The big news this issue is the apparent shake-up in the creative team. I am baffled that Wally Wood is coming in as a writer here. He still does the finished art over Bob Powell's layouts but Wood pretty much takes over Stan Lee's chores, relegating Lee to the role of editor. Personally, I would have preferred if Wood just stuck to his area of expertise. He is a gifted artist. A lot of people would give a lot for his artistic talent. I know I would. Apparently Wally Wood isn't happy with just that and wants to be a complete storyteller in the mold of Byrne, Miller, Simonson, and Mignola - all of which will come after him. That's a very exclusive club and I'll tell you right now that Wood doesn't make the cut (sigh). In a less controversial change, Rosen once again takes a bow as Simek does the lettering chores.
From the start, this story is marketed as a Mystery and the mystery is finding out who the man under the hood is.
This is the main antagonist of the tale who is blandly called the Organizer. Bland mask, bland name. The story is just beginning and I'm already missing Stan Lee.
The story begins with a beautiful panel showing a helicopter approaching a prison.
It is night and we know it is night by the way the color of the sky is done. This is noteworthy because in previous issues of Daredevil I have noticed night panels erroneously colored as day panels - a bit of a reminder that these were the days when Marvel comicbooks had no editors, most likely because of cost concerns.
Looking inside the helicopter we are shown a 'blackout bomb'. The detail of this panel is pretty impressive.
The blackout bomb is dropped into the prison taking out the electricity.
'Electronic impulse'; the blackout bomb is now more commonly known as an E.M.P., an electro-magnetic pulse device.
And now we see what is apparently a stuffed toy jumping out of the helicopter.
Cat-Man comes in as DD's cutest foe to date.
As darkness descends on the prison and the inevitable riot breaks out we are shown the reason for this high-tech break-in.
Monk Keefer would eventually be known as Ape-Man.
The Organizer is behind all this, of course, and he goes on two more 'recruiting drives'.
And now we have Frog-Man and Bird-Man.
Here is the entire team under the auspices of the Organizer.
Not only does Frogman naturally look like a frog and Ape-Man an ape and so on and so forth with each team member, but they are given animal costumes. No mere decorations. These costumes give them the powers of their namesake animals.
This group will eventually be known as the Ani-Men and aside from this two-issue outing in Daredevil, they would come back to tangle with DD together with another future villain, Deathstalker. Aside from this, the Ani-Men would also be encountered by such Marvel luminaries as the X-Men, the Avengers, and the West Coast Avengers. During their various appearances there will be changes to their lineup. The treat for us is that Daredevil No. 10 is their first appearance.
The Organizer reveals his ultimate goal.
And gives each of his minions their assignments in turn.
The assignments involves robbing the government, stealing an expensive piece of jewelry, either for funding or to cause alarm, and, most bafflingly of all, erasing election records.
The Ani-Men accomplish each of their missions.
Unsurprisingly, the newspapers shout 'Crime Wave!' the next day.
Now let's look in on Nelson and Murdock.
Seems like just another day at the office except for Foggy running for D.A.. For those of us who've been following Daredevil since the beginning, a lot more is going on beneath this placid scene. Matt has just come back from his cancelled eye operation in Lichtenbad. During that interlude Foggy has been struggling with raging feelings of jealousy at the growing attraction between Karen and Matt. Last issue Foggy was looking positively villainous, which could somewhat explain his barbed remarks to Matt in the lower panels above.
With Foggy getting involved in local politics, Matt and Karen get to meet some of the faces.
Let's see: Abner Jonas for Mayor, Bernard Harris for Borough President, and Milton Monroe for Assemblyman. This shortlist is meant to be the suspects for the true identity of the Organizer. Presumably clues will be left during the rest of the tale for us to engage in some guess work.
Foggy gets reacquainted with his High School crush.
Deborah Harris could be an indication that the Nelson-Page-Murdock love triangle will soon be broken, leaving the door open for the Page-Murdock romance and an issue titled "My Boyfriend is a Devil in Bed" - what I'm hoping for. Or, more realistically, Deborah is a nefarious 'plant' meant to keep DA-hopeful Foggy Nelson in line.
As night falls on the yacht party, Matt's hypersenses get the drop on some impending plans.
At the same time it is confirmed by Matt's thought balloons that, yes, the Reform Party shortlist is also the shortlist for possible suspects for Organizer's alter ego.
Frogman tries to harpoon Abner Jonas. He is saved by Matt Murdock who promptly fake falls into the water and changes into DD.
Why does Frog-Man spear Abner Jonas? Jonas himself has a theory.
This should cross out Jonas from the list leaving Harris and Monroe as suspects.
In the meantime, under the water, we have Daredevil vs. Frog-Man.
Daredevil tries to catch Frog-Man, but like the Eel, he's too slippery to hold on to - and he has a nasty surprise.
The explosion rattles Daredevil and forces him out of the water. Another failed fight! All part of the charm of reading DD.
In the great tradition of issue No. 9 we have another cross-section. This time it is the Chemco Building. Headquarters of the Organizer.
With his grand strategy revealed the Organizer unveils his tactics
The strategy is to take over local government, the tactic is to keep hitting the Reform Party. Since the Organizer belongs to the Reform Party he's clearly doing some reverse psychology here - paint his party as the underdog, the nemesis of the criminals, and make it popular enough to win. You don't need to be the shady Organizer for that you just need a PR firm.
It's Daredevil vs. Bird-Man.
Daredevil causes Bird-Man to drop the loot.
But Bird-Man manages to escape.
All this makes Matt wonder about what the Organizer is playing at.
Much like Mr. Fear, when the Organizer becomes aware that Daredevil is interfering with his plans, he makes eliminating DD a part of his schemes. Unlike Mr. Fear who planned to deal with Daredevil directly the Organizer is more of an entrapment kind of guy.
We follow Daredevil on his rounds and we learn the name of that microphone thingy he has at the end of his billy club.
The Snooper Scope. Not much of a name. It sound like it belongs in an episode of Scooby-Doo than in a Daredevil mag.
All that snooper scoping leads Daredevil to someone trapped inside a bank vault.
The hypersenses that allowed Daredevil to work Reed Richards' rocket back to Earth in issue no. 2 also allows Matt to crack the vault. Inside. . .
Daredevil gets captured by the Ani-men.
Okay, wait, wait. Did Frog-Man say they needed DD to open the vault? But, Cat-Man was already inside the vault.
The Ani-Men leaves Daredevil. The Organizer calls the cops. The police see DD in front of an empty vault. Conclusions are made and Daredevil's heretofore good relations with the cops is shattered. The Organizer is beginning to do serious damage to DD.
In a continuing attempt to paint his party as a victim, the Organizer orders an attack on a Reform Party rally which Daredevil beats back.
In terms of protecting the rallyist this is good but the tactics of the Organizer are in no way derailed - the Reform Party still looks like a bunch of reformists under attack.
I'm surprised that Karen does like Foggy enough to be jealous of Debbie.
It looks likes the Nelson-Page-Murdock love triangle really is a love triangle.
The Organizer confirms his intent behind having the Ani-Men attack the Reform Party and reveals the next phase of his plan.
During yet another Reform Party bash a conversation between Abner Jonas and Milton Monroe is quite revealing.
I've already crossed out Jonas from my list of suspects but this puts him back in. If Jonas is the Organizer then why did Frog-Man try to spear him a while back during the attack on the yacht? That's right, can't be Jonas. Monroe is just about ready to quit; so it's not him. That leaves Bernard Harris. He's the Organizer. Plus Deborah Harris could be a relation and she's obviously keeping Foggy in line. The Organizer is Bernard Harris.
Knowing that the Reform Party is the recipient of a series of attacks, Daredevil hangs around outside the event. We are about to get some action!
Causing a blackout is getting to be a signature Ani-Men maneuver.
The objective here is to kidnap Debbie Harris.
With Debbie being so tight with Foggy this will presumably allow the Organizer to control Mr. Nelson. If the Organizer only knew that in the event of such a thing, Daredevil will defend Foggy unceasingly, he would have thought twice of this tactic.
For the second time things do not go according to plan for the Ani-Men (the first time was when Bird-Man lost the loot). In the panel above Daredevil manages to subdue and capture Cat-Man. Lawman that he is at heart, Matt doesn't take the Cat-Man to interrogate on his own, but leaves him for the authorities.
In light of recent events, the Organizer fine tunes his plan.
That the gang will turn on one of their own comes as no surprise. What is a surprise is that Debbie does not seem to be a hostage at all. Okay, that's not really a surprise either. After all, the Organizer is her father, uncle or brother.
The interrogation of Cat-Man is about to be disturbed by Ape-Man with deadly intent.
Let me just say that the level of detail of the figures inside the window is astounding.
Ape-Man's deadly intentions are, in turn, disturbed by Daredevil.
The Ape-Man does the wise thing and runs away but, luckily for Matt, he's not immune to taunts.
Daredevil gives a good accounting of himself during the initial moments of the fight.
But the latter half sees the Ape-Man winning.
Wait, wait. This is not Daredevil losing the fight as sometimes he does. This is Matt being sly and intentionally losing to Ape-Man so he can follow the latter to ere they are keeping Debbie. Matt follows and finds out the truth about Deborah Harris.
We leave Daredevil with the Bird-Man silently gliding towards him for an attack.