Thursday, 18 August 2016

Daredevil: In The Coils Of The Copperhead

Here's one of my favourite under-used villains of The Bronze Age, from Daredevil's first time round in Frisco, The Copperhead.
The Copperhead was, fairly obviously, Marvellous Marv & Lively Len's love letter to the great pulp heroes, being a mash up between The Shadow and The Avenger, with Doc Savage's colour scheme thrown in for good measure. Me, I thought he was the coolest noir villain ever, and in a sense, a throwback to the great Ditko villains like The Crimemaster and The Big Man.
Because once you get past Natasha upping sticks and leaving Matt ( and the book ), and Foggy's usual bit of business, it's all pulp heaven all the way, with the instantly iconic bad guy practically stealing DD's comic out from under him.
Imagine if they'd heroed him up, and given The Copperhead his own series by Colan & Janson, both of whom are clearly having the time of their lives with this character.
By the way, what's also great about this issue is that there's some surprisingly good characterization paid to the background characters, like the woman The Copperhead first ' saves ', and later on, the mugger concerned about his Ma's opinion of him. Or maybe not so surprising, considering it's Wein & Wolfman at the wheel.
Anyway, all that's slicing on the cake. it's the bad guy we're here to see.
As far as I know, he was only ever used again in this two-parter in The Human Fly. Maybe, once we found out who he really was there was no mystery left, and nothing for a writer to play with.

Whatever, I'm here to say The Copperhead coulda' been a contender. He's a character whose appearance has stuck in my head all these years anyway. Here's the first part of his debut.


  1. Well, its not Tom Palmer on inks, but... Janson had enough compositional sense to be an acceptable substitute. Love Colan's work and hadn't read this one before, so thanks.

    And well done on resisting the urge to post interior pages from those Human Fly issues!


  2. I felt the same about Copperhead Pete. Such potential and hardly used. I wonder what someone like Miller might have made of him?

  3. If I'm not mistaken, Marvel had another villain named Copperhead who was a member of the Serpent Society.

    Anyone happen to know if there was any connection between the two?

  4. I vaguely remember him - he might even have been The Eel in a different costume, but no, fairly sure there was no connection.