# 3 (featuring Josh Gad as Wolverine)

Issue 3
“The Owl, Ominous Overlord of Crime” (August, 1964)
Released: June 2, 1964
Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by Joe Orlando
Inked by Vince Colletta
Lettered by Sam Rosen
Cover drawn by Joe Orlando and Jack Kirby

In the third issue, Stan Lee and Joe Orlando present the first villain created just for the pages of Daredevil. He’s not a bad villain. At the very least, Rodney and Kyle think he’s better than Aaron suspected that they would.

Discussion topics along the way include: the definition of a good comic-book villain, the weird decision to give Daredevil a knapsack to carry his street clothes, the beginnings of what will eventually become a rather lengthy list of billy-club shenanigans, and whether or not Stan Lee really understands aerodynamics. Oh yeah, we also feel sorry for a gorilla.

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Check behind the cut below for the final grade of our cast and to see images of the artwork we reference in our discussion.

Our overall grade for this issue is a bit of a shocker because Kyle, who gives the issue a B-, likes this issue more than both Rodney and Aaron. Rodney and he both give this one a C+. That averages out to a C. Way better than Aaron expected before we began discussing.  

This issue marks the debut of Leland Owsley, aka The Owl. This villain will eventually become a big name in Daredevil’s rogues gallery over the years.
Full disclosure, though: The first image that we shared is a later rendition of The Owl as the character progresses through the years. He isn’t nearly as dapper and awesome-looking in the beginning. This image is from page 2 of the comic, the first official appearance of The Owl. “He looks like Josh Gad playing Wolverine” might be the funniest thing that Kyle has ever said.
As promised by our host, Joe Orlando’s artwork improves dramatically for this issue. All three of us are particularly fond of this panel from the 16th page.
Page 8 is an almost full-page of art that depicts The Owl’s secret sanctuary (referred to in the script as “the Aerie”). According to the captions, this hide-out is constructed to look like “nothing more than a jagged part of the scenery when viewed from the river.” Except, to us it looks like a rather conspicuous owl head sitting on top of a red and purple house. We’d wager that you could see that atrocity from space!
On page 9, we are formally introduced to The Owl’s henchmen. “Sad Sam” Simms is a sharpshooter with highly illogical skills. “Ape” Horgan is a strongman, depicted here wrestling a gorilla in only his Speedo.
On page 11, it is revealed that The Owl is not without superhuman abilities of his own. He can glide. No, we didn’t make that up. The Owl can glide. This sequence also reveals that the creators don’t have the slightest inkling of how aerodynamics works.
This sequence is possibly the most confounding to us. The top three panels of page 5 depict our hero bouncing his clothes around like a Harlem Globetrotter. It’s ridiculous and confounding enough, but Stan Lee and Joe Orlando make it worse by wasting more space two pages later by…
…having Matt Murdock construct a knapsack as part of his costume. This knapsack allows our hero to carry his clothes around on his back like a Boy Scout hiking through Philmont Ranch. Poor Joe is now forced to draw this idiotic backpack into every subsequent panel that Daredevil appears.
During Daredevil’s first encounter with The Owl and his henchmen, we learn that Daredevil’s legs and back are so powerful that the laws of physics do not apply in their vicinity. This isn’t as mind-numbingly WTF as last issue’s engine block slingshot, but it’s up there.
Later, on the same page (14), Daredevil uses his Billy club to bat a bullet out of the air. Also, not as absurd as the aforementioned slingshot, but just as unlikely and unintentional-laugh-inducing. “Sad Sam” Simms says it best: “Huh?”
Eventually, Daredevil and Karen Page are overtaken and held hostage in birdcages suspended over a weighted pressure-plate floor. No worries, though, because they neglect to take Daredevil’s weapon. Thankfully, the weapon has a flexible cotter pin hidden in a concealed hinge that Daredevil can use to handily pick the lock. Notice that Daredevil is still wearing the stupid backpack. Good thing that The Owl didn’t take that: it probably has Matt Murdock’s wallet in it. Daredevil’s identity would have been blown!
Daredevil doesn’t need a cotter pin and billy club to open Karen’s cage, though. He just uses his super strength to bend the bars.
After a fairly pointless fight between The Owl and Daredevil (here’s a hint to Owl’s escape: he glides), the whole affair just abruptly ends. The henchmen are arrested, The Owl has disappeared, and Karen is daft enough to not realize that she’s already figured it all out. Notice the amount of captioning and dialogue in this one page. Notice the amount of captioning and dialogue in all the other pages we’ve shown you this week. It seems to be tragically overwritten, leading to a cluttered, less than eye-popping mess.

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