor... and now The Ape-Man begins to clamber towards D.D. With one swift move, the man without fear hurls his billy club at an angle against the floor... BTOK!

The billy-club grazes The Ape-Man's temple, and the antagonistic anthropoid plows right into The Exterminator's electronic equipment! Even without The Unholy Three... even with his laboratory in flaming ruin... The Exterminator pits his T-Gun against the man without fear! Unfortunately, the weapon is only as good as its inventor's aim, and Daredevil nimbly dodges... then kicks the criminal scientist into unconsciousness! A crimson-gloved hand reaches for the switch to short out the time mechanism... and in so doing... bids a fond farewell -- to Mike Murdock! ZZAKK!

As Karen returns to the law office of Nelson and Murdock, Deborah Harris is wondering how long she'll remain a ghost... then before Karen Page, she re-appears back into the normal time continuum once more! Within The Exterminator's lab, the T-Ray has been destroyed, and all are unconscious... except for Foggy Nelson, who sees that Daredevil is no longer among them! Seeing the tattered emblem from Daredevil's costume, the lawyer believes that Mike Murdock laid down his life to save his! Outside, D.D. watches from hiding, as the police arrive, and knows that Foggy will tell the authorities that he died in the explosion... and this will remove Matt's "twin brother" forever! It should be easier for him to be... just Matt Murdock! Late in the evening, Matt tells Karen what happened to Mike, and she knows that this will mean the end of Daredevil! But... will it? ... Matt wonders...!

The Gene Colan cover features the man without fear walking the city streets, and caught a micro-second out of time.

A seemingly impossible trap, yet Daredevil manages to find a way out.

Foggy's yellow raincoat would make Dick Tracy green with envy.

To illustrate Daredevil's predicament after escaping the time-trap, the man without fear is in his normal colors, while the background is composed of pencilled outlines. As D.D. is pulled back into reality, the green Volkswagen and the city streets are once more rendered in full color.

Some heroes have to cope with a dual identity, but at this time, Daredevil had to cope with three!

Unbeknownst to Daredevil, the shorting of the time mechanism would drive The Exterminator past the point of no return... that is until he returned in the '70s as The Death-Stalker!

The villain would re-form The Unholy Three in an attempt at revenge against Matthew Michael Murdock! The final confrontation would take place in Daredevil #158, in a story by Roger McKenzie, and the debut of Frank Miller.

In the "Let's Level With Daredevil" letters page, Peter Sanderson, Jr. of Milton, Mass writes:

"Dear Stan and Gene,

Why does anyone still live in New York City depicted in Marvel Comics? Why haven't they all moved out? Just this month, The Silver Surfer has been wrecking buildings in New York, Magneto has been tearing up the U.N., Dr. Doom, Daredevil, the X-Men, and Grotesk, have been fighting in the subways, and the Yellow Claw's sky fortress is hovering over Manhattan. It's a fun place to visit but you're out of your tree if you want to live there! The solution is to have the Marvel Superheroes fight all over the country and not just live in New York. Someone should issue a button reading "Dr. Doom is alive and well in Latveria" or, right now, in the Latverian Embassy. I'm pretty confident from reading DD #37 that by the end of this multi-parter, the series will prove to be just as good as the Doom-Surfer episodes. One thing that I'm confident of right now from seeing his depictions of Doom, Galactus, Captain Marvel, and the Sentry is that Gene Colan is your best artist. I'm glad to see that you're bringing in the F.F. into this story (Doom's stolen D.D.'s body in order to attack the F.F., you said) because I think that a villain like Doom who is so identified with this particular superhero group would always try to attack them. It's great seeing Doom fighting Daredevil, but even if the F.F. don't show themselves in this series, Doom's master plan should be to attack the F.F., not Daredevil."

The editor replies: "Sheesh, Pete - and here we thought that Doc Doom hated everybody, not just the F.F.! By now, though, you know that it was indeed Daredevil himself who attacked Reed Richards and crew -- or was it vice-versa? Still, he didn't exactly go it alone in F.F. #73. Ol' Stan says that with swingers like Thor and Spidey to back him up, he'd attack the Baxter Building himself! Although with his luck, Smiley'd show up on a day when the F.F. were out, and he'd end up having to indian-wrestle the janitor!"

As the years went by, some heroes did move out west... The Champions and Spider-Woman come to mind.

Back in the Silver Age, a multi-parter would be between three and four issues. Nowadays, a story arc can last for an entire year! Whew!

Peter Sanderson would aid D.C. in researching its characters for Crisis On Infinite Earths, and at Marvel, he'd aid The House of Ideas in researching, as well as writing up entries for The Official Handbook of The Marvel Universe.

A Poster on The Pulse Message Board asked, "Who the heck was Mike Murdock and what happened to him?"

Fellow Pulse contributor, Tim O'Shea,was also interested and was delighted by my ability to answer that very question.

This Review Is Dedicated To Tim O'Shea

Steve Chung
"The Review Of Mike Murdock!"