Classic Comic Cover Corner – Daredevil #88

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Daredevil #88 – June, 1972

Cover Art by Gil Kane

Daredevil #88 – June, 1972
Daredevil #88 – June, 1972

The trailer for the upcoming Marvel/Netflix series, Daredevil, hit the interwebs this last week; and the week before that it was announced that the tenth Doctor Who, David Tennant, would be playing the evil-doer, Zebediah Killgrave (AKA the Purple Man), in the Marvel/Netflix A.K.A. Jessica Jones series. But did you know that Purple Man was a villain in the Daredevil comics long before Jessica Jones was even born?

“Killgrave, the Unbelievable Purple Man” first appeared in a Stan Lee penned story in Daredevil #4 (October, 1964), making him one of the first baddies that DD (or just “D” at the time) ever went up against. This was back when “The Man Without Fear” was so fearless that he had no problem wearing bright yellow tights.

Daredevil #4 - October, 1964
Daredevil #4 – October, 1964
– cover art by Jack Kirby

The Purple Man seems a rather off-the-wall choice for a villain to bring into the live-action Marvel universe. A special chemical has turned is skin purple and makes it emit pheromones that allow him to control the actions of others. (I believe the same thing happens if you drink too much grape Kool-Aid.)

Killgrave doesn’t show up in the Jessica Jones universe until 2003, in a popular Brian Michael Bendis storyline called, “Purple” (see Alias #24), where Matt Murdock (Daredevil) also makes an appearance. The good news is that Marvel appears to be actively weaving the Daredevil and A.K.A. Jessica Jones series together. Let’s just hope that the Purple Man doesn’t come off too goofy.

So what does our featured cover, Daredevil #88, have to do with any of this? Well, not much, other than it pits the Purple Man against DD and it has some extremely cool artwork by the legendary Gil Kane. The Gerry Conway story, “Call Him Killgrave,” also stars the Black Widow, who was a featured player in the Daredevil comics back in the seventies. I wonder if we’ll see Scarlett Johansson making an appearance in the Daredevil’s Netflix series at some point. [Fingers crossed.]

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