Daredevil (1964-1998) #245 by Ann Nocenti

Daredevil (1964-1998) #245Daredevil (1964-1998) #245 by Ann Nocenti
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Where do you even start with this issue? Other than, to be fair, I’m sure the intentions were good and, perhaps, it was “of its time.”

But, yeah, it deals with a black immigrant from Wakanda, who used to be one of Wakanda’s guardians, protecting the country in a suit of super powered armour…he was a super hero. But, according to T’Challa, he became obsessed with helping people, and when he moved to New York that obsessed morphed into an obsession with gambling. Because, yeah, they’re totally the same thing…saving people and illegal gambling. Maybe I was sick the day they covered that in school…

Anyway, this guy has becomes so obsessed with gambling that he’s run up huge debts with the mob, and even when he catches a break and steals a load of money from the mobsters who were about to beat him up before Daredevil intervenes, he uses that money to gamble some more, rather than buy his son a tennis ball (for some reason his son REALLY wants a tennis ball). He was also supposed to buy groceries, because his wife has locked herself in her room and won’t come out until he does. But, as I said, he blows all the money on gambling instead, which is when T’Challa shows up, because this guy’s wife is his cousin (because I guess all Africans are related or something) and throws money at the mobsters and this guy to make everything all right again. Then T’Challa basically tells this guy to go kill himself because where they come from they don’t give people second chances.

Basically, T’Challa is a massive asshole here because…Africa?

Daredevil, of course, argues that everyone deserves a second chance and they basically beat the shit out of this poor guy until he decides to change his ways. He quits gambling, gets a job, buys his son a tennis ball and his wife lets him back into her room. Not that we ever see his wife. She just speaks from off panel. Which is incredibly odd.

This comic is a mess. I think there’s a grain of a good idea here, but it got lost in the telling and some really odd decisions were made along the way. There’s some really problematic stuff to do with the representation of black, immigrant families here, some stuff that makes no logical sense, some warped ideas of African traditional customs and, finally, some odd gender stuff going on. Why do we never see his wife? Why?

This issue feels like a huge misstep in a run that was just finding its feet, hopefully the next one will be better.

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