As I mentioned in a post about Silver Age Daredevil last week, a recent re-reading of this run has given me a renewed appreciation for its importance and place in the Marvel Universe. With the Marvel line already developing its share of global concerns and even cosmic menaces by 1964, the series conveyed a real-world perspective in a way that even Spider-Man could not. Issue #2 might be the best example from the early series in this regard. This one has everything from the Fantastic Four in need of Matt Murdoch's legal services in regards to the Baxter Building's rental agreement, to Daredevil breaking up an ordinary car theft ring, to Electro shooting Daredevil into outer space. And on top of all that… a little attempted Cold War-era espionage. Daredevil #2 is a wonderful example of both its moment in history and its era of the Marvel Universe. There's a #2 (Marvel, 1964) CGC NM- 9.2 Off-white to white pages up for auction in this week's 2021 July 18-19 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122129 from Heritage Auctions.
Daredevil's origin is no exception to the radiation-inspired concerns that permeated the early Marvel Universe, but upon re-reading these issues I was surprised to see the Cold War-era touch the early portion of this series in other obvious ways. Black Widow and Nick Fury readily come to mind in regards to Marvel Silver Age espionage and plots to overthrow the government, but those things and similar concerns appear throughout Daredevil as well. The Purple Man from issue #4 was a spy for a foreign power when he had the accident that gave him his power. In issue #9, the dictator of Lichtenbad has covertly kidnapped scientists and other brilliant minds to help him expand his country's power. The Organizer from issue #11 essentially uses terrorism to maneuver a political party into leveraging control over New York City.
So much happens in Electro's appearance in issue #2 that it's easy to miss his matter-of-fact motivation for breaking into the Baxter Building while the Fantastic Four are away. While one could probably use Reed Richard's scientific secrets to profit in all sorts of ways, the one to come to mind for Electro is very simple: "I'll steal their scientific secrets and sell them to a hostile nation for a fortune!"
Re-reading this issue last week, I was initially surprised at that matter-of-fact and almost trivial way this is handled in the issue, but perhaps I shouldn't have been. The news during the early 1960s era leading up to this 1964 issue was filled with countless numbers of just such incidents — having seemingly become such a matter of routine that they sometimes barely merited a couple of paragraphs. A fascinating example of the Marvel Universe of its time, there's a Daredevil #2 (Marvel, 1964) CGC NM- 9.2 Off-white to white pages up for auction in this week's 2021 July 18-19 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122129 from Heritage Auctions.
Issue #2 (Marvel, 1964) CGC NM- 9.2 Off-white to white pages. Second appearances of Daredevil and Electro. Fantastic Four appearance. Jack Kirby cover. Joe Orlando art. Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $2,100. CGC census 7/21: 28 in 9.2, 39 higher.