#21 (Ranking Stacks of Shit)

Issue 21
“The Trap Is Sprung” (October, 1966)
Released: August 2, 1966
Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by Gene Colan
Inked by Frank Giacoia, Dick Ayers, and Bill Everett
Lettered by Artie Simek
Cover drawn by Gene Colan

Gene Colan is back! Unfortunately, so is every James Bond villain ever, all wrapped up in a package that looks suspiciously like Owl.

Issue 21 presents us with an opportunity to have a discussion that we haven’t really had before. We were all three in agreement that the previous installment of Daredevil was kind of stupid, but that Gene Colan’s breathtaking artwork elevated the issue and saved it from being total garbage. Well, issue 21 is just as (if not more than) dumb. Why doesn’t the art save it this time?

Check out episode 21 on Buzzsprout here: https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/2021691.rss

Stream the episode 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’re pretty close to being in agreement again. This issue is a flaming pile of hot garbage. Only Rodney, though, can muster up the nerve to give it the F it probably deserves. Kyle and Aaron both admire the art enough to give it a D-. Overall average: D-.

Despite the utter idiocy of this story, Gene Colan does present some interesting artwork, such as this early image of Daredevil’s cage suspended over a bottomless pit.
We would like to take this opportunity to point out that Owl, in addition to his original mutant ability to glide (as we saw way back in issue 3) and his ability to actually fly (which we learned about in the previous issue), is perfectly capable of hovering like a hummingbird.
Kyle, specifically, is angered by the tiny size of these control buttons on Daredevil’s cage. Rodney and Aaron think that there is enough anger-inducing nonsense in this issue that we can let the size of the buttons slide.
Kyle takes issue with this as well: the way Gene Colan draws the bars of Daredevil’s cage heating up, a trick by Owl to make Daredevil let go of the cage. Rodney and Aaron also find this forgivable. More forgivable, at least, than the actual idea of Owl using heat instead of electricity.
Rodney pointed this one out. Kyle and Aaron were so numbed by rampant stupidity by this point that we didn’t notice. Daredevil uses his billy club cable to spin Owl like a top.
Isn’t it strange that Owl would choose to flee from Daredevil on foot when we’ve already established that he can fly?
Isn’t it strange that Owl would have a gigantic mechanical owl hidden away in his lair?
Isn’t it strange that we’re even still reading this issue and haven’t thrown it in the garbage by now? Many, many pages of this dreck are devoted to Daredevil fighting a nonsensical mechanical owl in the confined quarters of a decaying room in a crumbling castle.
This section of artwork prompts some discussion. Kyle thinks that it’s pointless to have divided one panel of artwork into three panels. Aaron thinks it’s a unique way to present artwork in a manner that wouldn’t have been seen in other comics before. Rodney has no opinion. He’s just bored. This issue bores him.
Unless you guys just want to keep looking at images of Daredevil fighting a mechanical owl from multiple perspectives, there really isn’t much else to show you. In the end, Daredevil manages to rescue the judge and they escape the castle before the active volcano below it erupts. That’s right . . . this idiotic story isn’t finished yet.

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