Wednesday, July 1, 2015


It's been a banner week for progressive legislation in the US, so please accept my apologies for starting this one off with an image of Daredevil in full-on white bodypaint lynching a black man all up in your face.

The objectionable image ran without much concern or cataclysm on the cover of Daredevil vol.1 No.311 (December 1992) as the second part of a two-part adventure in which Daredevil battles a Haitian voodoo queen and part-time slaver, Calypso. That no one seemed particularly irked by the cover may be the benefit of the fact that it debuted in the dawning days of the heavily cross-hatched 1990s where it was difficult to tell the genuinely offensive from the merely incompetent.

It's a good look.
In fact, the subsequent letter columns celebrated the issue unconditionally, so I guess that ought to be the next bold new direction.

In any case, the story, in a nutshell - just to gauge if it justifies that cover image: Calypso is a patois-slinging Haitian hounganette (I'm sorry, I legit don't know if there are gender variants for Houngan or not. Maybe she's a Hounganienne. Maybe Houngans are default female and male houngans are just Hougs or something. I'm sorry, I'm rambling. I got a lot of space to fill on this one). Her primary goals appear to be (A) turning peeps into zombies and (B) using them to get more peeps to turn into zombies.

The zombies are then shipped around as slave labor, which is also a very good topic for a book which has a cover featuring the lead character strangling a black man. In the meantime, Marvel's one Afro-Caribbean superhero, Brother Voodoo, makes an appearance which is about 90% making fun of him and then 10% of him just yelling at Daredevil and offering no help whatsoever. Another mighty Marvel team-up!

Well, at least he's being treated with dignity.
Anyway, Daredevil breaks the zombie spell by force-of-will and by drenching his panels in faux noir shadows, which is the antidote to zombies. It attracts ninjas, though.

Shorter summary: The Daredevil title was going through one of its regular post-Miller/"This guy is the NEW Miller" slumps which plagued the book since Miller wrapped up his original run and Born Again. Rank this two-parter as better than Micah Synn but worse than the one where Stilt-Man tries to steal a bunch of bacon grease.

So, in conclusion --- no, this comic should not have had a white guy strangling a black man with a rope on it, thank you.

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