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Happy Deconstructed Heroes Day!

Both the Spider-man and Daredevil titles are restarted.

But first! One last team-up, wherein Daredevil becomes RoboDevil and looks kind of like this guy.

1998. Amazing Spider-man 438, vol 1. (7 pages from 24 page story) Writer: Tom DeFalco. Artists: Scott Kolins, Gary Martin.

The Spiderfan review is here. It calls this issue empty filler, and it is. The reboot is on it's way and everything is ramping up to John Byrne's epic reimagining of the Spider-man universe in Chapter One! The editors are barely paying attention to DeFalco's sneaky ongoing storyline about a missing May (but they did notice eventually, and changed it at the last minute to Aunt May).

So...just another day in the life story.

Synario, holographic illusionist, robbed a bank earlier despite Spider-man's best efforts. When the game company she's working for hires attorney Matt Murdock to secures rights away from the employees of all their work, she goes out and, in a rage, attacks the first hero she sees.

The game company owner who so enraged Sinario has become suspicious! He attacks her in an effort to take her technology--after all, if she made it while working for the company, the rights to it belong to him!

The Gathering of the Five story followed shortly after.

Nov 1998. Kevin Smith starts Daredevil issue one, volume two! Joe Quesada on art!

Nothing really changed. Kevin Smith thought they were still friends and wrote them that way.

Jan 1999. Amazing Spider-man 1, vol 2. Writer: Howard Mackie. Artists: John Byrne, Rafael Kayanan, Scott Hanna, Jimmy Palmiotti.

Everything is different! Peter Parker isn't Spider-man anymore! Aunt May isn't dead anymore! Peter isn't poor, because Mary Jane makes lots of money modeling, so they're living in a penthouse! And he finally gets a job working as a scientist!

Where I give Byrne and Mackie props--they restore the neglected friendship between Peter and the Human Torch. This issue has a nice reminder that these two also used to meet regularly and have a 'spot' that's theirs. If you didn't think they were friends, the Torch leaves a message written across the sky of New York in flaming letters to let everyone know.

But Daredevil is treated as just a colleague.

No real emotion there. Since I've already posted a Mackie-written Spidey/DD story, I blame Byrne for this. Not that he hasn't done the duo before:

From Fantastic Four 243, vol 1. Writer: John Byrne. Artist: John Byrne. June 1982.

There's a very nice Fantastic Four appearance in Amazing Spider-man 4, vol 2., as well.

Meantime, the previously nearly idyllic period for Daredevil came to a close when his longtime girlfriend, Karen Page, is killed by Bullseye. Mysterio wove an apocalyptic scenario that nearly convinced a drugged Daredevil to kill a baby, believing it was the Anti-Christ. At the end of the story, after a truly vicious critique by Daredevil, Mysterio seems to kill himself.

While the character--or someone pretending to be him--came back later, he never dared trouble Daredevil again.

April 1999. Daredevil 8, vol 2. (4 and a half pages) Writer: Kevin Smith. Artist: Joe Quesada.

Peter and Mary Jane react to the news about Mysterio, while getting ready to go to Karen Page's funeral.

Whyyy is their usual place the Brooklyn Bridge?

In the end, Matt does manage to feel better, because he did do one thing right. Even though the baby isn't Jesus or the Anti-Christ, he says she IS his savior. He names her 'Karen.'

May 2001. Daredevil: Ninja 3. Writer: Brian Bendis. Artists: Rob Haynes, David Self.

An interesting addendum to the story of the baby from Kevin Smith's first arc appears in the 3-issue mini Daredevil: Ninja. In it, Matt discovers that his old mentor, Stick, was the reincarnation of an ancient hero of Japan, Yamato-Takeru, who wielded a sword nicknamed 'Grasscutter' that had a legendary importance similar to Excaliber with Britain. The Hand and the Chaste (Stick's group) have been warring over who gets to control the soul of the wielder and the sword (according to Real Life, it's in the Japanese emperor's regalia).

'Stick' was a joking reference to the sword. Stick's old staff, formerly held in sword stand, is stolen and replaced with Daredevil's blind man's cane (which is secretly a weapon).

The story is confusing and full of lies, betrayals, and in the end after a clash between Hand and Chaste at the airport, Matt is left standing alone, wondering what happened.

Here he's looking at his memorial wall.

In the issue's epilogue, the Chaste manages to get control of Stick's new incarnation. 'He' is a now a baby girl, named Karen.

Previous parts of series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14

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