Daredevil vs. Bullseye

Over the next three articles, we’ll be reading three different fights of these two – mainly because I love arch-nemesis brawls and lengthy villain monologues.  Bullseye likes to talk.  Premiering about thirty issues before where we start today, our baddie started as all normal supervillains tended to in the 1970s: he planned ornate, extravagant plots for Daredevil to foil (like fighting Daredevil while riding a circus elephant or shooting Daredevil out of a giant crossbow) that were as forgettable as they were silly.  But he kept showing up roughly every five issues or so.  And today, in Daredevil #160-161, written by Roger McKenzie and drawn by Frank Miller, he finally gets that gold medal all supervillains aspire to be – Bullseye’s hard work (and bruises) attain him his long-awaited arch-nemesis status.  For reference, you’ll be looking at the dawn of Daredevil emergence as the gritty, dark superhero that saved his title from cancellation and made Frank Miller a superstar.

Since Daredevil has far more important things to do than fight Bullseye, our baddie will have to force the superhero’s hand.  Like say, attacking Daredevil’s girlfriend Black Widow.

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No more happy Daredevil.  Hell, Black Widow even straight up mentions the dramatic change a few pages from now.  When you really think about a superhero’s life, it should only be a matter of time before they crack.  How much crap does Daredevil have to deal with everyday?  And not only it piles on far faster than our superhero can clear it, each new pile always comes with it a dose of broken bones and ruined days.  He doesn’t even get paid – superhero-ing actually costs him a fortune what with new outfits and billy clubs and lost opportunities to work on his law firm.  We can all proclaim from the heavens that Daredevil’s paid in justice, but he did choose a profession where every day is soaked in the angry fists of evildoers.  He should at least get a stipend, I say.  Oh, and that’s probably why Daredevil’s not happy anymore.

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Despite this butt-kicking you’re witnessing, we have to believe that Daredevil and Bullseye are on roughly equal fighting levels.  Our superhero’s a much better martial artist while Bullseye has the superpower to never miss his target with whatever he happens to throw (I know he’s officially non-powered, but we can all agree that his crazy aim is a skeptical stretch even for a universe where everyone fights crime in pajamas).  Most importantly, Bullseye goes off an a long rant mid-fight, which I’ve always enjoyed in comics.  Just like boxers recite lengthy speeches during their fights on ESPN.  And if you want to notice the bigger difference between old Daredevil and new Daredevil, this new Daredevil really doesn’t have time for this bull anymore.  No time at all.

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Bullseye suffers from brain damage – crazy painful headaches, hallucinations, and personality shifts occur randomly.  None of which are helped by Daredevil smashing his skull through a pinball machine.  But the brain damage is at least a somewhat justified punishment for him killing people and whatnot.  On a side note, these next few pages show just how much of a superhero’s career is left to chance.  Sure, Bullseye’s crazy, but how crazy?  If Daredevil guesses wrong, he dies – and Daredevil has to guess the insanity of each new bad guy every other issue or so.  Thank goodness Daredevil’s series started selling well: superheroes make far more mistakes when their series dips in sales.

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I know you’re upset that I didn’t show you the Daredevil versus Hulk fight instead.  Mainly due to how little of a chance Daredevil has against the most powerful being in the Marvel universe.  Oh, sure, we love to watch our adorable street-level heroes fight against impossible odds, but there’s nothing more foolish than Daredevil whacking the Hulk in the nose.  It can’t harm him and the Hulk only gets stronger with each continued blow.  But, here’s a taste.  You deserve it.

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We jump twenty issues next time to the mid-Frank Miller era!

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3 Comments on “Daredevil vs. Bullseye”

  1. Js says:

    If you look at this story on it’s own, it’s fantastic. I love Daredevil, the way he works as a lighthearted adventurer, or a grim urban vigilante (although too far in either direction and he becomes a bore).

    The problem comes when you look at these characters in context of the entire Marvel Universe. Black Widow, for example, is an Avenger, has fought super powered villains, aliens, monsters, and so on. Here, however, she is getting more than a handful of hurt by street level mob goons. Now it could be that Bullseye is just that dangerous (he certainly was in the Dark Reign era) or that this is a case of writers playing with power levels.

    You see this all the time in Star Trek and comics in general. In one episode the Enterprise blows up planets like blowing out birthday candles, in another, they say all their weapons combined can’t clear the snow off the driveway. Or like in the old Iron Man cartoon, where his friend/love interest was Julia Carpenter aka:Spider Woman. There is one episode where she spends a lot of time hanging off a cliff calling for help…. the woman who can walk up walls effortlessly needs help to get off a ledge. Yeah.

    So here we are with Widow getting thumped on and used as bait for the male protagonist. At least when she gets a chance, she frees herself and takes on 20 thugs all on her own, so she wasn’t completely downgraded. You see a lot of cases of inconsistent power levels in comics, sometimes it’s to move a story along, sometimes it’s just lazy writing. I am still trying to decide which this is.

    • Agreed. The Black Widow is a spy / assasin who was extensively trained by the Soviet Union, an expert at numerous forms of armed & unarmed combat who is in peak physical condition, with many years of experience under her belt. In other vwords, she is one of the most dangerous people in the Marvel universe. Natasha should have done much better against Bullseye.


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