Monday, 19 December 2011

Who is Daredevil's greatest ever foe?

Daredevil #100, Daredevil swing around, in front of a gallery of his greatest foes
Steve Does Comics' endless quest to find the greatest super-villain of them all moves on, as its ghastly gaze settles on the man they call Horn Head.

Clearly, when it comes to villains, Daredevil's always had a blatant problem.

He doesn't really have any super-powers.

It's true he has heightened senses but, for the most part they've barely done more than compensate for him being blind. This has often meant the quality of foe he can be pitted against hasn't always been up to that of Marvel's other crime-fighters, and the man without fear's often found himself in two, or even three, part epics trying to overcome foes Spider-Man could defeat in a single panel.

Sometimes this weakness has become an asset. Daredevil #7, where he found himself getting flattened for page after page by the Sub-Mariner, made his physical feebleness into a selling point, demonstrating his never-say-die spirit in the face of hopeless odds. It's easy to be heroic when you're Superman. It's a whole lot more impressive when you're just some bloke.

However, despite all this, Daredevil still managed to acquire a villain's gallery of his own. Among others, the comic gave us the Owl, Stilt-Man, the Jester, Man-Bull and Mr Fear. Later on, the Kingpin was drafted in from The Amazing Spider-Man, and, of course, the strip eventually gave us a Bullseye deadlier than Jim Bowen could ever have envisaged.

Personally I've always had a soft spot for the Gladiator - mostly for the basic nastiness of his weaponry. But ultimately, when it comes to my favourite, I think I have to go for Death-Stalker. This is probably down to my long-standing desire to be the Shadow and run around in a big hat, laughing for no reason.

But of course, what I think doesn't matter. What matters is what you think. So, nominate your favourite Daredevil villain and, as always, in a couple of days' time I'll construct a poll from your nominations.

Then at last the world shall decide just who is Daredevil's greatest ever foe.

14 comments:

Dougie said...

I always liked it when DD was up against someone in, say, Captain Marvel's league: for example, Terrex or Damon Dran the Indestructible Man (a villain who rhymes and is alliterative!). But my real answer has to be Mr. Fear, Anthony Perkins look-a-like Zoltan Drago.

Bear Boy said...

After the Iron Man poll it can only be Man Bull - Gene Colan-drawn ferocity at its most visceral.

Kid said...

The Kingpin. Yeah, I know he started out as Spidey's foe, but he became as much a thorn in the side for ol' DD too.

Anonymous said...

I would say it would be between The Kingpin and Bullseye but I always had a soft spot for Mr Fear and the Gladiator - McScotty

Boston Bill said...

I know the winner will be Kingpin. Miller was dead right when he dropped him into DD's book - he was perfect as Hornhead's nemesis.
But my favorite was always the Death Stalker (Steve, your taste in baddies is FANTASTIC)! That guy scared the bejeezus out of me when I was a kid. And Daredevil always seemed to be at his best when faced against a super-powered villain.

Monoid One said...

Stiltman. No question.

Ade Salmon said...

Gladiator of course!

Monoid One said...

Facetiousness aside, it's gonna be the Kingpin. I just get easily distracted by some of the gloriously underpowered Silver Age villains DD had to face...

Don Hudson said...

Kingpin for sure.

Ade Salmon said...

Always see Kingpin as a Spiedy villian but then I might be talking Man Bull. :)

R. W. Watkins said...

For me, it's easily the Mandrill.

Comics have been often criticised in recent decades for producing stories where heroes and villains are often indistinguishable from one another. I think it was during the early to mid '70s that we saw the introduction of characters who were the first clear examples of that. With his psychotic approach to the world, the Punisher quickly comes to mind on the crime-fighter side of the fence. Similarly, the Mandrill made a life of crime and government overthrow look undeniably sexy.

The Mandrill and Nekra and their female army in Nos 110-112, adrift over New York in their huge dirigible of a compound--it was like the Manson Family taken to new heights (literally). The way Gene Colan drew the muscular Mandrill bounding about the balloon--it was like Jim Morrison strutting about on stage at the Hollywood Bowl. And don't forget that huge shrine to Mandrill with the fire bowl in its lap!

Oh, the virility! And half-naked women everywhere! 'Mummy, I want to be a murderous sociopath of a womaniser when I grow up!'

Doug said...

No love for Leap Frog or the Ani-Men, huh?

I always thought Gladiator was very appealing visually.

My favorite DD story from the last '70's was the Cobra/Mr. Hyde tussle in the rooftop jungle.

But I'd overall have to go with the Kingpin.

Doug

Steve W. said...

Thanks for all your suggestions. The poll's now up, so nominations are now closed. :)

Steve W. said...

Oops! Sorry, Doug. For some reason your comment turned up in the blog's spam folder. All fixed now. :)

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