Friday, July 11, 2014

Three big D's would be too many for a logo, I think...


Depending on who you ask, the former Shocker Toys GBJR Toys may be getting some figures out soon. At one point, they were going to put out a series of Golden Age figures based on public domain characters like the Black Terror and the pre-Marvel Daredevil. So, I was excited to take a look at Dynamite's version of the character, the Death-Defying 'Devil #1, plot and art direction by Alex Ross, plot and script by Joe Casey, art by Edgar Salazar. With nine variant covers! The "'Devil" may be to differentiate him, or abbreviate from "Daredevil," I suppose.

This was a spin-off/follow-up to the earlier Project Superpowers, which apparently was required reading, since this issue doesn't spell it all out for you. A number of super-heroes, like the Black Terror and Green Lama, had recently returned after disappearing decades prior; and an older man is appalled that one of them is wearing a costume he recognizes. It's implied the older man was one of the 'Devil's band of kid sidekicks during the war; he also looks like an angry Don Rickles.

As the older man takes steps towards taking down the 'Devil, the titular character is fighting the terrorist organization known as the Claw. Their operatives seem to come from anywhere and everywhere, and may in fact be brainwashed or mind-controlled puppets of something bigger. As the 'Devil and French agent Justine Boulet (who may not have been referred to by name this issue...) question a Claw soldier, the 'Devil is attacked by the Dragon, who wears a costume and wields a boomerang very much like the 'Devil's. But unlike the 'Devil, the Dragon won't shut up, while the 'Devil is unable or unwilling to speak. It's implied (or maybe a red herring!) that the Dragon is the older man, intent on revenge against someone he thinks is an impostor.

Even going in cold, I didn't think this first issue was too bad; but the next two fell into the trap of trying to introduce too many characters quickly, with the Silver Streak and the Ghost. (Not any of the Ghosts you're probably thinking of!) I know Erik Larsen did a version of the character as well in Savage Dragon...but I couldn't tell you which, if either, were closer to the Daredevil's original stories and characterization. Still kinda want that figure, though...

2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Ha ha, evil Don Rickles. Wasn't Don Rickles always evil? ;)

I've got most of the "seasons" of Project Superhero, and even the spin-off, Black Terror mini-series in trade. This one looks pretty damn interesting though. Did they ever explain whether or not this was the real 'Devil or not?

googum said...

They don't in the three issues I found; DDD is Johnny Tightlips the whole time.

I think there's some more "Golden Age" figures on Kickstarter right now--Black Terror, Stardust, Daredevil--but they're 4.5 inch or something. Good intent, but not for me.