Posted - September 17, 2018

Previous: Daredevil 3 The Owl, Ominous Overlord of Crime

Daredevil No. 4
Killgrave, The Unbelievable Purple Man

What if you were granted the power to be able to request anything from anybody around you and they'll do it, whatever it is? Furthermore, what if, in exchange for this power, your skin would henceforth be a light purple color? Would you go for it?

Can't decide? Maybe seeing this power in action will help you make up your mind. Let us follow a man called Killgrave, who has this power exactly and also the skin tone I mentioned.

Here he is in a bank.

Walk into a bank, ask for money, and get it. No arguments. No fuss. Sounds good?

There is a catch though.

Once Killgrave is no longer near, his control of people wears off. He gets the banks money alright but once he's out of there the teller pushes the alarm. The power doesn't sound as tempting as before but it's still power. Killgrave knows it is, that's why he doesn't run from the scene of his crime and when the bank security get to him, he confronts them with absolutely no trace of alarm.

Killgrave winds up in front of a judge. No problem, he'll just tell the judge to rule in his favor. At least that might have been his plan. But unfortunately for Killgrave that is not how the justice system works as the judge is quick to explain.

And this is how a Purple Man will get involved with a certain red and yellow hero.

Look at the absolutely stunning drawing of Karen Page.

By the way, this issue is by the same creative team that did the two previous ones: Lee writes, Orlando draws, Colletta inks, and Rosen letters.

Karen sees an opportunity to go with her crush.

Notice the jealous Mr. Nelson.

So Matt, with Karen in tow, goes to the courhouse prison to meet his court-assigned client, Mr. Killgrave. Remember last issue when Matt first met the Owl? Matt had a sense that something was amiss with the Owl. Well, that same 'intuition' happens to him here - he is getting negative vibes from Killgrave.

In addition to his intuition, Matt's hypersenses can detect that Killgrave is attracted to Karen. You don't need hypersenses for that Murdock, Killgrave has a good excuse - he has a pulse. I mean, just look at Karen. Oops, sorry Matt.

Killgrave has zero worries. Everything around him is a toy that he can manipulate as he pleases. If he is caged, he simply tells the guard to let him go.

If he fancies Karen, he simply asks her to go with him.

IF he sees Daredevil pursuing him, he simply tells Daredevil to go away

Daredevil doesn't budge an inch, and suddenly Killgrave realizes he has a big problem

Why is Daredevil unaffected by Killgrave's power? Matt certainly feels it like an insistent tug but, unlike other people, Matt can shrug it off. It might be related to Daredevil's hypersenses. Whatever it is, the Man Without Fear cannot be controlled by Killgrave. Realizing this, Killgrave takes control of the sidewalk crowd instead - ordering them to stop Daredevil.

So powerful is his word of command that Killgrave has to restrain Karen from attacking Daredevil herself.

Fighting the victimized crowd is not an option for Matt. He escapes their clutches and takes to the trees.

Looks like the Daredevil backpack is going to be a short-lived accessory - barely two issues.

Joe Orlando's illustration in the middle panel is specially good.

Looking again at Purple Man's power. This ability is best practiced clandestinely and carefully. Just go about life solving the little problems with a 'request' here and a 'request' there - requests that will never be denied. Stay under everybody's radar. Unfortunately, with Killgrave his incredible power might have just gotten to his head and addled his brain a bit - he proceeds to call massive attention to himself; convinced of the absolute potency of his power. Let's follow Killgrave's descent into madness . . .

Killgrave goes to a gym and takes control of the bodybuilders; making them his personal guard.

Truthfully, I don't find Killgrave a detestable fellow. The panel below actually makes me like him a bit.

One of the gym rats is too slow-witted to fall under Killgrave's control (Memo to Killgrave: avoid the Hulk). This gym rat starts attacking Killgrave prompting the other mind-controlled body builders to swarm him and start to beat him. Witness Killgrave saying "Stop, do not hurt him". I find that very classy and decent of the Purple Man.

Why muscle men you ask? Why not a security agency full of real bodyguards. You're right, although, as we shall see later, at least one of these bodybuilders has a gun.

Next Killgrave needs a place to stay. Of course it's going to be the penthouse of a five-star hotel.

Look at all the bodybuilders surrounding Killgrave protectively.

While Killgrave and his entourage make there way to the top floor, let's check on Matt, who - surprisingly - isn't in his Daredevil uniform.

Matt is scouring the law books trying to find what law, if any, did Killgrave break. Surprisingly, Killgrave has broken no law! Unless Killgrave admits that he controls people against their will, the law can't touch him.

When Matt first became Daredevil it was with the intention of having dual personas, Matt Murdock and Daredevil. The Daredevil persona would not be beholden to any promises to Jack Murdock. With that being the case, I expected Matt to somehow put some kind of conscious division between Daredevil and himself. Matt would be a champion of the law while the vigilante Daredevil would essentially be a lawbreaker. But the panel above proves this is not so. A vigilante Daredevil may be, but there is a limit. Notice that Daredevil turned over his fathers murderer, Slade, to the police. And after that Electro was also left to the cops and so were the mobsters summoned by the Owl. If the Owl hadn't disappeared Daredevil would have turned him over to the cops too just like he did the other mobsters. Daredevil , is in part a servant of the law. Matt's researches in the panels above aren't for his 'daywork' as an attorney; it is for his vigilante work as Daredevil.

Finding the need to get a confession and theorizing about the workings of Killgrave's power, Daredevil starts modifying his billy club.

I know what the tape recorder is for but what's with that 'specially treated plastic'?

Okay. Daredevil is at it again. Have a look at the panels below

This panel shows Daredevil searching NYC for the Purple Man. Matt has a belief that his hypersenses are capable of tracking a lone person among the millions of people in the city. He tried it before with the Owl and it didn't work. And now he's trying it again with the Purple Man and it still doesn't work. What happens is Matt overhears a television report that the Purple Man is in the top floor of the Ritz Plaza hotel.

Unsurprisingly, when Daredevil shows up at the hotel, Killgrave's bodyguards attack him immediately.

This next move is downright whimsical.

I can hear Stan Lee: "Let's have him bend his billy club into a boomerang shape. Then he disarms one of his opponents with it. Of course, it's now a boomerang, so it should come back to his hand. The kids would love it!". And we do Stan. And we do.

With his guards defeated, Killgrave uses his hold on Karen Page to control Daredevil.

I love Killgrave's statement: "... I won every round, for this is the final one".

With the Purple Man in a position of advantage, Daredevil goads him into talking. And Killgrave does talk. And so we have 'The Origin of the Purple Man".

With that Daredevil informs Killgrave that his whole monologue has been put on tape. Including his tacit admission of forcing people to do things against his will. Now DD only has to deal with the gun.

Here Matt theorizes that he's able to disarm Killgrave because the latter has been caught by surprise by the news of the tape recorder. I would like to further obeserve that Daredevil is in peak condition, and as we have seen in his previous outings, extremely fast. Killgrave on the other hand deplores violence and doesn't look like he engages in regular exercise (and why should he? With that kind of power). This adds up to massive disadvantage for the Purple Man hence the effective removal of the gun.

Daredevil then snatches Karen and takes her to safety.

The next scene happens at street level where the Purple Man and Daredevil are surrounded by a crowd. You know what will happen next: Killgrave will order the crowd to mob DD. But before that happens this happens.

Daredevil literally keeps the Purple Man under wraps. Matt has correctly deduced that Killgrave exerts his control by emitting pheromones. Once people around him come in contact with the chemical they come under the control of the Purple Man. The plastic holds the chemicals in. I'm not even going to ask how Killgrave can breath in there but he does not suffocate.

And with that the "law abiding" Daredevil turns Killgrave over to the cops - together with the taped confession.

Next: Daredevil 5 The Myterious Masked Matador