Comics : Daredevil (Vol.1) #6

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: From The Beginning

This review was first published on: 2003.

Background...

Spider-Man's not really in this issue, just a wax dummy of him. But that's good enough for me.

In Detail...

"Trapped By... The Fellowship of Fear!"
Daredevil (Vol.1) #6
Feb 1965 : SM Reference
Summary: The Fellowship of Fear (Spider-Man Reference, Wax Dummy)
Editor:  Stan Lee
Writer:  Stan Lee
Illustrator:  Wally Wood
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 Reprinted In: Essential Daredevil #1
 Reprinted In: Marvel Super Heroes #26
Articles: Daredevil, Ox

Daredevil stumbles on a robbery being committed by the Ox and the Eel. (DD recognizes the Ox as a member of the Enforcers and he reasons that Ox "must have been paroled before the others". Stan tells us that the Ox was "last seen in Spider-Man #14". Wrong, Stan! The Ox was last seen in ASM #19, December 1964.) Daredevil holds his own in the ensuing battle with the two villains. But a third bad guy enters the scene. The boss of the bunch. A mysterious new menace who calls himself Mr. Fear.

Mr. Fear shoots a gas pellet at Daredevil. After inhaling the fumes, DD finds himself full of fear and runs away. The Man Without Fear's fearful flight is filmed and televised for all to see. Suddenly, everyone is wondering who Mr. Fear is. Just in time to cue the flashback.

A few months ago, a man in a yellow trench coat enters his Wax Museum on a "small, dingy side-street". He steps into a room filled with wax dummies. Hands on hips, he looks over his collection and declares, "My wax museum is a failure! Even though I have models of the most famous heroes... the most notorious villains of all time, nobody comes to see them! But when my experiments are completed, things will be different! Then, the world shall acclaim the genius of Zoltan Drago!" Standing on the floor, from left to right are wax replicas of the Chameleon, Rama-Tut (about whom he probably shouldn't even know), Mysterio, Captain America, the Owl, and Electro. Right above Zoltan's head, clinging to the ceiling is a wax duplicate of the Amazing Spider- Man. It's a fairly cool-looking room and I find it hard to believe that Zoltan can't get anyone to come to his museum.

Anyway, that's it for Spider-Man so let's buzz through the rest. Since Zoltan is more than a little nutty, he has been experimenting on ways to bring his wax dummies to life. Instead, he stumbles on a gas that temporarily inspires fear in anyone who breathes it. (No, I don't know how that follows, either.) So, he decides to create a costume and name himself Mr. Fear. (I mean, who wouldn't?) Scanning his wax models, he tries to decide which villains would be useful henchmen. He has dummies of Dr. Doom, the Hatemonger, Diablo (not sure he should know about him, either), the Beetle, Kraven the Hunter, Baron Zemo, the Ox, Iron Man (what's he doing in this bunch?), the Toad (I think) and the Eel. Choosing Ox and Eel, he tracks them down and uses his fear gas to make them join him in his Fellowship of Fear.

Back in the present, Mr. Fear decides to lure Daredevil to his museum by advertising a DD wax dummy. Amazingly, this works. Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page all attend. So do hundreds of other people, which makes you wonder why Zolton just didn't do this to begin with to pick up business for his Wax Museum and forget about the crime thing entirely. As the trio walk past dummies of the Thing, the Vulture, Doc Ock, Dr. Strange, and Loki, Matt gets a whiff of fear gas and Foggy catches a glimpse of the Ox. Both men come back to the museum after hours, though Matt returns in his Daredevil costume. In the battle that follows, Foggy rips Mr. Fear's mask and sees his real face. Then, he is slapped into the wall by the Ox and knocked unconscious.

Daredevil takes Foggy to the hospital where he is diagnosed with a severe concussion. Mr. Fear worries that Foggy saw his face (though Foggy sure shouldn't know who he is) and plans to silence him before he can report this fact to the police. So the Fellowship disguise themselves in surgeon's whites with caps and masks (which just has to be seen to be believed) and enter Foggy's hospital room but DD breaks in and breaks it up.

The Fellowship returns to the Wax Museum because, according to Mr. Fear, "The police will never expect us to return to the museum!" (Uh, yeah, right.) They walk through a room with wax dummies of the Super-Skrull, the Cobra, Thor, Magneto and Daredevil... only the Daredevil dummy isn't really the Daredevil dummy at all but, rather, the real Daredevil standing very still pretending he's the Daredevil dummy. A big fight follows and DD defeats the Ox and the Eel. Mr. Fear turns out to be a complete coward, bawling, "I'll return the stolen loot! Give myself up! Anything! But don't hit me!" DD ties the three villains up with the same rope.

At the hospital Foggy regains consciousness. Karen rags on Matt for not being there. "Weren't you even concerned about your friend and partner?" she asks. "That's what makes Matt the great lawyer he is!" Foggy says, "He's cold and unemotional. He hasn't any room for sentiment!" And poor Matt must pretend that this is so.

In General...

Milestones (Landmark events that take place in this story.)

  1. First appearance of Mr. Fear.
  2. Second appearance of Spider-Man as an inanimate object (After the dartboard in FF #21, December 1963).
  3. Third appearance of the Eel (After Strange Tales #112, September 1963 and Strange Tales #117, February 1964.)
  4. Fourth appearance of the Ox (After ASM #10, March 1964, ASM #14, July 1964, and ASM #19, December 1964)
  5. Final appearance of Daredevil's yellow costume.

Overall Rating...

It's a pretty standard super-hero story and it's saddled with a number of ridiculous plot threads such as the three villains sneaking into Foggy's hospital room dressed as doctors and Daredevil pretending to be his own wax dummy. (And I didn't even mention the moment when Daredevil turns on the "built-in exhaust fan" to send Mr. Fear's fear gas back at him.) Ordinarily, this kind of stuff would reduce the web rating to two and a half or even two webs. But... it's got this great Wally Wood artwork! So, on the illustrations alone, I've giving this issue four webs.