Grim_Noir: “Punching Cancer” (Right In The Junk)

Daredevil punching cancer

Title: Daredevil #26 (back-up story)

Storytellers: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee

Cover Art: Chris Samnee & Javier Rodriguez

Variant Cover Art: Paolo Rivera

Color Art: Javier Rodriguez

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Reviewed by Grim_Noir

It is damn-near impossible to write a perfect story in eight comic pages, but co-storytellers Mark Waid and Chris Samnee come close.

May is always a busy month for us geeky-types: Free Comic Book Day, the opening of convention and concert seasons, Summer movie premieres and TV cliffhanger finales. There’s so much to talk about. So why does my mind keep circling around to a back-up story in last week’s Daredevil?

Foggy in thought

In the main part of the Daredevil book, it is no great secret that Matt Murdock’s best friend and business partner, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson has been diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a very real and potentially deadly form of cancer: Adults have about a 60% survival rate and it is generally treated with surgery, radiation AND chemotherapy. “My life sucks,” Foggy says succinctly, in a mix of self-pity and self-deprecation.

Matt with Foggy

In “Punching Cancer,” Foggy has agreed to keep the pediatric cancer patients occupied until Iron Man arrives for a public appearance at the Hospital. However, when Foggy gets to the Children’s Ward, the kids are already busy writing their own group comic book to give to Iron Man (who is, predictably, running late).

As a cancer survivor myself (and someone who lost his father to cancer), I tensed at this set-up: I was braced for schmaltz and high-octane optimism. Five years ago, as I had lay semi-naked on a cold steel table with a lead bowling ball wrapped around my privates, while techs in a way-yonder other room focused radiation beams at my body, I found that getting really, really angry was the only way to keep the fight going every day for months. (THEM:“Now, Grim, your Radiation Therapy generally causes loss of appetite AND diarrhea…” ME: “Both?!?! How the Frell does that even work?!?!“)  Butterflies and smiley faces do not cut it in this war.

Daredevil #26 cover

 With the exception of the overly-preachy Dr. Fine character (first name “Everything-Gonna-Be,” maybe?), Waid and Samnee have delivered a plain-spoken, yet spot-on take on how children and adults process the idea of their own bodies’ cells attacking them. To say much more about an eight page story would be spoilers. I will say that it caught me off-guard with how damn good it was.

And that dizzying feeling of a story that rings so true, told so well, is why I started reading comics in the first place.

Yeah

 

Ol' Grim Hisself

* GRIM_NOIR is convinced that the internet is a figment of his imagination. Please comment below and/or follow @Grim_Noir on Twitter or “Friend” him on Facebook to end his self-delusions.

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