#15 (Poignancy)

Issue 15
“ . . . And Men Shall Call Him . . . Ox” (April, 1966)
Released: February 3, 1966
Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by John Romita
Inked by Frank Giacoia
Lettered by Artie Simek
Cover drawn by John Romita

Ox is back, with a new intelligent brain, courtesy of Dr. Karl Stragg. The cast of The Devil’s Archive would like to celebrate this plot element by way of an open letter to the comic book’s artist and plotter:

Dear John Romita, Sr.,

Thank you for finally not plotting a story that sucks.

Sincerely,

Aaron, Kyle, Rodney

Episode 15 is available on Buzzsprout here: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/2021691.rss

You can find us on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/42GINDXqBqGKIT49FZCyz9?si=EdeD4WaIQZ6RoK0RNzPWcA&utm_source=copy-link

Check behind the cut to see our individual grades and artwork from the issue we discuss in the episode!

The guys kinda liked this issue. Oddly, Rodney’s the high grade on this one, for the first time ever. He gives it a B. Kyle and Aaron aren’t too far behind, though, with both of them giving this installment a B-. What a breath of fresh air after the terrible Plunderer arc! Overall average: B

We’re on the second page of this issue and we’re already irritating Rodney. To his mind (and the others are inclined to agree), the ability to see through walls is an egregious misuse of Matt Murdock’s radar sense. It also seems odd . . . while we’re at it . . . that Daredevil returns to the office and changes clothes. Wouldn’t Karen and Foggy notice that Matt just magically appeared?!
This issue makes a point of reminding us that Foggy received a concussion back in issue #6 after coming face-to-face with Ox. In 9 issues, there’s been no mention of this incident. Foggy only seems to be experiencing the effects of this mishap as a clunky sequeway into the introduction of this issue’s villain.
It’s Ox! This time, though, he’s not in affiliation with Mr. Fear or The (super lame) Eel. He’s in prison, sharing a cell with evil super-genius Dr. Karl Stragg. This is confusing for two reasons: 1) we’ve never met this villain before and 2) The Plunderer’s right-hand man in the last (super lame) story arc was named Slag.
Stragg has a plan. He convinces Ox to break them out of prison, so that he can utilize Mr. Fear’s laboratory to perform a brain-switching experiment. This would allow Ox to not only be immensely strong, but make him smart.
We just wanted to take this opportunity to show off some of John Romita’s stellar artwork. This panel depicts the brain-switching experiment.
We have the same excuse here: John Romita is a badass artist. This panel depicts the newly-intelligent Ox busting through the wall of Mr. Fear’s laboratory. Notice how the sound effects extend outside the panel.
Of course, even having Dr. Stragg’s brain, Ox is a big, dumb lummox, and he simply cannot resist himself in enacting a wanton destruction of the city.
Daredevil gets involved within Ox’s spree of destruction, but gets knocked unconscious. In this story’s most ludicrous development, Ox dresses Daredevil in some extra clothes that he just happens to be carrying around with him. The plan is to make the police think that Daredevil caused all this destruction. It’s a decent plan, we suppose, but why the hell is Ox carrying around extra clothes that wouldn’t even fit?
Collectively, this is our favorite panel of the entire issue. Daredevil questions if anyone removed his mask before putting him into a cell. The police state that “a whole team of D.A.s are still arguin’ about whether they got the right . . .”. None of us are experts in law enforcement, so we’re just guessing here . . . but . . . no way would they not remove his mask before incarcerating him. Wouldn’t they, at the very least, take his fingerprints?
By the end, the effects of Dr. Stragg’s brain being inside Ox’s lumbering body are starting to wear off. This makes Ox dumb again. He makes an idiotic move toward Daredevil, who sidesteps it, causing Ox to fall from the building to the sidewalk below. It would seem, from context clues, that the fall does not kill our villain.
Dr. Stragg, however, seems to have learned a lesson from the events of this issue. He goes to return to prison to serve his time and, hopefully, one day, become a productive member of society. The reasons for this change of heart are unclear. We’re not convinced that even an explanation would force it to make sense!
This image speaks for itself. We suppose it’s a step forward that he isn’t working out in a Speedo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s