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Saturday, June 25, 2005

My Collection - DAREDEVIL [1964 Series]

Daredevil [1964 series]
77 issues [1980 - 1997]
162, 183, 186, 188 - 189, 192 - 222, 224 - 226, 230 - 235, 264, 297 - 300, 307, 316, 319 - 326, 344, 347 - 349, 353 - 364, -1

I was kind of surprised DAREDEVIL ranked so high on the list of books I have, since I never really thought of him as a favourite character. Even moreso since I got rid of quite a few issues a while back, so I used to have a lot more, probably close to 100 issues at one time or another. I guess there's just something about the character I like, even if I don't always like the execution.

Read DD for a while in the early 1980s, most of the Frank Miller / Klaus Janson stuff, but don't have many of those original issues anymore. Lost a few, sold or traded a few others. Almost everything before 264 is something I picked up as back issues, while the later stuff I bought new.

Of the earlier issues, a few of them I got specifically for the Steve Ditko art (4 issues). A bunch of the others for the Denny O'Neil writing and David Mazzucchelli artwork, which was a great combination (especially when Mazzucchelli inked himself). Picked up some of the Miller/Janson and Miller/Mazzucchelli stuff that surrounds the O'Neil run, and those are okay for the most part. Most of the fill-ins during that run aren't as good.

Used to try the book every now and then during the Nocenti / Romita Jr. era, mostly because I liked the art a bit, but the stories never did much for me, and I don't have those anymore. I liked the Chichester/Weeks story that ended in #300, but not so much the later Chichester stuff (might have liked it better with a different artist and without that silly costume change). J.M. DeMatteis was the next writer, and at the time I had just been enjoying some of his other work so I gave it a try, but I don't think he quite worked out and was gone soon enough anyway. Karl Kesel was the regular writer for a year, and I really enjoyed his run, although it was a bit unfocused, it was a good combination of old DD (which I'd just started getting some reprints of) and modern storytelling. Dropped it after he left and the book was cancelled and restarted soon after.

For non-standard numbering, that "#-1" was from a month in 1997 where Marvel devoted their line to flashbacks set before the first issue of each book. I picked up the DD one because it had Gene Colan doing the artwork, which was okay, but the story was mediocre at best. Colan did a few other issues for the regular book around the same time which were a bit better.

Keeping at least half of these, anything with Ditko, O'Neil, Mazzucchelli, Janson or Kesel in the credits (though the first Ditko I have a reprint of and I might pick up the reprint of the O'Neil/Mazzucchelli stuff and lose those originals). The rest I might get rid of. Pretty much clear of back-issues I want, as I'm getting the earliest issues in Marvel's ESSENTIAL DD series, though I've heard some of the Gerber and Wolfman issues from the 1970s are decent and are unlikely to be reprinted for a while.

Some especially nice issues:

#215 - A semi-crossover with the old Marvel western star the Two-Gun Kid, featuring half the issue drawn in a great tinted duo-tone style by Mazzucchelli
#220 - Probably the peak of O'Neil's writing stint, a really depressing story
#354 - One of Kesel's best featuring DD and Spider-Man (and why hasn't Kesel ever been the regular writer on a Spider-Man book?)

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