Flashback Friday: Bullseye
Take aim at the man who never misses with a look back at his debut against Daredevil!
Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.
One of Marvel’s most menacing villains made history this week by headlining his first ever ongoing series. That’s right, with BULLSEYE #1, the man with impeccable aim jumped onto shelves thanks to Ed Brisson, Marv Wolfman, Guillermo Sanna, and Alec Morgan. As Bullseye heads down to South America for some fiendish fun and frolic, let’s look back to his very first appearance back in 1976’s DAREDEVIL #131 by Wolfman, Bob Brown and Klaus Janson.
The initial weapon wielded by the master assassin might strike you as a surprise: Bullseye’s first ever attack comes in the form of a paper airplane thrown perfectly through a high-rise window with a simple message: “Pay me $100,000 or I will kill you!!” The man on the other side of the divide, Mr. Hunnicutt, proves unlucky as he looks up to see the masked killer standing before him. With the unfortunate Hunnicutt having no money on hand, Bullseye picked up a pen from his office set and threw it into the poor guy’s neck! As we learn, the villain never had any intention of actually letting his victim live, instead intending only to bolster his murderous reputation.
Daredevil shows up to investigate and runs into a Daily Bugle reporter named Jake Conover who shares some information on the new assassin that came directly from the seeming psycho’s mouth. Turns out the unnamed man served in Vietnam where he not only relished killing the enemy but also discovered a talent for using throwing weapons. As a signed major league baseball pitcher, he could have returned after the war to that career, but instead moved to Africa where he became a mercenary.
On his way home from meeting with Conover, Daredevil finds himself in the blast zone of a lobbed grenade that sends him tumbling down into an alley where his assailant waits. Bullseye runs, DD giving chase only to wind up in another trap set at a circus!
The tale carries over into DAREDEVIL #132 where the actual big top battle takes place. Thanks to the explosion, the Man Without Fear suffers a series of other injuries that put him off his game. Unimpressed with his opponent’s skills, Bullseye escapes after blasting a pool of water with his special gun’s sonic cartridge.
Far from finished, Bullseye finds another target: a rich couple named Henry and Freda Foster. Using the same gun from before, he shoots a harpoon through the window that staples Henry’s arm to the wall. Doing his usual shtick of demanding money, Bullseye gives the Fosters a day to get the cash but warns them against calling the cops. When Henry does, he gets a sword through the hand.
At that same moment, Daredevil bursts into the room and takes on Bullseye at full power for the very first time. The assassin attempts to use everything from another pen to an umbrella to take out the hero, but ol’ Horn Head walks away the victor!
Not a fan of being bested, Bullseye continues to appear and becomes one of Daredevil’s most infamous enemies. Not long after this first appearance, he first tries to assassinate Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson and later kidnaps Matt’s girlfriend the Black Widow. Of course, he’s most well known as the man who murdered not one, but two of Murdock’s loves: Elektra and Karen Page.
When it comes to deadly dynamos in the Marvel Universe, few have caused as much damage as Bullseye, but even he’s played at being a good guy. In addition to chasing down rogue heroes during Civil War as a member of the Thunderbolts, he also became Norman Osborn’s Hawkeye in the group known as the Dark Avengers. Even when trying to do good things like stopping a malfunctioning Hulkbuster or stopping three guys from attacking a woman, his temper and disregard for innocent civilians usually led to death. In other words, being anything close to a good guy might be the thing that Bullseye couldn’t hit if his life depended on it.
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