Posted - November 2, 2018

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Daredevil No. 15
And Men Shall Call Him Ox

Daredevil no. 15

Matt is so addicted to being Daredevil, that in the middle of some night work in the office - while Foggy and Karen go out for some dinner - Matt can't resist putting on the costume and go swinging around New York City. When he returns, Matt finds Foggy strangely taken ill.

Foggy Nelson isn't feeling well

Foggy is referring to this particular attack from Daredevil No. 6

The Ox hits Foggy Nelson

As you can see below, it was so hard that Foggy made a hole in the wall with his head and ended up in a hospital

Daredevil with an injured Foggy Nelson

And yes, Daredevil was in his old yellow costume at that time - that issue was the last yellow costume adventure.

And with that let's look in on Ox in prison. Currently with an acquaintance who is trying to convince him to escape.

Dr. Stragg convincing Ox to escape prison

Amusingly, Ox doesn't want to escape.

Ox wants to stay in prison

He's pretty easy to manipulate and able to lift several tons so the other guy is looking at him sort of like some kind of heavy equipment that can be used to break out. I mean, what if you were inside prison with a bulldozer with the key still in the ignition? Tempting.

The other prisoner is one Dr. Stragg and since the prospect of freedom isn't enticing enough to Ox, the doctor dangles another carrot in front of the strongman.

Dr. Stragg talking to Ox

Meanwhile, some other doctor orders Foggy to simply get more rest.

A doctor checking Foggy Nelson

Let's see: since issue no. 6 Foggy has gotten a smashing - and I do mean smashing - visit from Namor, then he went on campaign as city D.A. in that adventure with the Ani-Men, then he went all the way to the U.K. to defend Ka-Zar. And all throughout this time Foggy has been stressed out by the Nelson-Page-Murdock love triangle. Yup, the guy needs a rest.

Speaking of the triangle.

Karen Page, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson

Thankfully Foggy can't spare any thought for it right now. When you're sick everything else naturally gets relegated to the backburner.

As Matt is left alone in the office we find out that the poor guy actually has to slow down at work in order to hide his powers.

Matt Murdock at work

John Romita gives us a beautiful panel of Ox and Dr. Stragg breaking out of prison.

The Ox and Dr. Stragg breaking out of prison

Back at his personal gym, Matt hears about the breakout.

Matt hears about the Ox breakout

Oh no! Matt is once again trying to find something in NYC. He doesn't have a good batting average when it comes to these city-wide searches.

Daredevil searches the city

Fortunately, he doesn't lean on his hypersense this time. He uses his head to narrow down the search area.

Needing a laboratory, Ox leads Stragg to Mr. Fear's wax museum with it's underground lab.

Dr. Stragg finds Mr. Fear's lab

Stragg gets busy trying to create an intelligent Ox. During the course of his labors he gives us a clue about why he, Stragg, ended up in prison in the first place.

Dr. Stragg explains why he has been imprisoned

So he's some kind of cut-rate Dr. Mengele.

The actual process is pure comicbook fun.

Dr. Stragg and Ox on top of medical tables

Here goes!

Dr. Stragg and Ox in an experiment

Uh-oh. Wait.

Dr. Stragg and Ox swap bodies

It wasn't a transfer of intelligence at all. Dr. Stragg now has the body of Ox. And Ox . . .

Stragg-Ox  hits Ox-Stragg

This could be enough to drive the poor guy to suicide. It's like a reverse super-soldier serum effect. And the fact that the Ox is major league stupid is just the cherry on top of this crappy sundae.

Once again, beautiful panel from Romita and Giacoia of the all-new, all-improved Ox!

The all new Ox

Projecting ahead to the inevitable Daredevil-Ox fight this issue and looking back at the previous fight, the Ox's weakness vs DD has always been his, the Ox's, lack of speed - I don't think Stragg got any faster. He's going to have to use those smarts to figure a way around Daredevil's speed and agility; plus Matt's no slouch in the brains department either.

Since Stragg isn't being subtle - he must be getting a bit power mad - Daredevil gets wind of the rampage.

Daredevil senses trouble

The right panel above is kind of tricky. It shows Daredevil on a wire but it also looks like a giant DD standing over the city.

Yup, Stragg has gone power-mad. And in so doing he's behaving as stupidly as the original Ox. Actually, more stupidly - the original Ox never went for rampages.

Ox goes insane

Oh, something's going on.

Stragg-Ox takes a walk

Stragg manages to get a grip on himself but it does seem like he is becoming stupid.

As Stragg-Ox walks away he comes across Karen on her way from Foggy's apartment. Fearing the worst, a just-in-time Daredevil runs interference.

Daredevil attacks Stragg-Ox

Fight's on! Get the popcorn.

Matt senses the increased intelligence but thankfully the Ox is still too slow.

Daredevil vs Ox

Looks like DD has got things well in hand.

Daredevil vs Ox

A fight can turn in a second; this is what happens here.

Daredevil vs Ox

This marks the very first time Daredevil has actually gotten hit by the Ox. Considering the Ox's strength level it's not unreasonable to expect game over.

And it is.

Daredevil goes down

Because this is the thinking Ox, he doesn't just walk away.

Stragg-Ox frames DD

He dresses up DD in an Ox costume and kidnaps Karen. I know why he has to take Karen away but what's up with the costume? Stragg-Ox is so smart I can't keep up.

Police surround Daredevil

Is Stragg smart or are the cops stupid? I haven't decided yet.

For the second time in NYC, Matt's in trouble with the police.

Matt Murdock in jail

Meanwhile, the Ox comes back to meet the Ox.

Stragg-Ox meets Ox-Stragg

I wonder if Ox's time as a weakling will allow him to be more appreciative of his strength and more considerate to weaker people?

And in an absolutely surprising turn. The Ox, the real one, does something heroic.

Stragg-Ox vs Ox-Stragg
Stragg-Ox vs Ox-Stragg

A revived Stragg-Ox rushes to the street and encounters the NYPD.

Stragg-Ox lifts a police car

This new Ox rampage gets DD off the hook with the New York justice system.

Time for round 2.

Daredevil  vs Stragg-Ox

The Ox is powerful enough to snap a chopper's rotor blade.

Stragg-Ox snaps a helicopter rotor

Any meeting between this two it's going to be speed versus strength.

Daredevil vs Stragg-Ox

Daredevil can evade but how can he deliver a decisive blow against the hulking Ox short of dropping him down a building? This hit might not be decisive in terms of the fight but it looks really good.

Daredevil vs Stragg-Ox

In the meantime, the stupidification (yes, I know that's not a word) of the Stragg-Ox is not a mere figment of my imagination; it's really happening.

Stragg-Ox becoming more stupid

Did I say a while back 'short of dropping him down a building'?

Stragg-Ox falls down a building

Daredevil didn't really drop Ox - the latter made a dive and the former did a dodge. Now one question remains: Is Stragg-Ox dead? That would be a disaster for the original Ox - he was using that body.

Did I say 'disaster'? I was wrong. Look at this.

Ox-Stragg accepts his fate

The Ox is getting smarter.

Not only did the Ox rescue Karen. Not only did he make peace with an unwanted, unexpected change. But he has the integrity to go back to prison.

Ox walking into the sunset

And the hero of this issue of Daredevil is - Raymond Bloch, the Ox.

Next: Doctor Strange 1 The Way of the Weird