Comics I Shouldn't Own, Part 5:
Daredevil #305: "Under the Knife" and
Daredevil #306: "Emergency Procedure"
D.G. Chichester, though... this was my first exposure to Daredevil. I paid money for these two comics, as well as several around them. And attempting to read this terrible dialogue and captions filled with purple prose — "Life is horribly cheap in the big city... but someone's found a way of turning a profit by selling the parts wholesale. Inside, something tears loose at the tragedy of it all. Inside, something begins to twist and rage..." — makes me wonder why I haven't set fire to every Daredevil comic I've seen since, regardless of writer.
The woman on the cover who looks like Judy Garland by way of ER starring Silver Sable is... jeezus, I don't even want to type this out. She's... gah... "Surgeon General." And what she does, see, she seduces guys in clubs using sub-Elimidate level dialogue, lures them back to bare apartments, and cuts out their organs to sell on the black market. And for this she gets called "Surgeon General"? I could see "Cutress," maybe, or perhaps "Transplantra" might have made more sense.
DD finds one of her victims on a park bench, fights off some thugs, and takes the guy to the ER. Then he gets the bright idea to use Peter Parker, Spider-Man, as bait, since Transplantra likes the athletic types. Being married and not much of a jerk, Peter resists the idea, but eventually concedes, going to clubs, hitting on women who somehow don't notice his 1970s pornstar moustache, waiting for his Spider-Sense to kick in when Judy comes near. She does, and she and Peter Porner head for the roof. While Peter has his back turned, she goes behind the bar that's on the roof and changes into her scrubs, complete with knock-out gas tank on her back and a bandolier full of syringes and test tubes.
And this is pretty much the problem, right here. Well, other than Daredevil just throwing Peter off the roof to "safety," and managing to get slashed and gassed by this woman after having spent years fighting things like huge groups of ninjas and his psycho hosebeast assassin girlfriend. No, the problem is, in superhero comics, you can't have a serial killer — or, as Doc Dorothy is called, a "serial attacker" — that just, y'know, kills people. You gotta dress up like an overachieving internist if you want to slash people in the MU. Even Batman, with his flamboyant rogue's gallery, has one just-plain-crazy serial killer, that Mr. Zsasz guy who cuts himself every time he offs somebody.
Did I mention this woman's real name is "Angeline Kutter"?
So, that's issue #305. What happens in #306? More running around and fighting, really. All with fabulous Scott McDaniel early 1990s art. It's a good indication of why he switched to a darker, more stylized form of art shortly hereafter: people with bad anatomy look better grimacing in the dark.
Two things confuse me about these comics: 1) Just how the hell do Spider-Man's "spider-tracers" work? Those little red spider-shaped things? He picks up on 'em with his "spider-sense," but... does that mean there's something dangerous to him in there? Maybe a picture of him and Flash Thompson, ah... studying? And B) Why the fuck does it take TWO ISSUES for Spider-Man and Daredevil to stop what's basically a grumpy, stabby nurse? And they really don't do much of anything to stop her; she accidentally cuts her own wrist while attempting to rage on Daredevil with a scalpel and... that's it. She drops to her knees, asks what she's done, says she feels cold, and... it's over. All that after two issues, from two guys who've fought hordes of ninjas — ninjas, I might add, who carry swords much bigger than scalpels — and nutjobs in fright masks with exploding pumpkins.
BONUS "WHAT ELSE WAS MARVEL PUBLISHING AT THIS TIME" TIDBIT: "Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book" by Evan Dorkin, that's what. Perhaps the only decent thing published by Marvel that whole year, it only lasted 12 issues. I have a complete run that I bought as they were published, and a near-complete back-up set that I got in the quarter bin a couple of years ago. This is the same shop I bought the Bill and Teds from initially, all those years ago, just with a different owner. So in a way I reunited them with their brothers. Slave Labor Graphics will be reprinting "Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book" in a couple of trade paperbacks sometime soon. I suggest you all keep an eye out.