Posted - October 28, 2018

Previous: Daredevil 12 Sightless In A Savage Land

Daredevil No. 13
The Secret of Ka-Zar's Origin

From last issue we have two cliffhangers: First, Ka-Zar has left an unconscious Daredevil inside a cave - a cave that is now being visited by an unwelcome and brutish guest. Next, Ka-Zar himself, in a bid to obtain some medicinal ingredients, is losing a fight with a monstrous plant creature.

We begin first with the cave situation.

We are informed that the intruder is a member of an 'Ape' tribe. He's very massive. It brings to mind the Neanderthals who have greater muscle density than Homo Sapiens. In fact, all the denizens of the Savage Land are Stone Age folk. People who, by necessity, subject there bodies to constant use and test the limits of their physical prowess perhaps on a daily basis. They are far stronger and tougher than us sedentary civilized folk. Add to that the apparently greater muscle mass of this cave invader, named Maa-Gog, and, well, Daredevil is in a dangerous situation.

Normally, I wouldn't be too concerned because Matt has trained himself to be at the peak or near the peak of physical perfection and he has his speed, his wonderful speed. But because of the events of last issue all these physical capabilities have been rendered moot by the loss of his hypersenses.

Here is the first initial contact between Maa-Gog and Daredevil.

Daredevil has two assailants at this moment. One weaker than the other. The weaker one is Maa-Gog. The stronger assailant is Matt's realization that he has lost his hypersenses. The level of discipline that it is taking to fight off the panic must be intense. Ironically, Matt's control is helped somewhat by the immediate danger presented by Maa-Gog. If he had woken up alone, the most terrible thought would have presented itself to him: that he can no longer be Daredevil. Matt loves being Daredevil; it is obvious from previous issues that he loves being Daredevil more than he loves being a lawyer, and Matt is a die-hard lawyer. I say it again: the lost of his hypersenses is the most terrible thing that has happened to Matt in battle. The fact that he can still function is a miracle.

Both the lost of his hypersenses and his injuries prevent Matt from falling back on his speed and agility and forces him to allow himself to be manhandled.

Believing himself to be in immediate physical threat Daredevil lashes out.

No speed, no agility, Matt's in trouble.

Fortunately for Matt, Maa-Gor decides not to hit but to throw - it allows Matt to call on his martial skill.

In the end, when all seems to be lost, the Murdock mentality comes to the fore.

'Keep getting up' is the mantra. Judge a man based on what he's like when the chips are down. This is what Daredevil is like - a fighter to the end. Just like his Dad.

And with that, this sequel to a cliffhanger ends with another cliffhanger as we switch focus and check up on Ka-Zar and that monster plant. Back at the cave, finding himself in the extremity of need, Matt was thinking of using his billy club. It didn't quite work out. Ka-Zar too has a 'billy club'. It's huge, with two gigantic fangs and ferocity to match.

Disentangled by Zabu, Ka-Zar calls on fire to destroy the plant creature.

With one cliffhanger resolved let's look in on the Plunderer and his men.

You ask me I think Captain Plunder is playing with fire with the way he's treating his people. After all, everybody needs to sleep right?

Back to Daredevil. Considering his circumstances, Matt isn't doing too badly.

As Matt fights with Maa-Gor, the Plunderer and his men near Ka-Zar's cave and not by accident. Lord Plunder knows exactly where it is and he hears the commotion inside. Thinking Ka-Zar is being attacked he fires at the assailant - Maa-Gor.

Why does the Plunderer fire at Maa-Gor? To save Ka-Zar. Why does the Plunderer want to save Kaa-Zar? We don't know. Not yet.

Maa-Gor beats a hasty retreat and the Plunderer discovers that it is not Ka-Zar that he has saved.

It's worthwhile to remember that not only is Matt exhausted from the fight with Maa-Gor but he's still injured from the explosion of the Plunderer's munitions last issue.

The next three panels reveal two important things.

For the first time Daredevil's blindness becomes known. Although this would not make it publicly known - I don't think these pirates will be chumming around with the press soon. The last panel reveals Ka-Zar as Kevin Plunder, brother to Lord Parnival Plunder, the Plunderer. As to what the Plunderer intends for Ka-Zar and why; that remains a mystery.

From last issue, the Plunderer took one thing from the cruise ship: Daredevil. That would mean that passenger Matt Murdock would also be missing. Once the ship got itself organized again there is no way the crew could have overlooked a missing passenger. This would naturally be reported to the shipping line who would just as normally inform Foggy and Karen about it. Let's look in on the New York offices of Nelson and Murdock.

First of all, Foggy hasn't renamed the company 'Nelson and Company' or some such - this could be because Foggy still harbors hopes of Matt's return. I like the information on the left panel which shows us that Matt is the better lawyer but Foggy is able to soldier on; the firm doesn't have to close. Also, the right panel informs us that the cruise ship has been able to report the pirate attack - yet another addition to the notorious reputation of the Plunderer.

Even with Matt absent, the love triangle is still in effect although Foggy is showing some initiative to take advantage of Matt's not being there.

Maybe one reason Matt left is to allow Foggy to press his suit with Karen - Matt can be a bit of a martyr.

The pair receive even more troubling news.

That's prettty much saying that Matt is dead. Something like this could force Foggy and Karen to choose each other, which could be a grand mess going forward.

As Ka-Zar and Zabu near their cave, after having obtained meds for DD, Zabu senses the Plunderer and his men and leaps into action. The panel below shows us just how big Zabu is.

He seems to be even more dangerous than a bear. Then a panel later I am reminded that size counts for very little against a gun.

Zabu has been shot. At least that's what I thought. But he hasn't.

Only trapped. Looking back at Rosen's sound caption it was 'Crash!' and 'Thump!', and not 'Bam!' and 'Thump!'. Ka-Zar leaps over the trap to attack Captain Plunder but is checked by the sight of a broken medallion.

Then . . .

Kazar lends credence to the Plunderer's claim of kinship by the fact that he has the other half of the medal. Ka-Zar also displays a lot of practicality by including a handy pocket in that shaggy loin cover he has on.

It's not going to be a friendly family reunion as the Plunderer finally reveals what he has in store for his brother.

In a true act of selflessness Ka-Zar's reaction is not to try to free hinself but to give Daredevil the medicinal berries. Which Matt promptly eats.

What potent medicine those Ju-ju berries are as they do a truly wonderful thing.

Daredevil's hypersenses are returning!

With Daredevil, Zabu, and Ka-Zar captured. the Plunderer stows them all in his ship, converts the vessel into a submarine and goes God-knows-where. For some reason the broken medal is important.

Lord Parnival goes back to his beautifully gloomy castle. Of course, he has a contingent of servers.

On to the banquet.

Special focus is being given the attendant Feepers because he's going to play a bit part later on in the story. Daredevil may be subdued and looking downcast but let me tell you. You are looking at one happy guy. He thought his days as a super-hero is over, that he had to really live his life as a blind man. Not so. Not so. It's a happy day! When the hypersenses finally return in full all these merry pirates better watch out. Drink up while the drinking is good boys!

It turns out that the Plunderer has spiked the drink.

And he has a job for Daredevil. Why not just get it himself? He's not the subtle type and the straightforward approach against the wild Ka-Zar; well, let's just say it's safer for the Plunderer if Daredevil does it. How to do that exactly? I think both Lord Plunder and Daredevil have no idea.

While Lord Plunder escorts DD to Ka-Zar they have some time to chat. And now we learn of the secret of the medallion.

So the complete medal is a key that unlocks a supply of a unique substance - the same substance the medal is composed of. Too bad it is not named outright. I mean, I don't hear about it these days. Anyway, it is valuable. Extremely. Just think of what organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D, A.I.M., or Hydra can do with such a substance.

And now we learn how Kevin Plunder became Ka-Zar the Savage.

Did you catch that? This mysterious ore came from the Savage Land.

Here's a unique rendition of the radar sense from John Romita and Jack Kirby (wow, both of them doing this comicbook, that's nuts).

Ka-Zar, true to his cognomen, begins attacking DD. If you remember that first fight from last issue Daredevil lost. This is the rematch!

Very early on, Ka-Zar manages floor DD but Daredevil manages to recover and reset the fight.

Both fighters close in.

In the panels above: Ka-Zar displays speed in the first panel, toughness in the middle panel, and strength the rightmost panel.

It's simply too much for Matt and he admits it.

But this is Daredevil as shown in the right panel above: 'Man Without Fear' is the motto but it might as well be 'Never Give Up'.

Daredevil falls back on his acrobatic skills but not to defeat Ka-Zar but to escape and get back at Lord Plunder who has been eavesdropping.

Daredevil decides to lend a still riled-up Ka-Zar a helping hand.

Hearing his real name being used Ka-Zar begins to remember.

The Plunderer's pirate crew are now also aware of how valuable that medal is.

But the pirate crew, the Plunderer, Ka-Zar, and Daredevil have a rival in the form of Feepers!

Feeper's doesn't seem to be affiliated with A.I.M., Hydra, the Hand or any other organization. He's acting on his own. He spent years waiting for this moment? I feel sorry for him because this happens.

And one can hardly blame Daredevil for doing this.

Well what can I say Feepers, sometimes things just don't work out. Take a page from the Murdocks and get up to try again.

Speaking of giving up, Ka-Zar makes a run for it. Daredevil tries to waylay him.

To a savage you avoid trouble by running away from it. To a lawyer, no one runs and everybody pays attorneys fees. Go get that client Matt!

Did I say Feepers was acting alone? I was wrong.

Dead wrong.

Feepers has played his hand. Now Lord Plunder plays his by leaning on the fact that he is Lord Plunder. He informs the constables of the fugitives.

It just occurred to me that Daredevil is now in the U.K. for the first time.

The police scramble but looks like someone is way ahead of them.

We began with two cliffhangers and end with another one.

Next: Daredevil 14 If This Be Justice