The Punisher and Daredevil have faced off many times. However, they had met (and fought) for the first time in Daredevil 183. It is not hard to see why two of Marvel Comics’ greatest characters were combined. Daredevil would never kill intentionally, while the Punisher would do it without a second thought. The two characters both deal their own brand of justice, yet hate each other for tactics alone. So Marvel gave the fans what they wanted: Daredevil vs Punisher.
The comic book Daredevil 183 has more than Daredevil vs Punisher, but also tells the tale of a teenager’s death who had experimented with PCP (angel dust). Drugs are a dirty business, and everyone wants to nail who is responsible for pushing the drug. Once the Punisher appears, it becomes clear that his methods are too brutal. Daredevil from then on needs to answer some hard ethical questions about how far a vigilante should go in the name of justice.
Daredevil 183 has a great cover, that is as beautiful as it is misleading. The comic’s cover shows the Punisher shooting Daredevil with an Uzi. An exit hole is show through the backside of Daredevil’s body. Anyone who would see the cover would think that Daredevil was either killed or badly hurt. Well it turns out that the Punisher only shot Daredevil with a handgun. And not only that, but he uses a tranquilizer. As done many times with comics, the front cover stretches the truth a bit too far.
Deceptive cover aside, this Daredevil vs Punisher story was written and illustrated well by Frank Miller. It is an easy thing to overlook because the drawing style is so different that some of his other work. Examples that come to mind are Sin City, which heavy use of shadows emphasize the volume of the figures, and The Dark Knight Returns which sloppy drawings emphasize Frank Miller no longer giving a damn how his drawings look.
Don’t let my negativity throw you off. Daredevil 183 is some really good stuff. In fact, a ton of Daredevil issues from the time period were as well. Frank Miller was still playing his A-game. I could go on and on but really you just have to read it yourself in order to enjoy it.
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