Monday, February 13, 2012

Burying Children With Daredevil

My earliest memory of Daredevil is also one of my most disturbing childhood comic book memories (on par with the clown that killed a child in a Charlton book), and it set me on course as a lifelong fan of the series.  The issue in question was 130, and it was a tale that dealt with voodoo.

I don't think I have the issue anymore, and I really don't remember much about it, but there is one scene (a panel, really) that stands out in my memory.  I don't remember what lead up to it, but that doesn't really matter, the end result was a close up panel of a young African-American boy buried up to his neck in the dirt, mouth open in sobs and tears coming from his eyes.

It was the mid-Seventies when this came out.  I was young.  Maybe between five and seven.  Possibly a bit older.  Either way, it didn't matter.  This image has stuck with me for decades.  I'm sure I bought the issue (or had my father buy it) because of the cover, but that was nothing compared to the inside horror of a child buried alive.

Voodoo was big in America at that time thanks to Live and Let Die and an interest in all things "occult."  To find it covered in comic books is no real surprise.  Daredevil was a mainstream title, though, put out by one of the two big publishers.  To find that sort of image still strikes me as odd.  I don't remember any other comics from Marvel or DC pulling off something quite like that.

I still read Daredevil today, but there has not been a panel to compare with that one.  Writers and artists have come and gone.  There's been great storylines and forgettable ones.  But that single panel has managed to worm its way deep inside my mind and has never left.  That's quite an accomplishment considering all the horrific things I've seen and read.  Kudos to the creators of this for creating something so powerful.  Unfortunately, the fact that I can't remember who they were or what the story was about doesn't speak well to the rest of the issue, but if success were based on a single panel alone, I'd have to say they were the most successful team in comics.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive this issue for free, and if you click on a link I may earn a commission.