Retroactive: Legends of the Dark Knight 1991 & Daredevil 1990

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My Favourite Covers

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Okay, so our journey through the past is complete for this week but which covers reign supreme?

For Legends of the Dark Knight, the crown goes to: Legends of the Dark Knight #18. What is going on here? Batman sits dejected in his chair, his cowl and cape placed off to the side revealing a mighty beard on his face. He is obviously troubled as is evident by his posture but the reason  why looks to be traced to what he is pouring out of a bottle beside him: strength-enhancing Venomous drugs. How do the drugs and Batman connect with one another though? And what about this passage of time, this inactivity by the Dark Knight? If Batman was going out every night he wouldn’t have let his beard grow out like that. If Bruce Wayne was still a public figure he wouldn’t be caught dead looking like that. No it appears that he’s been neglecting his duties and this fact is backed up by the various cobwebs strew about the cover. What would drive Batman to abandon his crusade? What would drive him into isolation? That question rattles around in our heads but what truly captures our attention is the overall dramatic scene playing out before our eyes, a scene that is accentuated by the stark white background, and a scene that will stay with us long after the issue has been read.lotdk18


For Daredevil, the title goes to: Daredevil #287. “And in this corner…Daredevil.” At least that is what the title says but Matt Murdock appears to be foregoing his heroic alter ego much to everyone’s surprise to take part in a boxing match though he can never be seen as a normal boxer due to his lack of “sight.” So what does Matt do? Well he dons a red blindfold and enters into the ring anyways, something that would surely give his opponents a false sense of security. Besides the awesome shot of Murdock standing stoic in the ring, I love a few other elements of this cover. I love the angle utilized, how it creates the illusion that we are a bystander to the action peering though the ropes. I also love the use of the all-black background which adds to the gravitas of the cover while causing the whole image to pop off the page. Adding all those elements together combined with the giant question of why Matt is becoming a boxer in the first place and we get a cover that delivers the knockout blow to all the others to emerge as the undisputed champion. DD287

So that’s it for this week. Agree/Disagree? Which covers are your personal favourites from this week? Comment below!

13 thoughts on “Retroactive: Legends of the Dark Knight 1991 & Daredevil 1990

  1. I really like Legends of the Dark Knight # 23. First of all, Batman has impossibly hypertrophic muscles and a creatively drawn mantle: thanks to these 2 marvellous details, this cover immediately caught my attention.
    And then I looked all around Bruce, and I noticed another highly eye – pleasing artistic choice: a wonderful flaming sky. The contrast between the warm colours of the background and the cool colours of Batman’s costume is another huge plus of this cover.
    And then I gave Bruce a second look, and I noticed that he’s armed. I’ve always hated people who say “Superhero can’t be armed, because it’s morally harmful”: superheroes fight crime, they have to face a lot of evil people who are armed to the teeth, so there’s nothing strange or wrong if superheroes use some weapons instead of their bare hands. By putting a bat into Bruce’s hands, the cover artist metaphorically kicked those moralists in the shins, and I appreciated it so much that I could give this cover the gold medal for this reason alone.
    As for Matt, I pick Daredevil # 284. First of all, the scene is set in a murky blind alley, which is one of my favorite settings in superhero comics.
    Secondly, the tagline is so enticing that it would make you buy the issue alone. “Who is the man in black?” It’s a very simple question, but the answer is so unpredictable that you really can’t prevent yourself from putting your hands on the issue the second you read it.
    And then you look under the feet of the man in black, and you notice a newspaper putting another very enticing question: “Where is Daredevil?” This marvellous detail helps building an even more mysterious atmosphere, so it perfectly matches with the tagline I praised before.
    I also love the golden light thrown upon the wall, the way black and blue are combined on the pants of the villain, the way he impends over Matt… yes, this cover definitely deserves the first place crown.

    • “And then I gave Bruce a second look, and I noticed that he’s armed.”
      And he’s armed with a bat…with a bat logo. What do you call it? The Bat? Or the Bat-bat? 🙂

      “And then I looked all around Bruce, and I noticed another highly eye – pleasing artistic choice: a wonderful flaming sky.”
      I also love the bats flying around in the background as well as his flowing cape. A terrific image though I have to give my runner-up award to LOTDK #14. Batman laying helpless in the corner, guns drawn on him. It isn’t until we look at the shadows on the walls that we realize these are not criminals chasing him down but police officers. Holy misunderstanding, Batman!

      “As for Matt, I pick Daredevil # 284.”
      And this is my 2nd place winner for the very reasons you so eloquently listed.

      Thanks, as always, for sharing your selections!

      • “A terrific image though I have to give my runner-up award to LOTDK #14.” My runner – up is issue # 24, because it’s the second Bat – comic book I’ve ever read. The first one was Batman Adventures # 22.
        I also remember my first and second Spider – comics: the first one was a trade collecting all the issues of Maximum Carnage, and the second one was a reprint of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider – Man Vol. 1 # 48.
        By the way, are you watching Longmire? I love this series so much that I wrote a post about it.
        “Thanks, as always, for sharing your selections!” Thank you as well for your compliments and for your reply! : )

  2. Really like LODK #16 were Batman is walking through this tunnel, lantern in hand, swathed in dark shadows. Its very creepy and seems even more menacing because the Dark Knight it underground. I also think Daredevil #279 is another great cover to feature Mephisto. Here the demon holds DD and his friends and they tumble from his grasp towards the flames. I really like this version of Mephisto it makes him seem even more demonic and sinister. I also like how he doesn’t seem too have any eyes, perhaps his demonic sense are heightened like Daredevil own vision?

    • “Really like LODK #16 were Batman is walking through this tunnel, lantern in hand, swathed in dark shadows.”
      This was my third place winner. LOTDK sure has had some beautiful covers so far. It keeps getting harder and harder to pick just one.

      “I also think Daredevil #279 is another great cover to feature Mephisto.”
      That’s it. Any cover with Mephisto and Daredevil on the same cover is assured Paul Bowler’s #1 pick. 🙂

      Thanks for providing your choices! Much appreciated.

      • I remember seeing issue #15 on the shelf and thinking the cover was really cool. I was buying Marvel books almost exclusively at the time. But that one really caught my eye. I bought #16, which was the first issue of the Venom arc and I was hooked. These days I have the first 30 or so issues of LOTDK. The origin story from the Shaman arc is definitely my favorite telling of the tale. Just a very unique take.

        • Thanks for the share. I haven’t actually read too many issues from the LOTDK series but I’ve heard nothing but positives about those early issues. Maybe one day I’ll be able to track down some of them and experience them for myself. 🙂

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