> Daredevil Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"And you want her to think that you are the Man Without Fear? All right! I will alter the costumeso that it will fit you! But, you will have to pay an extra charge!”

-- costume shop owner, to Foggy Nelson, p. 3

Foggy, you can get a store exchange on that costume, but there is no exchangefor your dignity! My god, man! What are you doing!?!?!?

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Daredevil #18
July 1966 • 20 pages

Plot: Stan Lee • Script: Denny O'Neil
Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: John Romita • Inks: Frank Giacoia

Title: “There Shall Come A Gladiator!”

Villain: Gladiator

First Appearance: Gladiator, Mr. Dunn, Joe, Chuck

Guest Appearance: Karen Page, Foggy Nelson, Mr. Dunn, Joe, Chuck

Cameo: Dr. Strange, Thor, Captain America, Dr. Doom, Iron Man (all costume mannequins in shop)

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

House Ad: Ad #1Ad #2

Synopsis: Foggy figures a good way to get Karen to decide to marry her is to carry through with a plan even he knows deep down is crazy: he wants to actually don a Daredevil costume in a bid to convince her he's really DD. He enters a seedy costume shop in a rundown part of town and is met by the surly shop-owner. Foggy tells him his plan and he agrees to craft a Daredevil costume for him, since he's too big for the one he has on hand. He tells Foggy to return later that night to pick it up. After Foggy leaves, the shop-owner punches his Daredevil mannequin in a fit of rage. He says he's always hated costumed heroes, and figures on a plan to get back at them for his perceived phoniness, a plan that will involve Foggy Nelson!

Matt sits at home, worried about where Foggy's lies about his being Daredevil will lead them. He knows that if a crime organization found out, it could mean trouble for everybody. After working out in his gym to relieve tension, he greets Foggy and Karen at the office, where Foggy insists on laying it on even thicker about possibly being Daredevil. Later that night, he makes his way to the costume shop. The place seems to be desolate, so he makes his way to the back workroom. The owner of the store hands Foggy his Daredevil costume, and then makes a strange suggestion. He says what would really impress the girl would be to see Foggy in battle as Daredevil. He offers to set up just such a staged altercation, where Foggy can beat an opponent easily. Foggy agrees to follow through with the plan.

Foggy heads home to try on his new costume. Daredevil has been tailing him, and now that he realizes he's wearing a costume just like his, he's really worried his friend has gone off the deep end. He follows him to his date with Karen, as they head off in a taxi cab, where he overhears Foggy continuing to lay it on thick, telling the driver to take him to a certain out-of-the-way location where he can take care of some "personal business." Meanwhile, the creepy store owner is nearly completed fashioning his new costume he hopes will help him expose super-heroes as costumed phonies. It comes complete with tough boots studded with blades, transistorized metal "wrist shields" that fly off at his chosen target from his wrists, and a helmet with an Oxygen Regenerator that helps him breathe in case he's under water or in a poison gas cloud. His first plan is to take on the foolish Foggy Nelson dressed in his Daredevil suit, in order to draw out the real DD. And so, he sets out on his evil mission with a new name- the Gladiator!

Meanwhile, Foggy has directed the cabbie to drop him and Karen off at a creepy place near the waterfront. Karen is frightened and the cabby thinks Foggy has lost his marbles, but Foggy insists he has important business and sends the cab away. As the fog rolls in from the water, the Gladiator stands in the distant shadows, calling out Foggy for a fight. Karen is astonished as she sees Foggy head to a secret corner and start to change into his Daredevil outfit. But for the bumbling Foggy, it takes awhile to get dressed, and then there's the problem of where to store his nice suit! As the Gladiator waits impatiently, Foggy pulls out his billy club to brandish as a weapon and finds it's made of cheap plastic. Daredevil has arrived and after witnessing all this unfold can only deduce that it's a set-up by Foggy. He figures he'll stand back and watch....

Foggy lumbers toward the Gladiator, who bats him down with a swipe of his fist. As he stands over Foggy's unconscious body, she shrieks and runs away in a bid to find help. The Gladiator sees her and chases after, when the real Daredevil leaps down from above, knocking him to the ground. Still thinking it's Foggy, the Gladiator continues the fight as Karen finds some patrolman and tells them about the events that have just unfolded. One patrolman takes Karen back to the law office, while the other goes to investigate. The real Daredevil and the Gladiator continue their fierce fight on the docks, and their momentum carries them overboard into the water, where Gladiator and his helmet have the advantage!

Karen makes her way into the safety of the office, hoping Matt will be there. While she's there, the landlord Mr. Dunn enters the office. As he tells her they are behind on their rent, she faints, and he calls a doctor.

Back at the brawl, Daredevil realizes the Gladiator isn't losing strength underwater as fast as he is, so he goes limp and starts doing some yoga breathing techniques in hopes he can outlast the villain's suffocating grip. Gladiator lets go of him and heads to the dock, sure that he has defeated Foggy Nelson, aka Daredevil! But DD swims back to the surface, ready for more fighting. He leaps up with a surprise attack for Round 2. His quick attack causes the Gladiator to grow frustrated, and he launches himself at DD with his razor wrist shields bared. DD jumps below his attack and comes up quick with an arm to his exposed neck, knocking the Gladiator out for good.

Through the thick fog, he hears a couple policeman in the vicinity. He decides to be discreet and head out, and the cops stumble onto the Gladiator's passed out body and see Foggy wandering around dazed in his DD suit. They tell "Daredevil" that he did a good job taking care of the bad guy. They tell him that Karen has gone home, and Foggy continues his ruse, telling them he's going to continue his patrol as Daredevil. The cops and Gladiator both are sure that Foggy is really Daredevil, even though he's so obviously "flabby."

Daredevil has grown furious with Foggy's continued attempts at the Daredevil ruse and is determined to do something about it.

--synopsis by Gormuu

--panel images provided by Avengers Assemble

--letter pages and house ads provided by Aussie Stu

Issues Reprinted
Daredevil #12-21

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


DD #12

DD #13

DD #14

DD #15

DD #16

DD #17

DD #18

DD #19

DD #20

DD #21


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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