Episode 168: Fame by Any Means (Amazing Spider-Man #19 + Daredevil #5) -- December 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss what drives superheroes. Why is Daredevil, a man without any superpowers, out there risking his life every day? Does he have a psychological problem? Is the claim that Daredevil is also the Matador legitimate? Does it just means he wants to be famous by being flashy on either side of the law? And how does this all relate to Spider-Man’s return to popularity?
Behind the issues:
The Spider-Man issue wraps up the “Spider-Man is a coward” 3-issue thread. Meanwhile in Daredevil, the first four issues of the series were drawn by a mix of different artists. Daredevil #5 marks the beginning of the “permanent” art of Wallace Wood. Daredevil’s costume is superficially the same (still the yellow-and-black), but Wallace is not afraid to make some small changes (with no in-world explanation for those changes). Wallace will soon go on to make more substantial changes, including the famous red costume in issue #7, but this is the issue where he starts testing the waters to see what he can get away with.
In these issues:
Amazing Spider-Man #19
The Daily Bugle says that Spider-Man is washed up, but he’s not. He’s out fighting crime in dynamic fashion. Meanwhile, the Human Torch is overwhelmed by Sandman and the Enforcers. Spider-Man then battles this gang of thugs but their fight is broken up when the police arrive. Eventually, Spider-Man tracks down the criminals and fights them again, freeing the Human Torch and defeating the gang.
The criminal Matador embarks on a crime spree in New York City. Daredevil takes it upon himself to track down the criminal. They fight, and the matador comes out on top. The public venerates the Matador over Daredevil even though he is clearly a criminal. In an attempt to bring him down, Matt Murdock, who is secretly Daredevil, announces that he is in fact the Matador. This leads to the Matador tracking down Matt, and meeting up with Daredevil. They fight, and Daredevil comes out on top.
Assumed before the next issues:
The public is wondering if there were wrong about Spider-Man and Daredevil and should in fact grateful to the two heroes.
This episode takes place:
After public sentiment seems to have turned in favor of Spider-Man and Daredevil. Before Daredevil’s battle with the Matador.