Saturday, June 13, 2009

Daredevils before Matt Murdock

Many Daredevil fans around here surely know that Marvel hero Matt Murdock wasn't the first individual to be called "Daredevil" in the comics medium.



His best known predecessor is Bart Hill, the 1940s "Daredevil", published by Lev Gleason Publications and recently re-vamped by Dynamite entertainment as "The Death-Defying Devil". This Daredevil, with his spiked belt and his boomerang weapons might seem, at first sight, quite different from old horn-nead Murdock whom we all know and love... but let's see what Wikipedia says about him:
"As a child, Bart Hill had been rendered mute by the shock of seeing his father murdered and himself being branded with a hot iron. Orphaned, he grew up to become a boomerang marksman, in homage to the boomerang-shaped scar left on his chest. Like Batman, introduced a year earlier, he took up a costume to wage vigilante vengeance"

So, you see, the original Daredevil not only lost his father, which turned him into a vigilante, but also had a disability. This echoes the later Daredevil we know.

But there's another pre-Murdock Daredevil you might not be aware of. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you...



...Tubby Tompkins!!

Please notice the similarities with Matt Murdock:

Red-head? Check

A lady killer? Check

Also, Tompkins greatest nemesis is a formidable girl who dresses in red, and seems to have with him an on-off, love-hate relationship. Interesting, eh?

And the similarities don't end here, see:

Stubborn crime-fighter? Check


(notice, by the way, his red pajamas)

Is he a man without fear? Yep


Enhanced senses? Check


(Well, he's got enhanced sense of smell and taste, this we can tell for certain)

All right, now you'll tell me that Tubby has no radar sense, which allows Murdock to fight his enemies in the dark... Well, this is true, but never underestimate Tubby's resourcefulness.


...Did I mention already that he's got a very Murdock-esque penchant for ladies?

8 comments:

dvd said...

Hombre, Tubby Tompkins se da un aire más a Foggy Nelson, digo yo. Ahora, vaya lujo de documentación...

Gloria said...

ja, ja... Eso no lo puse porque esperaba que mis distinguidos (y documentados) visitantes ya se darían cuenta de que Tubby lleva pajarita ;D

Desde luego, como predecesor es uno que vale por dos ¿no crees?

Miquel Gim�nez said...

Me he reído un montón. Está bien ésto de explicar que antes de los héroes de ahora existieron otros con sus mismos nombres y poderes parecidos (o no) como es éste caso o el de La Visión.
A destacar el trabajo de Charles Biro, el padre del Daredevil de la Golden Age, que, además de hacer aparecer a Hitler en una portada luchando contra el héroe y algunos de sus aliados como Silver Streak - ah, no tan sólo se enfrentó al Führer en persona el Capitán América, amigos-, creó uno de los villanos más tremendos que han existido jamás: The Claw.
Para los interesados, se acaba de editar en castellano Superpowers, una serie que nos explica que pasó con todos ésos héroes olvidados.
La serie del Daredevil clásico actualizado, de momento, sólo está disponible en inglés, editada por Dinamyte.

grifter said...

haven't posted much DD myself in a while as well, but welcome back, Gloria LOL. Tubby Tompkins is the original Daredevil indeed haha.

Gloria said...

Mira Miquel, ahora que dices lo del Capi pifostiando a Adolfito, me he acordado de un blog delirante enteramente dedicado al tema de hitler recibiendo en todas las mejillas posibles:

http://www.hitlergettingpunched.blogspot.com/

Un dia de estos le voy a dedicar una entrada, je, je...

Miquel Gim�nez said...

¡Ya lo he visto! ¡Brutal! ¡Es die hostiempf und Reichlechen! Me han venido a la memoria las aventuras del Sargento Furia y de Los Invasores, snif, snif....

Robert said...

Great stuff, Gloria. Tubby reminds me of the issue early on when Foggy pretended to be DD! Loved his enhanced sense of smell.

That early Daredevil is scarily like the one we know and love.

Gloria said...

...and scarily so, Robert, scarily so!

Tubby's exploits as "The Spider", BTW, remind me of Foggy Nelson in the first Frank Miller run story "Guts".

(All of a sudden I've just had this mental image of Frank Miller reading "Little Lulu" comics. So... disquieting!)

 
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