Back in the day Daredevil, the original Golden Age version, was actually one of the more successful comic book superheroes relative to the hundreds created during the 1940s.

Created by Jack Binder and Jack Cole Daredevil first appeared in Silver Streak #6 (September, 1940). Jack Cole was the artist who would later garner fame for having created Plastic Man. Here Cole develops a Daredevil vs. The Claw storyline for the subsequent five issues of Silver Streak.  That series which would result in lifting the Daredevil character to a considerable height of popularity that  would earn Daredevil its own title series, to be drawn by Charles Biro.

Charles Biro

Charles Biro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This issue (Daredevil #18 Lev Gleason Publications August 1943) is very notable for several reasons. First, the carnival scene which features a Clobber the Clown game converted into “Sock the Ratzies” with the faces of the big three axis leaders. Look closely and it also displays a copyright infringement image of Mickey Mouse! Next, it features a “new” origin for the hero (keeping the alter ego real Bart Hill and the boomerang weapon skills that matches a boomerang shaped scar on his chest). The new origin story adds a childhood with Aborigines in the Australian Outback who grows up and seeks revenge against the murder of his father, a gold mine owner.  Lastly, the book contains the story Scoop Scuttle by the popular Basil Wolverton.

The kids milling about at the carnival are The Little Wise Guys, who were introduced with issue #13 (October, 1942). The kid gang concept (like DC’s Boy Commandos) grew in popularity to the point that they became the main stars of the series by the late ’40s. The series that launched its first issue months before the U.S. joined WWII (July 1941) with the cover “Daredevil battles Hitler” ended after 134 issues on September 1956.