cyberghostface: (Sandor)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily

'Golden Age' is one of my favorite arcs from Bendis' and Maleev's run on Daredevil. It's just a great combination of writing from Bendis and art from Maleev. It's also largely a stand-alone story so you just need to be familiar with the basic concept of Daredevil being outed as Matt Murdock and later declaring himself the 'Kingpin' of Hell's Kitchen.

First up though is #65, which was a self-contained anniversary issue with different artists. It's double-sized. Basically it's a series of vignettes that show how the Marvel Universe reacted to Matt's outing at various points throughout Bendis's run.

First artist is Michael Golden.

Now it's P. Craig Russell.

Finally Chris Bachalo.

Now we can get to 'Golden Age', starting with #66...

We're introduced to Alexander Bont, who was the Kingpin before the Kingpin.

We see Bont as a young thug during the 1940s. A diamond trade goes wrong when an old superhero from that era busts it up. Bont escapes with the diamonds to his girlfriend, only to find out that his boss has been arrested by the feds.

We now see years later a yellow-suited Daredevil roughing up some of Bont's men at a diner.

Daredevil tells Bont he's lying. When Bont asks him to prove it, Daredevil tells him he already has. At that point, the feds come in and arrest Bont.

I really loved how Maleev used different art styles and textures to represent different periods in comics. It's one of those things that shows how unique the comic is as an art form and medium.

Back in the modern age, Bont is adjusting to a world that has changed in his absence. His restaurant is now gone and has been replaced with a video store. He waits outside Nelson & Murdock where Matt is being swamped by the press over the Kingpin allegations with a grimace on his face.

Bont then visits one of his old pals.

#67 opens up with Matt in a bit of a pickle.

Bont, out on parole, pays a visit to Melvin Potter, the Gladiator. The Gladiator has worked for him in the past, and he wants him to get Daredevil.

We once again flashback to Bont in the 40s, where we see him rising up the ranks of organized crime when he and his men are ambushed by the Defender, an old Golden Age hero. Bont makes his name by shooting him in the head.

Matt explains that his law firm already representing a case against Bont from some tenants whom Bont is trying to break their leases on.


Daredevil throws the Gladiator on a car in front of Bont's club. He says he's no lawyer, but this doesn't look good for his trial.
The story then takes a completely different turn with a subplot that I'm not including any of here. It's the 'origin story' of the new White Tiger, the FBI agent Angela Del Toro, niece of the original White Tiger Hector Ayala. Long story short, she comes to Matt Murdock with the White Tiger amulets that she has inherited, and Matt trains her to be a superhero. This of course takes place chronologically before Bont kidnaps him. This is my only problem with the story, and I'll go into it more later, but it's just not as interesting as the Bont storyline and it just clutters the story.


So after Matt finishes helping Angela Del Toro, he comes home to see Melvin Potter as the Gladiator sitting on his steps. He asks Matt if he remembered when he was really crazy and thought that he was an actual gladiator fighting in the coliseum.

Now at this point, Angela Del Toro comes to the rescue to save Matt. This was another problem I had with her storyline; as soon as the plotline was introduced, it was obvious that she would be the one to come to the rescue.
Anyways, as Del Toro is fighting off the Gladiator, Bont takes another MGH pill and throws Matt in a nearby store window.

Part of me of was disappointed that Bont died because Bendis had really built him to be an interesting character and foe for Daredevil. At the same time, he probably realized once he left that other writers would just forget about him, so perhaps it make sense to make his story self-contained.

Poor Melvin. To this day, we still haven't found out about his daughter. Brubaker brought him back in his run so I was expecting some sort of information, but...nothing.

Date: 2011-08-04 10:45 pm (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Heh. So KIngpin pretty much followed in Bont's footsteps. Literally.

Good story, tho again it's got flaws. Why didn't Gladiator just reveal to SHIELD he was being blackmailed? Or tell Matt?

Date: 2011-08-10 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
You know, when he was convincing Melvin to help him, he had that blue glowy eyes from the MGH he was taking--maybe that was him having persuasion powers?

Date: 2011-08-04 10:49 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
I would buy an entire issue of Captain America going up to people having tough times and like shaking them by the hand and giving them some helpful words.

Date: 2011-08-05 01:37 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
With Russel art, WHOO BOY I'd buy a dozen issues.

Date: 2011-08-05 06:08 am (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
If Cap started doing that?

Two weeks later:


Date: 2011-08-04 11:23 pm (UTC)
protogarrett: (Default)
From: [personal profile] protogarrett
Thank you for posting this series. It's really appreciated. I've never seen any of this and because of it I'm going to order the trade. =D

Date: 2011-08-05 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kd_the_movie
Jeez how old is Matt and how long has he been Daredevil (ive always assumed the modern marvel age has been going on for about 15 years)? Bont didn't look a hair over 40 when he went to jail.....musta had great plastic surgeons while he was on the outside.

Date: 2011-08-05 03:18 am (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
Don't trouble yourself with it. Aging in comic books is... a little trippy, to say the least.

Date: 2011-08-05 02:09 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
Yeah, Bendis doesn't seem to mind playing fast and loose with timelines. That's what's interesting about this arc, really. The flashbacks are not meant to be literal, considering Maleev's different styles. It's a story about a guy who lived through the superhero Golden Age, Silver Age and Modern Age.

If you look at how things look in the flashbacks, especially Fisk's West Side Story scarf, it seems like they really meant it to take place in the 1964 when DD first debuted. Without saying it, they're implying that Bont's been in prison for over 40 years and grew old in there, while the people on the outside like Gladiator and Matt have not aged because they're comic book constants.

Date: 2011-08-05 01:23 am (UTC)
ext_807024: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
If only Matt had asked Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, and Tony Stark to take it back. They could have fixed that in a second. Or he could have gone to Mephisto...

Date: 2011-08-05 03:18 am (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
Matt doesn't have anything to offer the devil. That's his problem, or he would have.

Date: 2011-08-05 03:20 am (UTC)
drmcninja: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drmcninja
For all of this, and its great, the one thing that really, REALLY gets me is how badly Melvin gets shit on. He actually reformed, went legit, got better, works hard as a normal person, and he still ends up in prison. Again. For being manipulated and blackmailed. I would love someone to come in and explain that he got let off once things were explained, but I don't think that's happened yet.

Date: 2011-08-10 05:00 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
It's very sad, but reason or not, he was aiding and abetting Bont. Hopefully, with his reasoning, he got a light sentence.

Date: 2011-08-05 04:03 am (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Some of this reminds me of DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, where Matt talks to Slade on death row (for killing Matt's father) and wants to know "who fixed things for the Fixer." The unusual part is that Slade didn't feel guilty over killing Jack Murdock, saying he deserved it for not throwing the fight.

It's downright weird that Bont, somehow, sees Matt as the bad guy here, unless its more of a Kingpin thing than a masked vigilante thing. At least it *seems* that way. Bont had to threaten to murder a four-year-old to get Melvin to help him.

Date: 2011-08-05 06:06 am (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
Good stuff!

Date: 2011-08-05 07:44 pm (UTC)
rainspirit: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rainspirit
I think the greatest thing I've gotten from these comics - comics which I'm strongly encouraged to pick up - is how, precisely, Bendis portrays Matt Murdock's character flaw.

Which is to say, putting it lightly: He'a bit of a sneak.

Guy uses his blindness to throw off the scent of other, keeps his identity secret while balancing a profitable, high-flying lawyer career (even from his comrades like Foggy, poor guy), and rubs his victories in the face of the bad guys he puts away.

He's a paragon of justice, a crime-fighter who works for the protection of innocents, but he's not a good man. He's a very conceited, very manipulative person who still manages to make and keep friends by some inner strength of character.

This is what makes the dark gritty street-level heroes what they are for me. They are deeply flawed individuals who dedicate their lives to good, even if they are just as rotten as the people they put away.

Date: 2011-08-05 07:45 pm (UTC)
rainspirit: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rainspirit
Which is to say: I love dark, gritty street-level heroes when they're well-written, and I will cherish these kinds of stories. :)

Date: 2011-08-06 09:05 pm (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
no, good call - that's what makes him an interesting character.

Date: 2011-08-10 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Totally agree--really seems to fit with the Miller interpretation of "he has all the trappings of a villain, were it not for his heart."

Date: 2011-08-06 09:04 pm (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
Good stuff - with Robert Duvall as Bont. And good call on Maleev's use of styles for the different eras, it works really well. (One thing about Maleev, though - what the heck is that pose in the last scan? Kingpin got a crick in his neck?)
ps and isn't it interesting that Chris Bachalo looks more like Mike Golden than Mike Golden does?


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