Daredevil Fights Fake News

Nov 08, 2017

We left off last week with a campaign of fake political ads targeted at Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, Matt(Daredevil) Murdock’s best friend. This subplot spanned several issues and then ended in a three-part story focusing on the “real” villain.

The political ads evolved into bizarre news stories:

And now you know what made me think of these comics; the recent release of government files about the assassination of JFK, and how they validated some of the “crazier” ideas (while answering almost no questions) that have floated around it. We know the story above is true though because that’s Walter Cronkite.

The fake news continues in Daredevil, with Foggy Nelson finding out about his statement questioning his own competence by seeing it on television:

His opponent denies responsibility:

So we have untraceable political advertisements. Fake news stories, including one about the candidate that was the target of the mystery ads, and an opponent that insists he is not involved.

Sound familiar? This was in a “kids” comics series, 42 years ago.

Of course, a campaign of disinformation should be easier back then than it should be now because back then there was only TV and newspapers.


Well, finally we find out who the real target is:

After all, it’s his name on the cover of the comics.

In 1976 this kind of editing was possible. Editing videotape with computers (using time offsets, not digital processing) was already a few years old. The fiction is the Jester having such a system (they were incredibly expensive and rare) and his ability to air pirate broadcasts for weeks without being caught.

The Jester’s campaign works until he throws Daredevil into a death maze (comic book!) and Daredevil beats him up, and then it’s the end and join us next issue for a special guest hero.

This wasn’t the first appearance of the Jester, nor was it the first time he framed Daredevil for murder and drove a story that spanned multiple issues. It wasn’t even the first time the Jester was involved in an election. Nor was this the first or last time a Marvel comic added “serious” ideas to its stories.

This one seems notable to me, though, because as much as 12-year-old Eric enjoyed it, he thought it was far-fetched.


Extra credit: Some fake newspaper pages from the story.

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