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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Badass Panels, Volume Seven: Daredevil #276

So here's how awesome the Ann Nocenti/John Romita Jr. run on Daredevil is: There's an issue where Daredevil spends twenty-two pages doing nothing but laying around in a park and fighting a murderous vacuum cleaner.

It happens during "Inferno," along with some other great moments, and it's great. And it's not just that I long to see super-heroes engaging in life-or-death struggles against household appliances either--although really, who doesn't? See, in what may be the only case of this happening ever, Nocenti and JR Jr. did some of their best work during company-wide crossovers.

And that's what brings us to tonight's subject, from a little thing you might have heard of called ACTS OF VENGEANCE!

Here's how it all goes down: Due to the evil machinations of Loki, a bunch of super-villains get together and decide to fight people that aren't their arch-enemies (leading to great stuff like Magneto taking on the Red Skull and leaving him buried alive), and Daredevil gets stuck with none other than Doctor Doom. This does not bode well.

And what bodes even worse is that Doom decides to show the Kingpin how to send an assassin after somebody, and delegates his task to ULTRON, THE GENOCIDAL ADAMANTIUM ROBOT, who, if you'll remember from all those times he smacks Thor and Iron Man around, tends to be just slightly out of Daredevil's league.

Even better, Doom decides that the only way to focus Ultron's tendencies to exterminate the Human Race onto one man is to merge all twelve of his previous personalities (including the relatively benevolent Ultron 12), thus creating a robot that's even crazier than normal, what with all the voices in his head and the engaging in robotic mysticism by buliding a sacred mound out of his own discarded heads.

Yes, dear reader, that is awesome.

Fortunately for Daredevil, kicking it in upstate New York for the duration of the story, he has some backup.

Unfortunately, said backup consists of two Inhumans and a woman in what may be the worst exercise outfit in the history of comics:

Meet Number Nine, a genetically modified "perfect woman" with the fashion sense of, well, a blind ninja acrobat, which I imagine is the foundation of her relationship with Daredevil. Her turn-ons include jogging, a good sense of humor, and having existential debates about the nature of freedom with schizophrenic robots. Turn-Offs: Being ritualistically murdered by same.

Ultron takes quite a liking to her when she stumbles on his meditations amidst a circle of Ultron-Heads mounted on stakes, and after smacking Gorgon and Karnak around for a little bit, grabs her and starts hiking up the ersatz mountain, all the while trading thoughts on philosophy and how he'll reach perfection once he gets to the top, at which time he can then go back to killing Daredevil.

Daredevil, meanwhile, does not intend to take this lightly, and decides that desperate times call for awesome measures:

Just so we're clear on this, that is a blind man driving a truck up a mountain of robot heads. Clearly, there can be but one outcome.

Needless to say, driving a truck into Ultron doesn't exactly cause as much damage as Daredevil would've liked, and neither do the combined attacks of Gorgon and Karnak, two of Attilan's mightiest warriors. Therefore, it all comes down to this.

But how, I ask you, how could Daredevil possibly stop a robot that has stood up to the mighty hammer of Thor himself?

Answer: In the most badass way possible.

Oh snap.

Wait for it...


Seriously, unless you're a professional shark wrangler, a blind ninja lawyer picking up a branch and hitting a genocidal robot so hard that his head gets knocked off is probably the toughest thing you'll see today.

More Panel-by-Panel Badassery:
| Volume One: Captain America #194 |
| Volume Two: Ode to Punching |
| Volume Three: The Question #2 |
| Volume Four: Impulse #3 |
| Volume Five: Batman Adventures #3 |
| Volume Six: Iron Man #200 |


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beheading Ultron with a stick, and so causing him to reference John Lennon's experiments in musique concrete.

Yes, awesome.

5/31/2006 3:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, so what happens to the chick?

5/31/2006 3:59 AM

Blogger Brett said...

One of my favorite comic badass moments was watching Mark Trail down a plane with a stck, but I have to admit that beheading Ultron with a stick is in a different league. Pretty cool, thanks fcr that.

5/31/2006 7:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was one of my earliest Daredevil comics, and hot damn, did it ever make me want to read more. You totally left out the part, though, about Ultron being so goddamned crazy he originally tries to rip his OWN HEAD OFF before Daredevil um... "assists" him.

5/31/2006 8:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless I miss my guess, the Nocenti/JRJR stuff has never been completely traded. Criminal!

Another high point in a run filled with 'em is when DD is depressed and drinking in a bar on Christmas Eve because all his friends are alienated or dead. His spirits are momentarily raised when a hot chick hits on him, but that hot chick is really . . . MEPHISTO! I love crazy-ass Ann Nocenti.

5/31/2006 9:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people talk DD, they talk Miller, Bendis, Colan...

I talk Nocenti. God, I loved her work on the book. This story drove me nuts when I was like 11. In a good way.

5/31/2006 10:45 AM

Blogger Mark Kardwell said...

That Number Nine woman has as much stubble as Daredevil. That must have been... uncomfortable.

5/31/2006 12:10 PM

Blogger David Campbell said...


5/31/2006 2:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When, Marvel, are we going to see Daredevil and Tony Jaa finally team up?! WHEN?!

5/31/2006 6:18 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

That's not stubble, it's just that Number Nine is a dirty, dirty girl.

Uh, literally, I mean. She'd been out in the woods with Ultron and his Moutain of Robot Heads for a while, and I'm pretty sure there had been a few explosions by that point.

5/31/2006 9:13 PM

Blogger sean witzke said...

theres smarter things I could say, but i'll stick with DUDE!!!

5/31/2006 9:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, while the Daredevil vs. vaccuum cleaner issue admittedly is a 12 piece bucket of awesome, you gotta give it up for the "other" Inferno crossover, with the dentist, which may in fact be the most fucked-up/awesome thing ever wrought by human hands.

Bonus points because the dentist eats a truck and goes and rights Daredevil. BELIEVE IT.

6/01/2006 10:51 PM

Blogger night-of-columbus said...

Wow. I want to go find this at my LCS now.

6/03/2006 8:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot the part where Daredevil actually rips the demonic dentist's arm off and beats him to death with it. Whoo-AH!

And the next issue features Daredevil riding... wait for it... "The F Train to Hell!" Ann Nocenti is the shit.

Also, big props to her for the storyline where all of Daredevils foes are brought together by Typhoid Mary, where they commence to kick his face in. It was what, 5 years before they stole the idea and used it in Batman (Bane)?

7/20/2006 2:21 PM

Blogger Mike Haseloff said...

Hmph. Anyone got a count on how many times Daredevil has driven vehicles into his opponent?

I just took a look at DD #163, and he drove a bus into the Hulk.

Secondary mutation!!!

9/07/2006 1:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he'd only used an ammo belt to take down Ultron my life would be complete.

3/13/2007 12:59 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

#276 was my first issue of "Daredevil". I read it without the benefit of knowing who the hell the Inhumans were, or where Ultron came from, or what the Acts of Vengeance were all about. And even without that prior knowledge, the issue was one of my favorites. It's so poetic, exciting, tragic, full of pathos -- and the art is INCREDIBLE. I love the fire that emanates from Ultron. I love that huge mound of heads. It's a thing of beauty, and I was thrilled to find your blog about it. Keep up the good work.

11/07/2008 1:50 PM

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