Lee & Kirby & Ditko & Everett & Brodsky: A Guest Post on DAREDEVIL #1 and Related Matters

In response to yesterday’s post concerning DAREDEVIL #1, I received an e-mail from my friend Mark Evanier. Mark is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about classic comics and in particular the people who worked on them. He had a number of insights that he wanted to bring up, not just about yesterday’s post but also the earlier ones about the interconnected history of AVENGERS #1, X-MEN #1 and DAREDEVIL #1, and he said I could print as much as I wanted. So of course I’m printing it all, below. Here’s what Mark had to say about all of this:

Just read your latest on Daredevil, X-Men and The Avengers.  Use
whatever you like from what follows…

Regarding the job numbers: Sol Brodsky, who dealt with them every day,
said that they were assigned whenever it was decided to start something
(a cover, a letters page, a story, whatever).  That doesn’t mean work
started on it at that moment,  It merely meant that there was a number
assigned so that whenever anyone had to be paid for whatever they did on
it, there was a unique number established.

If Stan suddenly decided he needed money, he could have them establish
job numbers for a couple of stories and he could be paid for those
stories and write them months later.  All that mattered was that at some
point, the number could match up work that was done and work that was
paid for.

I may have confused some folks in forum posts where I was too casual
with what I wrote.  The whole point of the job numbers was to make sure
that if a check was issued for a 10-page story with job number X-123,
there somewhere existed a 10-page story with the corresponding job number.

Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Sol Brodsky all told me matching stories about
how X-MEN and DAREDEVIL were supposed to come out at the same time and
that AVENGERS had to be rushed through production to fill the slot when
DAREDEVIL #1 wasn’t ready in time.  No matter how bad some of their
memories might have been — and Sol’s was fine — I can’t imagine all
three of these guys independently remembering the wrong thing no matter
what the job numbers may say.  One explanation might be that they
decided to start work on AVENGERS way before they did, a job number was
assigned and then they put the project on hold before any work was paid
on it and used that number much later when the project was reactivated
and actually produced.  Dick Ayers told me that for at least one issue
of FANTASTIC FOUR that he inked, he was paid the right amount but the
check (and maybe the job number) said it was for a TWO-GUN KID or some
western he didn’t ink.  I think Stan sometimes hid work done for one
comic under the job number of another…and again, as long as everything
added up right at some point, nobody cared.

There’s a belief that Jack did one concept drawing for DAREDEVIL and
that Everett modified the costume on that drawing and it was used for
the cover of #1.  Actually, I don’t think we have any way of knowing how
many drawings Jack did for DAREDEVIL.  When there was talk of him doing
the comic, it was going to be a little like the old Simon-Kirby STUNTMAN
(he said) but we have no way of knowing how much.  Jack didn’t remember
how close it was, nor did he recall how many drawings he’d done.  So I
don’t know who could have said he only did one since Stan always denied
Jack did anything — not even a cover — on the DAREDEVIL comic and we
know that’s wrong.  Jack said he was of some aid to Everett with the
story to #1 but he didn’t recall just what he did.  Everett told me he
didn’t remember very much of what went on with that comic but said —
and this is a direct quote — “I don’t recall what I did but I know I
couldn’t have done it without Jack’s help.”

So I don’t know who could have been the source of the idea that Jack did
1 or a dozen concept drawings for DAREDEVIL.  The idea that the costume
was Everett’s reworking of a Kirby design was a speculation of mine in a
long-ago article and I think some people took it as an established fact.
  If Jack said he didn’t remember and Bill said he didn’t remember and
Stan denied Jack did anything, I don’t know who could have been a
witness to that.  I wish I’d asked Sol about it.

Worth noting: The cobbled-up lettering on page 1 of DAREDEVIL #1 was by
Artie Simek even though Sam Rosen lettered the rest of the story.  I was
under the impression that Everett left the first page for the end, never
finished it and it was easier to whip up the page they used than to get
Everett’s page inked overnight.  But I have no idea where I got that
impression so it may not be so.  Maybe Everett was so eager to get rid
of the whole story, he just handed it in with no first page at all.

Lastly: Everett and Brodsky both agreed that it was Brodsky’s idea to
assign Everett to DAREDEVIL in the first place.  They were in frequent
touch as Everett was working on some of Brodsky’s outside projects at
the time.  Hope something in here is of interest to you.  I agree with
your analysis of the paste job on DAREDEVIL #1.

4 thoughts on “Lee & Kirby & Ditko & Everett & Brodsky: A Guest Post on DAREDEVIL #1 and Related Matters

  1. Panic or portmanteu, Daredevil #1 remained my favorite DD issue until Wallace Wood’s SECOND issue. And, nope, issue #1 wasn’t my first DD read. That honor went to the really bland introduction of the Owl. At age 11, I guess I assumed had rushed some pages or did them out of order or something. Most inconsistencies didn’t bother me when paying only a nickel or comics less than a year old.

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  2. I recall reading how Daredevil was offered to Ditko, and it seems from the account that Lee was more than happy for the artists to essentially do the creation as well as the story (provided it was Ditko at least, since Everett mentioned that Lee met with him to present/share ideas). Are you able to let me know where Ditko talked about this (which of his publications?) or the full quote? I’ve only been able to find references to it.

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    1. Rosco, Ditko mentioned Daredevil in two essays, the most recent being in the Complete Four-Page Series and other essays. In “Lo, there was a Hulk” Ditko explained: “Stan offered me Daredevil. I had already helped with the first issue but didn’t want to do him because he was to close to Spider-Man – spider senses, blind super senses – and I didn’t like the cane gimmick.” In an earlier essay he noted Stan offering DD to him before the character went to Everett, He said Lee told him he could even use the original 1940s costume.

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