Daredevil (1st series) #238

Issue Date: 
January 1987
Story Title: 
It Comes with the Claws

Ann Nocenti (writer), Sal Buscema and Steve Leialoha (artists), Max Scheele (colorist), Joe Rosen (letterer), Ralph Macchio (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

After the Morlock tunnels have been cleared of the blood and dead bodies, various parties claim the tunnels for themselves – some teenagers, a gang of kids and also Sabretooth set up base there. Sabretooth makes the others leave after injuring a few of them, though he claims one of the females as a mate for himself. When Butch of the Bratpack mentions that Daredevil will protect them, Sabretooth decides to teach them a lesson by defeating the Hero. Later he attacks Daredevil and they fight at first on the surface before entering the the tunnels. Sabretooth is capable of night vision and Daredevil has his radar so none of them are at a disadvantage. Finally they burst through a wall, and find a corpse of a Morlock. By Daredevil’s reaction sabretooth realizes that the hero is blind. Impressed, they cease fighting for a moment, but then Creed’s instincts kick in and without reason he attacks the girl he captured earlier.
Daredevil thinks her dead and asks why he did it, yet Creed doesn’t have an answer, instead he runs away. A similar scene in Butch’s house takes place. Their cat catches a mouse by it’s tail and proudly presents it to the family, yet it does not kill or eat it. Butch’s father explains that even though the cat is regularly fed and living in the city, it still hunts mice because of it’s instincts. All of a sudden the cat decides to kill the mouse and leaves, just like Creed did. It seems that sabretooth too is controlled by his instincts. After sabretooth is out of sight, the girl moans. she is not dead and Daredevil quickly takes her to safety.

Full Summary: 

Following the deaths of the Morlocks and Thor burning away all blood and bodies, some local teenagers enter the tunnels to use them themselves. However the they run into Sabretooth who claims the tunnels for himself. He quickly injures one of them and soon the two males run away, while Sabretooth grabs the girl that has been accompanying them. He then throws her on his bed, or actually now their bed. Sabretooth once more checks the area with his keen senses and then lies down to sleep and rest before battling the X-Men once more.
Daredevil is scouting the city. He recognizes a battle, but his radar sense and enhanced smell and hearing quickly tell him that it’s only two dogs fighting over some leftover food in the rubbish. Daredevil „observes“ the encounter for a while, but then he is alerted to a nearby robbery. Two muggers try to steal from a man, but Daredevil quickly defeats them and ties them up. However their victim is not very grateful, he is a store owner, whose shop was damaged when Daredevil fought the super soldier Nuke (# 233). Daredevil doesn’t know what to say, he knows he is not responsible for Nuke’s actions, but can’t deny the fact that the presence of superheroes attracts more super villains to attack.
At home, Darla and Butch are watching a horror movie in TV. A woman is about to be attacked by a werewolf, as Butch annoys their cat and makes it jump at Darla’s face at the same time that the werewolf creature strikes. Naturally she freaks out, but then she starts to beat the laughing Butch. Their parents tell them to knock it off, and the kids ask for their allowance so they can go to the library. Before they leave, the father tells them not to play with Raphael and his gang of thugs, but of course we find them with Raphael not before long.
The gang to has made their way into the subway tunnels, and they start to decorate the place. Each member of the gang is granted his own little turf, but two of them start to fight over a certain spot. Nearby Sabretooth wakes up from the noise, and interrupts the bickering with a roar. Soon he confronts that gang of kids and teenager, and all are frightened. Raphael, the leader, cowardly hides behind others, but Butch one of the smallest stands up to Creed and tells him that New York is protected by superheroes like Daredevil. Sabretooth decides to teach the kids a lesson by fighting Daredevil.
Somewhat later, Daredevil is still scouting the city, as suddenly he smells something between a man and a tiger. Before he can react he is already attacked by Sabretooth and both fall down from a roof. They land in a nearby alley, ironically the one where the two dogs fought before. Sabretooth strikes again and this time Daredevil bumps into some bystanders. While he tries to help the elderly couple, Sabretooth uses his claws on Daredevil’s back. Angry Daredevil strikes back with very good combat moves, and is able to lure Creed down to the pipes and sewers, believing to be at an advantage there as he himself is blind and does not rely on sight. However, Sabretooth is able to see in the dark like cats can do, and the fight goes on. They continue to hit and beat each other and soon they are fighting near the place where the girl is tied up. As Daredevil tries to untie her, he is again attacked from behind by Creed, who then attempts to cut his throat. At the last instant Daredevil uses a judo move and both of them crash into a wall that gives in, only to reveal a burned Morlock corpse inside.
Meanwhile Butch and Darla have returned home. Butch is disgusted by the actions of their cat. It sneaks towards a mouse, then captures it by it’s tail and then carries it towards the family; yet it does not kill or eat it. Butch wonders why, and his father explains that the cat is acting on instinct. It hungers for the thrill of the hunt, yet it does not have to eat the mouse as the family regularly feeds the cat. Having this insight Butch feels somewhat sorry for the cat, but then suddenly the cat kills the mouse and runs away. Butch is very upset.
In the tunnels Sabretooth is astounded by Daredevil’s reaction to the corpse. By the way the hero tilts his head and sniffing. Creed finally realizes that Daredevil does not use his eyes – he has to be blind ! Mightily impressed Sabretooth starts to talk. Daredevil says that one of them will end up dead too if they don’t stop, but all of a sudden Sabretooth cuts the throat of the girl. Angrily Daredevil beats and hits Creed till he can check the girl’s status. He says that she is dead and asks why he did it, but Creed doesn’t know. He then runs away, like Butch’s cat did. After he left, the girl starts to moan, she is not dead. Daredevil bandages her injury and then takes her to safety.

Characters Involved: 


Sabretooth (Marauders)
Butch, Darla (both Bratpack)

Bob, Jake and a girl, some teenagers in the Morlock tunnels

Raphael, leader of a gang

Story Notes: 

Though officially not named as part of the Mutant Massacre, the issue fits in between Uncanny X-Men #212 and 213, also the cover texts reads : The Mutant Massacre continues !

Issue Information: 
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