Daredevil and Spider-Man get pissed offPosted: 06/13/2012
The past few articles have been silly and fun. Let’s do something heartbreaking this time.
I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that horribly tragic events occur far too often in the lives of superheroes. Not to mention that bad guy beating is a high stress possession. Plus, you know the cruelty of supervillains. Eventually, and it’s always an eventuality, a superhero will break. You’ve read the title of the article, so you know who I’m going to talk about.
We’ll start with Daredevil (real name Matt Murdock). He’s not as well-known as some of the others and his movie sucked. When he was young, he rushes to save a blind man from an oncoming truck, causing the truck’s radioactive cargo to blind Murdock. His father, a famous boxer, was killed by the mafia for not throwing a fight shortly after. Daredevil has extensive martial arts training , his remaining four senses are greatly heightened, and this cool radar sense like bats do to detect stuff around him. Also, no other superhero in the Marvel world has suffered as much as him.
This is how most Daredevil stories end:
He’s had two lovers killed, his secret identity exposed, his law career ruined, his house blown up, his soul possessed, more nervous breakdowns than I can mention, and that’s just in recent years. The newest issues of Daredevil attract readers by promising that he’ll actually win once in a while. So Murdock tends to be a bit angrier and more frustrated than most superheroes. But at least you know he has good reason.
We jump to Daredevil #49 and #50, written by the genius Brian Michael Bendis. Murdock has just gotten married to a wonderful blind woman. Sure, he’s attacked daily. His livelihood and reputation are a wreck. But for the first time in a very long time, his life has at least one bright light in the mind-numbingly painful fog.
Until Bullseye shows up one night at Daredevil’s apartment just as Daredevil left for patrol. The same Bullseye who killed his first wife and a later girlfriend.
Daredevil has had a bad decade. His only goal is to make his neighborhood safe. And he’s suffered for every single good deed he’s done. Murdock’s piled on so much crap that he hasn’t hung himself is a victory itself. A human psyche can only handle so much. And Bullseye attempting to murder his wife is the final rock that shatters the proverbial window of his sanity.
And you have just witnessed the exact moment Daredevil snapped.
You know what can hurt more than fists? Words.
He’s definitely pissed off, but this Bullseye fight isn’t why I’m bringing up Daredevil. You read the word bubbles. Bullseye’s a pawn. Time to go after the king.
And trust me, his anger has not subsided:
Yes, you’re right – Daredevil doesn’t kill. But he knows the Kingpin can survive being hit with a car, which is something you probably won’t see Captain America doing. No more games. No more level bosses to defeat and move on. This is game over.
You see, he’s fought the Kingpin and his lackies for years. Daredevil will put them in jail, destroy their operations, and save Hell’s Kitchen. Rinse and repeat his entire crime fighting career. He’s beaten the same assassins dozens of times. He’s ruined mobster schemes hundreds of times. Yet, the cycle never ends. The bad guys return to commit atrocities over and over again, and Daredevil has lost everything he cares about because of it.
Time to send a message. And if the driving a car through the wall trick isn’t broken, why fix it?
Yeah, that’s definitely not what Captain America would do. And what does Daredevil get out of this? What’s the end result? A few months of peace, the arrival of a new kingpin, a sniper bullet through the chest, and a lengthy jail sentence. It sucks to be Daredevil.
While not as bad as Daredevil, Spider-Man’s life hasn’t been terribly easy. He’s a genius, but he makes awful decisions. We go back a few years to the Marvel Civil War. I’m going to go over this quickly. While chasing the supervillain Nitro through a suburb, the New Warriors team failed to capture him and Nitro exploded, killing hundreds of civillains and the nearby elementary school.
In response, the government passed the Superhuman Registration Act, forcing all superheroes to de-mask, register with the government, and serve on a federally supervised superhero team. It split the Marvel world in two. Spider-Man, in a show of support for the law, publicly revealed his identity as Peter Parker and registered. Turns out secret identities are secret for a reason. The Kingpin hired an assassin to kill Parker, and in a botched attempt, the sniper’s bullet missed Parker and hit his 70ish year-old Aunt May. This is where our story picks up in Amazing Spider-Man #539 through #543, written by J. Michael Straczynski.
He spends the next three or so issues hunting down who ordered the hit.
Yeah, this is not the Spider-Man you know and love. Nothing lighthearted in this arc. Remember, Aunt May didn’t get by a bus. She was shot because her nephew is Spider-Man. And if you have to pick a single personality flaw of spider-Man, it’s that he doesn’t take loss and guilt well.
Not a good arc to prove how funny Spider-Man can be. Parker, emotionally ruined by seeing his Aunt May on life support, has become a force of terror aimed straight at the Kingpin. And the reader observes a Spider-Man they have never seen before.
Forgot to mention the Kingpin bunks in jail. No matter. The confrontation now has an audience.
Getting a fairly good grasp of the Kingpin’s personality so far? You don’t become the crime boss of New York City without being a giant douche. All definitions of giant.
Figured out that Kingpin doesn’t stand a chance? I mean, you saw Spider-Man chuck a jeep earlier.
Spider-Man’s right, you know. He’s way faster, stronger, smarter, and tougher than a normal person. And the Kingpin, unfortunately, is a normal person. Parker has the capability to kill with just a simple flick of the wrist, and what has set him apart from the supervillains is his refusal to do so. But not anymore. The Kingpin no longer deserves any mercy.
Spider-Man has never been scarier than this moment:
It’s crazy awesome, right? Spider-Man has snapped before, but never that deeply. Too bad he’s too poor to afford therapy. Crime fighting isn’t a lucrative gig.
Just so there’s no closure, obviously Spider-Man doesn’t kill the Kingpin. Immediately after this began the controversial Brand New Day story arc, where the demon Mephisto offers to save Aunt May’s life in exchange for Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage. As an added bonus, mainly to return some of the status quo, everyone forgets Spider-Man’s secret identity. A benefit of being a comic book, I guess.
Nothing like a few bad days though, huh? Or in the Kingpin’s case, a bunch of them.