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Daredevil 47
"Brother, Take My Hand!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND December, 1969

Conceived, Created, And Composed By: STAN (The Man) LEE and GENE (The Dean) COLAN Embellishment: Lettering: GEORGE KLEIN ARTIE SIMEK

Vietnam -- where a few short months ago, American G.I.s clap their hands and eagerly await the arrival of The Man Without Fear...

Willie Lincoln is led from the parked jeep by his friend, Sam, and asks if they've arrived in time for the show. Sam reassures his fellow G.I that the show hasn't even started yet, and that he'll find them a couple of the best seats in the house -- because when Daredevil gets into action, they want to be up close, so they can see everything he does! Sam realizes his mistake, and starts to apologize -- but Willie knows that he must get used to his condition -- sooner or later! Fortunately, Willie can still make out hazy forms and shadowy images! Sam finds them a seat in front, and is confident that it'll be a good show. Willie tells Sam about how the doctor told him that he'll lose the rest of his sight -- soon! He has to start learning how to make it on his own! But, at least Willie will have a chance -- to see Daredevil in action -- at least once!

The emcee tells the crowd of soldiers to quiet down so that the show can begin -- while Sam tries to console his friend and point out that maybe his sight will get better -- instead of worse! Willie tells his friend to forget it! The doctors took many tests -- and checked them out too many times! But Willie isn't griping! He figures that's life! You win a few -- and you lose a few! The G.I.s begin to shout out for Daredevil!! If he doesn't show, the G.I.s want their money back! One of the soldiers points out that they got in for free!! Backstage, The Man Without Fear has been ready for the past half hour, and wonders what they've been waiting for. The Special Services Officer had been awaiting the arrival of a wounded G.I. to arrive. Willie Lincoln is a big fan of Daredevil -- and he has just taken his seat! D.D. steps forward -- and onto the stage!

Willie hears the cheering and can just make out Daredevil by seeing his outline -- in front of him! He sees that D.D. is just as big and as powerful as he knew he'd be! The Man Without Fear is standing there -- waving to the crowd of G.I.s! Daredevil springs into action with a swing on the bar, and he knows that the soldiers out there deserve the best -- and he has to make this good! He had figured that if actors and singers could entertain the troops -- why couldn't a superhero? D.D. had also hoped that it would take his mind off Karen -- but it's no good, for he misses her now more than ever!

The troops applaud and take pictures of Daredevil's acrobatics, with one cameraman knowing that even the fastest lens in the area -- won't be able to catch more than a blur, and the other soldier figuring that D.D. must be jet-propelled! But, amid the cheers, a cry of anguish is heard -- Willie Lincoln's sight has faded and he can't see! He can't see anything at all!! Even during his performance, The Man Without Fear's sensitive hearing catches Willie's shock at losing his sight! The other soldiers grab for Willie before he can fall...

In the infirmary, Willie is giving a sedative and is told that when it wears off, he'll have a visitor! When he wakes up -- Willie asks the doctor about the visitor -- who had just arrived! When asked about how Willie is doing, the doctor tells the visitor to ask Willie himself -- Daredevil... DAREDEVIL!! Willie cannot believe that D.D. has come -- to see him! Daredevil smiles, while Willie regrets that his sight has left him at this moment. The Man Without Fear assures Willie that he's not missing much -- just a guy in far-out long-johns, which would look as good on the soldier as himself. They start to chat...

The doctor tells Daredevil to stay with Willie since he can do more for him than any medicine. Not knowing if he's any good at morale-boosting, D.D. promises to do his best. While the afternoon in Vietnam passes -- Willie tells Daredevil how he went for a grenade which Charlie threw in the middle of his squad! The Man Without Fear points out that he hadn't lost his eyesight in vain and managed to save the lives of his squad! Willie sighs at the thought of the medal he'll receive -- when they return him home -- to nowhere! When asked what he did in civilian life, Willie tells Daredevil that he was a cop -- but that doesn't matter anymore! When D.D. wonders if Willie could return to the force somehow -- the soldier confesses that even if this hadn't happened -- he couldn't have gone back! He is reluctant to let Daredevil the story, and it's something that he's got to handle -- by himself! The Man Without Fear smiles and promises not to pry, and leaves him with a thought -- there are many people -- who are without sight -- who lead meaningful and productive lives! All that's needed is guts -- the type which Willie Lincoln has!

Willie appreciates the talk, but even though he regards Daredevil as the greatest, this is one thing that even he can't understand! D.D. regrets that he can't tell Willie how he does understand, and instead, he tells Willie to look up a friend of his when he gets back to the States -- a lawyer -- by the name of Matt Murdock! On the plane, The Man Without Fear ponders the significance of war as the most foolish, brutal, hateful representation of all that's wrong with humanity! And it's always the young -- the fine -- the best of them who pay the ultimate price! D.D. figures that the world can never repay the many Willie Lincolns who sacrificed themselves in the name of their loyalty and their devotion! Back in the present-day -- Willie Lincoln is led by a policeman to the 10th Precinct, where he seeks to clear his name, and where The Captain recommends a good lawyer!

At the Welfare Department, Willie speaks with Karen Page about how he was suspended from the force for taking a bribe! It was a frame from the start -- and he wasn't able to prove it! Karen recalls the case, and as a lawyer's secretary, she had followed it with interest! She believes that Matt Murdock is the man who can help Willie now! He remembers the name -- from a few months ago, and Karen asks him not to mention that it was she who sent him, for she has -- a personal reason! He respects her wishes...

Willie introduces himself to Matt Murdock, who is pleased to make his acquaintance, and who listens intently about the mob run by Biggie Benson -- who had sought to get to Willie -- but were never able to! Apparently, they had gotten Willie out of the way -- by framing him! They hired a witness to swear that he saw Willie take a payoff -- and he never could break the story! Biggie Benson has received the summons, and is not worried about Lincoln because he can beat the case with his eyes closed!

Having learned that Willie had gotten blinded in the war, and now has come back with a prominent lawyer, Biggie and his mob are determined that Willie Lincoln not have his day in court! A hood pays a call to Willie's apartment building, and is climbing the stairs... when he is kicked in the chops by The Man Without Fear...ZOK! WHAP! The hood swings at the costumed figure before him, but misses, as Daredevil connects with his solar plexus! Sent flying over the railing, the hood begins to run upon hitting the ground... and is to give a message to Biggie from Daredevil...

The next day finds Biggie Benson on the witness stand, with Matt Murdock accusing him of framing Willie Lincoln! Even from the counsel table, Willie can sense Benson's grin! All seems hopeless from Willie's point of view, and he wonders how Matt will be able to make Benson confess! Foggy Nelson tells his client to keep his composure -- especially since he has the best lawyer on his side! Matt addresses the court about the allegation that Willie Lincoln accepted a bribe on the evening of July 6th of the previous year! Benson agrees on the date -- and then -- Matt points out that the witness against his client was and is an employee of Benson's! Biggie doesn't see how this could change what the witness saw... Now done with Biggie, Matt calls Whitey Barton to the stand! Biggie can only stammer and wonder why Murdock would call the witness against Lincoln to the stand! The lawyer assures him that he'll find out soon enough...

Matt questions Barton about having seen his client on the evening of July Sixth -- from a window -- half-way down the street! The lawyer finds this interesting -- considering the weather report he's obtained for that date -- the one which puts into question how even a man with perfect eyesight could see anything on the foggiest night of the year! Barton turns white and doesn't want a perjury wrap on himself! He confesses that Biggie Benson made him do it or else the mobster would have killed him! Benson starts to rise from his chair -- yelling at Whitey Barton that it was a trick of Murdock's! There was no fog that evening -- and the frame has been blown! Only one of his hoods prevents Biggie Benson from leaving his chair and reaching Whitey Barton! The news reporters and photographers run for the phonebooths -- with the story of how Matt Murdock exonerated Willie Lincoln! In the hours to come, The Daily Bugle's Early Edition hits the streets with the headline -- "Willie Lincoln Cleared!" "Biggie Benson Out On $25,000 Bail!" "Court Stunned By Counselor's Daring Legal Tactic!" "Matt Murdock, Sightless Attorney Pulls Another Coup!"

The sightless attorney's client is in his small apartment, and is thanking his lawyer for what he's done! Telling Willie to call him Matt, he is confident that the former policeman will be able to start again! Willie wonders what he can do without his sight? Matt is confident that recovery will be long -- but it is possible! There's many things a blind man can do! Willie has to learn Braille so that he can study! Not meaning to sound ungrateful -- Willie finds this easy for the lawyer to say! Matt finally gets around to telling his client about a small detail -- He, Himself, Is Blind! The former policeman is stunned by the revelation, especially since Matt is one of the top lawyers in the country!! He is about to tell Willie how he had to study -- to work -- a little harder than most -- when his radar sense detects the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs! The hoods are determined to get the job done right this time -- for Biggie! Matt tells Willie to get in the closet-- fast! His guide-dog begins to growl at the sound of approaching footsteps...

With the door unlocked, the hoods are confident that their job will be easy! With no time to change into his costume, Matt is grateful that the room is pitch black! He'll have to fight them as Matt Murdock -- and in fact, this gives him a great idea! As the hoods fumble for the light switch, one of their number is struck on the chest by a blind man's cane --ZAK! He is pushed aside, and another hood is punched in the jaw --BOK! Confident that if he stays in the shadows -- and succceeds in keeping the crooks from seeing him -- Matt will be able to convince them that he's really Willie Lincoln!

He must make them believe that Willie is more than a match for them! If not, Willie will never be safe from their deadly attacks! If they get a look at him, Matt knows that all will be lost! He slams the door with his foot -- so that the light will stay out and the odds will be with the blind man in the darkness! One of the hoods reaches for "Willie," but is thrown into a nearby chair instead -- THWUMP!

Figuring that Matt may be in trouble, Willie has his German Shepard attack the hoods! Matt is grateful for the interruption and uses it to change into costume! Willie must not know that it was Matt Murdock who was doing the fighting! By this point, the hoods are wondering if they are paid enough to take such punishment, and start to leave... As they make for the window, Daredevil leaps from behind the couch...

He tells the startled hoods how he overheard the commotion, and they are less than happy at seeing The Man Without Fear in person! D.D. chides them for being unworthy of being picked on by him -- especially if they couldn't hold their own against a unarmed blind veteran --KONKK! Daredevil grabs for the remaining hood, and pulls him from the window sill... eager to wrap things up so that Willie's story will jibe with his!

Removing the hood's coat, D.D. punches him... PTOK! The bouncing hood rebounds off the couch, but The Man Without Fear easily evades the felon, who gets tangled into the blinds! He falls to the ground, and Daredevil begins to wrap him up, just as a gunman is about to shot him from behind! The German Shepard leaps onto the gunman, just as D.D. knew he would!

The police arrive and congratulate Willie on being able to hold his own against the crooks in the dark! He hates lying about his role in the fight, but Daredevil was convinced that it was the only way to insure no further reprisals! Biggie Benson's thugs are too cowardly to attack anyone who'll fight back! Willie asks D.D. where Mr. Murdock went, and The Man Without Fear assures him that the lawyer was taken to safety! He didn't mind leaving his client -- once he knew that Willie was not in danger! The vet is grateful to know Matt, and Daredevil tells him that the lawyer said the same thing about him! He tells Willie that Matt will talk to The Commissioner about him! There are plenty of jobs for a good cop -- and Willie was one of the best! Now alone, Willie speaks to his dog -- telling him how he thought that he had reached rock-bottom! But then he found himself a friend -- and cleared his name! Now, even without his eyesight -- Willie is looking forward to tomorrow -- for the first time! He feels like a part of the human race once again! His lawyer never made a big thing about it -- But, when you get down to it -- Maybe that's what Brotherhood is all about!

On the cover drawn by Gene Colan, Daredevil is getting his kicks -- or rather Biggie Benson's thugs are on the receiving end of them! The logo is split and looks like "DARE- Ugh. DEVIL"

The faces of American G.I.s in Vietnam by Gene Colan. Each one is distinctive from the other, and all are united in their anticipation of the appearance of... Daredevil!

On the first few pages of the story, Willie Lincoln seems resigned to his fate, and the impending loss of his sight.

Stan Lee manages to find humor in the unique situation of a superhero entertaining the troops in Vietnam.

The stagehand speaks with fluent Stan Leeanse -- "He's a real frantic fan of yours -- And I see he's just been seated! So, take it away, D.D. -- The stage is all yours!"

These words could be construed as best wishes for the current motion picture featuring Daredevil, The Man Without Fear!

Me, I take them as a welcome from Stan to the reader, who no doubt savored this off-beat tale in 1969, just as I had when I first came across it in Son Of Origins. The description of the frantic fan no doubt applies to all of us, and it's a pleasure to be a member of the reading audience.

Thanks to the art of Gene Colan and George Klein, we can appreciate what Willie Lincoln sees of Daredevil's performance, and of the character himself... a larger-than-life hero!

With the loss of his sight a reality, Willie Lincoln is unable to bear the end result, despite what his earlier words would have other believe. This makes him all the more real.

Willie's surprise at Daredevil's visit is a moment of irony. He can't see his visitor, but they can talk, and Daredevil is quick to put him at ease that he's just some guy in a pair of long-johns.

Even though Willie Lincoln faces a seemingly lonely road, D.D. is quick to offer some hope in a single thought.

Letterer Artie Simek shines in the sequences where Willie is surprised by loss and by a new friend. We can sense his emotions on the page, as it were.

Matt Murdock, whether as Daredevil or as a lawyer sees his duty and his responsibility in aiding his fellow man. Willie Lincoln's return to the states is not a smooth one, as he must pick up the pieces of his life, and clear his name.

Even though she can't bear to see him again, Karen Page knows that Matt Murdock is just the man who can best help Willie Lincoln.

If Daredevil #47 was an episode of a Silver Age Daredevil TV series, I would have loved to have seen Vic Tayback as Biggie Benson. He's played heavies in Bullit and Star Trek ("A Piece Of The Action"). Sidney Poitier as Willie Lincoln. Hmmm... Van Williams as Matt Murdock? William Shatner as Hood #1?

A fun sequence by Gene Colan and George Klein, as Daredevil shows the hood the stairs. (Holy "Upstairs, Downstairs," Batman!)

Is Whitey Barton a relative of Barney Barton and Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye?

It's very rare to see a Daily Bugle headline which doesn't feature, "Spider-Man: Threat Or Menace?" (Holy CGC, Batman! J. Jonah Jameson doesn't play favorites, does he?)

Again, when Willie discovers that Matt is also blind, Colan, Klein, and Simek capture the moment, while Stan has Matt looking on the potential of this former policeman.

The scene with Matt fighting the hoods in the dark is reminiscent of Peter Parker surreptiously using his spider-strength to beat up some dope pushers in the Non-Comic Code issues of The Amazing Spider-Man in the early '70s. My reaction to both scenes -- BRAVO!!!

My uncle used to have a German Shepard when I was younger, and I have a fondness for them, especially the guide-dog rendered by Gene Colan.

I am of the opinion that The Marvel Super-Heroes, especially in the early years of The Silver Age, represented hope in the face of adversity.

By story's end, Willie Lincoln is shown the possibilities for a new tomorrow.

Stan Lee, like Matt Murdock didn't make a big thing about it -- but, when you get down to where it's at -- maybe that's what Brotherhood is all about -- and what Marvel was all about!

This Review Is Dedicated To Bob Ingersoll

Steve Chung
"Brother, Take My Review!"