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Daredevil #69: Review

Oct 1970
Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

Story Name:

A Life on the Line

Review & Comments

4 stars

Daredevil #69 Review by (October 1, 2022)
This issue is a tie-in to the story in Avengers #80-82, for Black Panther falling between #81 and #82. Daredevil and BP will go straight to Av#82 where they will join the fight against Zodiac, discovering that *they* were financing the Thunderbolts.

These T-Bolts have nothing to do with the later Thunderbolts with their own series who are reformed supervillains.
They are however the inspiration for a short-lived superhero called Thunderbolt. Lonnie Carver will get killed in Power Man #41-43 and his brother Billy will get a superspeed power and swear revenge which he will achieve in PM & Iron Fist #61-62. But his power has aged him and he dies.

BP's Luke Charles identity 1st appeared in Av#77. Significantly BP doesn't reveal his identity as T'Challa, Prince of Wakanda. Wakanda itself is still unknown to most of the world.

1 of the Thunderbolts here is named Turk. This is taken as the 1st app of Turk Barrett, a long-time bit player in DD's comics starting from #159.

I didn't mention in the synopsis that Lonnie and Billy and all the Thunderbolts are African-American. The 'Bolts are portrayed in this issue as a gang pretending to be fighting against white supremacy but actually in it for money and power.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Daredevil #69 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
2 members of the Thunderbolts gang drive a truck up to the back of a warehouse and the guard lets them in to loot it. Daredevil interrupts them and KO's all 3, but the truck drives off, very badly, and slams into a wall. Inside DD finds an injured young teen boy. Then he's joined by Black Panther who expresses an interest in the youth. They commandeer a cab to take them all to City Hospital.

At the hospital emergency desk the boy's taken in but there's no doctor available to see him at the moment. DD as Matt Murdock calls a Dr Kraft who agrees as a favour to come treat the kid for free. After he arrives and prepares for surgery DD and BP go up to wait on the roof and chat. Daredevil explains that he got a tip off about the robbery. Panther claims that he also knew about it but got here late because he had to get out of an Avengers mission to make it (see Av#80). Now he gives DD (and us) some background (which of course we see as flashbacks).

The boy is Lonnie Carver, a star student of Luke Charles (who BP claims is a friend of his). His older brother Billy returned from the (Vietnam) war and Panther saw some of the Thunderbolts trying to recruit Billy into their ranks. Billy refused and Lonnie supported him. The T-Bolts attacked them but BP intervened and saw the gang off.

Panther breaks off his narration to admit that *he* is Luke Charles. Daredevil suspected as much but asks why he's told him. BP answers that it's because *he* knows that DD is Matt Murdock. He found out while they were fighting Starr Saxon in #52.

Back to the flashbacks. A week later Lonnie started acting up in class, and then cutting them. A few nights later BP saw Lonnie running with the Thunderbolts. Investigation revealed that Billy Carver was no longer living at home. And he also overheard Lonnie talking on the phone about the planned robbery, which is how he got on the scene.

Now a nurse calls them down because Lonnie is awake. Dr Kraft tells them that the boy seems to have lost the will to live and keeps asking for someone named Billy. Now they hear him asking Billy why he joined the 'Bolts. Daredevil says he knows where the gang will be and leads Panther there. On the way he asks if DD/Murdock is *really* blind. DD says yes but he has other senses that more than compensate.

They reach another warehouse where the gang including Billy are meeting to plan an attack on an armoury. Billy asks their leader when they'll get to meet the man who's financing them. The duo sneak in and DD removes the fuse for the lights. Both heroes are at an advantage in the dark as they attack the gang. The leader starts firing wildly, endangering his own men. As DD evades a bullet he twists an ankle. Several gang members dog pile on BP. The leader clicks a cigarette lighter to reveal the heroes.

Then Billy picks up a gun and aims it at the leader. DD throws his billy-club to knock the lighter out of his hand and leaps to knock him down. But not before he gets a shot off which wings Billy. BP restores the lights. Billy has the leader covered, and the rest of the gang are cowed. BP phones for the cops.

Later on the 2 heroes and Billy visit Lonnie in hospital. Billy explains to him that he'd been working undercover for DA Franklin Nelson, and Lonnie now has a reason to live. Daredevil and Black Panther leave them. DD had obviously learned about the warehouse robbery and the warehouse meeting from Billy. DA Nelson and his assistant Murdock hadn't wanted to take the gang in yet because they seem to be part of something bigger, but they'll find out some other way.

Gene Colan
Syd Shores
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Sal Buscema (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther


(Matt Murdock)

> Daredevil: Book info and issue index

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